Monday, April 22, 2013

Be vigilant against predatory journals

I'm sure most of the academic readers of this blog are frequently inundated by numerous requests to serve on the editorial boards of journals you've never heard of. Many of these claim to be 'open access' even though they do not adhere to the open access code of conduct. Rather, they are following a business model where the researcher pays to publish, while the predatory journal fails to provide even base services or indexing for your paper. The problem is that we often receive e-mails from legitimate start-up open access journals, and people need to separate the two. Jeffrey Beall has developed a set of guidelines to help you determine the legitimacy of the journal, as well as providing a list of known predatory publishers. These are great resources to ensure that you do not get duped.

4 comments:

smallpondscience.com said...

Actually, I got one of those review requests today, but it was a paper of a buddy of mine! Then I looked into it, and it was a newish journal with which I wasn't yet familiar, but it's totally legit, and mighty good it seems, but outside my normal subfield.

Also, keep in mind that while they're predatory, the prey aren't just people who are duped, but also those desperate for publications and have universities that don't know the difference or don't care. I've got a little more on this at:

http://smallpondscience.com/2013/02/14/the-evolution-of-pseudojournals/

Marten said...

My comment is rather slightly related but still...Do we need more journals? To me it looks that someone see a chance of monetary profit with it, otherwise they wouldn't do it. But does the already overloaded scientific circus needs more journals? I know, we have so many researchers, up tp 80% rejection rates (or even more) in "normal" journals but on the other hand, you get lost in the vast amount of journals and hence your work might be not visible enough anymore. Or do I get something wrong here? And I do not speak of finding reviewers for new journals which is as far as I experienced it, even harder. How to convince a reseracher with a huge amount of workload to review a paper in a totally unknown journal? Ok, we shouldn't care too much about the journals names but about the content, but still that's not the mean reality...

Marc Cadotte said...

Yes, we absolutely need to be careful to avoid lumping any new journal in with the predators. New journals can be very innovative (e.g., PLoS One five or six years ago).

Marc Cadotte said...

Marten,
This is a difficult issue. as more people do research, their work requires outlets. We are beyond the era where a single worker can read all the published papers in a broad area. Perhaps megajournals like PLoS One provide an important service as a repository for many studies.