Awareness of predatory journals and open access publishing among orthopaedic and trauma surgeons – results from an online survey in Germany | BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders | Full Text

Abstract:  Background

Along with emerging open access journals (OAJ) predatory journals increasingly appear. As they harm accurate and good scientific research, we aimed to examine the awareness of predatory journals and open access publishing among orthopaedic and trauma surgeons.


In an online survey between August and December 2019 the knowledge on predatory journals and OAJ was tested with a hyperlink made available to the participants via the German Society for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery (DGOU) email distributor.


Three hundred fifty orthopaedic and trauma surgeons participated, of which 291 complete responses (231 males (79.4%), 54 females (18.6%) and 5?N/A (2.0%)) were obtained. 39.9% were aware of predatory journals. However, 21.0% knew about the “Directory of Open Access Journals” (DOAJ) as a register for non-predatory open access journals. The level of profession (e.g. clinic director, consultant) (p =?0.018) influenced the awareness of predatory journals. Interestingly, participants aware of predatory journals had more often been listed as corresponding authors (p <?0.001) and were well published as first or last author (p <?0.001). Awareness of OAJ was masked when journal selection options did not to provide any information on the editorial board, the peer review process or the publication costs.


The impending hazard of predatory journals is unknown to many orthopaedic and trauma surgeons. Early stage clinical researchers must be trained to differentiate between predatory and scientifically accurate journals.