"Living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good we can." - Peter Singer
"Common sense is not so common." - Voltaire
“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Scholarly Sting Operation Shines a Light on ‘Predatory’ Journals

Gina Kolata
The New York Times
Originally posted March 22, 2017

Here is an excerpt:

Yet, when Dr. Fraud applied to 360 randomly selected open-access academic journals asking to be an editor, 48 accepted her and four made her editor in chief. She got two offers to start a new journal and be its editor. One journal sent her an email saying, “It’s our pleasure to add your name as our editor in chief for the journal with no responsibilities.”

Little did they know that they had fallen for a sting, plotted and carried out by a group of researchers who wanted to draw attention to and systematically document the seamy side of open-access publishing. While those types of journals began with earnest aspirations to make scientific papers available to everyone, their proliferation has had unintended consequences.

Traditional journals typically are supported by subscribers who pay a fee while authors pay nothing to be published. Nonsubscribers can only read papers if they pay the journal for each one they want to see.

Open-access journals reverse that model. The authors pay and the published papers are free to anyone who cares to read them.

Publishing in an open-access journal can be expensive — the highly regarded Public Library of Science (PLOS) journals charge from $1,495 to $2,900 to publish a paper, with the fee dependent on which of its journals accepts the paper.

Not everyone anticipated what would happen next, or to what extent it would happen.

The article is here.
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