[IRTalk] Predatory journals - A threat to academic credibility

Ina Smith Ina at assaf.org.za
Mon May 22 12:00:55 SAST 2017

Hi Bruce

This such an important issue – I agree … Tax payers money going to these predators, and we should do all we can to stop this practice.

The Directory of Open Access Journals<https://doaj.org/> does great work in terms of evaluating OA journals, and only allows high quality OA journals to be listed in their directory. So we encourage all African and South African scholarly journals to apply for inclusion in DOAJ. Would be great if all editors, librarians on the continent can assist with growing this trusted list of OA journals. After all – created by the community, for the community, and we should all be watch dogs.

The list your refer to the Bealls List?

Would be great to hear what other colleagues on the two mailing lists think?

Kind regards

From: brucellino at gmail.com [mailto:brucellino at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Bruce Becker
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 11:31 AM
To: Ina Smith <Ina at assaf.org.za>
Cc: heligliasa at googlegroups.com; irtalk at lists.lib.sun.ac.za
Subject: Re: [IRTalk] Predatory journals - A threat to academic credibility

Hi Ina,

This is quite a serious problem, we all know. There used to be a project maintained by someone in the U.S. documenting the list of predatory publishers out there, which, if my memory serves me, was shut down due to pressure from the university where he worked. (if someone can remember better than me, please remind us  !)

My point is that it would be extremely useful to have an authoritative list, perhaps reviewed biennially, published by AOSP, or AUU.  These lists are necessarily biased, and perhaps some people may claim that they perpetuate colonial dominance, by discrediting African journals - so some care has to be taken in publishing a list with thorough and transparent methods and results  (hey, what's more Open Science than that !).

Certainly, each institute can decide how to use  such lists - perhaps augment them, contribute back, or ignore them entirely - but at least we would have a source to refer to.

Are there any efforts underway to conduct such research and publish such lists in an authoritative way  ?

Thanks !

On 21 May 2017 at 19:45, Ina Smith <Ina at assaf.org.za<mailto:Ina at assaf.org.za>> wrote:

[cid:image001.jpg at 01D2D2F3.106CB010]<http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20170516082327227>


Predatory journals and their publishers, driven solely by profit motives, are posing an increasing threat to academic credibility and to individual reputations.

“In academia today there is huge pressure to publish, and publish fast,” said Professor Johann Mouton, director of the Centre for Research on Science and Technology, or CREST, and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

“It’s important for university rankings and research metrics. It is important for academic careers – you don’t get ahead if you don’t publish. So academics are now turning to these predatory journals.”

In a recent study undertaken by CREST it was found that 40 PhD students in Ghana had published papers in predatory journals. “They didn’t know they were predatory. But it comes out later when they are up for promotion,” said Mouton.

Developing countries in Asia and Africa are particularly at risk. In Nigeria and Kenya, where there is political pressure to produce PhDs and academic promotion depends on it, postgraduate students frequently opt to publish three papers rather than do a dissertation.
The largest number of papers – 476 – were published in the Journal of Social Sciences, followed by 413 in the African Journal of Business Management and 279 in the Journal of Human Ecology. All three of these journals are produced by publishers that feature on Beall’s list of potential, possible or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers.

The authors came from a broad spectrum of South African universities including those with high rankings. But the authors are not to blame, according to Mouton, as they published in good faith as some of these predatory journals are on the approved listings provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training or DHET. “You can’t blame individuals; they’ve done due diligence.”

But that means the DHET – though they rejected many claims for publication subsidy – may have paid out more than R100 million (US$7.6 million) over the past 10 years for articles that appeared in predatory journals.

Ina Smith
Project Manager: African Open Science Platform<http://africanopenscience.org.za/>
Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
DOAJ Ambassador, Southern Africa Region
LIASA Librarian of the Year 2016

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