Predatory journals, publishers and conferences are a pressing problem for the entire academic community. Predatory practices can manifest in poor quality or incredibly fast peer review, imitation of reputable publishers, falsification of editorial boards, constant spamming of invitations to attend profit motivated conferences or to publish in similar journals, inclusion of false or fabricated citation indicators, and much more.
Our initiative aims at raising awareness of predatory practices across the research community. Our initiative was supported by the IAP Grants Programme on Increasing Awareness of Predatory Academic Practices (three-month grant with a two-month extension). As part of this support, we have launched our initiative's activities.
In January 2022, we held a discussion on predatory practices where scholars, librarians and other stakeholders shared experiences and information on predatory practices. Goal of the discussion was to identify the needs of the scientific community in order to help shape a teaching module on predatory academic practices. From this discussion we created a report, that summarises the discussion over predatory practices from the perspective of key stakeholders in the Czech Republic.
In the following months, we created a teaching module that is freely available on our website. The teaching module covers areas of predatory publishing, publishers and predatory conferences, it also deals with explaining basic Open Access principles. Primarily it is intended for teaching PhD Candidates and early career researchers. After minor customizations it can also be used for pre-graduate students.
The initiative also includes popularising awareness of predatory practices across the Czech scientific community and beyond. We will create videos for TikTok and Instagram, presenting the issue of predatory practices in interactive and innovative form. A natural diffusion will be supported by a campaign on social networks (as mentioned above) and a module presentation on the web (the project website will serve as a repository for the outcomes created in this project). The project and its outcomes will also be discussed and presented to the professional community. You can find out more about our dissemination activities here.
The initiative is being undertaken in collaboration with the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Library of the Academy of Sciences, as well as Library of the Czech University of Life Science and members of the Information Education and Information Literacy Working Group (Assoc. of Libraries of Czech Universities).