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Texas Tech to Develop a Training Program to Counter Predatory Journals

Texas Tech University researchers are working on developing an online training program that will counter predatory publishing, the school said in a release.

At least five faculty members at the university received a $345,702 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research the current publishing practices in STEM fields.

The team led by Amy Koerber, professor and associate dean for administration & finance in the College of Media & Communication, will develop STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices (STEPP) program that will help people distinguish between the credible and predatory journals.

“Open-source publishing itself has emerged as a perfectly legitimate way to make academic knowledge more readily accessible to wide global audiences,” Koerber said.

“But what Jeffrey Beall was saying was that the rise of open-source journals was leading some publishers to take advantage of that model. They were giving away articles for free, but they were doing that by charging these exorbitant author fees. At the same time, they were compromising quality by taking away standard measures of gatekeeping such as blind peer reviews.”

Jeffrey Beall is credited for exposing predatory publishing by publishing a list of open-access journals he considered illegitimate. The controversial list was taken down in 2017 after criticism from various quarters.

Researchers will work in multiple phases which includes reviewing different codes for scholarly publishing followed by different organizations and interviewing professors and scholars in various STEM disciplines to design and develop the program.

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