It was with shock and sadness that I learned today that Jeffrey Beall's list of predatory publishers is no longer.
This is unfortunate for the field — Jeffrey Beall performed a great and valuable service. Given the problems in so many fields with the avalanche of crank journals and predatory publishers, I understand his decision, but I lament it.
For every research field — including our own — it is time to discuss the ways that people can determine on their own whether a journal is predatory or a conference is bogus. Open access publishing by serious publishers under the same conditions as paywall publishing offers a useful approach for some journals, but the flood of problem journals and predatory publishers is causing untold damage and destruction.
Many of us have used Beall's list every day. We sent students and colleagues to the list for up-to-date advice. This leaves a massive gap in the field, and Beall's work will be irreplaceable. I cannot imagine anyone with the capacity to replace Beall's list — and I cannot imagine, given the repeated attacks on his good name and his character, that anyone will dare to step up.
Since reading this news, I have been sitting here, stunned. I feel the way I felt when the Taliban blew up the great Buddhist monuments.
A global mob of barbarians and pirates found a way to use the university system to open a cash flow spigot, turning earnest young researchers into suckers, and flooding the world with garbage publications. Beall created a solution, at least for those who did not wish to benefit from the corrupt predatory system. Over the past three or four years, the number of enterprises in this corrupt business has quadrupled. To me, this was a monumental effort. In the history of mankind, it may not be remembered in the same way that we remember destroyed monuments and looted archeological treasures. But for those concerned with the integrity of research publishing, Beall's List was a high point at a low moment in history.
Jeffrey Beall has many friends and admirers around the world. I am one of them.
Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji University in Cooperation with Elsevier | URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economics-and-innovation/
Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia
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