Geopolitics of predatory journals: illegitimacy, invisibility, and ostensible centers in the global system of knowledge production

Franciszek Krafczyk

Abstract


This article uses the model of dependency between centers and peripheries of scientific knowledge production to create a theoretical framework for investigating predatory journals. The framework is presented as an alternative to the dominant ways of the problem's characterization. Predatory journals are so far described mostly as a newly emerging phenomenon strongly connected with publishing in Open Access and fraudulent publishers. In this article, I argue that predatory publishers are recognized as illegitimate by the center of knowledge production. This geopolitically situated approach let me look more critically on the ways of assigning this illegitimacy. It also allows me to define the ostensible center and reveal a mechanism for functioning many journals accused of being predatory. The ostensible center is understood as an institution disseminating knowledge that is invisible or illegitimate to the center. However, at the same time some actors see an ostensible center as belonging to the center. The presented terms are analytical tools for further research that might enable us to get a wider picture of a modern global system of knowledge production and point out its antiegalitarian mechanism.


Keywords


predatory journals; center-periphery relations; scholarly communication; ostensible centers; invisible knowledge

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