What Happened to Jeffrey Beall’s List of (Allegedly) Predatory Publishers? | Debunking Denialism

“On January 15 (Sunday), it was discovered on Twitter that the list of allegedly predatory publishers had been taken down and replaced with a short message saying ‘This service is no longer available.’.

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What makes this strange situation even more peculiar is that one of the first coverage of this issue came from a known anti-Beall activist. It is a short post that contains nothing of intellectual substance. It notes that the list and website has been taken down and speculates on the reason. It then proceeds to criticize Beall and recommend other approaches.

The post does not allow comments at the time of this writing, but some people submitted comments before that were never published, yet inspired the author to correct spelling. It also seems that the blog also has taken a lot of content from both Beall and Nature News, much more than what can reasonable by considered to be fair use.

How did this website come to know of the event so rapidly? Right now, there are more questions than answers.

What happens next?

Right now, there is virtually no information available on what happened. We do not know the reason for why the list has been taken down. On social media, speculations involve either a lawsuit threat by Frontiers or unauthorized and illegal access by a third party, but there is really no hard evidence as to why the list was taken down, why the website was purged or why the Facebook page was unpublished or removed.

Many people are highly interested in knowing what happened regardless of their position on the Beall list on allegedly predatory publishers. Some are willing to consider to repost or mirror the list as an act of solidarity should the reason for why the list was taken down be a result of a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP). This does not necessarily imply that such individuals agree with all decisions or opinions held by Beall, but value an open and honest discussion about a vocal minority of open access publishers that may or may not be predatory.

At the time this post was published, Beall has not responded to an email asking about details.”