FEA Response to Jeffrey Beall's inclusion of Journal of Financial Education in his

"List of Standalone Journals: Potential, possible, or probably predatory scholarly open-access journals"

Dr. Beall is a librarian at University of Colorado at Denver.  His list of suspect journals is linked here.  His "About the Author" page is located here

[Update:  As of 1/18/17 Dr. Beall's list and author page have been taken down.  They can be located using the Internet Archive here and here.]

As executive director, in early summer 2016 I received notice from one of our members that JFEd had been included in Dr. Beall's blog list of predatory open-access journals.  I was confused about this, as our journal is neither predatory nor open-access.  JFEd has been published since the 1970s, and is included in several lists that categorize "quality" publication outlets.  Dr. Beall's criteria for inclusion as a "potential, possible, or probably predatory scholarly open-access journal" is listed here.

On his Web page, Dr. Beall indicated that he would entertain 1 request to remove listed journals per year, so I sent our 1 request on 6/15/16 (emphasis added):

Dear Dr. Beall:

I'm writing because one of my FEA members just pointed out to me that our journal, Journal of Financial Education, is now listed on your list of standalone journals.  I've reviewed your published criteria for placing journals on the list, and I don't see how JFEd fits into that criteria.  We're in the 42nd year of publication, with an established editorial process and backing association membership, and our back issues are available on JSTOR.  Our journal is listed by Cabells as well as the ABDC list.  Last year we created a fee for accepted papers that we hoped to use to offset the eventual cost of pre-press activities for those papers that ended up being published.

To give you an example of the economics we face as an association, the publication/mailing of a sister journal recently cost roughly $2,500, and that association spent another $3,500 on pre-press activities through the publisher (formatting the documents, creating proof copies, etc.).  As a volunteer association we cannot afford to pay out this much every time we create an issue, especially if we hope to meet the demand for quality publications in financial education over time.

Much of the pre-press work in the past had been done by Jean L. Heck, the previous publisher, but Jean became ill last year and ended up passing away this February.  It was the board's belief that by creating an explicit format guide for authors and then having a minimal fee we could have each paper stand on its own.  At this point we are still working through the pipeline of prior acceptances and have yet to actually arrange and pass through any editing or pre-press charges.

I salute your effort to throw some light on the predatory journals out there, but I hope that you will remove JFEd from your blog list when you get a chance.  If I can clarify our position or answer any questions please let me know.  I'm willing to take whatever steps are necessary to have questions about the journal answered satisfactorily.

Here is the response I received later that day:

Dr. Michael:

I received your email. I learned of your journal from a tenure committee chair at a U.S. university who wrote me and complained about one of his faculty members using your journal to beef up his CV with papers the faculty member, apparently with little effort, published in your journal. I don't think that having been published for a long time automatically makes a journal upstanding. When I first analyzed your journal, I noted a stunning typo on the main page of the website, and looking again, I see it's still there. I choose to keep this journal on my list.

Jeffrey Beall

I responded immediately to Dr. Beall's email:

Dear Dr. Beall:
Thank you for your reply.  I will share your response with our board and editors.  It's hard to imagine that one unverified incident could be considered important enough to call into question a journal with as distinguished a record as JFEd.
I would be happy to investigate the situation you describe in order to get to the bottom of it, and I will pass this information along to the current and past editors as well.  I have been a reviewer for the journal for many years, personally, and cannot recall any manuscripts being published without a rigorous, open review, so I would be interested in getting to the bottom of this on behalf of the association.

I will follow up on your comment on the Web site, as well.  Unfortunately, as a volunteer organization we don't have a budget to spend on Web design or content annually.

I have received no reply from Dr. Beall regarding my return email, and I don't expect to receive one.  He has chosen to keep our journal on the list because of one incident and has refused any attempt to resolve the single incident that he cites as a reason to label our journal as a "potential, possible, or probably predatory scholarly open-access journals."  All I can do in response to this is to bring his process to light, and to reiterate that Journal of Financial Education meets none of the criteria he has published.  I will also remind our readers, authors and potential authors that even though Dr. Beall is perhaps a qualified scholar in his own field, he is not a scholar of financial economics, or financial education, and his contribution should be understood in light of his email response to my request.

Any questions regarding the journal or its credentials can be directed to the editors and/or the executive director.