Outlaw Academics

Listed here are academics who serve (knowingly or otherwise) as editors for unscrupulous ‘predatory’ publishers, or publish in their journals, or promote their conferences by acting as speakers or committee members. Note the caveat: knowingly or otherwise. Using names and affiliations without consulting the person concerned is standard practice in the illicit open access scholarly publishing industry. However, people whose names have been used in this way are not blameless unless they are kicking up a fuss about it. They should list on their institutional bios only the publishers/journals they agree to serve with, and state that fact explicitly. They should also be complaining to the firms concerned and keeping copies of their demands to be removed. And they should be pressuring their Officers of Research Integrity and DVCs (Research) to develop serious policies – not cautionary memos.

The alphabetical list, arranged in name order, is repeated in order of the number of alliances.

 

The rationale for the five categories of inclusion is as follows:

Possible (which absorbs Beall’s ‘potential’ category): this applies to those whose names and affiliations are perhaps being used without their knowledge, i.e., those on editorial boards or conference committees.

Probable: This applies to those who are publishing with unethical publishers or speaking at their conferences.

Certain: or recalcitrant, or intransigent. Those making no secret of their collusion with bogus publishers and/or conference organizers. Whatever they perceive as personal academic or material benefit comes at the cost of letting the side down by cheating – in a field where there is little if any tolerance of cheating by students. A notes column in the culpability spreadsheet gives particular details or refers to an explanatory document, since each case tends to have its own peculiar story. This category is also a convenient place for fakes.

Unaware: these scholars have insisted that they had no knowledge of the use of their identities by ‘predatory’ publishers or conference organizers. See above for what should be happening now that they do know. I have no wish to add further unwelcome impositions to those who have already been troubled by the publishing racketeers, through no fault of their own. But the recommended action is not onerous, and we should not be just letting these unethical outfits ply their illicit trades without any resistance.

Repentant: rarely if ever, it has to be said, out of a sense of honour or regret, but rather after no uncertain words from their superiors. Each case, again, is a unique story. Given sufficient and effective remedial action, there is no reason why their names can’t be deleted in due course.

 

Contact with all individuals and their institutions is ongoing, with a view to resolving each case.