In January of this year, Beall’s online list of ‘potential, possible, or probable’ predatory publishers was taken down. Cabells International, a Texas-based firm, has now stepped in to fill the gap by publishing their own Journal Blacklist. Unlike Beall’s list, however, Cabells’ version will be available only to paying subscribers.
Predatory publishers charge fees to publish articles, while providing a service that falls far short of accepted scholarly standards, for example by featuring little or no peer review. Cabells, which already publishes a subscription-based whitelist of reputable journals, compiled their blacklist by scoring journals and publishers on 60 or so ‘behavioural indicators’. These range from falling for ‘sting’ manuscript submissions, to having a fake editorial board, to publishing plagiarized articles.
In an interview for the Nature News website, the project manager for Cabells’ Blacklist, Kathleen Berryman, says that the reasons for a publisher’s inclusion in the Blacklist will be clearly stated to maintain transparency. Publishers will also be able to appeal their inclusion once a year. In the same article, Beall himself says that blacklists continue to be useful time-saving tools for researchers, and that managing the appeals process is likely to be one of the most difficult tasks facing Cabells.