June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.995.1 - 24.995.16
Predatory Online Technical Journals: A Question of EthicsIn 2009, Phil Davis, a doctoral student at Cornell University, embarked upon a bold venture:after receiving numerous hectoring emails from Bentham Science requesting articles forpublication, he and fellow adventurer Kent Anderson, an executive at The New England Journalof Medicine, used a paper generator to create a scholarly looking but nonsensical manuscript andsubmitted the result to Bentham’s The Open Information Science Journal. The authors, usingpseudonyms, cited their affiliation as the Center for Research in Applied Phrenology; theacronym CRAP, a dead giveaway, was apparently overlooked by the manuscript editor. To theirdelight, a few weeks later they received a notice of acceptance, based on a rigorous peer reviewprocess, and a bill for $800, with directions to send payment to a post office box in the UnitedArab Emirates.The incident created a whirlwind of commentary in the blogosphere and is but one of severalrecent, deliberate hoaxes aimed at online journals, particularly “open access” (also dubbed“predatory”) journals. But it also raises important questions in regards to the integrity ofpublished research in STEM-related fields and the ethics of publishers who will resort to lying tocollect substantial page fees.This paper will examine the issue of questionable online technical journals, using an ethicsprism. Specifically, the paper will discuss the general situation; selected high profileexperiments, false material and the impact of disseminating false information; and major ethicalconcepts related to this issue. Readers will learn how to recognize and avoid bogus journals, aswell as techniques for evaluating information and veracity. This paper should have special appealto a mixed audience: new engineering educators who are in the process of building theirpromotion and tenure portfolios, graduate students conducting thesis or dissertation research, andseasoned educators who deal with the issue of online information accuracy in their classrooms.
Dyrud, M. A. (2014, June), Predatory Online Technical Journals: A Question of Ethics Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/22928
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