RIP Beall's List

Feb 08, 2017 · Megan O'Donnell

On January 15, 2017, Beall?s List, a well-known website was stripped of all content. Started in 2008 by University of Colorado Denver Librarian Jeffery Beall, the list was a one-man effort to chronicle the growing phenomenon of unscrupulous online academic publishing and to identity, and call out, those with predatory practices. The website was famous for two things: a set of publishing ?blacklists? and accompanying blog posts documenting how journals and publishers made it onto the lists.

Beall has not spoken publically about why he shut down the website. A business partner of Beall?s has shared that it was shut it down ?due to threats & politics.? CU Denver has stated that it was a personal decision and not one in which the university was involved. Regardless of the reason, the absence of Beall?s List is being felt throughout the academic community. Stories about its demise can be found on many higher education news sites and it has spawned conversations on Stack Exchange, Retraction Watch and mailing lists.

The criteria Beall developed to populate his blacklists was not universally loved. Over the years he has received both praise and criticism from various groups including fellow librarians, publishers, and authors as well as lawsuits. It should be noted that Beall openly favors traditional publishers over open access publishers and that this bias appeared to influence his blacklist.

The University Library advises each author to make an informed choice about where they publish. The Understanding Predatory Publishers guide provides steps and resources to help authors evaluate a journal for predatory practices.

An archived version of Beall?s List is available on the Internet Archive.