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Predatory Publishing

Overzealous open-access advocates are creating an exploitative environment, threatening the credibility of scholarly publishing.

By | August 1, 2012

image: Predatory Publishing Illustration by Dusan Petricic

A great upheaval is occurring in scholarly publishing. Over the past 10 years, researchers, academics, and academic librarians have been promoting open-access publishing, and we are just now beginning to see the results of their advocacy, which unfortunately are way below expectations.

One result is that the open-access movement is producing an almost boomtown-like increase in the number of scholarly open-access publishers, fostered by a very low barrier to entrance into the learned publishing industry. To become a scholarly publisher, all you need now is a computer, a website, and the ability to create unique journal titles.

Bolstering this trend is the so-called “gold open-access” model, in which publishing is supported not by subscription fees but by author fees. An example of a gold open-access journal is The Scientific World Journal, currently published by Cairo-based Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This megajournal covers virtually all scientific fields and imposes an article processing charge of $1,000 for each accepted article. Similarly, the better-known Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals charge authors anywhere from $1,350 to $2,900 to publish, with a discount if the researcher is affiliated with a university that is an institutional member.

This increase in the number of open-access journals has major implications for scholarly publishing. Authors become the publishers’ customers, an arrangement that creates a conflict of interest: the more papers a publisher accepts, the more revenue it earns.

Not surprisingly, acceptance rates at gold open-access journals are skyrocketing, and article peer review is decreasing. Scholarly communication is now flooded with hundreds of thousands of new, second-rate articles each year, burdening conscientious researchers who have to sort through them all, filtering out the unworthy ones.

Predatory publishers use deception to appear legitimate, entrapping researchers into submitting their work and then charging them to publish it.


Exploiting the trend is an increasing number of what I define as “predatory” publishers—those that unprofessionally exploit the gold open-access model for their own profit. These publishers use deception to appear legitimate, entrapping researchers into submitting their work and then charging them to publish it. Some prey especially on junior faculty and graduate students, bombarding them with spam e-mail solicitations. Harvesting data from legitimate publishers’ websites, they send personalized spam, enticing researchers by praising their earlier works and inviting them to submit a new manuscript. Many of these bogus publishers falsely claim to enforce stringent peer review, but it appears they routinely publish article manuscripts upon receipt of the author fee. Some have added names to their editorial boards without first getting permission from the scientists they list, among other unethical practices.

 

These publishers’ websites look legitimate, making it difficult to separate the professional from the unethical. Unfortunately, many scientists have been fooled. Dozens have asked me for a measure for determining legitimacy, but there is very little that can be measured directly. The only real measure is the publisher’s intent, which is hard or impossible to discern.

The implications for tenure and promotion are significant. Previously, traditional publishers played a validation role: if an article appeared in a journal of a respected publisher, generally everyone accepted it as quality work worthy of publication. Now, predatory publishers assign lofty titles to their journals, making the task of judging a tenure candidate’s list of publications much more complicated. Sadly, a few academics are gaming the new system, exploiting the scholarly vanity press to buy prestige.

Predatory open-access publishers threaten to erase the line that divides science from nonscience. By accepting pseudoscientific articles that outwardly appear legitimate but whose methodologies are unsound, bogus publishers gratuitously confer the imprimatur of science. As this trend continues, we may lose the ability to easily separate the real science from the fake.

The problems these predatory publishers cause have been worsened by several of the players in the open-access movement. Many academic librarians and other open-access advocates have promoted open-access scholarly publishing across the board, without limiting their promotion to the few worthy open-access publishers, thus creating a more fertile ground for predatory publishers. Librarians and open-access advocates have also spent much time and effort denouncing—and even cyberbullying—traditional scholarly publishers, a practice that regrettably has further enabled the growth of illegitimate open-access publishers. Some even insist on open-access mandates, rules that would require researchers to publish all their work in open-access venues, thereby depriving them of the freedom to publish in the venue of their choosing and serving to further energize the exploitative open-access publishers.

Open-access enthusiasts are too quick to dismiss traditional scholarly publishers. They have overly politicized scholarly communication, applying their anticorporate beliefs and tactics to learned publishing. Many have abandoned objectivity; instead of seeking the best model for scholarly communication, they seek only the au courant one that fits their narrow beliefs.

Many open-access advocates fail to understand or recognize the value that high-quality publishing adds to scholarly content. One of these values is digital preservation, or the long-term maintenance of journal articles and other research output. Most of the new open-access publishers have no long-term preservation strategies, instead choosing to operate in the moment. Furthermore, some open-access publishers now bypass the copyediting process. In addition to deteriorating article quality, these practices perpetuate the problem of increasing plagiarism, as these journals rarely use the available tools that can detect overlap between submitted and published works.

Thus, while open-access publishing has some obvious advantages—namely making scientific research freely available to all that seek it—there are many other factors to be considered. (For a more complete discussion of these considerations, see “Whither Science Publishing” on page 32.) A publication model that has authors rather than readers as its customers is still unproven and risky in the long term. Scholarly communication needs more unbiased analysis and less ideology. The publishing model that we bequeath to the next generation of researchers needs to be the best one, and not necessarily the ideologically correct one.

Jeffrey Beall is a metadata librarian at the University of Colorado Denver’s Auraria Library. Read more about scholarly open-access publishing on his blog, Scholarly Open Access.

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Avatar of: Gert van Vugt

Gert van Vugt

Posts: 1

August 2, 2012

I have some serious problems with this piece. Overall, it seems the author has collected the downsides of both gold and green open access publishing, as well as some inherent epistemological dilemma's associated with scholarly communication, and present them as a coherent criticism on "open access". To point out three:
 
- "Scholarly communication is now flooded with hundreds of thousands of
new, second-rate articles each year, burdening conscientious researchers
who have to sort through them all, filtering out the unworthy ones." It is always the responsibility of the academic to take caution in judging any source of information. In addition, librarians used to select book series or journals that would indicate reliable information - something that is much less relevant now as "Big Publishing" compiles more and less reliable research into packages of thousands of journals. Open Access is in no way to blame for the laziness of scholars...

- "Predatory open-access publishers threaten to erase the line that divides science from nonscience." What line? This line does not exist and has never existed. I'm sorry to inform you that you have lived in a false sense of comfort all along - but quality  has never been a black and white matter. The best workable indication of quality is journal reputation, and the means to judge this are rapidly expanding - ranging from the "Journal Impact Factor" to the blacklist of "Predatory Publishers". And again, if you do not check these resources before you submit or consume research, it's your failing as a researcher.

- "open-access mandates [...] require researchers to publish
all their work in open-access venues, thereby depriving [authors]of the
freedom to publish in the venue of their choosing and serving to further
energize the exploitative open-access publishers." First of all, the great majority of publishers/journals (are starting to) offer open access alternatives, hence expanding rather than depriving author's options. Secondly, the great momentum behind the OA movement has been a direct response to the exploitative practices of traditional commercial publishers (with profit margins approaching 40%). OA has set out to solve that problem, and it seems to be a huge improvement of the status quo at least.

August 3, 2012

How have librarians "cyberbullied" the traditional publishers? By spending millions of dollars towards subscriptions with them? Also, a point of correction, the open-access mandates referred do not require researchers to publish their work in open-access venues. The Harvard policy as well as the UCSF policy, both of which were voted and approved unanimously by their faculty, do not make any requirements about where their researchers publish and do not "deprive them of their freedom"; the policies merely reserve the right to place a final author's version of the article on a publicly available repository. This is what is known as the green-road to open access ... the green road is pretty tame and hardly disruptive to the current commercial (or society) publishing landscape.

Avatar of: Joe Vanegas

Joe Vanegas

Posts: 3

August 7, 2012

Down in the third-from-last paragraph, I sense some shilling for that ultimate predatory publisher, Elsevier, which is well known for bullying subscribers.

Avatar of: David Solomon

David Solomon

Posts: 1

August 7, 2012

Poor quality OA publishers funded by article processing fees
(APCs) are a problem as Jeffery Beall notes in this article but it is nowhere
near as serious as he asserts.

 

Most scholars and researchers are well aware of the quality
journals in their field and the quality of the journal is a major consideration
in where most choose to publish.  Likewise
promotion and tenure committees are not going to be fooled by someone with a
bunch of articles published in low-end journals that they never heard of and
are not listed in major citation indexes.  

 

The conflict of interest noted in the article only exists for
very short sighted publishers. Bentham Science found this out the hard way.   

 

http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet...

 

Bentham is also a good example of the point above. It has
hundreds of journals that on average publish about 4 articles a year while PLoS
One is publishing over 1,000 per month despite an article processing charge
that is about 50% more than what Bentham charges.

 

Just like quality subscription publishers, quality open
access publishers take the necessary steps to ensure preservation like
archiving their articles in PubMed Central and joining Portico.  They perform real peer review and do quality
professional publishing.

 

“Not surprisingly, acceptance rates at gold open-access
journals are skyrocketing, and article peer review is decreasing. Scholarly
communication is now flooded with hundreds of thousands of new, second-rate
articles each year, burdening conscientious researchers who have to sort
through them all, filtering out the unworthy ones.â€쳌

 

Two thirds of the APC funded articles in OA journals listed
in the Directory of Open Access Journals are in the Web of Science and the
impact factors of these journals are equivalent to subscription journals.  In my experience jumping through all the
hoops to get to what I want to read in subscription journals is far more of a
burden than being deluged with too many APC funded OA articles.  

 

Professional open access publishing is a new
field.  There is a substratum of low-end
publishers that manage to fool some naïve researchers and provide another means
for unscrupulous researchers to pad their CVs. 
There also are quality professional publishers that are in the
profession for the long haul.  A number
have banded together to form the Open Access Publishers Association that has
started the process of addressing this problem in a constructive way by
creating standards for APC funded publishing. 
Funding agencies along with librarians and researchers also need to join
in the process and further develop standards for this new form of scholarly publishing.  Enforcing standards by funders insisting they
be met before covering APCs and promotion and tenure committees taking them
into account is in my view the best way to solve this problem. 

Avatar of: adobrovic

adobrovic

Posts: 2

August 7, 2012

This is an important article. I try to publish as much as I can in open access journals or to take the open access option in regular journals. However, there are only a limited number of open access publishers that I am really comfortable with BioMedCentral (disclosure; I am on the editorial board of 3 journals of this publisher) and pLOS.

You can often gauge the quality of the journal by the editorial board. Are there any of the "big names" or even any of the "middle names" on the board? In many open access journals, I struggle to see a single name I know. For this reason, we chose to publish 2 recent articles in Oncotarget which has a stellar editorial board. This is published by Impact publications which has only 2 journals.

The other critical thing is PubMed listing. If your journal is not listed on PubMed, and most of the dodgy OA journals are not, your article will only have limited visibility which will override many of the advantages of open access.

Avatar of: verynaive

verynaive

Posts: 7

August 13, 2012


It is a bit excessive to say that open access is causing the problem, after all scientist review for free and university libraries pay huge fees to have access to the published papers. In addition, some main stream journals charge higher price for publishing (and some for reviewing too) than those quoted here. There are a lot of printed journals and some are probably providing the same services as those "fake" ones.
Researcher should regardless read papers critically, as being published in Cell does not guaranty that authors have not made experimental or interpretation mistakes. There are many bias in publishing and there is no reason to believe that simply putting results one-self online with small introduction, methodology and interpretation of results so they would be widely noticed and discussed without prior peer-review would not be the best option.

Avatar of: EllenHunt

EllenHunt

Posts: 74

August 13, 2012

Regarding Cell, at least 5 years ago, that journal was the most political of them all. But, I note that the worst offender (name I won't mention) is no longer on the board. Perhaps things are better than they were.

Avatar of: Stork Chemical

Stork Chemical

Posts: 1

August 13, 2012

 There have always been crap journals (I mean fourth tier and below journals).  Publishing in crap journals (at least in the US) does very little to help your career.  Any grad student, post-doc, jr. faculty member who publishes in a crap journal is wasting their time.  Recruitment committees, tenure committees etc. will, at the best, ignore pubs in crap journals and at the worst not even consider your good pubs.

So, the fact that OA publishing allows the proliferation of more crap journals is not a big deal.  And, I imagine that grad students can consign the spam journal emails to the appropriate junk mail bin as they do with the online pharmacy, viagra and dating emails.

Avatar of: RichardPatrock

RichardPatrock

Posts: 52

August 13, 2012

I don't think the author of this journal has heard about page charges since these weren't referred to in the piece.  A page charge is an author's monetary contribution to the publication of a manuscript and depending on the charge and the length of the article can run into the thousands of dollars.  Some journals will charge these fees in addition to asking for another sum to allow free distribution of the pdf's generated by the paper. There is a cost to all forms of advertising and authors, despite having the right to free speech (at least in some places) do not have the right to free publication.  At least open-access allows free distribution to all, which facilitates two of of these three freedoms.  It is nice that authors now have the ability to choose which of the freedoms they want.

Avatar of: xlinkr

xlinkr

Posts: 3

August 13, 2012

This appears to be the same arguments that commercial software publishers have used to denounce open source software.  Unfortunately, the author's opinions are not backed up with even a single piece of data, which I thought was the essential characteristic of any scientific publication.  I often find that when one model of revenue generation (the traditional publishers) is threatened by a new model (the open source publishers), the typical response is to attack before the new competition causes commercial upheaval.  What they are really saying is that my way of doing business is the right way and yours is not; therefore, we must destroy you who dare encroach upon our territory.  The good thing about competition is that those publishers which don't live up to the standards of quality customers demand will eventually disappear.  The fact is, having significant competition from open source publishers might just be the best thing that ever happened to traditional scientific publishing.  

Avatar of: EllenHunt

EllenHunt

Posts: 74

August 13, 2012

There is no parallel xlinkr. I have been both a software developer and a scientist. Open source software either works to do the job, or it doesn't. It is a product. Anybody can download it, see if it works to their satisfaction and winnow out what they want.

Scientific publication deals in results that require a great deal of hard work to perform. Nobody can tell just be reading it if the paper is correct or not. (In most cases.) Readers must presume that most likely the paper is telling the truth, that data is not fabricated, that data has not been filtered so it shows what the author wants, that calculations (which can be esoteric) are done properly, etc.

________________________________

That said, I remember a conversation with Benoit Mandelbrot at a conference. Over lunch, the man's cup of bitterness still ran over across the table. Mandelbrot's bitterness comes from having had so many of his papers rejected as crackpot rubbish by the "best journals" of the time. So he had to publish in secondary journals with poor reputation. After his fame, of course, those journals that accepted his work became a bit more respectable and he could submit anything anywhere and be published. Mandelbrot still feels that his own reputation is inescapably tarnished by his association with those journals. (An aside - I have read Mandelbrot, and if I had reviewed his early work I would have requested he clarify certain leaps with connections.)

There is a lot of excellent work that is rejected by the "big journals". And there is rubbish that is accepted by the big journals. The big journals are extremely political. Anyone that has tried to publish there knows that.

My personal experience with, for instance, Bentham journals, is that I have found myself using (and testing) them by sending early manuscripts out. So far, every one has provided far better editorial comment than the higher ranked journals. Typically, higher ranked journals provide bupkus in terms of comment that can be useful. I haven't published with them - not yet. I have, instead, used them in a way that I have mild ethical qualms about.

The implicit suggestion by the author that "big names" mean something is not accurate. Quite the reverse in most cases. Big names are busy. When I started reviewing, my professor handed me a stack of papers and told me to review them. Then he built/packaged my remarks, sometimes arguing with me or correcting a mistake I had made. After a while, he just sent them along with just a glance. If you want to engage directly with the real person, go to a lesser journal.

So far, I am only aware of one journal, the one run by the Egyptian, which is junk. I too, find it disturbing to read blanket statements without support such as "hundreds of thousands" and suggestions that people are overwhelmed with invitations from con-men seeking to publish without review. Give me a break. It's just not true.

Avatar of: rameshraghuvanshi

rameshraghuvanshi

Posts: 20

August 13, 2012

I curious know who are reading these junk  scientific journals.If collages  universities institute stop to scrubbed these journals within month they close down.Only way to punish them

Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

August 13, 2012

That leads me to paraphrase one of my own articles - sadly, never published (Damn! How about that "Journal of Snotty Criticism of Funding Bodies"??) - and say "Whither? \ Wither! Scientific Publishing".  Things are in the process of a changeover that used to be a gentle slide, but is becoming a precipitate rush.  Me, I'll be a Version 2.5 adopter, like for nearly everything else I try B-)

Avatar of: bruno_giovanni

bruno_giovanni

Posts: 2

August 13, 2012

some problem with registration ...

Avatar of: bruno_giovanni

bruno_giovanni

Posts: 2

August 13, 2012

Oh, my! (gasp of relief). It was just on the finishing line that the magic all explaining word (`ideology') popped out - in fact, twice. Now I understand, and I feel very much comforted, though a passing mention of the battle of good vs evil would have made me feel even better. Next topic: how a bunch of overzealous freedom advocates, subverting the natural order of things, created the exploitative environment we call free trade (viz modern civilization).

Avatar of: edwardwhite65

edwardwhite65

Posts: 3

August 13, 2012

Scientists have always had to sort out the good from the questionable.  We already know which journals are reputable, and nobody is being forced to read through some unfamiliar journals published on someone's web site.  Who is being forced?  And for judging tenure, it is certainly not more complicated by these OA publishers.  Tenure still depends on a few high/medium impact publications, of which, at least in cell biology, is limited to a list of about 6 or 7 journal titles.  Some of the older, established print journals don't even count for a tenure position, so I can't see how some obscure OA journal is going to complicate things.

Avatar of: Dana Roth

Dana Roth

Posts: 1

August 13, 2012

Please go to his website ... many of these criticisms appear to be irrelevant ... Beall is discussing 'predatory' open access publishers.

Avatar of: Malardj

Malardj

Posts: 4

August 13, 2012

I think personally that it was a mistake to make the number of publications a criteria for tenure or for grants. It exacerbated the proliferation of papers, it gave dishonest people one more handle to fool the system.

Maybe it is time for a bit of introspection? Why does the open access movememt took place? Why did scientists stopped carefully crafting heavy papers in favor of well marketed one-idea papers? Why did some proffs milked their PhD students for all their worth before they got to present their defense, yet never got sanctioned?

Apart from the personal undertone you probably guessed, my 2 cents is that we moved from a hunter-gatherer economy of science where data was sparse into an agrarian economy of science where data is abundant. We as scientists need to revalaute our values and take a stand.

Joel Malard, PhD

Avatar of: plasko20

plasko20

Posts: 1457

August 13, 2012

There have always been crappy articles. If it is via this pay-as-you-go method influencing publishers, or if it is via people suggesting their cronies as reviewers (as happens a whole lot more), or high-impact editors being too overtly influenced by big-name scientists that they take the crap studies as well as the good ones lest they anger the "rock-star" scientist who will then blacklist them and go elsewhere forevermore; there will never be an end to crappy articles. But we as scientists are always vigilant with EVERY article - never believe everything you read. 

Avatar of: plasko20

plasko20

Posts: 1457

August 13, 2012

There have always been crappy articles. If it is via this pay-as-you-go method influencing publishers, or if it is via people suggesting their cronies as reviewers (as happens a whole lot more), or high-impact editors being too overtly influenced by big-name scientists that they take their crap studies as well as the good ones lest they anger the "rock-star" scientist who will then blacklist them and go elsewhere forevermore; there will never be an end to crappy articles. But we as scientists are always vigilant with EVERY article - never believe everything you read.

Avatar of: VKAP

VKAP

Posts: 2

August 13, 2012

Most open source publications are not cited! Why waste time? One can just publish on their own blog!

Avatar of: Stewart_Lyman

Stewart_Lyman

Posts: 2

August 13, 2012

There are other publishing models besides traditional journals and open access journals. Last year I proposed a new model, iPubSci, which would essentially be a fusion of PubMed with an iTunes-like interface. The idea is to be able to buy articles using the same approach that you buy songs on iTunes. The rationale behind this concept was designed to make individual journal articles more affordable, as the current fees charged by traditional publishers (usually in the $30-$35 range per article) are simple beyond the reach of many researchers. The biggest problem for many people who do not have ready access to academic libraries (including physicians and researchers at a majority of biotech companies) is a lack of affordable access to the older scientific literature, which comprises millions of articles. Most of this is held under lock and key by traditional publishers, and open access journals do nothing to provide access to this treasure trove of information. Those who are interested in this publishing model can find links to several articles on the subject, as well as a more detailed description of the model, at www.ipubsci.com website.

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 13, 2012

It is only in a broad sense that there is a market for vanity publishing, so let me use, instead, the terms author-financed publishing versus subscriber financed publishing.

In a publish-or-perish academic environment, or in an environment in which those who publish are more inclined to get grant money, the word "vanity" does not cover the full spectrum of motivations. More honorable or more altruistic motives can come into play, too. These may include a sincere desire to expose useful new data, even at a cost to oneself, or, for the academic researcher, a veritable sink or swim desperation.

Some papers have tended to be rejected by publishers of subscriber-financed journals for reasons other than scientific merits.  Some research subjects are less popular than other, or are of less appeal to commercial interests, or deal with those pesky nuances that may be vitally important to progress in science, but are boring, nonetheless.

What is the solution?  Good question.  But here are some thoughts from this one reader's perspective:

If some scientifically useful subjects cannot make the "subscriber-interest" cut, then let us be thankful they can, by some other means, be made available to others who may be working in the same boring but vital area.  If some new data or discovery has no profit-motive appeal, same there.  And, then too, if there are some writers who just want to be able to claim to be "published," and are willing to pay to make it so then -- provided they are not disseminating voodoo or selling snake oil, why should they not have a way to vent their egos, or contrarian interpretations, or pad their resumes with a self-purchased pseudo-accolade or two.

What I, as a reader, would hope for is that any source would DISCLOSE its revenue source or sources.  It might be that three categories might come into fashion:  one that is purely subscriber based; one that is donations based; and one that is predominantly, at least, author-financed.  Also, I would hope that due diligence would be exercised by author-financed publishers, to assure they do not put at risk the honest authors, by intermingling scientifically unsound crap with good faith work from responsible, scholarly -- but desperate authors.  What is more, I would hope that the readership would not be put at risk of being presented with false, fraudulent or dangerous misinformation.

Where there is a profit there are varieties of motives for catering to it.  And, while some kinds of catering are reasonable and responsible, others can be fraudulent and even dangerously misleading.  And, any and every kind of "business," that draws opportunists, draws some miscreants and incompetents, as well as some noble and responsible opportunists.

Much dialog is needed on this subject.  And my guess is that some of that dialogue needs to be among white collar law enforcement agencies, ethicists, and attorneys at law, as well as among publishers and authors.

But would I blanketly condemn a publication for being other than subscriber-financed?
Most definitely not.

I look forward to seeing more input on this subject from universities, researchers, post docs and other readers like me, who are motivated by curiosity as to what is going on, from day to day at the frontiers of the sciences.

Avatar of: David Hill

David Hill

Posts: 1457

August 13, 2012

Nonsense.  With so many authors giving their work away to so-called 'legitimate' publishers, this is just silly.  Authors need to read the fine print.  They are capable people, aren't they?  An author should always grant no more than a non-exclusive, one-time publication license to a publisher.  To give a publisher your copyright is downright foolish in any case.

Avatar of: mesocyclone

mesocyclone

Posts: 1

August 14, 2012

As an educated layman taxpayer, I want the research funded by my taxes for to be accessible without a huge fee. Why should we fund research which goes into expensive journals only accessible to those with University subscriptions?

The costs of publishing have dropped dramatically with the Internet, and its time for scientists to get modern. This low cost creates an opportunity for experimentation and innovation, with the end result better for all, even if the road is bumpy along the way.

As for quality... if scientists cannot judge the merits of various publications and their editorial and review policies, why should my tax dollars pay them to make any other opinions? They're obviously incompetent.

Oh, and we want access to your raw data and code, and we will, sooner or later, get it. If openness is harmful to science, then science has become a private club, not a service to humanity.

Avatar of: ucd

ucd

Posts: 1

August 14, 2012

Despite Mr Beall having spuriously labelled many publishers "predatory" for many months he has only now seen fit to publically disclose the criteria he applies: http://scholarlyoa.com/2012/08...

Given this strange delay it might be expected that he had used this time to ensure that this list was comprehensive and well-reasoned. In reality it is a mixture of a few well-made points, but many others which are highly subjective and impossible to assess, and others that are no more than personal rants.

Incredibly Mr Beall has not taken the obvious step of explaining how these these parameters are to be applied, whether different points are given different weight etc. There is probably not a single publisher in existence that Mr Beall could not label "predatory" on the basis of these criteria. He also has not disclosed what relationships he has with other publishers, the nature of those relationships, and whether those other publishers have any influence over what publishers he spuriously labels "predatory".

Inevitably the anti-open access brigade will endorse this highly flawed reasoning, conveniently ignoring its obvious flaws. They will grab on to any reasoning, however flawed, to protect the established publishers.

Looking at Mr Beall's entries on his blog discussing specific publishers there seems to be very little evidence of actual wrong-doing. Merely having what Mr Beall considers to be a strange name or excessively broad journal title seems to be enough to constitute "predatory" behaviour. Furthermore, there seems no way for a publisher to qualify to be removed from his list, no appeal process, indeed often no clear objective reason for inclusion on this list.

Avatar of: TK

TK

Posts: 2

August 15, 2012

How about the predatory pricing publishers promote for online access to work nearly 100% financed by the taxpayer. Publishers have not addressed this and used greed to an outrageous extent in their business models... it is obvious to any researcher or doctor trying to obtain information behind a cacophony of paywalls. Yes, patients are sicker and researchers is stifled, BECAUSE of YOU. You call the competition overazealous ideologues, while you obviously lack any morality for the future of our world, where accessibilty to science is a must and needs to be free or very cheap, particularly for old research decades old but still valuable. You have bitten the hand that feeds you, and now you are suffering the consequences...too bad!!! An alternative will evolve, and it may be a bit shaky now, but I have no doubt it will be superior in the long run to what you have offered...basically an organizational service structured to make millions for big publishers and getting all your real expertise from volunteer scientists for free. Scientific discovery is about spreading information widely and accessibly. Publishers have completely lost their moral compass. Once electronic media made publishing costs plumet, you saw only dollar signs how to make more profit...ridiculous and absurd. Brittanica said the same junk about Wikipedia. It is obvious which model has won out, and which actually produces the better content now. You had your chance to make a better world and be the leader, now you have lost all trust by the scientific establishment. Your article is thinly veiled self-interested obfuscation, and YOU now you want to play the victim??? Truly outrageous really! You have no shame. Swallow your own bitter pill, you concocted this and deserve it really.

Avatar of: TK

TK

Posts: 2

August 15, 2012

Publishers could have taken the high road and still made plenty of money by offering cheap or free with advertisements access to online articles or older articles for scientific research that has been largely paid for by the taxpayer and which have virtually zero disribution and copy cost in the internet age. They didn't do this and will now have to suffer the consequences, both legally as the taxpayer and scientist get angrier with the way they have acted, and also financially through healthy competition by publishers who don't use these tactics. Big name journals are not set in stone, and eventually a free publisher will gain just as much prestige, since this is not a matter of money really producing better quality, (the quality comes from the scientists after all), it is a matter of greed really. They have really bitten the hand that feeds them as I see it. They also are stifling scientific progress and making patient's sicker by not allowing important current and historical scientific results (again paid for by the taxpayer largely) to be more easily accessed by scientists and doctors. Congress should be outraged.

January 18, 2014

  About Mr Beall's list, some parts are true, as there are many predatory journals, but there are also a lot that do not deserve to be in his list. Recently, there are many website discrediting Mr Beall, here are some:    http://fakeconferences.blogspot.com/2013/11/prof-nicola-bellomo-sent-us-this-email.html http://iaria-highsci.blogspot.com/ http://bogus-conferences.blogspot.com/2012/12/have-you-hear-about-jeffrey-bealls-big.html http://jeffreybeallbogus.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/jeffreybeallbogus/#comments   I tried to paste websites like this into Mr beall's website, but unfortunately they are removed, instead of defending himself.  This make me think that all this counter-webs contain true information, and Mr Beall does not want that the whole world know about it.

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