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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

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


LE GRANGE, Lesley. On "predatory" publishing: A reply to Maistry. Journal of Education [online]. 2019, n.75, pp.20-32. ISSN 2520-9868.

I reply to an article in this issue of Journal of Education by Suriamurthee Moonsamy Maistry entitled, "(Re)Counting the High Cost of Predatory Publishing and the Effect of a Neoliberal Performativity Culture." In his article, Maistry confessed his "wrong-doing" in having published articles in predatory journals. He argued that he alone is to blame for his "trangressions" because academia is necessarily a critical space that demands astuteness and constant vigilance, which he failed to uphold. Through showing remorse, he hopes to restore his academic reputation, which he believes has been eroded. In my response, I address four matters: the struggle to be an ethical researcher in the neoliberal university, the contested nature of predatory publishing, peer review as a practice fraught with difficulties, and the invocation of an immanent ethics in becoming ethical. Instead of focusing only on issues of moral decline (Beall, 2012) and moral failings (Maistry, 2019), I suggest that in a digital age we should use the opportunities that open-access publishing provides for democratising academic publishing and making it as affordable to as many people as possible. This requires, as Willinsky and Alperin (2011) argued, treating the ethical domain as a realm of positive action where one goes out of one's way to help others instead of focusing on issues such as exam cheating and research fudging-in this instance, "predatory" publishing.

Keywords : ethics; morality; neoliberal; peer-review; predatory publishing.

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