This paper aims to unmask the inadequacy of the review process of a sample of fee-chargingjournals in economics. We submitted a bait-manuscript to 104 academic economic journalsto test whether there is a difference in the peer-review process between Article ProcessingCharges (APC) journals and Traditional journals which do not require a publication fee. Thesubmitted bait-article was based on completely made-up data, with evident errors in termsof methodology, literature, reporting of results, and quality of language. Nevertheless, abouthalf of the APC journals fell in the trap. Their editors accepted the article in the journals andrequired to pay the publication fee. We conclude that the Traditional model has a more effec-tive incentive-mechanism in selecting articles, based on quality standards. Otherwise, weconfirm that the so-called “Predatory Journals” – i.e. academic journals which accept paperswithout a quality check – exploit the APC scheme to increase their profits. They are alsoable to enter whitelists (e.g. Scopus, COPE). Accordingly, poor-quality articles published onAPC journals shed the light on the weakness of methodologies based on a mechanical inclu-sion of academic journals in scientific database indexes, succeeding in being considered forbibliometric evaluations of research institutions or scholars’ productivity.

A “Trojan Horse” in the peer-review process of fee-charging economic journals

Roberto Dell’Anno;
2020-01-01

Abstract

This paper aims to unmask the inadequacy of the review process of a sample of fee-chargingjournals in economics. We submitted a bait-manuscript to 104 academic economic journalsto test whether there is a difference in the peer-review process between Article ProcessingCharges (APC) journals and Traditional journals which do not require a publication fee. Thesubmitted bait-article was based on completely made-up data, with evident errors in termsof methodology, literature, reporting of results, and quality of language. Nevertheless, abouthalf of the APC journals fell in the trap. Their editors accepted the article in the journals andrequired to pay the publication fee. We conclude that the Traditional model has a more effec-tive incentive-mechanism in selecting articles, based on quality standards. Otherwise, weconfirm that the so-called “Predatory Journals” – i.e. academic journals which accept paperswithout a quality check – exploit the APC scheme to increase their profits. They are alsoable to enter whitelists (e.g. Scopus, COPE). Accordingly, poor-quality articles published onAPC journals shed the light on the weakness of methodologies based on a mechanical inclu-sion of academic journals in scientific database indexes, succeeding in being considered forbibliometric evaluations of research institutions or scholars’ productivity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4748657
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