‘The Fox and the Crow’ or ‘the Foolishness of Vanity Publishing in Fake Academic Journals’: A Story from the Arabian Gulf
Fake and predatory academic journals have the potential to do harm. If they promise to provide double-blind peer-review but do not deliver, they are misleading authors. If their carefully-chosen company name suggests they represent an august body of international standing when they are actually operating on a shoe-string out of someone’s bedroom, they are misleading everyone. If researchers are so desperate for publication and international renown that they flock to these dubious enterprises, then many people are being tricked: students, fellow researchers, funding panels, promotion boards. There is the danger that an illusionary pseudo-academic world is being created in which bad research (which has not been properly peer-reviewed by reputable journals) is masquerading as good. This is a particularly serious problem at present as these fake and predatory (but also profitable) journals are spreading rapidly like viruses. This issue is explored here with reference to a particular example from the field of research into English language teaching in the Middle East and with the help of a fable to illustrate the motives of the actors.