• Anne Pemberton

Journals: Predatory and Open Access

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Dear Interwebs,

What always seemed like the bastion of "REAL" information, even journals occasionally have disinformation in them.

From my colleague Peter (Sciences Librarian):

"Here’s an example that could be potentially useful when talking with students and teaching faculty about one of the downsides of using Google Scholar, particularly its indexing methods.

Start with this article by Bradley Allf for context:

Allf, B. (2020, November 26). I published a fake paper in a ‘peer-reviewed’ journal. Undark.

The author links to his paper which is, well, I’ll leave you to enjoy the humor. However, if you do a Google Scholar search for the paper as well, you’ll find that it’s indexed and available via the search engine. I also searched Google Scholar by keywords in the article’s title and it was retrieved in the results as well. To an “expert” or well-informed reader, it’s fairly easy to recognize its problems. However, I’m wondering if that would be the case for a less knowledgeable reader, especially one lacking knowledge of popular culture, particularly with the passing of time.

Here's the title of the paper: Experiential Learning in Secondary Education Chemistry Courses: A Significant Life Experiences Framework

And here’s the second search I did in Google Scholar using keywords to find it: experiential learning chemistry high school

It was the second paper in the list of results when I limited for published 'since 2020.'"


Open Access publications are amazing for the user/reader. But in this opinion piece, the cost to the author is steep ("Opinion: A Big Science Publisher Is Going Open Access. But at What Cost?").

"In November, Springer Nature, one of the world’s largest publishers of scientific journals, made an attention-grabbing announcement: More than 30 of its most prestigious journals, including the flagship Nature, will now allow authors to pay a fee of $11,390 to make their papers freely available for anyone to read online."

Still hopeful but SMH.



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