The rise of on-line open access (OA) has profound implications for academic publishing, not least the shift from subscribers to authors as the primary transactional partners for peer-reviewed journals. Although OA offers many benefits, it also paves the way for predatory publishers, who exploit the author-as-customer model to obtain revenue from author fees while providing few of the editorial services associated with academic publishing. Predatory journals publish papers with little or no peer review, and often disguise their real geographical location while exaggerating their scope and editorial expertise. Such journals also attempt to attract authors by promising unrealistically rapid editorial decisions while falsely claiming peer review, and fabricating impact factors and inclusion in academic indexes. The explosive increase in predatory OA journals is not only a risk to inexperienced authors, but also threatens to undermine the OA model and the legitimate communication of research.
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Vol. 64 • No. 4