Predatory Open Access Journals: Revisited

To follow up on our May 2013 post written by Cynthia Pittson, Monica Berger of New York City College of Technology at CUNY, and Jill Cirasella, of Graduate Center also at CUNY, in their Beyond Beall’s List: Better Understanding Predatory Publishers offer an updated overview of what predatory open access (OA) journals are, how to recognize them, and what is the suggested role of librarians in dealing with these publishers. The authors describe these journals by saying that

[they] exist for the sole purpose of profit, not the dissemination of high-quality research findings and furtherance of knowledge. … predatory journals are primarily fee-collecting operations – they exist for that purpose and only incidentally publish articles, generally without rigorous peer review, despite claims to the contrary.

Although the authors recognize that predatory publishing is not a new concept to open access journals, they note that

their recent explosion was expedited by the emergence and success of fee-charging OA journals.

The authors further address the reliability of Jeffrey Beall’s (the current expert and go-to-person on predatory publishing who maintains the blacklist of predatory OA publishers and journals) findings and introduce the work of Walt Crawford, Karen Coyle, and Jill Emery outlining other considerations when assessing predatory OA publishers and journals.

The authors conclude by recommending that

we should seek to understand their methods, track their evolution, and communicate their characteristics to our patrons.

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