Innovation & Research Practice
Paper: Program Description Abstract
EEK! Is Everything Predatory? Elevating the Conversation about Predatory Publishing and the Ethics of Scholarly Communication
Monday, May 6
2:50 PM - 3:05 PM
Room: Columbus GH (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)
Nursing & Allied Health Liaison Librarian
Penn State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
Background : The world of poor and predatory scholarly communication now extends from traditional publishing to conferences and phishing emails, and a disturbing trend in academia of knowingly publishing in low quality resources. How do librarians serve as agents of change in protecting our patrons from predatory bodies and scholarly misconduct? We arm them with knowledge.
A lecture and discussion targeting faculty and graduate students was created to teach the methods of evaluating unknown publications or conferences, recognize poor quality and predatory practices, and discuss ethical scholarly communication and researcher reputation issues.
Description : In 2016, the librarian was invited to talk about predatory journals. She developed a 60-minute lecture consisting of an introduction to Beall’s List, the Directory of Open Access Journals, and tips for evaluating journal quality. In 2017, after the dissolution of the Beall’s List, this lecture was elevated to a 90-minute talk adding active learning and the discussion of ethics in scholarly communication.
Participants receive three articles prior to the seminar. During the session, they learn about the steps to determine a publication, conference, or email invitation’s credibility, and judge examples of good quality, poor quality, and predatory materials. Key points of discussion focus on several topics, including hijacked identities (i.e. journal titles), protecting author reputation, and the role scholarly communication plays in open access and predatory publishing. The seminar concludes with the discussion of the ethics of scholarly communication.
Conclusion : Seminar attendees leave with a strong understanding of the differences between good quality and poor quality open access resources, the essential elements of evaluating resource quality and credibility, and avoiding inadvertently publishing in a predatory or poor quality journal. The product of this lecture is a robust discussion about ethical decisions in scholarly communication and the affects publishing in a predatory or poor journal can have on their reputation as researchers. They leave with answers to their questions, and a realization of the vital role they play in the future of scholarly communication.