Letter to the editor: Predatory Publishers and Plagiarism Prevention

P.A. Jansen, P.M. Forget

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademic

8 Citations (Scopus)


M. Balter (“Reviewer's Déjà Vu, French science sleuthing uncover plagiarized papers,” News & Analysis, 9 March, p. 1157) describes how a scientist recently published at least nine articles that largely or entirely duplicated papers written by others and was exposed only after we found one of our papers integrally copied in a manuscript that both of us coincidentally received for review. What is remarkable here is not only the flagrant fraud, but the fact that six of these papers were published in scholarly journals only last year. Publishers can easily prevent publishing plagiarism by systematically running submitted manuscripts through software such as CrossCheck and eBlast (1, 2) or by running strings of words that are unlikely to be repeated by chance through search engines (3). It is evident that not all publishers systematically use these tools, despite the fact that plagiarism is common (1, 2). It is also noteworthy that these six 2011 papers—as well as the manuscript for review—are all from journals of publishers that Beall (4) lists as “predatory open-access scholarly publishers.” Such publishers “exploit the author-pays, Open-Access model for their own profit” and do not invest in quality control (4, 5). In this light, it is less surprising that papers escape plagiarism detection today. We argue that publishers that do not systematically use anti-plagiarism tools consciously take the risk of copyright infringement and of being accomplices in plagiarism. We encourage copyright holders to sue publishers of plagiarism for these offenses. When fines become a realistic threat, plagiarism prevention will become valuable even for predatory publishers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380-1380
Issue number6087
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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