Faculty are inundated with email invitations to publish in scholarly journals or to serve on their editorial boards. Many of these solicitations are completely valid, but an increasing number of these journals are engaging in predatory publishing practices.
Predatory publishing, a term coined by Jeffrey Beall, a librarian and associate professor at the University of Colorado, Denver, is an unwanted and undesirable side effect of the open access movement and Beall has become widely known as the “go-to guy” when it comes to checking the validity, authenticity, or value of these invitations.
Beall maintains several resources that are great tools for promotion boards, hiring committees, and, as it turns out, librarians. The renowned Beall’s List of predatory publishers lists “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly Open-access publishers,” on his Scholarly Open access blog. Additionally, Beall maintains a list of standalone journals and a list of criteria—covering everything from editors, staff, and business management to transparency, integrity, journal standards, and publishing practices—for identifying predatory Open-access publishers.
The Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies (CAS) has been a frequent users of Beall’s list, since nationally and internationally recognized researchers at the Center are primary targets of invitations to participate in scholarly communication in various ways. Addiction science has been experiencing an influx of new journals and conferences, akin to health sciences.
Judit Ward and William Bejarano have been monitoring this trend in the field at CAS and had the opportunity to interview Beall at the annual conference of the Substance Abuse Librarians & Information Specialists and the Association of Mental Health Librarians in May 2016 in Denver.
In the July issue of The Agenda, we invited you to read part one of this interview in the Center of Alcohol Studies Information Services Newsletter, in which Beall explains how he became involved in the growing area of predatory publishing, discusses the most vulnerable groups in academia, and gives an update of the current situation. Part two, focusing on topics of greater interest for librarians, is now available in SALIS News. Beall advocates for educating users about not only predatory publishing, but also the various forms of open access and publishing standards, so that they can avoid the traps of predatory publishers.
– RU Alcohol Library