Questionable papers in citation databases as an issue for literature review

J Cell Commun Signal. 2017 Jun;11(2):181-185. doi: 10.1007/s12079-016-0370-6. Epub 2017 Feb 18.


In recent years, the academic world has been faced with much academic misconduct. Examples involve plagiarizing papers, manipulating data, and launching predatory or hijacked journals. The literature exposing these activities is growing exponentially, and so is the presentation of criteria or guidelines for counteracting the problem. Most of the research is focused on predatory or hijacked journal detection and providing suitable warnings. Overlooked in all this is the fact that papers published in these journals are questionable, but nevertheless show up in standard citation databases. We need some way to flag them so future researchers will be aware of their questionable nature and prevent their use in literature review.

Keywords: Academic ethics; Citation databases; Hijacked journals; Literature review; Predatory journals; Questionable papers.