Jeffrey Beall: Predatory journals exploit structural weaknesses in scholarly publishing | 4Open
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-06-03
"Scholarly publishing’s status quo
The scholarly publishing process—from initial submission to final publication—has many weak points subject to exploitation . Some open-access publishers have taken advantage of these vulnerabilities, profiting by cheating scholarly authors and the consumers of research, the readers. The open-access social movement has facilitated this exploitation , preferring to advance its ideology at the expense of good science. The result is that scholarly publishing is now operating in a crisis mode , with activist science and pseudo-science being presented as legitimate in scholarly literature. Academic evaluation is also suffering , with some researchers taking advantage of the easy acceptance the predatory publishers offer to quickly publish research articles, works that earn academic credit that lead to tenure and promotion and augment CVs shown to prospective employers. Before the advent of open-access journals, scholarly publishing was largely governed by a sustained implementation of the “gentlemen’s agreement,” which, according to Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online is “an agreement which is not enforceable at law, and which is only binding as a matter of honour” [5,6].
With open-access journals, readers and libraries no longer have a say on which journals succeed or fail, an important quality-control function that's rapidly being lost. You cannot cancel a subscription to an open-access journal. Instead, the authors financing the publication of articles in open-access journals exercise the economic clout to determine the winners. Increasingly, the winners are the journals selling quick and easy acceptance of submitted articles at low fees .
There's nothing inherently wrong with the open-access publishing model, but to be successful, it must be managed properly, in a way that benefits science, those who carried out and reported the research, and the readers and other “consumers” of the research. Not all open-access journals are predatory, nor are all subscription journals of high quality. Any human-based enterprise will prove imperfect over time.
Still, the gentlemen's agreement functioned, for a long time, to promote quality, honesty, and scientific integrity in scholarly publishing. The tacit agreement was made between researchers and publishers, with each agreeing to act in good faith and with integrity. The agreement was much easier to keep when authors did not have to engage in financial transactions with commercial publishers. This characteristic of gold (author-pays) open-access has opened the door to crookedness in science, and it's not just the publishers that lack integrity. Academic evaluation systems that still merely look at the number of published articles by a given scientist also help drive the corruption ...."
Predatory journals exploit structural weaknesses in scholarly publishing Jeffrey Beall* Retired, Universityof Colorado, Denver, CO, USA * Corresponding author: email@example.com Received: 19 April 2018 Accepted: 2 May 2018
This article has no abstract.
Key words: Ethics / Journals / Life sciences / Mathematics / Medicine / Misconduct / Open access / Physics / Psychology / Publication / Publisher / Predatory / Predatory publishers / Quality / Research / Responsibility / Scholarly publishing / Science / Social media"