Predatory publishing readings

Prompted by the launch last week of the Think. Check. Submit. campaign, I’ve been doing some reading on predatory publishing.  Some readings I would recommend to anyone else looking into the subject, with a summary and some comments are below.

Anderson, R. 2015. Should We Retire the Term “Predatory Publishing”? The Scholarly Kitchen. [Blog post]
There are more bad publishing practices than those included in Beall’s criteria for predatory publishers, committed by authors and non-OA publishers as well OA publishers.  Anderson proposes “bad faith” as a term under which to group all these practices.
Berger, M. & Cirasella, J. 2015. Beyond Beall’s List Better understanding predatory publishers. College & Research Libraries News. 76(3): 132–135.
Discusses objections to Beall’s List, proposes whitelisting non-predatory publishers better alternative to blacklisting predatory publishers and advocates for librarians promoting OA publishing and understanding of different publishing practices to researchers.
Wehrmeijer, M. 2014. Exposing the predators. Methods to stop predatory journals (Masters thesis). Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University.
Thesis evaluating three methods of controlling predatory journal publishing. (Only read abstract and conclusion)
  1. Black- and white-lists – based on rules non-predatory publishers should follow – favours long established over new inexperienced publishers (whatever their intention), based on history of practice
  2. Open peer review systems – makes the peer review process transparent, but also makes articles openly available prior to peer-review, leading to suspect research potentially being taken for fact before being reviewed
  3. New metrics – current metrics measure too little and can be manipulated, but creating a perfect metric is not possible

Concludes no one method works on its own and the most important thing is to find a way to remove incentives for researchers and publishers engaging in fraudulent practices.  Given that publishers make money, either from the author or the reader, and fraudulent practices reduce their outgoings, I can’t see how you can ever remove the incentive for fraudulent publishing – it makes people money!  All you can do is reduce the incentive by making their customers (readers and authors) aware of the issue (e.g. via the three methods discussed in this thesis).

Weinheimer, J. 2015. ACAT DOAJ and predatory publishers. First Thus. [Blog post]

Interesting thoughts on predatory publishers’ journals in library catalogues.  Raises the issue of legal risk if libraries label journals as “predatory” and suggests using linked data, but relying on Beall’s list (and an API that doesn’t (yet) exist).


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