Predatory journals and the use and abuse of special issues



Meijer A & Webster CW (2022) Predatory journals and the use and abuse of special issues. Information Polity, 27 (2), pp. 119-120. https://doi.org/10.3233/ip-229005

First paragraph: Many academics will be familiar with the tactics of some of the new ‘predatory journals’ – primarily, unsolicited invitations to publish in the said journal, to sit on the Editorial Board, and increasingly to lead the publication of a special issue, usually because of a topic that the author has previously published on. As editors of Information Polity we get at least two or three of these invitations per week, and sometimes more than one a day. As with all spam, these tactics must work, otherwise they would not be deployed. These journals are usually Open Access with the author paying a publishing fee (article processing charge). Their rapid growth suggests that academics are willing to pay these fees, usually in the region of $1000 per article, in order to get their work published quickly, and sometimes in as little as twenty days. A predatory journal will publish almost anything in return for a fee, and in recent years there has been an explosion in special issues and collections, sometimes with the frequency of such publications outnumbering ‘normal’ or traditional editions. Data on the number of special issues current being published points to an average of at least five per journal in 2020 and rising (Crosetto, 2021). So, what’s the problem, if good quality academic work is being published quickly and is accessible to all? Why do we call them ‘predatory journals’?

Public Administration; Sociology and Political Science; Communication; Information Systems

Information Polity: Volume 27, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2022
Publication date online06/06/2022
Date accepted by journal01/06/2022
PublisherIOS Press

People (1)


Professor William Webster

Professor William Webster

Personal Chair, Management, Work and Organisation