Predatory points

August 17, 2017

The 10 August issue of Times Higher Education had two articles the same topic – predatory journals. One, by Roger Watson (“Fight fraudulent journals”, Opinion), offers suggestions to universities on how to educate academics about the dangers of predatory journals and suggests the need to consider penalties if academics refuse to take the advice offered.

The other article (“Beall: ‘social justice warrior’ librarians are ‘betraying’ academy”, News) offers Jeffrey Beall a platform to promote his weird, evidence-free claim that librarians refuse to recognise the dangers of said journals (simply untrue), and that their motivation for this imaginary approach is their political bias against profit-making publishers.

Librarians’ primary interest is not politics but rather cost-effective provision of information to their patrons, and they understandably dislike the monopoly hold of publishers such as Elsevier, whose net profit margins make the likes of Apple or Amazon jealous.

Charles Oppenheim
Visiting professor at several UK universities

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