A couple of years ago, I published in The Kitchen a review of what was then a new product: Cabell’s Blacklist, a directory of journals that are published using questionable, suspicious, or objectively deceitful and dishonest strategies. The Blacklist was designed to take the place of the controversial Beall’s List, which had recently shut down after being operated out of the library office of Jeffrey Beall for about five years. Beall’s List had offered a mixed bag of benefits and problems from the start, and Cabell’s (publisher of a long-respected serials directory) sought to create a more rigorous and consistent version of the same service.
We have written previously about the limitations of black and whites lists (see further reading). Even though this sounds like a promising fee-for-service tool, researchers should continue to engage in due-diligence when considering a publisher.
Thus, the introduction of Cabell’s Blacklist in 2017 was a welcome development. It promised a tool that can be used by authors needing help deciding where to publish, by academics and other employers seeking to check the legitimacy of job applicants’ claimed applications or editorial board memberships, or anyone else interested in monitoring the behavior of deceptive publishers. And for those who question the necessity of such a tool, it’s worth noting that Cabell’s Blacklist currently includes almost 12,000 journals — and its list of titles under consideration for inclusion in the Blacklist comes to over 1,000 more.