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Predators' Effects

About 60 percent of articles appearing in "predatory" journals were not cited within a five-year period, ScienceInsider reports.

Researchers from Hanken School of Economics and Tampere University in Finland used Google Scholar to examine the citation statistics for 250 articles published in 2014 in journals included on Cabell's list of predatory journals. Cabell's list uses a set of 65 criteria to classify journals. They also examined articles from non-predatory journals as a control.

As they report in a preprint posted to arXiv, the Finnish team found 59.6 percent of those articles published in predatory journals 2014 had no citations by 2019, while only 9 percent of those published in traditional journals had no citations in that time frame. This, they write, suggests "the average predatory journal article has very little effect on the research of others and that it probably also has very limited readership among academics."

But the University of Utah's Rick Anderson tells ScienceInsider that a decent portion of those articles did garner citations, a fact he still found worrisome.