«Publish or Perish» in Russian Social Sciences: Co-Authorship Patterns in Non-Problematic and Predatory Journals

Keywords: predatory journals, academic misconduct, Publish or Perish, coathorship


Publication-based metrics have caused a number of strategic responses regarding scientists’ publication practices, including involvement in questionable research practices. One of such practices is the fictitious co-authorship that allows authors easily to increase the number of publications. This study examines the changes in publishing behavior in the Russian social sciences from 2014 to 2017 by comparing co-authorship patterns in non-predatory and predatory journals. We examined the proportion of solo articles and co-authorship articles, the types of co-authorships (institutional and national), and the number of authors per article. The results show that in the social sciences the two sets of articles are significantly different. The papers in predatory journals are more often published in co-authorship, and if in the early years of publication pressure such articles were written by authors from the same university, then papers with authors from different universities and regions began to appear more often. Predatory papers also demonstrate the prevalence of the certain number of authors per article — in non-predatory journals, articles written by five or more authors appear very rarely, while in predatory journals such publications dominate. This transition signals that paper mills have started to dominate in predatory business serving as broker between authors willing to have indexed publications.


Download data is not yet available.


Abalkina A. (2022) Publication and Collaboration Anomalies in Academic Papers Originating from a Paper Mill: Evidence from a Russia-based Paper Mill. https://arxiv.org/abs/2112.13322

Akoev M.A., Markusova V.A., Moskaleva O.V., Pislyakov V.V. (2021) Rukovodstvo po naukometrii: indikatory razvitiya nauki i tekhnologii [Scientometric Handbook: Indicators of the Development of Science and Technology]. Yekaterinburg: Ural University.

Bagues M., Sylos-Labini M., Zinovyeva N. (2019) A Walk on the Wild Side: ‘Predatory’ Journals and Information Asymmetries in Scientific Evaluations. Research Policy, vol. 48, no 2, pp. 462–477. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.04.013

Beigel F., Omobowale A., Akanle O., Adeniran A., Adegboyega K. (2014) Peripheral Scholarship and the Context of Foreign Paid Publishing in Nigeria. Current Sociology, vol. 62, no 5, pp. 666–684. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392113508127

Broz L., Stöckelová T. (2018) The Culture of Orphaned Texts: Academic Books in a Performance-Based Evaluation System. Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 70, no 6, pp. 623–642. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-03-2018-0063

Dalen H.P. van, Henkens K. (2012) Intended and Unintended Consequences of a Publish-Or-Perish Culture: A Worldwide Survey. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, vol. 63, no 7, pp. 1282–1293. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1983205

Dell'Anno R., Caferra R., Morone A. (2020) A “Trojan Horse” in the Peer-Review Process of Fee-Charging Economic Journals. Journal of Informetrics, vol. 14, no 3, Article no 101052. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joi.2020.101052

Fong E.A., Wilhite A.W. (2017) Authorship and Citation Manipulation in Academic Research. PloS one, vol. 12, no 12, Article no e0187394. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187394

Frandsen T.F. (2019) Why Do Researchers Decide to Publish in Questionable Journals? A Review of the Literature. Learned Publishing, vol. 32, no 1, pp. 57–62. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1214

Guba K.S. (2022) Naukometricheskie pokazateli v otsenke rossijskikh universitetov: obzor issledovaniy [Scientometric Indicators in the Evaluation of Russian Universities: A Literature Review]. Universe of Russia, no 1, pp. 49–73. https://doi.org/10.17323/1811-038X-2022-31-1-49-73

Gureyev V., Lakizo I., Mazov N. (2019) Unethical Authorship in Scientific Publications (A Review of the Problem). Scientific and Technical Information Processing, vol. 46, no 4, pp. 219–232. https://doi.org/10.3103/S0147688219040026

Guskov A.E. (2015) Rossijskaya naukometriya: obzor issledovaniy [Russian Scientometrics: A Review of Researches]. Bibliosphere, no 3, pp. 75–86.

Guskov A.E., Kosyakov D.V. (2020) Natsional'ny fraktsionny schyot i otsenka nauchnoy rezul'tativnosti organizatsiy [National Fractional Calculations and Evaluating Organization's Science Efficiency]. Nauchnye I Tekhnicheskie Biblioteki / Scientific and Technical Libraries, no 1, pp. 15–42. https://doi.org/10.33186/1027-3689-2020-9-15-42

Guskov A.E., Kosyakov D.V. Selivanova I.V. (2018) Boosting Research Productivity in Top Russian Universities: The Circumstances of Breakthrough. Scientometrics, vol. 117, no 6, pp. 1053–1080. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-2890-8

Henriksen D. (2016) The Rise in Co-Authorship in the Social Sciences (1980–2013). Scientometrics, vol. 107, no 2, pp. 455–476. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-1849-x

Hicks D. (2013) One Size Doesn’t Fit All: On the Co-Evolution of National Evaluation Systems and Social Science Publishing. Confero: Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics, vol. 1, no 1, pp. 67–90. https://doi.org/10.3384/confero13v1121207b

Koch T., Vanderstraeten R. (2019) Internationalizing a National Scientific Community? Changes in Publication and Citation Practices in Chile, 1976–2015. Current Sociology, vol. 67, no 5, pp. 723–741. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392118807514

Krawczyk F., Kulczycki E. (2021) How Is Open Access Accused of Being Predatory? The Impact of Beall's Lists of Predatory Journals on Academic Publishing. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 47, no 2, Article no 102271. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2020.102271

Kulczycki E., Hołowiecki M., Taşkın Z., Krawczyk F. (2021) Citation Patterns between Impact-Factor and Questionable Journals. Scientometrics, vol. 126, no 10, pp. 8541–8560. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-04121-8

Kurt S. (2018) Why Do Authors Publish in Predatory Journals? Learned Publishing, vol. 31, no 2, pp. 141–147. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1150

Kuzminov Ya.I., Yudkevich M.M. (2021) Universitety v Rossii: kak eto rabotaet [Russian Universities: How the System Works]. Moscow: HSE Publishing House. . https://doi.org/10.17323/978-5-7598-2373-5

Liebowitz S.R. (2014) Willful Blindness: The Inefficient Reward Structure in Academic Research. Economic Inquiry, vol. 52, no 4, pp. 1267–1283. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2214207

Marina T., Sterligov I. (2021) Prevalence of Potentially Predatory Publishing in Scopus on the Country Level. Scientometrics, vol. 126, no 1, pp. 5019–5077. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-03899-x

Matumba L., Maulidi F., Balehegn M., Abay F., Salanje G., Dzimbiri L., Kaunda E. (2019) Blacklisting or Whitelisting? Deterring Faculty in Developing Countries from Publishing in Substandard Journals. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, vol. 50, no 2, pp. 83–95. https://doi.org/10.3138/jsp.50.2.01

Matveeva N.N. (2020) Bibliometricheskiy analiz vzaimodejstviya uchyonykh v rossijskikh vuzakh: kooperatsiya vs individual'naya produktivnost' [Bibliometric Analysis of Scientific Collaboration in Russian Universities: Cooperation vs Individual Productivity]. University Management: Practice and Analysis, vol. 24, no 2, pp. 26–43. https://doi.org/10.15826/umpa.2020.02.012

Matveeva N., Ferligoj A. (2020) Scientific Collaboration in Russian Universities before and after the Excellence Initiative Project ˮ5-100ˮ. Scientometrics, vol.124, no 2, pp. 2383–2407. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03602-6

Matveeva N., Sterligov I., Yudkevich M. (2021) The Effect of Russian University Excellence Initiative on Publications and Collaboration Patterns. Journal of Informetrics, vol. 15, no 1, Article no 101110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joi.2020.101110

Moed H.F., Markusova V., Akoev M. (2018) Trends in Russian Research Output Indexed in Scopus and Web of Science. Scientometrics, vol. 116, no 7, pp. 1153–1180. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-2769-8

Mokhnacheva Y.V., Kharybina T.N. (2011) Nauchnaya produktivnost' uchrezhdeniy RAN i vuzov: sravnitel'ny bibliometricheskiy analiz [Research Performance of RAS Institutions and Russian Universities: A Comparative Bibliometric Analysis]. Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 81, no 12, pp. 1065–1070.

Mosbah-Natanson S., Gingras Y. (2014) The Globalization of Social Sciences? Evidence from a Quantitative Analysis of 30 Years of Production, Collaboration and Citations in the Social Sciences (1980–2009). Current Sociology, vol. 62, no 5, pp. 626–646. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392113498866

Pyne D. (2017) The Rewards of Predatory Publications at a Small Business School. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, vol. 48, no 3, pp. 137–160. https://doi.org/10.3138/jsp.48.3.137

RAS Commission on Combating Falsification of Scientific Research (2020) Inostrannye khishchnye zhurnaly v Scopus i WoS: perevodnoy plagiat i rossijskie nedobrosovestnye avtory [Foreign Predatory Journals in Scopus and WoS: Translated Plagiarism and Russian Unscrupulous Authors]. Available at: https://kpfran.ru/wp-content/uploads/plagiarism-by-translation-2.pdf (accessed 20 October 2022).

Resnik D.B., Tyler A.M., Black J.R., Kissling G. (2016) Authorship Policies of Scientific Journals. Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 42, no 3, pp. 199–202. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2015-103171

Rijcke S.D., Wouters P.F., Rushforth A.D., Franssen T.P., Hammarfelt B. (2016) Evaluation Practices and Effects of Indicator Use—a Literature Review. Research Evaluation, vol. 25, no 2, Article no rvv038. https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvv038

Semyonov D. (2014) Russian Excellence Initiative in the Post-Soviet Context. Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, no 1, pp. 15–17.

Shibanova E.Yu., Platonova D.P., Lisyutkin M.A. (2018) Proekt ˮ5-100ˮ: dinamika i pattern razvitiya universitetov [Project ˮ5-100ˮ: Dynamics and Development Patterns of Universities]. University Management: Practice and Analysis, vol. 22, no 3, pp. 32–48. https://doi.org/10.15826/umpa.2018.03.025

Turko T., Bakhturin G., Bagan V., Poloskov S., Gudym D. (2016) Influence of the Program ‘‘5-top 100’’ on the Publication Activity of Russian Universities. Scientometrics, vol. 109, no 2, pp. 769–782. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-2060-9

Vȋiu G., Păunescu M. (2021) The Lack of Meaningful Boundary Differences between Journal Impact Factor Quartiles Undermines their Independent Use in Research Evaluation. Scientometrics, vol. 126, no 2, pp.1495–1525. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03801-1

Wallace F.H., Perri T.J. (2018) Economists Behaving Badly: Publications in Predatory Journals. Scientometrics, vol. 115, no 2, pp. 749–766. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-2690-1

Wuchty S., Jones B., Uzzi B. (2007) The Increasing Dominance of Teams in Production of Knowledge. Science, vol. 316, no 5827, pp. 1036–1039. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1136099

Wu L., Wang D., Evans J. (2019) Large Teams Develop and Small Teams Disrupt Science and Technology. Nature, vol. 566, no 7744, pp. 378–382. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-0941-9

Xia J., Harmon J.L., Connolly K.G., Donnelly R.M., Anderson M.R., Howard H.A. (2015) Who Publishes in “Predatory” Journals? Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, vol. 66, no 7, pp. 1406–1417. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23265

How to Cite
Guba, Katerina, and Nikita Slovogorodsky. 2022. “«Publish or Perish» in Russian Social Sciences: Co-Authorship Patterns in Non-Problematic and Predatory Journals”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (December), 80-106. https://doi.org/10.17323/1814-9545-2022-4-80-106.
Research Articles