The Changing Nature of OA Journals: Helping Scholars Identify the Good, the Bad, and the Political
Jeffrey Beall's bookmarks 2016-10-17
When the Open Access (OA) movement began at the beginning of the 21st century, librarians and select scholars saw it as a way to level the playing field by disseminating scholarly work freely, by easing the financial burden placed on rising subscription costs, and by offering alternatives to the traditional publishing model. Predatory and opportunistic OA publishers were quick to arrive on the scene, however, leaving faculty and researchers scrambling for a new and updated vetting process for selecting their publication targets. Jeffrey Beall’s blog and Beall’s List, along with other important publication directories, have become an important part of the effort to provide oversight and information to scholars about OA publishers. This paper will discuss OA controversies and review sources and opinions on the transformation of academic publishing efforts in the context of OA issues. Recent trends in librarianship demonstrate the need to educate authors on how to comprehensively research journals before submitting manuscripts to them, how to avoid predatory OA publishers, and where scholarly communication is going in terms of oversight and reputability of OA journals. This paper will briefly summarize many of the possible roles of the librarian, as well as discuss and evaluate the impact of Beall’s List on both the publishing world and librarianship.