Good Guys, Bad Guys and Open Access Journals

January 23, 2013

Jeffrey Beall is a librarian at University of Colorado and seems to be one of the Good Guys.  Open Access publishing is very much a Good Thing but like a lot of open stuff it has been discovered by the Bad Guys and many OA journals are starting to look more and more like letters from widows of former heads of states trying to free up money from Swiss bank accounts.  So the sainted Jeffrey Beall, who runs the Scholarly Open Access blog, has compiled his List of Predatory Publishers 2013.  It includes well-known scallywags like Bentham Open, plus a lot that are laughably scammish – my personal favourite is Praise Worthy Prize which publishes some impressive-sounding (praiseworthy?) titles like International Review of Electrical Engineering.  The second list is of unrecommended journals, most of which have the tell-tale generic or broad spectrum titles like International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature.  He doesn’t include my personal favourite Australian Journal of Business and Management Research which has gone on to “merit” inclusion in Business Source Complete.

His advice is worth quoting at length –

“There are two lists below. The first includes questionable, scholarly open-access publishers. Each of these publishers has a portfolio that ranges from just a few to hundreds of individual journal titles.

The second list includes individual journals that do not publish under the platform of any publisher — they are essentially independent, questionable journals.

In both cases, we recommend that researchers, scientists, and academics avoid doing business with these publishers and journals. Scholars should avoid sending article submissions to them, serving on their editorial boards or reviewing papers for them, or advertising in them. Also, tenure and promotion committees should give extra scrutiny to articles published in these journals, for many of them include instances of author misconduct.

There are still many high-quality journals available for scholars to publish in, including many that do not charge author processing fees. An additional option is author self-archiving of articles in discipline-specific and institutional repositories.”

Apologies for the capitalised Moral Absolutes.

Bruce White

Science Librarian

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