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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers? (Papers: Martin Paul Eve and Ernesto Priego | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 9, 2017

Abstract: ‘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.

Keywords: Open Access, Scholarly Communications, Predatory Publishing, Evaluative Cultures, Academia

Eve PM & Priego E (2017) Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers? Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society. 15(2)
Publisher (Open access):

This thought-provoking open access paper explores an important question that is often not carefully considered: Who is actually harmed by predatory publishers? The answer to that question then inevitably prompts a reflection on why those harms occur and perhaps provides a frame for discussions about publication ethics with HDR candidates and other early career researchers. See the August 2017 post in the Research Ethics Monthly blog by Israel and Allen ( about identifying where not to publish.

AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics policy0

Posted by Admin in on October 7, 2017

The purpose of the American Geophysical Union is to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. Scientific integrity and ethics are fundamental to scientific advancement and science cannot flourish without the respectful and equitable treatment of all those engaged in the scientific community. The AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy is a set of principles and practices for professional behavior regarding the practice, learning, training, publishing, and communication of science which governs all AGU members, staff, volunteers, and non-members participating in AGU sponsored programs and activities. The Policy has been revised to include a new code of conduct that broadens the definition of professional misconduct to include discrimination, sexual harassment, and bullying. The revised Policy identifies standards for professional behavior and outlines processes for reporting and addressing violations.

Access the American Geophysical Union research integrity policy
24/03/2017 – Updated AGU Ethics Policy Available for Member Comment

Clickbait and impact: how academia has been hacked – LSE Impact Blog (Portia Roelofs & Max Gallien | September 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 6, 2017

It has become increasingly clear that prevailing academic incentive structures have a potentially damaging and distorting effect on the nature of academic debates. Portia Roelofs and Max Gallien use the example of a controversial recent journal publication to illustrate how deliberately provocative articles have the capacity to hack academia, to privilege clicks and attention over rigour in research. This is consistent with equally troubling trends in the wider news media; where equal prominence is seemingly always afforded to extreme opposing views, where actual progress in debates becomes impossible, and false dissent is created on issues which are overwhelmingly sites of academic consensus.

Last week, development studies journal Third World Quarterly published an article that, by many common metrics used in academia today, will be the most successful in its 38-year history. The paper has, in a few days, already achieved a higher Altmetric Attention Score than any other TWQ paper. By the rules of modern academia, this is a triumph. The problem is, the paper is not.

The article, “The case for colonialism”, is a travesty, the academic equivalent of a Trump tweet, clickbait with footnotes. Its author, Bruce Gilley, a professor at the Department of Political Science at Portland State University, sets out to question the “orthodoxy” of the last 100 years that has given colonialism a bad name. He argues that western colonialism was “as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate”, and goes on to say that instead of taking a critical view of colonial and imperial history, we should be “recolonising some areas” and “creating new Western colonies from scratch”.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Also see
20/09/2017 – Resignations at ‘Third World Quarterly’

The extent of South African authored articles in predatory journals (Papers: Johann Mouton & Astrid Valentine | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 30, 2017

We present a first estimate of the extent of predatory publishing amongst South African academics. This estimate is based on an analysis of all South African authored papers that qualified for subsidy over the period 2005 to 2014. The analysis shows that 4246 South African papers were published in 48 journals which we re-classified (refining Beall’s classification) as either being probably or possibly predatory. A breakdown of these papers by year shows that the greatest increase in predatory publishing has occurred since 2011. Results are also presented of the distribution of these papers by individual university and scientific field. We conclude with some suggestions about predatory publishing and its pervasive consequence for our trust in science and how this should be addressed by the major stakeholders in the South African higher education system.

This study is the first to analyse the extent of predatory publishing in South Africa.

predatory publishing; scholarly publishing; South Africa; open access journals; DHET funding framework

Mouton J, Valentine A. (2017) The extent of South African authored articles in predatory journals. South African Journal of Science, 113(7/8), Art. #2017-0010.
Publisher (open access):

Also see South Africa has spent millions…
Also see ‘Dodgy’ articles in academic journals threatens…