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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X


MAISTRY, Suriamurthee Moonsamy. (Re)counting the high cost of predatory publishing and the effect of a neoliberal performativity culture. Journal of Education [online]. 2019, n.75, pp.5-19. ISSN 2520-9868.

In this self-critical account, I engage the concepts of critique and judgement and why they are crucial for protecting and maintaining the integrity of academia and scholarship. I argue that a naive or ignorant academic is a somewhat paradoxical position to assume given that academia is necessarily a critical space that demands astuteness and constant vigilance. I contend that blissful ignorance is a fragile justification for the neglect of due diligence as it relates to the selection of locales for knowledge dissemination. I engage the tenets of self-study and critical autoethnography to reflect on my practice as an academic and the consequences of my own poor judgement, not as an act of arrogant disclosure, but with a view to embracing this "elephant in the national academic room" and also bringing to the fore, other "frail" current knowledge vetting processes. The article draws on a Žižekian notion of perverse analysis with the view to evoke a primal confrontation of a particularly sensitive issue. I draw attention to the gravity of the act of predatory publishing and its almost irrevocable consequences. I also reflect on my grief, trauma, guilt, and shame of this self-inflicted academic reputational mutilation, and the arduous task ahead of rebuilding my academic integrity. I hope that this paper might serve to intensify our alertness to the potential new perils that present in the neoliberal research productivity-driven higher education space where online publishing and open access have become common place, and where "opportunities" to transgress and expose oneself to risk present themselves on a daily basis, often with well-disguised "authenticity." Finally, I reflect on my public exposé of personal flaw and its restorative effect of a necessary humility in the academic space.

Keywords : predatory publishing; knowledge vetting; judgement.

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