Event Title

ACRL 2019 (Association of College & Research Libraries)

Date Created



This study focuses on faculty knowledge, experiences, and attitudes regarding fraudulent journal operations. Many definitions presented to researchers contain two primary aspects to describe these intentional perpetra­tors: 1) the chief motivation to profit monetarily, and 2) the misleading promise of and failure to deliver on indicators of quality, such as peer review. While this definition is simple on its surface, when put into practice it often expands into discussions of poor or unethical practices by journal publishers. It is common to find lists of grievances clarifying acts that signal predatory or unethical practices, which are used to broadly classify jour­nals as either predatory (“blacklists”) or reputable (“whitelists”). Jeffrey Beall’s lists of “potential, possible, or probably predatory” publishers and standalone journals have been the popular method of combatting predatory journals. Beall relied on 28 indicators of predatory practices and 26 indicators of poor practices. Now, Cabell’s Blacklist Violations include 64 considerations when determining the status of a journal. These manifold criteria are indicative of the impossibility of binary journal evaluation, as many journals are neither black nor white, but somewhere in the gray between. The discussion of predatory journals thus expands from overt scams to include scam-like journals or those with lower provision of quality or service. Therefore, “predatory publishing” encompasses a far broader range of publishing practices than those that are completely fraudulent.

The difficulty scholars encounter delineating between reputable and predatory practices, along with their disparate publication practices, prompted the present study to explore what publishing faculty know about the phenomenon and their attitudes toward it. This exploration began with broadly investigating the publishing practices of faculty through interviews, which revealed a benchmark from which to begin conversations with faculty on our campus. With the results from this study, we will develop a survey instrument that more specifically examines faculty interactions with predatory journals.

Publication Title

ACRL 2019 Proceedings

Document Type




First Page


Last Page





predatory journals; publishing; scholarly communication; faculty

Digital Origin

Born digital


American Library Association