Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bioethicists taking on questionable publishers ... in ethics

Stefan Eriksson at Uppsala University and his colleague Gert Helgesson at the Karolinska Institute have undertaken the commendable job of creating two lists of English language bioethics journals, one featuring journals published by reputable publishers and another one featuring journals associated with other publishing outfits. Each of their critical choices is accompanied by links providing evidence in support of their concerns about the journals/publishers in question. It is doubtful that some of the questionable journals actually qualify as journals in any meaningful way. There is one such journal, for instance, that published a full one article in its three years of existence. The wonders of fee-for-upload open access publishing...

The list created by Ericsson and Helgesson should prove to be tremendously useful as a guide for junior faculty who wonder where to submit their first academic outputs for peer review, but it's also helpful to those of us who have been around for longer and are asked to provide sound publishing advice that goes beyond guessing the quality of particular journals.

Not unexpectedly, the list isn't quite complete, even as far as English language journals are concerned (e.g. the superb Indian Journal of Medical Ethics is missing in action), but it's a great start, and undoubtedly future iterations of the list will move closer to comprehensiveness. The list also does not aim to include journals other than English language journals. It's probably a fair enough approach as it would be a mammoth task indeed to check whether particular journal titles in other languages fall into one or the other category of publications.

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