Monday, September 22, 2014

Interesting Current Science opinion paper on "Predatory Journals"

Predatory Journals and Indian Ichthyology
by R. Raghavan, N. Dahanukar, J.D.M. Knight, A. Bijukumar, U. Katwate, K. Krishnakumar, A. Ali and S. Philip
Current Science, 2014, 107(5), 740-742.

Although the 21st century began with a hope that information and communication technology will act as a boon for reinventing taxonomy, the advent and rise of electronic publications, especially predatory open-access journals, has resulted in an additional challenge (the others being gap, impediment and urgency) for taxonomy in the century of extinctions.
Predatory publishing has damaged the very foundations of scholarly and academic publishing, and has led to unethical behaviour from scientists and researchers. The 'journal publishing industry' in India is a classical example of 'predatory publishing', supported by researchers who are in a race to publish. The urge to publish 'quick and easy' can be attributed to two manifestations, i.e.'impactitis' and 'mihi itch'. While impactitis can be associated with the urge for greater impact factor (IF) and scientific merit, mihi itch (loosely) explains the behaviour of researchers, especially biologists publishing in predatory journals yearning to see their name/s associated with a new 'species name'. Most predatory journals do not have an IF, and authors publishing in such journals are only seeking an 'impact' (read without factor), and popularity by seeing their names appear in print media. This practice has most often led to the publication of substandard papers in many fields, including ichthyology.

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