Publisher Threatens Librarian With $1 Billion Lawsuit | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Publisher Threatens Librarian With $1 Billion Lawsuit

A scholarly publisher has issued a warning to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian who writes about what he calls "predatory" practices in the scholarly publishing industry, threatening him with a $1 billion lawsuit for his blog posts criticizing the company.

Beall is an academic librarian at the University of Colorado; he writes about the journal industry on his personal blog, Scholarly Open Access.

More specifically, Beall identifies and lists journals that he says prey on academics' need to publish their research. Such companies often charge a "handling fee" that requires authors to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars if a paper is published.

One publisher named on "Beall's List of Predatory Publishers 2013" is OMICS Publishing Group, which told him this week that it "intends to sue Mr. Beall, and says it is seeking $1-billion in damages," reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.

And because OMICS is based in India, The Chronicle says, it also warned Beall that he could also face a prison sentence if an Indian court finds him guilty. There has been no indication that a lawsuit has been filed.

The message from OMICS came in a letter from its attorney at IP Markets, a law firm described on its own website as the "largest Intellectual Property rights management firm" in India.

"I found the letter to be poorly written and personally threatening," Beall tells The Chronicle. "I think the letter is an attempt to detract from the enormity of OMICS's editorial practices."

The Chronicle, also spoke to IP Markets' Ashok Ram Kumar, a senior lawyer. with IP Markets, who said of Beall, "What he has written is something highly inappropriate," adding, "He has committed a criminal offense."

Beall explains his criteria for scholarly publishers on his blog. The factors he looks at range from adhering to ethical standards and codes of conduct to being transparent about ownership and staffing. A warning sign, he says, is when a publisher creates dozens of journal websites at once. Or they might plagiarize the submission guidelines they provide authors.

An article on predatory publishers in The New York Times featured Beall last month. It described another ploy of unscrupulous publishers: creating scientific conferences that have names similar to — and none of the prestige of — established gatherings.

The Times article also mentioned the OMICS Group, and its director, Srinubabu Gedela, noting that the publisher "has about 250 journals and charges authors as much as $2,700 per paper."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Among The Young And Privileged In North Korea

American journalist Suki Kim spent six months teaching English at a North Korean University that serves the sons of the elite. She chronicles her experience in a new book, Without You, There Is No Us.
NPR

From NFL To 'Scandal,' Whole Foods Buys TV Ads To Boost Its Brand

A pioneer in selling organic, sustainable groceries, Whole Foods now finds itself beset by competitors. So it's launching its first national ad blitz to sell socially conscious consumers on its story.
NPR

Concern Over New-Voter Registration In Georgia Ahead Of Election

A lawsuit in Georgia claims more than 40,000 voter registration applications are missing weeks before the November midterm election. Lawyers say they belong to new African-American, Latino and Asian-American voters. But state officials say all applications have been processed.
NPR

In Silicon Valley, Paying For Access To Peace Of Mind

The San Francisco area is the home to the high-tech sector and has a history of embracing Eastern spirituality. Now the two meet in the yoga and meditation classes popular with the local tech workers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.