Blog Archives

Predatory Journals

The problem

Hundreds of new open access journals are being set up by reputable publishers, scholarly societies and universities each year. Unfortunately, alongside these reputable journals, an increasing number of pay-to-publish “vanity” journals continue to appear. Such journals are referred to as ‘predatory’ or ‘bogus’ journals. Some academic authors are being scammed into submitting their research outputs to be published in these journals that do not have proper quality control or peer review processes.

The risks

  • No proper peer review is carried out to preserve the quality of the research output.
  • Damage to the reputation of the researcher and institution.
  • Researchers and institutions lend their reputation to a disreputable publication.
  • Negative impact on the REF submission if the publication is not detected.
  • Your article will most likely not be able to be published elsewhere.
  • Copyright would likely be retained by the publisher.

How to check for predatory journals?

Think   Check   Submit  – Provides a checklist of questions that can be used to identify trusted journals.

Look out for the following warning signs:

  • Board of Editors list shows that members are not recognised in their field or that they are affiliated with questionable institutions; however, this should be done with caution, as Board member names may be used without their permission.
  • Journals with dubious or non-existent addresses for their registered office.
  • Unsolicited email or paper communication inviting publication in journals you don’t know or have never heard of.
  • Unsolicited invitations to conferences run by event managers, not professionals in the research area, often at attractive destinations.
  • Note – Legitimate new journals acknowledge if they are newly created and do not yet have an impact factor.

Further steps to undertake:

  • Consult the Directory of Open Access Journals for reputable journals (doaj.org)
  • Check the publisher’s membership of Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (oaspa.org), Committee on Publication Ethics (www.publicationethics.org), and International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (www.stm-assoc.org).
  • Reputable journals typically will be listed in the Journal Citation Report.
  • Resist the temptation to publish quickly and easily in any journal. Be aware of the publication landscape in your research area and the most reputable journals (check with your research leader if unsure).
  • Jeffrey Beall (librarian at the University of Colorado Denver) has also created lists of ‘Potential, possible or predatory’ scholarly open access journals and publishers. This list is controversial and has been debated, however it has been listed on many university webpages.

Related articles and blogs

University of Edinburgh Standards in Open Access scholarly communication: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/research-support/publish-research/open-access/1.108824

Jeffery Beall’s website on scholarly Open Access: http://scholarlyoa.com/

‘Investigating Journals: The dark side of publishing’ by Declan Butler (in Nature): http://www.nature.com/news/investigating-journals-the-dark-side-of-publishing-1.12666

Berger, Monica and Jill Cirasella. “Beyond Beall’S List Better Understanding Predatory Publishers“. Crln.acrl.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.

Further Information

If you have any further questions on the information displayed here or if you would like advice on a specific journal please contact us at OpenAccess@northampton.ac.uk.

Think.Check.Submit – evaluating a journal for publication

Think Check Submit logoIf you are considering submitting an article to a journal that is new to you then you may be interested in the new Think.Check.Submit tool from a coalition of publishers and organisations with an interest in scholarly publishing.

The tool comprises a checklist to help researchers assess the credentials of a journal publisher.  Completing the checklist will enable you to decide whether a journal can be trusted with your work.

If you find this helpful you may also be interested in my earlier post: Spotting the ‘predatory’ publisher.

Online tutorials for PGR students and early career researchers

There are now five new interactive tutorials on the Skills Hub.  You will find them in a new section ‘Postgraduate Research Skills‘ on the ‘Academic Skills‘ tab.

  • Author bibliometrics – examines the key author bibliometrics and their use
  • Journal bibliometrics – explores the use of impact factors and other metrics for ranking journals
  • Journals and articles – addresses your publication strategy, journal types and what makes a ‘good’ paper
  • Other forms of publishing – covers posters, exhibitions, creative works, website authoring and Open Access publishing
  • Networking – making the most of face to face and online networking with fellow researchers

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Google Scholar Chrome extension: features and RefWorks integration

If you use Google Chrome and Google Scholar, you’ll probably be interested in the recently released Scholar Chrome extension. I gave the extension a whirl, and here are my notes – including details of its support for RefWorks and Find My Reference.

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Wellcome Trust takes publishers to task

The Wellcome Trust has long had an open access policy, expecting all the authors that they fund to make their published outputs available immediately upon publication in an open access form.Wellcome Trust London

However, in recent years they have stepped up their compliance monitoring, not only of their authors’ publishing behaviours, but also of the publishers’ practices subsequent to publication.

This post, published this week, analyses Wellcome Trust open access spending for the year 2013-2014.  It makes fascinating reading.

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Should you trust that publisher?

It has been a bit of a week (already) for publishers of dubious intent to clutter my Inbox.

ScPubI must clearly be a researcher of world leading renown (not) to be so sought after.  SciencePG has this very morning invited me not only to propose a special issue of a journal but to guest edit it too!  Yesterday it was a different publisher and I have no doubt there will be further invitations coming along soon.

Some of these publishers appear to be very plausible.  They offer open access, short lead times, ‘free’ submission and they may even allow me to retain my own copyright.  So far so good.  The sting in the tail comes from the large fees demanded on publication, the absence of any rigorous peer review process and the poor quality of the dissemination. Read the rest of this entry

PGR student induction: Making the most of the library

Thank you to all the new research students who worked so hard in today’s session in the library.

Given how many tools we covered in the morning, I thought it might be helpful to provide a list of these, with links, so you can revisit them later at your leisure.  You’ll see that there are a few extra tools that were mentioned today but not explored.

We started by looking at university and external resources:

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New Education resources

Hannah Rose, Academic Librarian for Education, tells me that the British Education Index has just moved to the EBSCO platform.  In addition, we also now have access to three other resources as part of our subscription:

  • Child Development & Adolescent Studies
  • Education Abstracts
  • Educational Administration Abstracts

The new resources can be found in NELSON, or directly through the A-Z list of databases.

Researchers needing help with finding resources in Education subjects can contact Hannah directly; for other specialist subjects please contact your School’s Academic Librarian.

Searching for open access articles

FAQ: I am creating an online resource and would like to ensure that my reading list comprises only texts that are open access (OA). Where can I find suitable content?OAlogo

There are plenty of open access articles and papers out there, if you know where to look. In the list below I have focused on text based materials rather than other resource types.

General repository search (all subjects):

  • CORE – harvests a large number of repositories, claiming to index over 20 million articles.
  • OAIster – now run by WorldCat – includes 30 million records, including text, audio, video, images and datasets.
  • Digital Commons Network – has a colourful subject wheel to facilitate browsing; indexes repositories supported by Digital Commons software.
  • OpenDOAR repository search and Registry of Open Access Repositories – OpenDOAR and ROAR are both registries of repositories; they each have a Google Custom Search box to enable searching of content.

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Free access to Liverpool University Press journals during April 2014

LUP logoTo celebrate its tenth birthday, Liverpool University Press is making all of its journal content free for the month of April.

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