Evaluation of Predatory Journal Publication in Systematic Reviews in the Top Five Obstetrics and Gynecology Journals: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: Predatory journals are pay-for publications that lack editorial or peer-review processes foundational in high quality publishing efforts, which brings to question the validity and legitimacy of these research publications. The influence of predatory journals is far reaching, resulting in public distrust in scholarly research and even wasted funds. In medical research, the lack of a review process may directly influence patients as guidelines and systematic reviews inform physicians’ diagnoses and treatment plans. As the number of predatory journals continues to rise, the goal of our study is to determine the prevalence of predatory journals in systematic reviews related to obstetrics and gynecology research.

Methods: The top five obstetrics and gynecology journals were obtained using the h-5 index on Google Scholar Metrics: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Human Reproduction Update, and Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey. Using a cross-sectional design, we searched PubMed for 10 systematic reviews and meta-analysis from each of the top 5 obstetrics and gynecology journals so that a final sample size of 50 systematic reviews was achieved.Two independent authors (KS and RB) extracted the primary studies included in each systematic review and identified those published in predatory journals by cross referencing Beall’s list. Systematic reviews which contained predatory publication underwent further data extraction using a pilot-tested Google form, Additionally, the predatory publications were also extracted for general characteristics using a similar Google Form. Data extraction occurred in a masked, duplicate fashion by investigators K.S. and R.B. Any disagreements in the data were resolved via group discussion until an interrater reliability of 100% was achieved.

Results: Of the 50 systematic reviews analyzed, two (2/50, 4%) included a primary study published in a predatory journal (Table 1). One systematic review was referenced in a clinical practice guideline. The systematic review published in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology was referenced once, and the other systematic review published in Gynecologic Oncology had not been cited. The primary studies in predatory journals had been cited a total of 19 times (Table 2).

Conclusion: The presence of predatory journals within studies involved in clinical practice guidelines indicate the need for more awareness and education on the rise of predatory journals, as this could have negative consequences on patient care. Additionally, more data is needed to determine the depth of predatory journal invasion in obstetrics and gynecology research.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 22 Feb 2021
EventOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Days 2021: Poster presentation - Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Campus, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 22 Feb 202126 Feb 2021


ConferenceOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Days 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Predatory Journals
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Systematic Review
  • Cross-Sectional Analysis


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