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Scholarly Communication: Predatory Publishing in South Africa

This guide defines Scholarly Communication, and its role in raising visibility of Researcher output and web presence. Scholarly Communication is defined as "the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality,


Remember: Sham journals, predatory publishers, and journals with little impact exist in both the Closed Access arena and the Open Access arena. Before publishing in any journal, authors should take time to investigate both the journal and the editorial board. If you are new to Open Access publishing, or publishing in general, please consider contacting your subject librarian.

Do Not Feed the Predators !

The study by de Jager, de Kock and van der Spuy, Do Not Feed the Predators, investigates the prevalence and characteristics of papers published in popular predatory journals by South African academics in economic and management sciences. The aim is to raise awareness and to deepen understanding of the predatory publishing phenomenon. The authors collected 728 recent (2013 to mid-2016) articles with South African authors in five popular in the field journals classified as ‘potential, possible, or probable predatory’ according to Beall’s list. The data shows that publishing in these predatory journals is widespread across authors and universities. However, the data also shows that most of the authors only published once in these journals, suggesting that they perhaps mistakenly perceived the journals as being legitimate research outlets. The authors found evidence of low-quality publishing by the journals in our data, consistent with deficient peer review and copy editing processes. Thus, low-quality publishing was evident from spelling and grammar mistakes in the titles of articles, publishing the same paper twice in the same journal, so-called ‘salami slicing’, and the publishing of an article already published in another journal.


If a large number of South African academics publish papers in predatory journals, then those journals become legitimised locally, leading to other South African academics also publishing in them. This can create a dangerous downward spiral in research quality.


Predatory Publishing in South Africa: Scale & Challenges

Please find below the slides from a presentation by Johan Mouton entitled Predatory Publishing in South Africa: Scale and Challenges, 26 June 2017.

Tips to Emerging Scholars for Identifying Predatory Publishers