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Thursday, June 6 • 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Minding Your Ps and Qs: Predatory Journals, Piracy, and Quality Questions

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Once upon a time, serials librarians could point to a clear delineation between quality journals and those that didn’t measure up. The rise of predatory journals and the dubious methods they use to attract researchers to publish in them is creating disruption in the scholarly publishing landscape. One result is a blurring of the lines between what should be in library collections and what shouldn’t. Additionally, less experienced scholars are confused about where to publish and even distinguished academics can unknowingly agree to be on editorial boards or even become editors of problematic journals.

Two views of this challenging landscape will be presented. The first presentation, from a former academic/corporate librarian and currently editor of a magazine for librarians, outlines dangers such as pirated versions of scholarly articles and concerns that inappropriate, incorrect, and incoherent “sting” articles being accepted in open access journals have soured the general public on the expertise of scientists. In a “fake news” world, debasing scholarly research is a potent threat to academic disciplines and to libraries. Ideas on how to identify publishers who might be predatory and guard against researchers publishing in their journals will be provided, given the demise of Beall’s list and the huge growth in the subscription lists published by Cabells. Practical tips for librarians dealing with piracy and predatory publishing will focus on the need for quality, the marketing of library services in support of scholarly communication, and connecting with our varied communities that are affected by a diminution of authority of valid scholarly research.

The second presentation, from the head of the U.S ISSN Center, recounts the experiences of ISSN staff on the front lines of dealing with the full range of new publishers and explores the broader questions raised by the predatory publishing phenomenon. Libraries, academia, traditional publishers, and others need to continue grappling with their roles and responsibilities regarding this new reality. Are all start-up open access journals predatory? Are blacklists or whitelists the answer given the controversy and about Beall’s List and the potential for bias in any blacklist? What part does the open-access trend play? Are cosmetic flaws such as poor English in front matter always indicative of low quality articles? Can good research be found in non-mainstream journals? Even more fundamentally, what are the market forces and online environment characteristics that have given rise to this situation? What role and responsibility do the large subscription publishers have? Is predatory publishing an unanticipated consequence of the high cost of traditional journals? What is the information community now doing and what can it change in order to at least mitigate the worst aspects of the new publishing landscape.

avatar for Marydee Ojala

Marydee Ojala

Editor-in-Chief, Online Searcher
Marydee Ojala is the Editor-in-Chief of Online Searcher magazine (www.infotoday.com/onlinesearcher) and Editor of ILI 365 eNews (www.infotoday.eu). A frequent speaker at library and technology conferences worldwide, she also serves as program director for a number of conferences... Read More →
avatar for Regina Romano Reynolds

Regina Romano Reynolds

Director, U.S. ISSN Center, Library of Congress
Regina Romano Reynolds is director of the U.S. ISSN Center and head of the ISSN Section at the Library of Congress. She was a member of the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee and co-chaired the internal LC group that recommended LC projects based on the report of the Working Group... Read More →

Thursday June 6, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm EDT
Monongahela - 17th Floor