Publish and/or perish: A urological perspective on predatory publications
Introduction: It is an accepted axiom that academics must publish to be considered successful. Open-source journals are quickly gaining traction in the scientific community as an effective way to disseminate important research. The open-access movement includes many successful, well-respected operations, but has also spawned a plethora of journals, some predatory and others that appear to be amateurish academic traps. We provide a first look at open-source journals, both reputable and predatory, specifically pertaining to urology.
Methods: A review of the email inbox of a single academic urologist was examined for journal article solicitations over a four-month span. Journals were excluded if they did not pertain to urology. Journals were analyzed according to journal-centred metrics (H-index, number of documents published, total citations, and number of citations per document) over one publishing year (2015).
Results: A total of 32 journals contacting a single academic urologist were included in this review. The majority of journals originated from North America (84.3%) with a mean cost of $1567 CAD. Of the 32 journals, only seven were listed on reputable databases. Of these journals, analysis of journal-specific metrics showed, on average, a journal H-index of 6.71, total documents published over one year of 66.14, and number of citations per document of 0.59. Some publications were found to make false claims of listing in vetted academic databases.
Conclusions: Choices for open-source journal publication are rapidly increasing in the field of urology. They are not all created equal. Publication in many of these journals will increase the risk of seeing academic careers perish rather than flourish.
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