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New list of predatory journals

A company headquartered in the state of Texas, Cabell International, announced that by the end of June 2017 it would launch a service for subscribers that reports journals considered predatory, or journals that publish articles without adequate peer review, usually merely for money. The service will be launched to replace a popular list of suspicious journals posted on the internet by Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, where he served for many years as a reference for authors concerned about publishing in respectable journals. Beall’s list was taken offline in late 2016, but he did not explain why.

Kathleen Berryman, project manager at Cabell, told the journal Nature that the service already has a database of 3,900 journals. The company is already providing reports of reliable journals to subscribers, but it says it has come to realize that there is also interest in a list of publications that use dubious practices. The service will take 65 criteria into account, including the lack of transparent peer review and plagiarism prevention policies. A team of four employees will collect the information. The price of the service has yet to be set.

Biophysicist David Cameron Neylon, a professor at Curtin University in Australia, who was director of the Public Library of Science (PLOS), told Nature that he believes blacklists are counterproductive. According to Neylon, it is difficult to produce such lists satisfactorily and put together a complete report of suspicious publications. He believes that researchers should be trained to distinguish between publications that are reliable and those that are not, and to trust lists of highly recommended journals.