You’re wrong to assume physiotherapy isn’t affected by predatory journals.

A predatory journal is a term used to describe journal publications which take a fee from the authors of a paper without providing sufficiently robust services in return. They often use spam email phishing for researchers promising quick and prestigious publications without an academically sound peer-review process, without marketing assistance, poor to no editing provided and sub-standard archiving.

Clearly the implications are two-fold; the authors of papers are being taking advantage of and sub-standard evidence is entering the mainstream and potentially negatively affecting clinical practice.

There is some debate about whether some journals are predatory or not as it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. This is because it isn’t always clear what the exact process from submission to publication is, and what the fees involved are used for. Therefore it is suggested that the terms potentially predatory and probably predatory should be used instead. As it is difficult to say whether or not a journal is predatory or not this is a limitation of this study, plus the journals chosen for this investigation were only from a single source of suspicious – Beall’s List.

An article published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the end of Janurary has investigated the impact of predatory journals on RCT quality in the field of physiotherapy.  In essence the aim of thie article was to compare the quality of PCTs published in predatory and non-predatory journals involving physiotherapy research. This involved 410 RCTs from 18 journals which were then evaluated useing PEDro.

The headlines from the article is that RCTs published in predatory journals are of lower quality than non-predatory journals because they have a lower PEDro score and have an insufficient peer-review process and duration.

To help you avoid these articles there is a list of predatory journals available!

List of Predatory Journals