A continued lack of clarity persists because academics, policymakers, and other interested parties are unable to clearly define what is a “predatory” journal or publisher, and a potentially wide gray zone exists there. In this perspective, we argue that journals should be evaluated on a continuum, and not just in two shades, black and white. Since evaluations about what might constitute “predatory” are made by humans, the psychological decision-making system that determines them may induce biases. Considering such human psychological characteristics might shed light on the deterministic criteria that have been used, and continue to be used, to classify a journal or publisher as “predatory”, and perhaps, bring additional clarity to this discussion. Better methods of journal evaluation can be obtained when the factors that polarize journal evaluations are identified. As one example, we need to move away from simply using whitelists and blacklists and educate individual researchers about how to evaluate journals. This paper serves as an educational tool by providing more clarity about the “gray” publishing zone, and argues that currently available qualitative and quantitative systems should be fused to deterministically appreciate the zonation of white, gray and black journals, so as to possibly reduce or eliminate the influence of cognitive or “perception” bias from the “predatory” publishing debate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistics and Probability
- Social Sciences(all)