Predatory publishing has become a serious menace to research quality in the last few years. The situation has been made worse by universities’ perceived need to boost the number of their publications and citations in order to perform well in the global rankings.
An article by Vit Macháček and Martin Srholec of CERGE-EI (Charles University of Prague and the Czech Academy of Sciences) has found that there is a large transnational variation in publication in such journals. The authors used the well-known list of potentially predatory journals and publishers produced by librarian Jeffrey Beall. It should be noted that there is some controversy about the validity of the classification of some of these journals.
The geographical distribution of publication in potentially predatory journals was examined for four fields over the years 2015-2017. The countries with the largest percentage of publications in such journals were Kazakhstan, 17%, Indonesia, 16.73%, Iraq, 12.94%, Albania, 12.08%, and Malaysia, 11.60%.
Other countries at the tap of the last are mainly in Africa, the Middle East and South and south east Asia. A small number of countries have managed to avoid any contact with predatory publishing. These are Belize, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Chad, the Maldives, North Korea and Turkmenistan.
Lower-middle income countries and those with medium large research sectors are most likely to publish in listed journals.
Looking at the four fields that were reviewed. China had the largest proportion in Health Sciences, Kazakhstan in Life Sciences, Indonesia in Physical Sciences, and Albania in Social Sciences.