Leading scholars and publishers from The Ottawa Hospital's Centre for Journalology, the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management, and other institutions from around the world have agreed on a consensus definition of predatory publishing. Credit: David Parkins, courtesy of Nature

Leading scholars and publishers from The Ottawa Hospital's Centre for Journalology, the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management, and other institutions from around the world have agreed on a consensus definition of predatory publishing.

Led by Drs. Agnes Grudniewicz, David Moher, Kelly Cobey, and Manoj Lalu, their commentary was published in Nature.

Predatory journals are a global threat to quality science that was largely unknown a decade ago. There are now an estimated 8,000 predatory journals collectively publishing more than 400,000 research studies each year.

One of the challenges of solving this problem was that there was no agreed-upon definition of predatory publications—until now.

At a recent international meeting in Ottawa, the team of experts reached this consensus definition: "Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices."

This will let researchers track predatory , and develop educational resources and interventions to help fight this growing problem.

More information: Agnes Grudniewicz et al, Predatory journals: no definition, no defence, Nature (2019). DOI: 10.1038/d41586-019-03759-y

Journal information: Nature

Provided by The Ottawa Hospital