Predatory journals thrive in academia’s publish-or-perish “audit culture”

June 11, 2015

The rise of predatory journals has come about in large part due to academia’s publish-or-perish culture, writes University of Regina professor Marc Spooner for the Ottawa Citizen. Spooner commends the Citizen’s recent investigative coverage of fraudulent publications, but says we must also question the academic culture that has produced a demand for predatory publishing. Spooner suggests that a pervasive “audit culture,” which measures a scholar's worth using “a very simplistic calculation” based on peer-reviewed publications, impact factors, and research grants, is to blame. Spooner argues that this audit culture compels scholars and institutions to chase arbitrary key performance indicators rather than producing truly valuable research. He says that academia must resist measurement by “such narrowly defined outputs in a one-size-fits-all factory model of knowledge creation, dissemination, and accounting.” Ottawa Citizen