~ 16. April 2012 ~
I was interested in the revelations earlier this year of the "predatory open access" phenomenon—publishers who take on open access publishing as a purely profit-generating enterprise, and neglect quality, professional ethics etc. Jeffrey Beall’s blog is a good way to get a view on how this works (he coined the label), and the Chronicle had a good piece on it several weeks back (alas, behind a paywall; if you’ve got no chronicle.com subscription but do have Academic Search Premier, try this link, though you’ll probably need your proxy; or, LexisNexis Academic).
We’re looking at database adds/drops right now, and just for fun I thought I’d see how many of the publishers on Beall’s current list of predatory publishers are in EBSCO’s Academic Search Complete. Turns out it has 175 journals from 14 of the publishers on that list. (A few of these are marked as "coming soon" rather than "available now.") Specifically, the publishers are:
- Ashdin Publishing
- Bioinfo Publications
- Canadian Center of Science & Education
- David Publishing
- EuroJournals, Inc
- Human Resource Management Academic Research Society
- Indian Society for Education & Environment
- Institute of Advanced Scientific Research
- International Digital Organization for Scientific Information (IDOSI)
- Internet Scientific Publications LLC
- Medwell Journals
- OMICS Publishing Group
- Science Publications
- Scientific Research Publishing
There were also journals from "Bentham Science Publishers"—not sure if this is the same thing as Bentham Open, also on Beall’s list.
175 is really a drop in the bucket for Academic Search Complete, which lists over 7,700 full-text scholarly journals. I’m also not implying that Beall’s list is authoritative—but then we don’t really have alternative to it at the moment. (And it goes without saying that more established publishers are also capable of publishing low-quality journals.) Do we assume that EBSCO checked out this content and found it suitable, or was it a cheap way to pad their title list? How much of this stuff makes it in to their other indexes, and those of their competitors? I have to say it’s a difficult problem in our community-college context, where students are just learning the differences between scholarly and non-scholarly content, and definitely aren’t prepared to make the subtle discriminations called for here…
Here’s a link to a CSV file of the list, or browse it below:
I also noticed these publishers popping up in EBSCO’s "open access collections"—this is a sort of cool thing EBSCO has done that allows libraries to display directories of open access content via their A-to-Z list.