I hope other news media organizations pick up on this concerning story by the New York Times' Gina Kolata, who reports today on the rise of less-than-academic "journals" masquerading as serious work:
The phenomenon has caught the attention of Nature, one of the most competitive and well-regarded scientific journals. In a news report published recently, the journal noted “the rise of questionable operators” and explored whether it was better to blacklist them or to create a “white list” of those open-access journals that meet certain standards. Nature included a checklist on “how to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or a publisher.”
Jeffrey Beall, a research librarian at the University of Colorado in Denver, has developed his own blacklist of what he calls “predatory open-access journals.” There were 20 publishers on his list in 2010, and now there are more than 300. He estimates that there are as many as 4,000 predatory journals today, at least 25 percent of the total number of open-access journals.
“It’s almost like the word is out,” he said. “This is easy money, very little work, a low barrier start-up.”