Humbug in the Emerald City?

Selling the same article over and over again...

A profitable innovation  in academic publishing;

Or how to bulk up a package at no cost

I noticed some time ago that the two most expensive journals  in economics were extremely obscure, not  meeting the standards required to be searched by the ISI Social Science Citation index, and published by an outfit called Emerald Publishing.  See The P.T. Barnum List.   I wondered why any library would be so profligate as to spend several thousand dollars a year on either of these journals.  I was told by some librarians that they bought the paper subscriptions in order to be able to get a discounted  price on  a package that includes electronic access to a very large number of undistinguished journals in diverse areas.  Hence the package is difficult to evaluate.

Turns out I didn't know the half of it.  Emerald had another trick that would have delighted P.T. Barnum.  Philip Davis, a  librarian at Cornell discovered that Emerald had been publishing the same article in multiple journals,  without telling subscribers  that they were doing so.   See the following links, describing the results of  Davis' investigations.

Duplication discovered

More duplication discovered.
Who is to blame?
Chronicle of Education Story

An Emerald editor defects
  Professor Max Steuer, a respected economist, recently resigned  as
editor of Emerald's Journal of Economic Studies after discovering Emerald's predatory
Professor Steuer explains that:
 "I resigned from editing the Journal of Economic Studies on 6 January 2006.  Shortly before that date it was suggested to me
that the financial policy of the journal is inconsistent with the culture and practices of the academic community.  It was careless
 of me not to look into this before taking on the job.  I simply assumed that the fees charged and other aspects of policy were
 roughly in line with academic conventions. This turns out not to be the case.
Click here for full text of Steuer's letter.

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