Jeff Beall’s List of predatory journals is coming under a lot of criticism, as he is more and more found as being biased primarily towards open-access (online) journals. After reading much about him, I am moving to the camp of those who believe that it should not be the primary source to decide on the quality of a scholarly journal. I would like to find out what is happening in your different institutions of higher education on this list.
Franklin M M White’s Response
As a semi-retired public health scientist still supporting my field, I consider that Jeffrey Beall personifies the proverbial “bull in a china shop”, a person clumsy, aggressive, without care or concern, without self-control. (Source: Wictionary).
His quixotic mission to rid the world of “predatory journals” (a crudely defined term invented by Beall, then sweepingly applied by him and copied by others) is dysfunctional, creating more heat than light. Many of his own blogs do not stand up to critical appraisal. There is a need for more critical evaluation of Beall’sList.
I share the views of H Momen, who recently wrote a review of Beall’s List(s), following Beall’s ad hominem attack on Scielos (disclosure: a system I respect, especially as it offers an invaluable service in archiving and making available a body of health science literature relevant to Latin America and the Caribbean).
Here are Momen’s two main findings, selected verbatim from his review:
“Jeffrey Beall is probably best known for his list of predatory scholarly open access publishers. The list appears to provide a useful service to the academic community in alerting scholars to questionable publications. However, there are two main problems with this list.
1. The list is based on the opinions and judgements of a single person and, therefore, subject to the errors of judgement, prejudices and conflicts of interest inherent in such an approach;
2. The list only includes open access journals, giving the impression that only this model of publication is subject to predatory and questionable practices.”
RG participants may wish to read Momen’s full commentary, reference cited below.
MOMEN, H. Jeffrey Beall and Blacklists. SciELO in Perspective. [viewed 11 October 2015]. Available from:http://blog.scielo.org/en/2015/08/04/jeffrey-beall-and-blacklists/