May 28, 2022

Research Article: “How Frequently are Articles in Predatory Open Access Journals Cited”(Preprint/Working Paper)

The following research article (preprint/working paper) was recently shared on arXiv. The authors plan to submit to a journal. 


How Frequently are Articles in Predatory Open Access Journals Cited


Bo-Christer Björk
Hanken School of Economics
Helsinki, Finland Sari Kan

Sari Kanto-Karvonen
Tampere University
Tampere, Finland

J. Tuomas Harviainen
Tampere University
Tampere, Finland


via arXiv


Predatory journals are Open Access journals of highly questionable scientific quality. Such journals pretend to use peer review for quality assurance, and spam academics with requests for submissions, in order to collect author payments. In recent years predatory journals have received a lot of negative media. While much has been said about the harm that such journals cause to academic publishing in general, an overlooked aspect is how much articles in such journals are actually read and in particular cited, that is if they have any significant impact on the research in their fields. Other studies have already demonstrated that only some of the articles in predatory journals contain faulty and directly harmful results, while a lot of the articles present mediocre and poorly reported studies.

We studied citation statistics over a five-year period in Google Scholar for 250 random articles published in such journals in 2014, and found an average of 2,6 citations per article and that 60 % of the articles had no citations at all. For comparison a random sample of articles published in the approximately 25,000 peer reviewed journals included in the Scopus index had an average of 18,1 citations in the same period with only 9 % receiving no citations. We conclude that articles published in predatory journals have little scientific impact.

Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint/Working Paper)

UPDATED January 7, 2019
Media Report About the Paper Linked to Above…

“Articles in ‘Predatory’ Journals Receive Few or No Citations” (via Science, by Jeffrey Brainard)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.