An academic has succeeded in having his name removed from a listing of the supposed editorial board of a suspected “predatory” journal after his university’s legal department intervened.
Simon Bell, a principal lecturer in graphic design at Coventry University, was alerted to his supposed membership of the editorial board of the International Journal of Education and Research last month, when he was contacted separately by two academics who had paid the journal’s open access fee of $100 (£60) but whose papers had not yet appeared. He had not had any prior contact with the journal.
The journal’s chief editor is listed as Gary Genasko, professor of education at Victoria University. However, no such person can be found in a search of the website of the Melbourne-based institution. The journal purports to operate from Adelaide, but its listed address does not appear when entered into Google Street View.
The journal’s supposed parent organisation, the “Contemporary Research Center Australia”, is included in a well-known list of “potential, possible or probable predatory…publishers” kept by Jeffrey Beall, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver’s Auraria Library. Such publishers present themselves as standard open access journals but, according to Dr Beall, publish all submissions with little or no scrutiny in order to maximise their fee income.
When he discovered that he was listed on the journal’s board, Dr Bell contacted Coventry’s legal services department, which followed up his own email with an official letter demanding his removal. The journal did not respond, but Dr Bell’s name no longer appears on its website.
“I don’t suppose my email did much but the official letter from our head of legal services looks like it has worked,” Dr Bell said.
An email purporting to be from the journal’s editor to Times Higher Education said that Dr Bell’s inclusion was a “spell mistake link. We remove it long days ago. We are really sorry for the inconvenience occurred [sic].”
But Dr Bell remains listed as a member of the academic board of the International Journal of Arts and Commerce, another of Dr Beall’s suspected predatory journals. He said he would ask Coventry’s lawyers to demand his removal, adding that both journals were using the same out-of-date CV that he had originally sent to the International Journal of Arts and Commerce in response to an email circular seeking reviewers.
Most of the papers in the latest issue of the International Journal of Education and Research, dated April 2014, are authored by African academics. However, one paper is co-authored by Paul Miller, a reader in education at Brunel University.
Dr Miller told THE that the journal had been chosen by his co-author and “mentee”, Carmel Roofe-Bowen, a senior lecturer in education at the University of Technology, Jamaica, where Dr Miller used to work. She had responded to a marketing email from the journal, and Dr Miller regretted that he had failed to check the journal’s credentials. “It didn’t cross my mind the journal was predatory,” he said. “We need to be much more judicious before submitting papers.”