An artificial intelligence tool misclassifies sport science journals as predatory

J Sci Med Sport. 2024 Apr;27(4):266-269. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2023.12.006. Epub 2023 Dec 20.


Objectives: The choice of a scholarly journal, as opposed to a predatory journal, might impact a sport scientist's career negatively if the wrong choice is made, especially at an early stage of their research and publishing careers. Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly impacting sport science and academia. In this study, we tested the accuracy and sensitivity of an AI-driven tool, applied specifically to sport science.

Design: Our research relies on the use of a new and free online AI-driven tool, the AJPC System, which claims the ability to distinguish "normal" (scholarly) from "suspected predatory" (unscholarly) journals.

Methods: The AJPC System was used to assess (1 December 2023) the classification of all ranked sport journals (n = 124), namely those in all four quartiles (Q1-Q4) of SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), in the "Sports Science" category.

Results: The AJPC System considered 47/124 journals to be "suspected predatory", mostly in Q4 journals (54.8 % of total), casting a negative image on their academic standing.

Conclusions: Sport scientists are likely to consider SJR Q1-Q4 journals to be relatively safe to publish in, reliable and reputable, and might be confused with the "suspected predatory" label assigned to 37.9 % of those journals. The AJPC System is thus misleading sport scientists.

Keywords: Blacklists or watchlists; Erroneous criteria; Opacity; Predatory journal detector; Transparency; Whitelists or safelists.

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Humans
  • Periodicals as Topic*
  • Publishing