+Jeffrey Beall is the target of a dishonest smear campaign. This is his reward for investigating scam OA journals that give OA a bad name.

His work has generated some good-faith disagreement about which journals deserve his criticism. Fair enough. But his work has also triggered some nasty guerrilla counter-attacks. For example, some of his enemies have forged emails in his name pretending to demand money in order to remove publishers from his list of predatory publishers. 

Some of his enemies have forged emails from others in the OA movement attacking Beall and his work. I know this is happening because someone recently forged an email in my name for just that purpose.

These attacks are contemptible. 

We should identify scam OA journals, shame them, and advise authors and readers against them. Beall is one of the leaders doing this work and I applaud him for it.

+Richard Poynder has done a good deal of this work as well, and has received his share of dishonest attacks. As early as 2008, +Stevan Harnad and I wrote a public letter supporting Poynder's work and condemning the tactics of those trying to silence him.

I support this kind of investigative work in part because scam OA journals deceive and defraud scholars. I also support it in order to prevent the stigma created by dishonest OA journals from spreading to the vast majority of honest OA journals. 

For some of my own take on scam OA journals, see my 2009 article, "Ten challenges for open-access journals" (first delivered as a talk to OA journal editors and publishers). Here's an excerpt:

"Are OA journals a scam? Are fee-based OA journals a scam? Are some fee-based OA journals scams? Do some observers believe that some fee-based OA journals are scams? Does this belief harm OA journals as a class? Although you edit or publish OA journals yourself, you probably gave one, two, or three 'yes' answers to these five questions. That's the challenge....My recommendation is two-sided. On the one hand, don't be the last to criticize dishonest practices and low standards. The longer you hesitate, the more it appears that you will overlook a journal's vices as long as it is OA....On the other hand, don't create a hostile or unwelcoming environment for new start-ups....The OASPA [Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association] code of conduct is a beacon here. Not only does it say the right things...It is the voice of OA publishers themselves, not critics of OA publishers. It shows that OA publishers are willing to articulate these norms and willing to enforce them. It's public self-regulation....[T]he Davis/Anderson hoax from June 2009 <http://goo.gl/mzq2W>...made all OA journals look bad....You might quarrel with the word "all"....Not all OA journals that...charge fees take the money and fail to deliver honest peer review, or even a cursory human glance....The actual number of journals like TOISCIJ [The Open Information Science Journal] is very small. But most people who hear about the Davis/Anderson hoax don't understand the distinctions among OA journals, just as most people who heard about the 1996 Sokal hoax didn't understand the distinctions among cultural studies journals or even among humanities journals. Jumping to the conclusion that the problem lies with OA as such or publication fees as such is not justified and not fair. But that's the challenge. By contrast, TA journal scams –-like the nine fake journals published by Elsevier–- seldom trigger generalizations about the faults of TA journals as such. From long familiarity, most academics have learned to discriminate among TA journals. But most are still learning to discriminate among OA journals...."

#oa #openaccess   #predatory_publishers
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