Predatory Open Access Publishers

The 2013 list of predatory open access publishers and journals has been released. This year’s list includes over 200 predatory open access publishing operations and over 100 predatory standalone journals.  Last year’s list named only 23 predatory publishers — clearly, there are more and more people out there who don’t really care about high-quality research and just see dollar signs when they learn about the gold open access publishing model. Unfortunately, these shady journals put the reputation of open access more generally at risk.

What, more specifically, are predatory open access publishers?

They are OA publishers whose mission is profit, not dissemination of scholarly information.  It’s not that they publish peer-reviewed scholarship and happen to have fees to cover expenses (a common and perfectly respectable open access model) — no, it’s that they charge fees to make a profit and happen to publish some articles, many of questionable quality, often without any peer review. One of their hallmarks is spamming people with calls for papers and flattering invitations to write or serve as editors — I’ve received many emails like this, and you probably have too.

Don’t fall prey to predatory open access publishers! (And don’t forget that there are predatory and low-quality toll access journals as well!)  Always research a journal’s quality before submitting an article to it!

(For more information, see “‘Predatory’ Open-Access Scholarly Publishers” by predatory-publisher watchdog (and keeper of the list) Jeffrey Beall.)

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