‘Predatory’ Open Access Journals as Parody: Exposing the Limitations of ‘Legitimate’ Academic Publishing

Author : Kirsten Bell

The concept of the ‘predatory’ publisher has today become a standard way of characterising a new breed of open access journals that seem to be more concerned with making a profit than disseminating academic knowledge.

This essay presents an alternative view of such publishers, arguing that if we treat them as parody instead of predator, a far more nuanced reading emerges. Viewed in this light, such journals destabilise the prevailing discourse on what constitutes a ‘legitimate’ journal, and, indeed, the nature of scholarly knowledge production itself.

Instead of condemning them outright, their growth should therefore encourage us to ask difficult but necessary questions about the commercial context of knowledge production, prevailing conceptions of quality and value, and the ways in which they privilege scholarship from the ‘centre’ and exclude that from the ‘periphery’.

URL : ‘Predatory’ Open Access Journals as Parody: Exposing the Limitations of ‘Legitimate’ Academic Publishing

Alternative location : http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/870

Incidence of predatory journals in computer science literature

Authors : Simona Ibba, Filippo Eros Pani, John Gregory Stockton, Giulio Barabino, Michele Marchesi, Danilo Tigano


One of the main tasks of a researcher is to properly communicate the results he obtained. The choice of the journal in which to publish the work is therefore very important. However, not all journals have suitable characteristics for a correct dissemination of scientific knowledge.

Some publishers turn out to be unreliable and, against a payment, they publish whatever researchers propose. The authors call “predatory journals” these untrustworthy journals.

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the incidence of predatory journals in computer science literature and present a tool that was developed for this purpose.


The authors focused their attention on editors, universities and publishers that are involved in this kind of publishing process. The starting point of their research is the list of scholarly open-access publishers and open-access stand-alone journals created by Jeffrey Beall.

Specifically, they analysed the presence of predatory journals in the search results obtained from Google Scholar in the engineering and computer science fields. They also studied the change over time of such incidence in the articles published between 2011 and 2015.


The analysis shows that the phenomenon of predatory journals somehow decreased in 2015, probably due to a greater awareness of the risks related to the reputation of the authors.


We focused on computer science field, using a specific sample of queries. We developed a software to automatically make queries to the search engine, and to detect predatory journals, using Beall’s list.

URL : Incidence of predatory journals in computer science literature

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1108/LR-12-2016-0108

Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

Authors : Martin Paul Eve, Ernesto Priego

“Predatory publishing” refers to conditions under which gold open-access academic publishers claim to conduct peer review and charge for their publishing services but do not, in fact, actually perform such reviews.

Most prominently exposed in recent years by Jeffrey Beall, the phenomenon garners much media attention. In this article, we acknowledge that such practices are deceptive but then examine, across a variety of stakeholder groups, what the harm is from such actions to each group of actors.

We find that established publishers have a strong motivation to hype claims of predation as damaging to the scholarly and scientific endeavour while noting that, in fact, systems of peer review are themselves already acknowledged as deeply flawed.

URL : Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

Alternative location : http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/867