Hoax papers in dodgy Open Access journals

Very interesting recent articles about the burgeoning problem of unscrupulous “open access journals”.

Guardian article: http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2013/oct/04/open-access-journals-fake-paper

Science article: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60.full

Good to note that PLoS ONE comes out well – they spotted the fraud.

However, it does raise important and interesting questions about the “policing” as it were of Open Access publications. Obviously there is scope for unscrupulous people to set up such “journals” that are really just fronts for making money out of unsuspecting scientists. So who’s role is it to police this? Universities? Governments? Other publishers? Researchers themselves? One certainly wouldn’t want to see the baby thrown out with the bathwater (as it were): the Open Access model has some very clear advantages – and there are highly reputable players (e.g. PLoS or OUP).

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