This paper explores the phenomena of predatory publishing, pseudo-scientific conferences, and vanity press publishers. Should these publications and conference presentations count towards tenure decisions? Are faculty tenure and promotion committees also being fooled? This paper explores the librarian role as gatekeeper, curator, and broker of knowledge. What are the characteristics and danger signs of low quality and predatory publishers? How can librarians promote and support publishing with reputable publishers and help improve manuscript quality?
The Author recently served as the chair of the University Personnel Committee, the tenure and promotion committee at Governors State University, a public university in Illinois, and also has served as chair of the Library Faculty Personnel Committee. Faculty tenure and promotion committees are unprepared for discerning reputable publishers and conferences from predatory, or identifying vanity publications. Examples from predatory and vanity publishing and predatory scholarly conferences will be reviewed and analyzed. The core skill sets needed by librarians who support scholarly and professional publishing, and roles for librarians will be proposed.
The extent of the problem is unknown, and impact unclear, but librarians have the resources and skills to ensure access to high quality information. Communities of concern and research are forming around these issues, such as Professor Jeffrey Beall's "Scholarly Open Access" blog. Health Science Librarians are joining other librarins in raising awareness in their communities, and fighting back against predatory publishing practices.
More research is needed. "Buyer Beware" must be our motto, both for librarians making purchasing decisions, authors seeking to publish their work, and credentialing and tenure committees.
Blobaum, Paul M., "Tricked Into Submission: Health Science Librarian's Role in Fighting Predatory Publishing and Spamferences" (2013). Faculty Research and Creative Activity. 26.