Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - RMZ

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | RMZ | Research Activities | Predatory publishing practices

Predatory publishing practices: Paper tigers or actual threats from evaluation systems?

(09/2024 - 08/2028)

Projektleitung: Prof. Dr. Martin Reinhart


The recent shift in evaluation systems to more diverse quality criteria has increased the visibility of lower quality research, incurring a moral panic about the effects of predatory publish practices on the science system. However, this concern currently lacks empirical substantiation and ignores the complex geopolitical relations, researchers' motivations, and centre-periphery narrative inherent in the predatory publishing debate. Thus, the project uses a mixed-methods approach to answering three questions: How have publishing practices in different national settings emerged? How do academic communities define and react to predatory publishing practices? And how do evaluation systems influence (predatory) publishing practices? The aim is to elucidate the relationship between evaluation systems and (predatory) publishing practices, accounting for the contextual processes of labelling practices as questionable.
The approach combines systematic review, quantitative and bibliometric methods to identify (changing) publishing practices associated with evaluation systems, together with qualitative methods to understand the motivations for these practices in six national systems: Germany, Poland, Portugal, Nigeria, India, and Brazil. Comparing multiple case studies lends validity to casual inferences and the results of this project would have implications for the design of evaluation systems.


Joint project with:

Dr. Dimity Stephen, German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), Berlin, Germany
Associate Professor Emanuel Kulczycki, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland 
Associate Professor Rita Faria, School of Criminology - Faculty of Law of the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal



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