“Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning, Romania
Background. Despite their unceasing presence, predatory journals appear to no longer draw the attention of researchers. Their methods of luring authors have evolved, but they seem to lure fewer authors, with the vast majority of such authors coming from developing countries.
Objective. This article uses the invasive species and adaptive cycle concepts from ecology to analyze the trends and possible evolution of predatory journals.
Method. Calls for papers received directly or present on the Web, dedicated scientific websites, and social media posts were the primary sources of data used in the analysis.
Results. Results of the trend analysis suggest that predatory journals have exhausted the potential of past methods to lure authors and are now at a stage of reinventing themselves; for example, transforming into proofreading services. Using the ecological metaphor, predatory journals are an invasive species in the research ecosystem, originating from the “dark” side of the economic ecosystem (Internet and e-mail-based scams). As a system, they are now approaching the creative destruction stage, and as a species they seem to have occupied their niche, relying on authors from the developing countries.
Contributions. The ecological analogy provides a theoretical base for understanding and predicting the behavior of predatory journals. From a practical perspective, the findings can be used to prevent authors from being lured by the “new generation” of predatory publishers.
Cite: Petrişor, A.I. (2017). Are the predatory publishers collapsing or re-inventing themselves? LIBRES, 27(2), 71-79.