Predatory journals

Critical notes #05

John H. McCool wrote this story in The Scientist (June 2017, p.23), in an article titled “Why I published in a Predatory Journal.”

As part of his campaign to unmask the so-called “predatory journals” (“academic”, open access, low-quality journals that invite authors to publish and charge them a large amount of money), he answered a call-for-papers from the Urology & Nephrology Open Access Journal, belonging to the infamous MedCrave Group.

He wrote a completely made-up article, based on the TV series Seinfeld. According to the author himself, he included a terrible amount of ridicule stuff in the text, which could have been detected even by a layman in the matter, with a simple Google search.

After going through a supposed peer review, the journal’s editors announced that his article had been accepted. And they wanted to charge him $800 for publishing it.

A popular list of confirmed and suspected “predatory journals” is Jeffrey Beall’s, with more than a thousand titles.

And yes: they also exist among Librarianship and Information Sciences.

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