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A pseudojournal is an imitation scientific journal intended to promote and gain respectability for pseudoscience or for 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 look to pick holes in a paper's methodology or substance for the purpose of improving the field. In pseudojournals, the peers exist 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 something 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 journals[edit]

Predatory open access journalsWikipedia's W.svg are not generally termed "pseudojournals", though they are comparably awful. Predatory journals characteristically require high fees from researchers but do not perform anything like adequate editorial, peer review or publishing services for these fees. For example the OMICS Group of publications is regarded by librarian Jeffrey Beall as predatory.[2][3][4] In 2016, associate professor in technology Christoph Bartneck submitted a paper to and was accepted by one of OMICS Group's 3000+ conferences,[5] the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics. The paper was created entirely using Apple Siri's autocomplete feature, and was according to Bartneck, "gibberish".[6]

See also[edit]