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Many academics are happy to publish in so-called predatory journals, the New York Times writes.

Predatory journals are called that, it says, as they are thought to trick academics into working or publishing with them by, for instance, having a name that's similar to another, prestigious journal. These predatory journals instead publish low-qualirty articles they receive in exchange for a fee and add nearly any academic's name to its editorial board.

Rather than being a "predator and prey" relationship, the Times says that the relationship between these journals and academics might be a "new and ugly symbiosis." It says that many academics that work with these journals know what they are getting into and use publications in these journals or spots on their editorial boards to pad their CVs. The individual rewards for publishing in these journals — promotions — outweigh the penalties, it adds. However, the Times says some search committees have cottoned on.

The University of Sussex's Katarzyna Pisanski adds that knowing people's motivations for publishing in such journals is hard to tease out. "If you were tricked by spam email you might not want to admit it, and if you did it wittingly to increase your publication counts you might also not want to admit it," she tells the Times.