Predatory and Exploitative Behaviour in Academic Publishing: An Assessment – The Journal of Academic Librarianship – article

Predatory and Exploitative Behaviour in Academic Publishing: An Assessment

Jaime A. Teixeira Da Silva, Judit Dobránszki, Panagiotis Tsigaris, Aceil Al-Khatib | The Journal of Academic Librarianship


The issue of “predatory” publishing continues to affect many scholars around the world who publish. When one reads the fairly vast literature surrounding “predatory” publishing, there is an erroneous tendency to continue pivoting around Jeffrey Beall’s blacklists of “predatory” open access (OA) journals and publishers. However, to be “predatory” involves much more than defining a handful of select behaviours, and it is becoming increasingly important to start defining, or curtailing, the lexicon to avoid referring to any journal or publisher that might display one of the following qualities (exploitative, deceptive, excessive, unscrupulous, abusive, advantageous, manipulative, profit-seeking, or others) as synonymously meaning “predatory”. This paper focuses mainly on the oft-interchangeable terms “predatory” and “exploitation”, and explores the morality of predatory and exploitative actions by applying a deontological ethics approach which implies that certain actions are wrong even if they achieve good consequences, with the understanding that because a predatory entity aims to exploit others, these actions would be considered morally wrong from a deontologist’s perspective. In articulating our argument, we attempt to expand the conversation around this important topic, with the hope that it might bring additional clarity to the issue of what might constitute a “predatory” journal or publisher.


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