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OMICS offended by 'Beall's List'

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Blogger Jeffrey Beall, who tries to separate the wheat from the chaff in the world of academic publishing, is being threatened with a billion-dollar lawsuit from OMICS Publishing Group in India.

According to this report from The Chronicle of Higher Education, at issue is Beall's list identifying his assessment of the worth of different journal publishers.

An undercurrent in the world of academic publishing has been the emergence of pay-to-publish models: the author stumps up dollars to be included in The New Journal of Irreproducible Results* or whatever, sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars, for a publication that appears only a handful of times.

What Beall describes as predatory models are becoming a problem, because an apparently-legit journal can give a veneer of credibility to fringe ideas, at the same time slurping money from genuine but naïve researchers paying to get their work in front of the public. So far, Beall has compiled 250 publishers into “Beall's list” of those he considers “potential, possible, or probable predatory” companies.

That's what's offended The OMICS Group, which has sent a lawyer's letter threatening him with a billion-dollar lawsuit and darkly hinting at a possible three-year prison sentence under India's Information Technology Act, and demanding he remove the blog posts.

At the time of writing, Beall seems to be holding the line and keeping the posts and his blog active. ®

* The Journal of Irreproducible Results is real. Any "New" version may or may not be.

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