Predatory open-access publishing
In academic publishing, some publishers and journals have attempted to exploit the business model of open-access publishing by charging large fees to authors without providing the editorial and publishing services associated with more established and legitimate journals. "Beall's List", a regularly-updated report by Jeffrey Beall, sets forth criteria for categorizing predatory publications and lists publishers and independent journals that meet those criteria.
History and Beall's List
The term "predatory open access" was conceived by University of Colorado Denver librarian and researcher Jeffrey Beall. After noticing a large number of emails inviting him to submit articles or join the editorial board of previously unknown journals, he began researching open-access publishers and created Beall's List of Predatory Publishers. Beall also writes on this topic in a continuing series in The Charleston Advisor, a peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to electronic resource evaluations.
Preceding Beall's efforts was the well-known case of a manuscript consisting of computer-generated nonsense submitted by a Cornell graduate student, Phil Davis, which was accepted (but withdrawn by the author) for a fee by one of the open-access publishers now included on Beall's List.
Characteristics of predatory publishing
Complaints that are associated with predatory open-access publishing include
- Accepting articles quickly with little or no peer review or quality control, including hoax and nonsensical papers.
- Notifying academics of article fees only after papers are accepted.
- Aggressively campaigning for academics to submit articles or serve on editorial boards.
- Listing academics as members of editorial boards without their permission, and not allowing academics to resign from editorial boards.
- Appointing fake academics to editorial boards.
- Mimicking the name or web site style of more established journals.
In 2013, Nature reported that Beall's list and web site are "widely read by librarians, researchers and open-access advocates, many of whom applaud his efforts to reveal shady publishing practices." He has been threatened with a lawsuit by a Canadian publisher that appears on the list, and he reports that he has been the subject of online harassment for his work on the subject. His list has been criticized by some organizations which represent open-access publishers for relying heavily for analysis of publishers' web sites, not engaging directly with publishers, and including newly founded but legitimate journals. Beall has responded to these complaints by posting the criteria he uses to generate the list, as well as instituting a three-person review body to which publishers can appeal to be removed from the list.
- Carl Elliott (June 5, 2012). "On Predatory Publishers: a Q&A With Jeffrey Beall". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
- Butler, Declan (March 27, 2013). "Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing". Nature 495 (7442): 433–435. doi:10.1038/495433a. PMID 23538810.
- "Open-Access Publisher Appears to Have Accepted Fake Paper From Bogus Center". The Chronicle of Higher Education. June 10, 2009.
- Stratford, Michael (March 4, 2012). "'Predatory' Online Journals Lure Scholars Who Are Eager to Publish". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
- Gilbert, Natasha (June 15, 2009). "Editor will quit over hoax paper". Nature. doi:10.1038/news.2009.571.
- Beall, Jeffrey (August 1, 2012). "Predatory Publishing". The Scientist.
- Kolata, Gina (April 7, 2013). "For Scientists, an Exploding World of Pseudo-Academia". The New York Times.
- Neumann, Ralf (February 2, 2012). "“Junk Journals” und die “Peter-Panne”". Laborjournal.