Hundreds of Scientists Report Predatory Actions Through Publons

How to Identify Predatory Research and Combat the Looming COVID-19 Misinformation “Infodemic”

By IGI Global on Sep 24, 2020

Editor Note: Understanding the importance of this timely topic and to ensure that research is made available to the wider academic community, IGI Global has made a sample of related articles and chapters complimentary to access. View the end of this article to freely access this critical research.


According to a recent BioRxiv study, hundreds of scientists on Publons have conducted peer review activities for predatory journals with more than 6,000 records for reviews on 1,000 predatory journals within their system. With many researchers unknowingly associating themselves with predatory outlets, this study showcases the ongoing deception that is occurring within the academic community, as researchers are aligning themselves with fictitious research findings and publishers.

This ongoing predatory threat, coupled with the increase in misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic, science, and research findings and the looming “infodemic” (an overwhelming increase of research related to the pandemic), is making it not only difficult for researchers to identify credible research outlets, but also decipher verified research findings as many researchers continue to publish within predatory outlets. 

In line with last week’s trending research topic, and the Annual Peer Review Week theme of “Trust in Peer Review”, find the latest complimentary research on how to decipher false findings and utilize methods to identify the truth, from Prof. Kazuhiko Shibuya, ROIS, Japan, in his article, “Breaking Fake News and Verifying Truth” from the Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fifth Edition.  

Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fifth Edition (3 Vols)
Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A.
Copyright: 2021| Pages: 1,400 | ISBN: 9781799834793| EISBN: 9781799834809

This publication is a three-volume set that includes 136 original and previously unpublished research chapters that present multidisciplinary research and expert insights into new methods and processes for understanding modern technological tools and their applications as well as emerging theories and ethical controversies surrounding the field of information science. ...Learn More and Pre-Order Here.

How to distinguish between fake news or not? How to verify information whether it is true or not? The goal of this article is to review online fact-checking studies on fake news. The core of this matter is how to progress fact-checking on misleading information and vague knowledge (Viviani&Pasi,2017; Shao, et al., 2018; Vosoughi, Roy&Aral, 2018). This procedure is crucially managed by manually or some computational mechanisms. The burden of proof should be evaluated truthiness by scientific ways included objectiveness and falsifiability. It never accepts neither solipsism nor agitating manners. In addition, it should take carefully to extract the most importance from the truth whether it is manually or mechanically, and it also reconsiders those backgrounds. For sound democracy, mediated knowledge brings the facts for citizens, and it should encourage them to ponder their directions of governances in nation (DiResta,et al.,2019; Howard, et al., 2018). Using ICT, it should properly facilitate fundamental educations for them.


The world is the totality of facts, not of things (Wittgenstein, 1922). Fake news recently reminds us this renowned sentence. Wittgenstein also said that the world consists of a set of facts, and facts are determined by truth or false as a proposition style. He casted questions on world cognition, provable logics, facts and knowledge. However, to date, fake news and post-truth are too far from truth, facts, impartiality and fairness. Any assertions of fake news are never valid and those contents are almost based on malicious intentions or misunderstandings. Moreover, fake news can spread faster than other reliable information through social networks (Doer,Fouz&Friedrich,2012; Roozenbeek&Linden,2018).Especially, these mediated information which recognized as fake news can be found in the fields such as politics, medical health, socioeconomics, ethnicity, ideology, gender and other sensitive topics. Regarding populism, some governors demonstrate ‘self-first’ actions and they sometimes use it as political propaganda against their opponents (Bobo,2017; Lamont, Park&Ayala-Hurtado, 2017; Wang,Luo,Niemi&Li, 2017).

Lexically, Oxford dictionary defines ‘post-truth’ as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. And Nielsen&Graves(2017) identified types of fake news such as satire, poor journalism, propaganda, some advertising and false news. Similar concepts can enumerate stereotypes (Lippmann,1922), prejudice and rumor. Moreover it definitely claims that it also lacks falsifiability (Popper, 1963) and it seems a kind of solipsism of each claimant.

Focus Of The Article

When borrowing Marx’s proverbs, a specter is haunting the Worlds -the specter of fake news. All the powers of global communities have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter. At 2nd Feb. 2017, AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) held in an academic symposium for discussing the fake news and post-truth. As through social media, they argued that our contemporary society has vulnerability against verification on fact and credibility of information sources. And of course, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have already launched eligible regulations and managements in verifying submitted contents and fact-checking.

However, there will be a stumbling block against those objectives. Renowned mathematician Hilbert believed that all statements in mathematics can be proven as true or false. But please recall the fact on Turing Machine (Turing, 1937; Copeland&Shagrir, 2019). Similarly, revealing fake news seems possible, it is not easy tasks. Whereas our constraints are within finite calculation time and efforts, fake news has been growing steadily with enormous contents and its derivations added each day. Will it be possible to verify all of them within finite time? As Turing machine proved, it is hard to demonstrate certainly truth regardless of the limits of manpower or computer. For example, if one finds the fact that it is not fake news by verifying target statements (for example, from 1 to N) within each content suspected to be certainly fake news, however it cannot be concluded that all of them are true, just because such disproof is not found in that time. In the future, by adding N + 1, it might turn out fake news. Then, these verifications on the bases of inductive reasoning and ‘evidence of absence’ are still harder for us.

The goal is the very clear. In the context of finite space, computable and manageable constraints, the core of this matter is how to progress fact-checking on those fake information and uncomfortable knowledge online (Viviani&Pasi,2017; Shao, et al, 2018; Ciamapglia, 2018). Principally, breaking fake news is to distinguish between subjective belief and objective facts. The former is trust and belief in our cognitive system and it justifies our world of view. The latter is fact and evidence, and it shall stress on scientific verification and prioritized importance rather than public preferences for acceptances. And some reasons in fake news problems such as scientific process and human mental model as belief system makes it more difficult. Can be strict matching both truths between subjective and objective perspectives consistent with each other? As extracting only important things from worthless matters in massive online sources, how to evaluate the true fact in ordered by some confident prioritizations?

In brief, any fact-checking process requires decisively at least below methodologies. If and only if empirical verified evidences and its reexamination processes are ensured, it can been regarded as canonical manners of scientific knowledge.

Interested in Reading the Rest of the Article? Access the Full Article Through IGI Global’s InfoSci-Demo Account, here.

Understanding the need for research around this topic, this research is featured in the publication, Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fifth Edition (IGI Global), edited by Mehdi Khosrow-Pour D.B.A. This title is a three-volume set that includes 136 original and previously unpublished research chapters that present multidisciplinary research and expert insights into new methods and processes for understanding modern technological tools and their applications as well as emerging theories and ethical controversies surrounding the field of information science. Highlighting a wide range of topics such as natural language processing, decision support systems, and electronic government, this book offers strategies for implementing smart devices and analytics into various professional disciplines. 

It is currently available in electronic format (EISBN: 9781799834809) through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore at a 50% discount, and the chapters are featured in IGI Global’s InfoSci®-Books database (5,900+ e-books). Recommend this publication and the InfoSci-Books database to your library to have access to this critical research, as well as thousands of other research resources, including the chapters below, in the IGI Global InfoSci-Books database.

Complimentary Research Articles and Chapters on Scholarly Publishing and Ethics

In response to the timeliness and importance of this topic, we have made all of the below articles and chapters complimentary to access. As such, please feel free to integrate these resources into your research and share them across your network.

View All Articles on This Topic

The “View All Articles on This Topic” navigates to IGI Global’s InfoSci-Demo Account, which provides a sample of the IGI Global content available through IGI Global’s InfoSci-Books (5,900+ e-books) and InfoSci-Journals (185+ e-journals) databases. If interested in having full access to this peer-reviewed research content, recommend these valuable research tools to your library.

For Journalists Interested in Additional Trending Research:

Contact IGI Global’s Marketing Team at or 717-533-8845 ext. 100 to access additional peer-reviewed resources to integrate into your latest news stories.

Featured Publications Surrounding This Topic:

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Scholarly Publishing and Research Methods Across Disciplines
Prof. Victor C.X. Wang (Grand Canyon University, USA)
Copyright: 2019 | Pages: 372 | ISBN: 9781522577300 | EISBN: 9781522577317

This title is a collection of innovative findings on the methods and applications of research in scholarly publishing, ranging from the analyzation of mixed methods and qualitative/quantitative research, to Dewey’s scientific method and more. Highlighting a range of topics including higher education, digital divide, and model development, this publication applies a cross-disciplinary viewpoint that will appeal to researchers, graduate students, academicians, librarians, scholars, and industry-leading experts around the globe seeking an understanding of the limitations and strengths in research techniques.

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Ethics in Research Practice and Innovation
Profs. Antonio Sandu (Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania), Ana Frunza (LUMEN Research Center in Social and Humanistic Sciences, Romania) and et. al.
Copyright 2019 | Pages: 373| ISBN: 9781522563105 | EISBN: 9781522563112

This title is an essential reference source that discusses current and historical aspects of ethical values in scientific research and technologies, as well as emerging perspectives of conducting ethical research in a variety of fields. Featuring research on topics such as clinical trials, human subjects, and informed consent, this book is ideally designed for practitioners, medical professionals, nurses, researchers, scientists, scholars, academicians, policy makers, and students seeking coverage on the ethical risks and limitations of research practice.
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Navigating Fake News, Alternative Facts, and Misinformation in a Post-Truth World
Profs. Kimiz Dalkir (McGill University, Canada) and Rebecca Katz (McGill University, Canada)
Copyright 2020 | Pages: 375| ISBN: 9781799825432 | EISBN: 9781799825456

This title is a collection of innovative research on human and automated methods to deter the spread of misinformation online, such as legal or policy changes, information literacy workshops, and algorithms that can detect fake news dissemination patterns in social media. While highlighting topics including source credibility, share culture, and media literacy, this book is ideally designed for social media managers, technology and software developers, IT specialists, educators, columnists, writers, editors, journalists, broadcasters, newscasters, researchers, policymakers, and students.
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Marginalia in Modern Learning Contexts
Copyright 2019| Pages: 250 | ISBN: 9781522571834 | EISBN: 9781522571841

This title is a collection of innovative research on the methods and applications of interaction between readers and texts through digital means such as commenting or physical annotation such as writing in the margins of a book and how these strategies can be applied in educational settings. While highlighting topics including social annotation, teacher education, and technological expertise, this book is ideally designed for educators, administrators, academicians, researchers, and students seeking current research on digital and physical annotation methods and strategies and their applications in educational environments.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.

About IGI Global: Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is committed to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically advanced publishing process. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 100,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging, peer-reviewed research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. To learn more about IGI Global, click here.

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