Challenging Questionable Publication Practices
On 10 December 2020, Belgium Campus iTversity hosted a webinar on questionable publication practices. The webinar was a result of a research group between members of the University of the Witwatersrand, Rhodes University, the University of South Africa and Belgium Campus iTversity. It addressed how this very real issue affects the field of scholarly publishing and discussed possible strategies and solutions. But what is scholarly publishing and why has it been so easily infiltrated by predatory publication practices?
Simply put, scholarly publishing is the publication of research results by scholars who have gained new knowledge within their specific disciplines. It is an essential part of knowledge creation and key for the expansion of various fields of study. It also comes with the added advantage of enhancing the scholarly reputation of those who publish, which increases their funding and employment opportunities.
Despite all its benefits, over the years scholarly publishing has developed a dark side. A number of fraudulent organisations have exploited the field, turning it into a business model that takes advantage of the need to ‘publish or perish’. This increased pressure to publish, combined with the lack of awareness regarding this growing threat to academic integrity, makes it easy to fall victim and find yourself caught in a publication scam.
The webinar provided an in-depth breakdown of these issues and provided insight on how to use journal lists and digital interventions to identify and avoid predatory publishers. Guest speakers included, Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of the Witwatersrand, Denise Rosemary Nicholson, School of Computing Professor at University of South Africa, Kirstin Krauss, and Head Librarian: Technical Services at Rhodes University, Wynand van der Walt.
Watch the full webinar below: