Stop this waste of people, animals and money

Author: David Moher et al

Abstract: Predatory journals are easy to please. They seem to accept papers with little regard for quality, at a fraction of the cost charged by mainstream open-access journals. These supposedly scholarly publishing entities are murky operations, making money by collecting fees while failing to deliver on their claims of being open access and failing to provide services such as peer review and archiving.

Despite abundant evidence that the bar is low, not much is known about who publishes in this shady realm, and what the papers are like. Common wisdom assumes that the hazard of predatory publishing is restricted mainly to the developing world. In one famous sting, a journalist for Science sent a purposely flawed paper to 140 presumed predatory titles (and to a roughly equal number of other open-access titles), pretending to be a biologist based in African capital cities. At least two earlier, smaller surveys found that most authors were in India or elsewhere in Asia. A campaign to warn scholars about predatory journals has concentrated its efforts in Africa, China, India, the Middle East and Russia. Frequent, aggressive solicitations from predatory publishers are generally considered merely a nuisance for scientists from rich countries, not a threat to scholarly integrity.

Our evidence disputes this view. We spent 12 months rigorously characterizing nearly 2,000 biomedical articles from more than 200 journals thought likely to be predatory. More than half of the corresponding authors hailed from high- and upper-middle-income countries as defined by the World Bank.

Citation: Moher, David, et al. “Stop This Waste of People, Animals and Money.” Nature 549, 23–25. http://doi.org/10.1038/549023a

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Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

Authors: Martin Paul Eve and Ernesto Priego

Abstract: ‘Predatory publishing’ refers to conditions under which gold open access academ-ic publishers claim to conduct peer review and charge for their publishing services but do not, in fact, actually perform such reviews. Most prominently exposed in recent years by Jeffrey Beall, the phenomenon garners much media attention. In this article, we acknowledge that such practices are deceptive but then examine, across a variety of stakeholder groups, what the harm is from such actions to each group of actors. We find that established publishers have a strong motivation to hype claims of predation as damaging to the scholarly and scien-tific endeavour while noting that, in fact, systems of peer review are themselves already acknowledged as deeply flawed.

Citation: Eve, M.P., & Priego, E. (2017). Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?. TripleC,  15(2), 755-770 . http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/867/1041

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