An Analysis of Solicitations From Predatory Journals in Ophthalmology

Grant A. Justin, Charles Huang, Michael K. Nguyen, Jessica Lee, Ian Seddon, Treven A. Wesley, Sophie J. Bakri, J. Peter Campbell, Kara Cavuoto, Megan Collins, Steven J. Gedde, Andrea L. Kossler, Tatyana Milman, Aakriti Shukla, Jayanth Sridhar, Zeba A. Syed, Jr Basil K. Williams, Fasika A. Woreta, Samir N. Patel, Yoshihiro Yonekawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To evaluate trends associated with email communication from potentially predatory publishers to faculty in ophthalmology. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study METHODS: Ophthalmologists (n = 14) from various subspecialties and institutions were recruited to participate. Participants identified unsolicited emails that they had received originating from publishers in May 2021. Information collected included details on email contents and publisher organizations. Trends in communications from predatory publishers were evaluated. RESULTS: Over a 30-day study period, a total of 1813 emails were received from 383 unique publishers and 696 unique journals, with a mean (SD) of 4.73 (2.46) emails received per day per participant. Of the 1813 emails identified, 242 (13%) emails were invitations to conferences, whereas 1440 (80%) were solicitations for article submissions to open-access, pay-to-publish journals. A total of 522 (29.0%) emails were related to ophthalmology, and reference to a prior publication of the participant occurred in 262 emails (14%). Of the 696 unique journals identified, 174 (25%) journals were indexed on PubMed and 426 (61%) were listed on Beall's list. When comparing journals that were listed on PubMed vs those that were not, PubMed indexed journals had a higher impact factor (2.1 vs 1.5, P = .002), were less likely to use “greetings” (76% vs 91%, P < .001), had fewer spelling/grammar errors (40% vs 51%, P = .01), and were less likely to offer rapid publication (16% vs 25%, P = .02). Conclusions: Unsolicited requests to publish occur frequently and may diminish the quality of the scientific literature. We encourage individuals in ophthalmology to be aware of these trends in predatory publishing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
StatePublished - Aug 2024
Externally publishedYes


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