A solution to academic radiology's experience with solicitation e-mails from predatory journals

Ryan Van Den Berg, Nariman Nezami, Vi Nguyen, Jason K. Sicklick, Clifford R. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The objective of our study was to help academic researchers avoid predatory publishers by characterizing the problem with respect to radiology and medical imaging and to test an intervention to address aggressive e-mail solicitation. MATERIALS AND METHODS. In total, 803 faculty from 10 U.S. academic radiology departments and 193 faculty in the senior author's department were surveyed about their experiences with soliciting journals. To document the characteristics of these journals and their publishers, we retrospectively reviewed the academic institutional e-mail box of one radiologist over 51 days. Journals' bibliometric parameters were compared with those of established medical imaging journals offering open access publishing. We tested filters for selected syntax to identify spam e-mails during two time periods. RESULTS. Of 996 faculty, 206 responded (16% nationally, 42% locally). Most (98%) received e-mails from soliciting publishers. Only 7% published articles with these publishers. Submission reasons were invitations, fee waivers, and difficulty publishing elsewhere. Overall, 94 publishers sent 257 e-mails in 51 days, 50 of which offered publishing opportunities in 76 imaging journals. Six journals were indexed in PubMed, and two had verifiable impact factors. The six PubMed-indexed journals had a lower mean publication fee ($824) than top medical imaging journals ($3034) (p < 0.001) and had a shorter mean duration of existence (9.5 vs 49.0 years, respectively; p = 0.005). The e-mail filters captured 71% of soliciting e-mails during the initial 51-day period and 85% during the same period 1 year later. CONCLUSION. Soliciting publishers have little impact on scientific literature. Academicians can avoid soliciting e-mails with customized e-mail filters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • E-mail
  • Imaging
  • Predatory publishing
  • Solicited publishing
  • Soliciting journals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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