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Research programme explores predatory publishing

Research programme explores predatory publishing

The first outputs from Texas Tech University’s new STEPP (STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices) programme have been published, in the form of two articles: Profiting from the paradigm shift in scholarly journal publishing: The case of predatory publishers, and A qualitative content analysis of watchlists vs safelists: How do they address the issue of predatory publishing?

The two articles form a key part of the programme, which is designed to prepare STEM scholars and other stakeholders to navigate the academic publishing terrain. The project aims to extend the work that previous individuals and organizations have undertaken to offer guidance on predatory publishing, addressing the historical, political, and economic aspects of scholarly publishing that are most crucial for maintaining research integrity in STEM disciplines, now and in the future.

The research component of the STEPP program will deepen understanding of the ethical challenges that arise from predatory publishing, through empirical research that solicits input from key stakeholders in the situation.

The training component of STEPP will cultivate ethical STEM cultures by facilitating ethically informed decision-making and practices for authors, gatekeepers, and professionals in the context of the increasingly complex landscape that constitutes STEM scholarly publishing.

The research team includes Dr. Amy Koerber (PI), Dr. Karin Ardon-Dryer, Dr. Glenn Cummins, Dr. Leo Eko, Dr. Kerk F. Kee, and Ms. Jesse C. Starkey.

The project is now in its second phase, interviewing key stakeholders. Transcripts of interviews and focus group discussions will be archived on the project website.