When the Open Access (OA) movement began at the beginning of the 21st century, librarians and select scholars saw it as a way to level the playing field by disseminating scholarly work freely, by easing the financial burden placed on rising subscription costs, and by offering alternatives to the traditional publishing model. Predatory and opportunistic OA publishers were quick to arrive on the scene, however, leaving faculty and researchers scrambling for a new and updated vetting process for selecting their publication targets.
Jeffrey Beall’s blog and Beall’s List, along with other important publication directories, have become an important part of the effort to provide oversight and information to scholars about OA publishers. This paper will discuss OA controversies and review sources and opinions on the transformation of academic publishing efforts in the context of OA issues. Recent trends in librarianship demonstrate the need to educate authors on how to comprehensively research journals before submitting manuscripts to them, how to avoid predatory OA publishers, and where scholarly communication is going in terms of oversight and reputability of OA journals.
A new threat has emerged to the integrity of academic publishing: predatory journals. These unscrupulous publishers are exploiting the open-access (OA) model by corrupting the peer-review process, which is often absent or minimal. Their motivation is the procurement of evaluation and publication fees, which in the absence of traditional subscription rates are necessary to cover operating costs.