ACAT DOAJ and predatory publishers

Posting to Autocat

On 9/3/2015 1:40 PM, Marcel Plourde wrote:
It appears that DOAJ allows the distribution of hundreds of journals published by predatory publishers that are listed by Jeffrey Beall (
This situation is known, although difficult to manage with the resources we currently have.
We can either disable the target DOAJ which would deprive our users to thousands of open source journals, or disable only all predatory titles after long bibliographical research to be sure of every title.
However, it is reluctant to us to offer through our research tools access to poor quality journals.

That is a really tough decision. Putting a code into the record raises the concern that a library could be put at risk of legal action. Publishers have threatened Jeffrey Beall (, so I would certainly want to run this by the legal department of my institution before I did anything like that.

This seems to be a great example of how the principles of linked data could help, although an API to make a webservice would probably be easier to implement. If the list were made available in certain ways, the data could be worked with so that, e.g. when someone saw a record from one of these predatory publishers, the record could display that fact, plus whatever information the library would want, and the individual searchers could decide what to do for themselves.

It would work similarly to how the Google API operates. It automatically searches Google Books, sees if there is anything that matches, and feeds the information back into the catalog display. The catalogers don’t have to add anything to the records.

To see it in action, this is how it works in the catalog at Princeton, when the searcher clicks on the catalog record, behind the scenes the catalog is searching Google Books and bringing back links and book covers, while the searchers are unaware that they are searching two databases at once.

We would just have it search the Jeffrey Beall API (which would need to be built) along with the Google Books API!