Bibliometrics Methods in Detecting Citations to Questionable Journals

Barbara S Lancho Barrantes, Sally Dalton, Deirdre Andre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent times, there has been a proliferation of questionable practices in research publishing, for example, via predatory journals, hijacked journals, plagiarism, tortured phrases and paper mills. This paper intends to analyse whether journals that had been removed from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) in 2018 due to suspected misconduct were cited within journals indexed in the Scopus database. Our analysis showed that Scopus contained over 15 thousand references to the removed journals identified. The majority of the publications citing these journals came from the area of Engineering. It is important to note that although we cannot assume that all the journals removed followed unethical practices, it is still essential that researchers are aware of the issues around citing journals that have been suspected of misconduct. We suggest that research libraries play a crucial role in training, advising and providing information to researchers about these ethical issues of publication malpractice and misconduct.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Academic Librarianship
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


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