Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Introduction to this blog

Barely a week goes by when I am not asked to submit an article to or become an editor of the Journal of This or That. One such missive is from Maple Xiao of the Canadian Center of Science and Education. Less than a week after I posted a 38-year-old book review on the Social Science Research Network, Ms. Xiao pounced:
I have the honor to read your paper "Book Review, The Right and the Power: The Prosecution of Watergate", and really appreciate your contributions in this area. As the editorial assistant of Journal of Management and Sustainability, I write to invite you to submit manuscripts to our journal.
Apparently, "management and sustainability" embraces a wide swath of subjects. (The book review asked whether it was proper for a former prosecutor to disclose previously private information about the subjects of the criminal investigations, and it questioned the justifications given by former Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski for some of his decisions.)

The Canadian Center of Science and Education "publishes many open-access journals and ... is now threatening to sue [Jeffrey Beall] for alleged defamation and libel." 1/ Beall, an academic librarian, lists it among the swelling ranks of "potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers."

Although the problem is widely recognized, 2/ this blog contains excerpts from some of the academic journal spam that reaches me. Observations about some of the purveyors also are included.

  1. Declan Butler, Investigating journals: The Dark Side of Publishing The Explosion in Open-access Publishing Has Fuelled the Rise of Questionable Operators, 495 Nature 433 (2013); Colleen Flaherty, Librarians and Lawyers, Inside Higher Education, Feb 15, 2013, I am not sure if it is merely duplicates Beall's list, but the list at Fake Research Journal Publishers,, is easy to scan.
  2. E.g., John D. Bowman, Predatory Publishing, Questionable Peer Review, and Fraudulent Conferences, 78 Am. J. Pharm. Educ. 176 (2014), doi: 10.5688/ajpe7810176,; Jocalyn Clark & Richard Smith, Firm Action Needed on Predatory Journals, 350 Brit. Med. J. h210 (2015), doi:,; Kevin Carey, Fake Academe, Looking Much Like the Real Thing, N.Y. Times, Dec. 30, 2016,; Gina Kolata, Scientific Articles Accepted (Personal Checks, Too), N.Y. Times, Apr. 7, 2013; David Moher & Ester Moher, Stop Predatory Publishers Now: Act Collaboratively, Annals Internal Med. (2016),; Karen Palmer, Timothy Caulfield & Maureen Taylor, Is Canadian Research Falling Prey to Predatory Journals?, Healthy Debate, Jan. 19, 2017,; Cenyu Shen & Bo-Christer Bj√∂rk, ‘Predatory’ Open Access: A Longitudinal Study of Article Volumes and Market Characteristics, 13 BMC Medicine 230 (2015), DOI: 10.1186/s12916-015-0469-2, .

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