the journal you get your info from may look reliable but is it?
Open access (OA) medical publishing is growing rapidly. While subscription-based publishing does not charge the author, OA does. This opens the door for “predatory” publishers who take authors’ money but provide no substantial peer review or indexing to truly disseminate research findings. Discriminating between predatory and legitimate OA publishers is difficult.
In 2013, John Bohannon conducted a “sting” operation, to expose the lack of peer review in predatory OA journals, and published his story in the journal Science.
He created a fictitious paper from made-up authors from non-existent African universities that purported to identify a new chemical that inhibited cancer cell growth. The paper was purposely fundamentally flawed such that any level of peer review would result in rejection from a legitimate journal.
He sent the paper to 304 OA journals drawn from both the “predatory” scientific journal list of Beall (see below), and the Directory of Open Access Journals (presumably legitimate). Ultimately 157 (52%) accepted, 98 (32%) rejected it and the rest did not respond.