As I frequently mention here, just because something is available online doesn’t mean it’s quality. As professionals we’re obligated to evaluate our sources for scientific information, because in this day and age, there’s an abundance of information out there, not all of which is trustworthy.
In reviewing newly published articles this week, I came across an interesting piece in Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal: Predatory Publishing: What Editors Need to Know. With the advent of Open Access journals, there are a lot of articles cloaked in an air of reliability because they appear to be published in scholarly, peer reviewed journal. This, however is not necessarily the case. “[A]cross every academic field, professional discipline, and geographic jurisdiction, we are also seeing the emergence of a new species of publisher whose practices reveal little evidence of editorial and publishing quality. Instead, with profit as the driving force, these “predatory” publishers engage in a range of disturbingly unethical and unscholarly practices.”
If you are hoping to publish; if you are assessing sources for rigorously reviewed scientific information; or if you’re just trying to decide where to pay attention, this is certainly a worthwhile read. In doing so, it lead me to several valuable resources to take my study of this issue further (once I compensated for all the link errors–unfortunate), including the unbelievably comprehensive compendium of predatory Open Access journals by Jeffrey Beall (updated annually). That site, and several others, are now Evernoted for future reference. Interesting, btw, to see several of the journals on Beall’s list are ones from whom I receive regular solicitations for submissions.
One additional note about this article–it was written by a collective of nursing journal editors, one of whom is the editor of JFN. Nice to see our specialty represented in this quest to expose and inform.
[Ed: I just downloaded the newest edition of JFN on my iPad, and lo and behold–an editorial by Cindy Peternelj-Taylor, What Authors Need to Know About Predatory Publishing. Excellent.]