AbstractPurpose of the study
This study aims to describe all unsolicited electronic invitations received from potential predatory publishers or fraudulent conferences over a 12-month period following the first publication as a corresponding author of a junior academician.Study design
Unsolicited invitations received at an institutional email address and perceived to be sent by predatory publishers or fraudulent conferences were collected.Results
A total of 502 invitations were included of which 177 (35.3%) had subject matter relevant to the recipient’s research interests and previous work. Two hundred and thirty-seven were invitations to publish a manuscript. Few disclosed the publication fees (32, 13.5%) but they frequently reported accepting all types of manuscripts (167, 70.5%) or emphasised on a deadline to submit (165, 69.6%). Invitations came from 39 publishers (range 1 to 87 invitations per publisher). Two hundred and ten invitations from a potential fraudulent conference were received. These meetings were held in Europe (97, 46.2%), North America (65, 31.0%), Asia (20.4%) or other continents (5, 2.4%) and came from 18 meeting organisation groups (range 1 to 137 invitations per organisation). Becoming an editorial board member (30), the editor-in-chief (1), a guest editor for journal special issue (6) and write a book chapter (11) were some of the roles offered in the other invitations included while no invitation to review a manuscript was received.Conclusions
Young researchers are commonly exposed to predatory publishers and fraudulent conferences following a single publication as a corresponding author. Academic institutions worldwide need to educate and inform young researchers of this emerging problem.