International Orthopaedics

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 509–517 | Cite as

Predatory journals: a major threat in orthopaedic research

  • Markus RuppEmail author
  • Lydia Anastasopoulou
  • Elke Wintermeyer
  • Deeksha Malhaan
  • Thaqif El Khassawna
  • Christian Heiss


Predatory publishing is a major threat to contemporary publishing, as it offers 'to unaware scientist’s', a quick open-access publication against fees without peer-review procedures.. Lack of peer-review leads to unethical practices, as plagiarism, publication of unscientific falsified data, and even unsafe clinical practices. As these journals threaten the credibility of academic publishing, significant work has been done from many scientific teams, in the last years, in establishing discriminating criteria between predatory and legitimate publishing. In the present review, we include mechanisms used by predatory editors to convince eager researchers to submit to their journals. We also provide useful links giving information about potential predatory journals and publishers, as well as scholarly writing. Joining the efforts of different scientific disciplines which compiled “green” lists with journals in their field, we conducted a “green” list with genuine orthopaedic research journals based on the directory of open-access journals (DOAJ) and Thomson Reuters journal citation reports. Ninety-six legitimate orthopaedic journals were identified based on the Thomson Reuters journal citation reports. One hundred thirty hits were found on the DOAJ site using the keywords “orthopaedics, orthopedics, sports medicine, musculoskeletal, trauma, traumatology, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, cartilage, bone, hand, shoulder, knee, hip, foot, wound.” Twenty-one journals on the DOAJ site occurred overlapping with keywords. Researchers and clinicians in the field of orthopaedics are advised to use all available tools in order to recognize predatory practices and avoid publishing in predatory journals.


Predatory journals Legitimate publishing Open access 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive SurgeryUniversity Hospital Giessen-Marburg GmbHGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Experimental Trauma Surgery, Faculty of MedicineJustus-Liebig University GiessenGiessenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, BG Trauma Center TuebingenEberhard Karls University TuebingenTuebingenGermany

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