Enlarge (credit: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier)
Anna O.
Szust is not a real person.
She is, literally, a fraud: oszust means “fraud” in Polish. Nonetheless, Szust has been appointed as an editor at 40 bogus academic journals.

After sending out her fake application for an editorial role, the researchers responsible for the world’s nerdiest sting operation began to receive responses almost immediately. “Four titles immediately appointed Szust editor-in-chief,” report Piotr Sorokowski and colleagues in Nature this week.
At legitimate journals, editors play an important role in quality control.

They decide whether a paper is worth sending out for peer review, and, if so, who is best qualified to review it.

Then they decide whether to publish it, based on the advice of the reviewers.

A high-quality journal has rigorous editors who work to ensure higher-quality science, which helps to stop bad science—ranging from the silly to the truly dangerous—from getting the approval stamp of publication and peer review.
Predatory journals
Bogus, predatory journals, on the other hand, are not concerned with quality; they’re concerned with making a buck or ten thousand.

They take advantage of legitimate open access scientific journals, which often charge a fee for publication in order to cover their costs; papers are then made available without a subscription.
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