Open Access Week: Predatory journals? Think, check, submit

For today’s Open Access Week post, Clinical Librarian Tom Roper looks at ways to avoid predatory journals.

Anyone who’s published will be familiar with the e-mails that arrive soliciting manuscripts for a new open access journal. It will often promise swift acceptance and publication. Sometimes it’s easy to identify these scams: spelling and grammtical errors are an instant give-away. If the publisher can’t write good English in an e-mail to prospective authors, do you trust them with your manuscript? And unrealistic promises about review and acceptance are another barn-door sign. Other clues may be harder to unravel: editorial board members may well be real experts in the field, but ones who have never agreed to sit on the editorial board. The journal may claim addresses  in up-market parts of London or New York. The characteristics are variable, and Cobey et al conducted a scoping review to try to answer the question what is a predatory journal? Shamseer et al provide a helpful checklist:


The scope of interest includes non-biomedical subjects alongside biomedical topics


The website contains spelling and grammar errors


Images are distorted/fuzzy, intended to look like something they are not, or which are unauthorized


The homepage language targets authors


The Index Copernicus Value is promoted on the website


Description of the manuscript handling process is lacking


Manuscripts are requested to be submitted via email


Rapid publication is promised


There is no retraction policy


Information on whether and how journal content will be digitally preserved is absent


The Article processing/publication charge is very low (e.g., < $150 USD)


Journals claiming to be open access either retain copyright of published research or fail to mention copyright


The contact email address is non-professional and non-journal affiliated (e.g., or


Whatever the nuances of definition, there’s no doubt that these scams exist, and many a highly intelligent researcher has been taken in. A coalition of various organisations invloved in scholarly communication has developed Think Check Submit, easily memorable guidance when deciding where to submit your manuscript.

Cobey KD, Lalu MM, Skidmore B, Ahmadzai N, Grudniewicz A, Moher D. What is a
predatory journal? A scoping review. Version 2. F1000Res. 2018 Jul 4 [revised
2018 Jan 1];7:1001. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.15256.2. Available online at

Shamseer L, Moher D, Maduekwe O, Turner L, Barbour V, Burch R, Clark J,
Galipeau J, Roberts J, Shea BJ. Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical
journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison. BMC Med.
2017 Mar 16;15(1):28. doi: 10.1186/s12916-017-0785-9 Available online at


Pain management

Here’s a selection of the resources we offer to support pain Management. Explore our full range via our website:

NHS OpenAthens password required; register here:


waldmanWaldman S D.  Atlas of pain management injection techniques. 4th ed. 2017

dayDay M A. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for chronic pain: a clinical manual and guide. 2017

wrightWright S.  Pain management in nursing practice.  2015

mcintyreMacintyre P E. Acute pain management: a practical guide. 4th ed. 2015

vasudevanVasudevan S. Multidisciplinary management of chronic pain: a practical guide for clinicians. 2015

sackheimSackheim K A. Pain management and palliative care: a comprehensive guide. 2015

cousinsCousins M J.  Fast Facts: chronic and cancer pain. 3rd ed. 2015


ejpEuropean Journal of Pain (Kent, Surrey, Sussex NHS OpenAthens password required)

jpJournal of Pain (Kent, Surrey, Sussex NHS OpenAthens password required)

jpsmJournal of Pain and Symptom Management (Kent, Surrey, Sussex NHS OpenAthens password required)

trapmTechniques in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management (Kent, Surrey, Sussex NHS OpenAthens password required)

Evidence searches carried out on Pain Management

We provide evidence to inform patient care, service improvement, research and clinical teaching. Recent searches we’ve provided include:

Recognising pain in dementia patients

Pain management following cardiac surgery

Post-operative pain control in lower limb major amputations

Chronic pain and horticulture/gardening

Recommendations/drugs for pain management in IBD

Lidocaine patches for pain in rib fractures

Pain services in hospital / community and advanced nursing roles

 Web and other resources

The British Pain Society

The British Pain Society is the oldest and largest multidisciplinary professional organisation in the field of pain within the UK. It is an alliance of professionals advancing the understanding and management of pain for the benefit of patients.

NICE Guidelines Pain Management

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. NICE’s role is to improve outcomes for people using the NHS and other public health and social care services.

Health Education England visit our Clinical Librarian service

Tim Swanwick (HEE Dean for Education and Leadership), Sue Lacey-Bryant ( HEE Programme Manager and Senior Advisor on Knowledge for Healthcare) and Louise Goswami (Head of Library and Knowledge Services and Technology-Enhanced Learning for London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex) are coming to the Royal Sussex County Hospital today  (Tuesday) to learn more about our clinical librarian service.


Two clinical librarians, Igor Brbre and Tom Roper, work with selected directorates at Brighton and Sussex NHS University Hospitals Trust – Abdominal Surgery and Medicine, the Acute Floor, Children’s Services, Musculoskeletal and Women’s Services. They support evidence-based practice, education and research, attending departmental meetings, identifying gaps in knowledge and filling them with evidence.

We’ve been offering a clinical librarian service since 2003, and it has grown to become a highly-valued part of the service. Over the past twelve months Igor and Tom performed 208 evidence searches for their departments, on topics such as regulation of the sale of alcohol and theimpact on alcohol related liver disease admissions, haemorrhage in major trauma, damage control orthopaedics and early appropriate care and 3D imaging corpus callosum in infants prenatally exposed to alcohol.



Fake journals: think, check, submit!

Sometimes library members approach the library for advice about unsolicited e-mail messages asking for manuscripts, inviting the recipient to join a journal’s editorial board, or to submit and abstract or poster to a conference. How can one tell which are legitimate and which are from fake, so-called ‘predatory’ journals and conferences?

Fake journals have sprung up in the wake of the open access movement. Sometimes they can be easy to spot. Few established journals need to tout for manuscripts; further, e-mails and websites will contain spelling and grammatical errors, and over-effusive compliments to the author. Claims about peer review, editorial board membership and indexing may be misleading, or outright lies.

A campaign supported by leading publishers and open access organisations offers a list of checks would-be authors are advised to carry out before submitting, under the three headings, think, check, submit. Follow their checklists, or ask us, if you’re unsure about the bona fides of a journal or conference.

Wellcome Book Prize: 2018 short-list announced

The Wellcome Book Prize 2018 short-list was announced this morning, 20 March. They are:

Stay With Me
Adebayo, Ayobami
Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 2017

The butchering art : Joseph Lister’s quest to transform the grisly world of Victorian medicine
Fitzharris, Lindsey
London: Allen Lane 2017

With the End in Mind - flat

With the end in mind: dying, death and wisdom in an age of denial
Mannix K
London: HarperCollins, 2017

To be a machine: adventures among cyborgs, utopians, hackers, and the futurists solving the modest problem of death
O’Connell, Mark
London: Granta 2018

Mayhem: a memoir
Rausing, Sigrid
London: Hamish Hamilton 2017

The Vaccine Race - flat

The vaccine race: how scientists used human cells to combat killer viruses
Wadman M
London: Black Swan, 2018

Copies of  those illustrated, With the end in mind, and The vaccine race are already available in NHS libraries in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, and may be ordered through our online catalogue. We have copies of the others on order, so you may borrow them from our libraries soon.

BMA book awards winners

The winners of the 2017 BMA book awards were announced yesterday evening at an event at BMA House on Monday 11 September 2017. Professor Sir John Temple, BMA President, was the guest of honour.

We have copies of many of the winning titles in stock, some as e-books, some as print.

BMA Student Textbook Award:


Hamilton Bailey’s Physical Signs: Demonstrations of Physical Signs in Clinical Surgery, 19th Edition
by John SP Lumley, Anil K D’Cruz, Jamal J Hoballah and Carol EH Scott-Connor
Published by CRC Press, February 2016

Available in the libraries at the Royal Sussex County and Princess Royal Hospitals

BMA Illustrated Book Award:


Auerbach’s Wilderness Medicine, 2 Volume Set, 7th Edition
by Paul Auerbach, Tracy Cushing and Stuart Harris.
Published by Elsevier Inc, October 2016

Available as an e-book with an NHS OpenAthens account.

BMA Young Authors Award:


The Unofficial Guide to Radiology: 100 Practice Chest X Rays with Full Colour Annotations and Full X Ray Reports
by Mohammed Rashid Akhtar MBBS BSc (Hons) FRCR (author), Na’eem Ahmed MBBS BSc (author), Nihad Khan MBBS BSc (author), Mark Rodrigues MBChB (Hons) BSc (Hons) FRCR (editor) and Zeshan Qureshi BM BSc (Hons) MSc MRCPCH (editor)
Published by Zeshan Qureshi Ltd, January 2017

Available in the library at the Royal Sussex County Hospital

BMA President’s Award (chosen by Professor Sir John Temple):


Fragile lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table
by Professor Stephen Westaby
Published by HarperCollins, February 2017

Available in the libraries at the Royal Sussex County and Princess Royal Hospitals



Returning to Work in Anaesthesia: Back on the Circuit.
by Emma Plunkett, Emily Johnson and Anna Pierson.
Cambridge University Press, October 2016

Available in the library at the Royal Sussex County Hospital

Basic and clinical sciences


Human Anatomy, Color Atlas and Textbook, 6th Edition.
John A Gosling, Philip F Harris, John R Humpherson, Ian Whitmore and Peter T Willan Elsevier Ltd, April 2016.

Available as an e-book with an NHS OpenAthens account.



Oxford Textbook of Cognitive Neurology and Dementia
Edited by Masud Husain and Jonathan M Schott Oxford University Press, June 2016

Available as an e-book with an NHS OpenAthens account, and in print in the librar at the Royal Sussex County Hospital

Public Health

public health

Public Health and Epidemiology at a Glance, 2nd Edition
Margaret Somerville, K Kumaran and Rob Anderson Wiley-Blackwell, August 2016

Available in the library at the Royal Sussex County Hospital



Callen’s Ultrasonography in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 6th Edition
Mary E Norton, Leslie M Scoutt and Vickie A Feldstein Elsevier September 2016

Available as an e-book with an NHS OpenAthens account



Flaps and Reconstructive Surgery, 2nd Edition
Fu-Chan Wei and Samir Mardini—Elsevier Inc, October 2016

Available as an e-book with an NHS OpenAthens account.

Register for an NHS OpenAthens account

Search the catalogues of all NHS libraries in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.