(10 Nov 2020) This open-access article has recently been published in The Journal of Academic Librarianship, by Franciszek Krawczyk and Emanuel Kulczycki.
The aim of this paper is to investigate how predatory journals are characterized by authors who write about such journals. We emphasize the ways in which predatory journals have been conflated with—or distinguished from—open access journals. We created a list of relevant publications on predatory publishing using four databases: Web of Science, Scopus, Dimensions, and Microsoft Academic. We included 280 English-language publications in the review according to their contributions to the discussions on predatory publishing. Then, we coded and qualitatively analyzed these publications. The findings show the profound influence of Jeffrey Beall, who composed and maintained himself lists of predatory publishers and journals, on the whole discussion on predatory publishing. The major themes by which Beall has characterized predatory journals are widely present in non-Beall publications. Moreover, 122 papers we reviewed combined predatory publishing with open access using similar strategies as Beall. The overgeneralization of the flaws of some open access journals to the entire open access movement has led to unjustified prejudices among the academic community toward open access. This is the first large-scale study that systematically examines how predatory publishing is defined in the literature.
Link to the full-text here.