What do “Predatory Publishers” signify? | UVA Library - University of Virginia
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-08-14
"In a recent blog post, Rick Anderson touts a series of new studies on publishers who (mostly) lie about their value, including fictional editorial boards, false metrics, hasty or non-existent peer review processes, and more. People have a lot of opinions about these publishers, and there’s been a fair amount of scholarly writing about them, with much of the interest focused on various ways of figuring out if they are a “real problem” for the academy. Anderson says we now have more proof that “predatory publishers” (PP for short) are a real problem, and notes in a comment that, coincidentally, he’s organizing a “summit group of schol-comm stakeholders” to devise solutions. As someone who works on a college campus and whose neighbors and friends are academics, I can tell you that solicitations from junk publishers are a nuisance in every researcher’s inbox. But how much deeper does this alleged problem go? Citing a new round of investigative journalism, Anderson says it’s no longer possible to be a “denialist” about whether “predatory publishers” are “significant.” Indeed, Anderson concludes, paraphrasing a Nobel laureate quoted in one of the studies, “the credibility of science is at stake.” My goodness....
In a nutshell, I think they are actually symptoms of the deepest dysfunction in academic publishing: creating and outsourcing a prestige economy to third-party vendors by using placement in vendor-managed journals as a proxy for quality, even making them a credential required for tenure and promotion. That dysfunction has led to predation for decades—ask any librarian, or anyone who’s suffered through the many indignities of trying to get a prestigious placement. PPs are just the latest bad permutation of an already bad model...."