Original Research

Do not feed the predators

P. de Jager, F. de Kock, P. van der Spuy
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 48, No 3 | a34 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v48i3.34 | © 2018 P. de Jager, F. de Kock, P. van der Spuy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 March 2018 | Published: 29 September 2017

About the author(s)

P. de Jager, Department of Finance and Tax, University of Cape Town,, South Africa
F. de Kock, School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa
P. van der Spuy, School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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This study investigates the prevalence and characteristics of papers published in popular predatory journals by South African academics in economic and management sciences. Our aim is to raise awareness and to deepen understanding of the predatory publishing phenomenon. We collected 728 recent (2013 to mid-2016) articles with South African authors in five popular in the field journals classified as ‘potential, possible, or probable predatory’ according to Beall’s list. Our data shows that publishing in these predatory journals is widespread across authors and universities. However, the data also shows that most of the authors only published once in these journals, suggesting that they perhaps mistakenly perceived the journals as being legitimate research outlets. We found evidence of low-quality publishing by the journals in our data, consistent with deficient peer review and copy editing processes. Thus, low-quality publishing was evident from spelling and grammar mistakes in the titles of articles, publishing the same paper twice in the same journal, so-called ‘salami slicing’, and the publishing of an article already published in another journal.


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