Marketing via Email Solicitation by Predatory (and Legitimate) Journals: An Evaluation of Quality, Frequency and Relevance

Authors: Warren Burggren, Dilip K. Madasu, Kevin S. Hawkins, Martin Halbert

INTRODUCTION

Open access (OA) journals have proliferated in recent years. Many journals are highly reputable, delivering on the promise of open access to research as an alternative to traditional, subscriptionbased journals.

Yet some OA journals border on, or clearly fall within, the realm of so-called “predatory journals.” Most discussion of such journals has focused on the quality of articles published within them.

Considerably less attention has been paid to the marketing practices of predatory journals—primarily their mass e-mailing—and to the impact that this practice may have on recipients’ perception of OA journals as a whole.

METHODS

This study analyzed a subset of the 1,816 e-mails received by a single university biology faculty member during a 24-month period (2015 and 2016) with an update from December 2017 and January 2018.

RESULTS

Of those e-mails sent in 2015, approximately 37% were copies or near-copies of previous e-mail messages sent to the recipient, less than 25% of e-mails from predatory journals mentioned publication fees, only about 30% of soliciting journals were listed in DOAJ, and only about 4% had an identifiable impact factor.

While most e-mails indicated a purported familiarity with, and respect for, the recipient, more than two thirds of the e-mails did not, implying use of mass-e-mailing methodologies.

Almost 80% of the e-mail solicitations had grammar and/or spelling mistakes. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, only a staggeringly small 4% of e-mails were judged highly relevant to the recipient’s area of expertise.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

In light of the marketing practices of many predatory journals, we advocate specific instructions for librarians, faculty mentors, and administrators of legitimate OA journals as they interact with new researchers, junior faculty, and other professionals learning how to discern the quality of journals that send direct e-mail solicitations.

URL : Marketing via Email Solicitation by Predatory (and Legitimate) Journals: An Evaluation of Quality, Frequency and Relevance

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2246

Negative Effects of “Predatory” Journals on Global Health Research

Authors : Diego A. Forero, Marilyn H. Oermann, Andrea Manca, Franca Deriu, Hugo Mendieta-Zerón, Mehdi Dadkhah, Roshan Bhad, Smita N. Deshpande, Wei Wang, Myriam Patricia Cifuentes

Predatory journals (PJ) exploit the open-access model promising high acceptance rate and fast track publishing without proper peer review. At minimum, PJ are eroding the credibility of the scientific literature in the health sciences as they actually boost the propagation of errors.

In this article, we identify issues with PJ and provide several responses, from international and interdisciplinary perspectives in health sciences.

Authors, particularly researchers with limited previous experience with international publications, need to be careful when considering potential journals for submission, due to the current existence of large numbers of PJ.

Universities around the world, particularly in developing countries, might develop strategies to discourage their researchers from submitting manuscripts to PJ or serving as members of their editorial committees.

URL : Negative Effects of “Predatory” Journals on Global Health Research

DOI : http://doi.org/10.29024/aogh.2389

What Value Do Journal Whitelists and Blacklists Have in Academia?

Authors : Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Panagiotis Tsigaris

This paper aims to address the issue of predatory publishing, sensu lato. To achieve this, we offer our perspectives, starting initially with some background surrounding the birth of the concept, even though the phenomenon may have already existed long before the popularization of the term “predatory publishing”.

The issue of predation or “predatory” behavior in academic publishing is no longer limited to open access (OA). Many of the mainstream publishers that were exclusively subscription-based are now evolving towards a state of complete OA.

Academics seeking reliable sources of journals to publish their work tend to rely on a journal’s metrics such as citations and indexing, and on whether it is blacklisted or whitelisted.

Jeffrey Beall raised awareness of the risks of “predatory” OA publishing, and his blacklists of “predatory” OA journals and publishers began to be used for official purposes to distinguish valid from perceived invalid publishing venues.

We initially reflect on why we believe the blacklists created by Beall were flawed, primarily due to the weak set of criteria confusing non-predatory with true predatory journals leading to false positives and missing out on blacklisting true predatory journals due to false negatives.

Historically, most critiques of “predatory publishing” have relied excessively on Beall’s blacklists to base their assumptions and conclusions but there is a need to look beyond these.

There are currently a number of blacklists and whitelists circulating in academia, but they all have imperfections, such as the resurrected Beall blacklists, Crawford’s OA gray list based on Beall’s lists, Cabell’s new blacklist with about 11,000 journals, the DOAJ with about 11,700 OA journals, and UGC, with over 32,600 journals prior to its recent (May 2018) purge of 4305 journals.

The reader is led into a discussion about blacklists’ lack of reliability, using the scientific framework of conducting research to assess whether a journal could be predatory at the pre- and post-study levels. We close our discussion by offering arguments why we believe blacklists are academically invalid.

URL : What Value Do Journal Whitelists and Blacklists Have in Academia?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2018.09.017

Predatory Publishers using Spamming Strategies for Call for Papers and Review Requests : A Case Study

Author : Alexandru-Ionut Petrisor

Spam e-mail and calls from the predatory publishers are very similar in purpose: they are deceptive and produce material losses. Moreover, the predatory publishers show evolving strategies to lure potential victims, as their number increases. In an effort to help researchers defending against their constant menace, this article aims to identify a set of common features of spam e-mail and calls from predatory publishers.

The methodology consisted of a comparative analysis of data found on the Internet and e-mails received at several addresses during December 2017 – January 2018. The results indicate that concealed, fake or disguised identity of the sender and/or of the message, mass mailing, missing or useless opt-out option and an obvious commercial character are the most prominent common features.

Moreover, the location of predatory publishers is well disguised; the analysis of the real location, found using web-based tools, suggests a joint management or at least a concerted action of several publishers, and raises additional questions related to the reasons of masking the true location.

From a theoretical standpoint, the results show, once again, that predatory publishers are a part of the worldwide scam, and should be ‘convicted’ in a similar way, including the means of legal actions. From a practical perspective, distinct recommendations were phrased for researchers, policy makers, libraries, and future research.

URL : Predatory Publishers using Spamming Strategies for Call for Papers and Review Requests : A Case Study

Alternative location : http://publications.drdo.gov.in/ojs/index.php/djlit/article/view/12551

‘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

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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