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Anesth Analg. 2019 Jan;128(1):182-187. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000003803.

Predatory Open-Access Publishing in Anesthesiology.

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From the Department of Biopathology and Medical Biotechnologies (DIBIMED), Section of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Intensive Care and Emergency, Policlinico Paolo Giaccone, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Vercelli, Italy.
Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, IRCCS-ISMETT (Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione), Palermo, Italy.


Predatory publishing is an exploitative fraudulent open-access publishing model that applies charges under the pretense of legitimate publishing operations without actually providing the editorial services associated with legitimate journals. The aim of this study was to analyze this phenomenon in the field of anesthesiology and related specialties (intensive care, critical and respiratory medicine, pain medicine, and emergency care). Two authors independently surveyed a freely accessible, constantly updated version of the original Beall lists of potential, possible, or probable predatory publishers and standalone journals. We identified 212 journals from 83 publishers, and the total number of published articles was 12,871. The reported location of most publishers was in the United States. In 43% of cases (37/84), the reported location was judged as "unreliable" after being checked using the 3-dimensional view in Google Maps. Six journals were indexed in PubMed. Although 6 journals were declared to be indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals, none were actually registered. The median article processing charge was 634.5 US dollars (interquartile range, 275-1005 US dollars). Several journals reported false indexing/registration in the Committee on Publication Ethics and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors registries and Google Scholar. Only 32% (67/212) reported the name of the editor-in-chief. Rules for ethics/scientific misconduct were reported in only 24% of cases (50/212). In conclusion, potential or probable predatory open-access publishers and journals are widely present in the broad field of anesthesiology and related specialties. Researchers should carefully check journals' reported information, including location, editorial board, indexing, and rules for ethics when submitting their manuscripts to open-access journals.

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