A recent New York Times article recently discussed the proliferation of predatory journals and conferences, stating the number of both has exploded in recent years due to the growth of open access as a scientific publishing business model.Open access publishing, also known as OA, is the free, permanent online access to the full text of research articles for anyone, anywhere. The cost of publication is met by the author, author’s funding body, or author’s institution in what is known as the gold route. NGWA’s Groundwater® and Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation® are hybrid journals in that they are member-based journals that will publish open access content for a fee.The New York Times article stated as scientific publishing has shifted from a traditional business model for professional societies and organizations built almost entirely on subscription revenues to open access there are now more and more predatory journals that will print “seemingly anything for a fee” and that “nonexperts doing online research will have trouble distinguishing credible research from junk.” Some of the predatory journals are even hosting conferences in which speakers are charged a fee and nearly everyone is accepted as a speaker.The New York Times article stated: Researchers say that universities are facing new challenges in assessing the résumés of academics. Are the publications they list in highly competitive journals or ones masquerading as such? And some academics themselves say they have found it difficult to disentangle themselves from these journals once they mistakenly agree to serve on their editorial boards.The phenomenon has caught the attention of Nature, one of the most competitive and well-regarded scientific journals. In a news report published recently, the journal noted “the rise of questionable operators” and explored whether it was better to blacklist them or to create a “white list” of those open-access journals that meet certain standards. Nature included a checklist on “how to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or a publisher.”Jeffrey Beall, a research librarian at the University of Colorado in Denver, has developed his own blacklist of what he calls “predatory open-access journals.” There were 20 publishers on his list in 2010, and now there are more than 300. He estimates that there are as many as 4000 predatory journals today, at least 25% of the total number of open-access journals.“It’s almost like the word is out,” he said. “This is easy money, very little work, a low barrier start-up.”Journals on what has become known as “Beall’s list” generally do not post the fees they charge on their Web sites and may not even inform authors of them until after an article is submitted. They barrage academics with e-mail invitations to submit articles and to be on editorial boards.Click here to view the New York Times article.Click here to see Jeffrey Beall’s list of predatory open-access journals.
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