Publishing in Predatory Journals: Guidelines for Nursing Faculty in Promotion and Tenure Policies.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which academic promotion and tenure (APT) criteria and guidelines in schools of nursing recognize predatory publishing. This assessment included an analysis of APT documents looking specifically for guidance about predatory publications by faculty in schools of nursing.


This study used a cross-sectional, descriptive design and was conducted in 2020.


A mixed methods approach was used to collect data from two sources. Data were extracted from APT documents for 92 research-intensive universities found online and specifically focused on documents for universities and for schools of nursing in the United States. Interviews were conducted with a subsample of academic administrators (n = 10) from selected schools.


The majority (57%; n = 50) of APT documents reviewed addressed quality of the journals in which faculty publish. However, very nonspecific terms, such as "high quality" or "peer reviewed" were used. None of the documents reviewed (n = 88) included any reference to predatory journals. Deans who were interviewed validated the analysis of the APT documents. While most deans reported faculty were aware of predatory journals and the risks of publishing in them, formal guidelines for consequences for publishing in predatory journals were not developed or available.


This study examined how schools of nursing in research-intensive universities address the issue of predatory journals. APT criteria do not provide guidance to faculty and promotion and tenure committees about issues related to predatory publications as low-quality publication outlets. Recommendations for APT committees, mentors, and faculty are provided.

Clinical relevance

Clinicians rely on researchers, many of whom are faculty, to publish rigorous studies that produce evidence they can translate into practice. One measure of the quality of a study's findings is where the paper is published and reflects the level of peer review it has been through. Faculty who publish in predatory journals may not have had their work reviewed by experts; evidence produced may or may not be adequate for translation to guide nursing practice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Broome, ME; Oermann, MH; Nicoll, LH; Waldrop, JB; Carter-Templeton, H; Chinn, PL

Published Date

  • November 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 53 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 746 - 752

PubMed ID

  • 34402166

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1547-5069

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1527-6546

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jnu.12696


  • eng