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A pseudojournal is an imitation scientific journal intended to promote and gain respectability for pseudoscience or marketing by claiming that the claims within have been peer reviewed.

Skeptics will often ask pseudoscientists where the peer-reviewed papers on their claims are. Some pseudoscientists respond by starting a pseudojournal: something that claims to implement a peer review process and that tries very hard to capture the trappings of real scientific publication, since they don't understand what substance is.

The initial peer review process is unlike that of real science. In real science, the peers are looking to pick holes in the paper's methodology or substance for the purpose of improving the field. In pseudojournals, the peers are there to reinforce the advocacy of the pseudoscience in question.

Distinguishing between a pseudojournal and a merely unbelievably bad journal with an insane editor can be tricky, and there is somewhat of a demarcation problem. Answers Research Journal is a blatant pseudojournal of fraudulent intent; those involved in the Journal of Cosmology appeared to think they were actually doing science; Chaos, Solitons & Fractals was a platform for a lone crank but published by Elsevier and sold in bundles with indisputably real journals.

Elsevier's fake journals created for industry publicity have also been called "pseudojournals",[1] as the intent is to have the appearance of science without the substance. The journals were anthologies of articles published in Elsevier's proper journals, on the subjects the marketers wanted journals on. Thus, the papers were real science, but the presentation was not.

Predatory open access journals[wp] are not generally termed "pseudojournals", though they are comparably awful.

[edit] Footnotes

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