Dr. Jeffrey Beall is an author of a well-known blog, Scholarly Open Access, where he maintains a list of open-access journals and publishers, who in his opinion are predatory. Beall’s List includes almost 250 names identified as potential, possible, or probable predatory publishers. Now, one of the publishers listed has decided to sue Dr. Beall for $1 billion!
The OMICS Publishing Group, based in India, is the publisher that is threatening to sue Dr. Jeffrey Beall. The company has also warned the author that he could be imprisoned for up to three years under India’s Information Technology Act. The reaction from Dr. Beall was fast. In his statement to The Chronicle he said:
“I found the letter to be poorly written and personally threatening. I think the letter is an attempt to detract from the enormity of OMICS’s editorial practices.”
What is more, no more than a couple of days ago, Beall wrote a new post on his blog about the OMICS Publishing Group, this time directly attacking the owner of the company.
We will have to wait to find out how this case ends, but the OMICS Publishing Group appears very determined and it is likely that the case will land in court.
Jeffrey Beall, by creating the list exposes himself to harsh responses and even attacks from companies that feel damaged by allegations. The academic publishing industry is a huge business with a sky-high income; it cannot afford bad publicity. However, suing a blogger for $1 billion for his opinion on a company is nothing else than creating a bad atmosphere around the company on a global scale.
The Internet does not forgive and forget, and freedom of expression and opinion on the web is almost sacrosanct. The ridiculously high damages that are being sought will not help the OMICS Publishing Group, regardless of whether are were right or not. The OMICS Publishing Group will now be forever remembered as the company that tried to sue a blogger for $1 billion.
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