The purpose of this paper is to analyse how predatory journals use spam emails to manipulate potential authors. This has been done based on McCornack’s information manipulation theory (IMT). Generally, predatory publishing is on the increase globally but more pronounced in developing countries. Although it affects both young and seasoned scholars, inexperienced scholars and those ignorant on credible publishing are the most affected.
The current study through document analysis focuses on email invites from predatory journals sent to the author between June 2016 and December 2018 after publishing a peer-reviewed journal article. The resultant texts were analysed using a directed qualitative content analysis.
Findings indicate that the invites flouted all the four Gricean maxims (of quality, quantity, manner and relevance) as posited by IMT. This suggests that the spam mails sent to the author sought to manipulate potential authors to publish with predatory journals.
This qualitative study focuses on email invites to the author which may not fully capture the manipulation by predatory journals.
It is important that scholars in developing contexts are aware of how predatory publishers seek to manipulate their victims. Universities and research institutions should be intentional in enlightening their academic staff on predatory journals and their characteristics. Similarly, universities should consider disincentivising their faculty members who publish in such platforms.
The originality in this study lies in its use of IMT to explain how predatory journals manipulate potentials authors.
Bett, H. (2020), "Predatory publishing through McCornarck’s information manipulation theory", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/GKMC-07-2019-0078Download as .RIS
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