Wednesday, 21 January 2015

BMJ Editorial Firm action needed on predatory journals


Firm action needed on predatory journals

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 17 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h210

  1. Jocalyn Clark, executive editor and assistant professor of medicine,
  2. Richard Smith, chair
  1. Correspondence to: J Clark
They’re harming researchers in low and middle income countries most, but everyone must fight back
The rapid rise of predatory journals—publications taking large fees without providing robust editorial or publishing services—has created what some have called an age of academic racketeering.1 Predatory journals recruit articles through aggressive marketing and spam emails, promising quick review and open access publication for a price. There is little if any quality control and virtually no transparency about processes and fees. Their motive is financial gain, and they are corrupting the communication of science. Their main victims are institutions and researchers in low and middle income countries, and the time has come to act rather than simply to decry them.
Unfortunately, predatory publishing is often confused with open access publishing, whereby studies are free to all and can be reused for many purposes. Legitimate open access publishing—which has widely benefited scientific communication—uses all the professional and ethical practices associated with the best science publishing. Predatory publishing upholds few if any of the best practices yet demands payment for publishing. Under traditional models of publishing librarians were sophisticated purchasers of subscriptions, but in this new model many individual researchers are unable to distinguish between reputable and predatory …

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Re: Firm action needed on predatory journals

Thank you so much to the editors for this recent editorial on predatory publishing practices. As you noted, this is a huge problem and getting worse by the minute.
I fully agree with your recommendation that journals and journal editors have a responsibility to raise awareness among their authors, readers, reviewers, and publishers and "should publish something." To this end, the International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE) has established an initiative on Open Access, Editorial Standards and Predatory Publishing. This came about after our annual meeting last summer, at which Jeffrey Beall was one of the keynote speakers.
Our first step was to create a collaborative document, "Predatory Publishers: What Editors Need to Know." This was published in September in Nurse Author & Editor and can be found here:
We made this document available to any nursing editor who wanted to use it as a basis for an editorial in his or her journal. So far 7 editorials have been published, as well as a reprint of the paper, and a blog post. More editorials are in the pipeline. We are keeping track of these publications at the INANE website:
As INANE leaders, we are proud of our efforts in this regard. We are glad that you concur that our approach is appropriate and important in addressing this increasingly problematic issue.
Thank you.
Competing interests: No competing interests