#IDIBELLseminars: Paper mills and predatory journals: emerging forms of scientific misconduct

Alberto Ruano-Raviña

University of Santiago de Compostela



Sala Pau Viladiu


Research misconduct is an understudied topic. Behind the classic publish or perish axiom, there are multiple and evolving reasons trying to improve the publication of research papers. Paper mills have become a worrying phenomenon in the last years. Nevertheless, many researchers are still unaware of what they are, their consequences and the areas of knowledge most linked to them. Some estimations indicate that paper mills may consist in 10% of published literature and this figure might be growing. Predatory journals are not new but, ultimately, they are being harder to differentiate from honest and respected journals. In the last years the term predatory has also included some editorials which are questioned for their practices. Other forms of research misconduct are also growing, such as the use of AI technologies even for peer-review, or the creation of fake reviews.

Hosted by Esteve Fernández Muñoz- Tobacco Control Research group


Professor Alberto Ruano-Ravina has published more than 320 research papers, half of them in first quartile journals. He has directed 22 doctoral thesis and has been the principal investigator of more than 20 competitive research projects. Coordinator of the Epidemiology research group at the University of Santiago de Compostela and coordinator of epidemiology of the Spanish Lung Cancer Group. He has been awarded with 2 Fulbright grants for senior researchers by the US Department of State in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Education. Research stays at the Schools of Public Health of Harvard and Brown Universities. His main area of research is focused on respiratory diseases (lung cancer and COPD) and on indoor radon exposure, where he is the most relevant researcher according to independent databases ( He is also interested on research misconduct, with publications in the BMJ or Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

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