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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Introduction: Predatory journals are a growing concern in research as these journals do not follow publication rules and often go without robust review and editing. The research published in predatory journals pose a threat to scientific literature as the information within a predatory publication can be false or misleading as they often are not peer-reviewed. This misinformation may be referenced in medical literature which could affect medical decision making; and ultimately, patient care. To our knowledge, no studies have evaluated whether systematic reviews — the gold standard of scientific evidence — contain predatory publications. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify whether systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in the top 5 dermatology journals included primary studies from predatory journals.

Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, we searched PubMed for systematic reviews published from the following journals: the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD), JAMA Dermatology, British Journal of Dermatology (BJD), Journal of Investigative Dermatology (JID), and the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (JEADV). Ten publications were independently screened from each journal so that a total of 50 systematic reviews were extracted for their included primary studies. Predatory journals were determined using Beall’s list. If a systematic review was found to contain a primary study published in a predatory journal additional data were extracted using a pilot-tested Google Form. Data were extracted in masked triplicate fashion by authors J.S. B.H. and E.G.. Author disagreements were resolved by group discussion.

Results: Two systematic reviews contained predatory journals (2/50; 4%). JAAD was the publishing journal for both of the systematic reviews containing predatory publications. Neither systematic reviews were referenced in a clinical practice guideline, but they were collectively referenced 45 times in other publications (Table 1). In total, the primary studies that were published by a predatory journal were cited 16 times (Table 2).

Conclusion: Our study shows that even the most highly accredited dermatology journals are infiltrated by predatory publications. Further research should explore the accuracy of these predatory journal publications and their potential impact on patient care.
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


  • Dermatology
  • Predatory journal
  • Systematic reviews


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of Predatory Journal Publication in Systematic Reviews in the Top Five Dermatology Journals: A Cross-Sectional Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this