Drexel University Assistant Professor of History and 2014 Emory Ph.D. Debjani Bhattacharyya recently authored a piece for the American Historical Association’s newsmagazine, Perspectives. Bhattacharyya, a specialist on Modern South Asian History, discusses exploitative publishing practices and the culture of academic publishing broadly. Read the excerpt below along with the full piece, “When a Journal is a Scam: How Some Publications Prey on Scholarship as Public Good.”
Apart from warning our students and colleagues about predatory journals, there is a larger question we as a profession need to answer. How do we create conditions where we can prioritize the twin imperatives behind publishing our work: to be heard and to listen? These things take time. It takes time to write out early ideas, have them read by a fresh pair of eyes, be exposed to new literature, rethink the argument, and then revise and rewrite. In an ideal world, each article would be an invitation to a dialogue about a question and ultimately an attempt to create a public good. And yet, all of this must happen within a very truncated time frame given the “publish or perish” atmosphere. How do we as a profession acknowledge the realities of this mandate, while still guaranteeing the quality of peer-reviewed scholarship?