• Post Office Press deposited Predatory Publishing on Humanities Commons 4 years, 7 months ago

    The ‘predatory publishing’ label is often linked to open access in order to discredit it, evoking as this concept does both vanity and self-publishing. Today, however, more and more critical attention is being paid to how this label has been and is still being constructed. On the one hand, the rise of unscrupulous OA publishers who charge author-facing fees and provide little to no editorial oversight is indicative of the increasing pressure placed on scholars to produce more and more research “outputs” and to increase the citability and indexing of such. Fuelled by various national incentive systems, it is a pressure that can lead to serious violations of traditional publishing ethics: by authors who self-publish or self-plagiarise in order to meet their targets, and by a certain breed of journals that seem more concerned with making a pro t than with disseminating academic knowledge, as shown in the essays in this pamphlet by Vaclav Stetka and by Luděk Brož, Tereza Stöckelová, and Filip Vostal, especially relative to the notorious case of Czech scholar Wadim Stielkowski, who at one point boasted of having published 17 monographs and 60 articles in just 3 years and who, even after departing Charles University, Prague under a hail of scandal, continues to teach and publish. Stielkowski’s “case,” as it were, for which one of the contributors to this volume, Vaclav Stetka, served as chief whistleblower, serves as a somewhat spectacular exemplum of what can happen when two malevolent forces converge: a dishonest scholar hellbent on maximizing their publications and citations and fraudulent, for-profit “fake journals.” On the other hand, do we need to be careful when it comes to accusing all those labelled as predatory publishers as being driven exclusively by profit? After all, much the same can be said about commercial publishers such as Elsevier who are perceived to be legitimate if not, indeed, prestigious.