Friday, December 2, 2011

Predatory (Bogus) Open Access Journals

I just found a nice post, "Beall's list of Predatory, Open Access Journals." This is the definition given:

Predatory, open-access publishers are those that unprofessionally exploit the author-pays model of open-access publishing (Gold OA) for their own profit. Typically, these publishers spam professional email lists, broadly soliciting article submissions for the clear purpose of gaining additional income. Operating essentially as vanity presses, these publishers typically have a low article acceptance threshold, with a false-front or non-existent peer review process. Unlike professional publishing operations, whether subscription-based or ethically-sound open access, these predatory publishers add little value to scholarship, pay little attention to digital preservation, and operate using fly-by-night, unsustainable business models.
This definition is followed by a list of publishers, including Bentham Publishers. When their new journal, The Open Anthropology Journal, was announced in 2008, I expressed my sketicism in this blog, and then again when the first articles came out.

Here is the recommendation of Jeffrey Beall:

Recommendation: Do not do business with the above publishers, including submitting article manuscripts, serving on editorial boards, buying advertising, etc. There are numerous traditional, legitimate journals that will publish your quality work for free, including many legitimate, open-access publishers.

If you are involved in any form of scholarly evaluation such as, hiring, tenure / promotion review, or grant funding, be skeptical of articles published by any of these publishers listed above. Reading a list of publications or a vita, it is very difficult to distinguish legitimate journals from the illegitimate ones. One of the tricks the sham publishers use is to assign authentic-sounding and appearing titles to their journals. The presence of these bogus publishers has changed the task of scholarly evaluation, which now needs a keener eye to discern articles published in fraudulent journals.

Lest anyone think that "bogus" is too strong a word to use for these predatory journals, consider the apparent lack of rigorous peer review. In my classification of new journal-like venues, these would fall into the category of "pseudo-journals."

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