OMICS Publishing Group Threatens Billion Dollar Suit Over Slanderous Blog Post

June 14, 2013

The article on the Chronicle of Higher Education titled Publisher Threatens to Sue Blogger for One Billion tells the story of Jeffrey Beall, who runs the blog Scholarly Open Access. The blog has a list of predatory or questionable publishers and journals. One of these publishers, OMICS Publishing Group from India, wants to sue Beall, and put him in jail.

“The OMICS Group’s practices have received particular attention from Mr. Beall and some publications, including The Chronicle. In 2012, The Chronicle found that the group was listing 200 journals, but only about 60 percent had actually published anything… On his blog, Mr. Beall accuses OMICS of spamming scholars with invitations to publish, quickly accepting their papers, then charging them a nearly $3,000 publishing fee after a paper has been accepted.”

The letter sent to Beall accused him of racial discrimination as well as unprofessionalism. Whether the suit is a publicity stunt or sparked by legitimate outrage is unclear, but in India it is against the law to publish “menacing” information online under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act. Is pay to play content really such a contentious concept? The academics desperate to be published in legitimate journals who follow Beall’s blog would certainly say yes.

Chelsea Kerwin, June 14, 2013

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