I'll probably never get another academic job after posting this information ( ;) ), but my last two "refereed" publications were in so-called "predatory" journals. Interestingly, I never felt preyed upon in any way. My co-author(s) and I agreed to the publications willingly.
The first one in the list below was actually a more-than-decent paper, we didn't pay anything to have it published, and the referees' comments indicated they had at least read the paper.
The second paper listed below was a good enough paper, not path-breaking probably, but it was a non-mainstream interdisciplinary piece that would never have found a standard outlet in the standard economics journals. The proceedings of the conference where we presented the paper were never published, and so when we saw the title of the journal, we all said, WTF, kicked in $50 apiece, and sent it there. The refereeing was horrid -- boilerplate comments that bore no resemblance to the article. But the title of the journal was perfect for our article.
We knew what we were doing. And we knew that most schools that don't have committees to actually read an author's work wouldn't much care, whereas the schools where people actually read the papers would nod and say the work was good. So let me repeat. We were not preyed upon. We were glad to have the outlets for our work.
If authors feel preyed upon by these journals, it's because they are ignorant whiners and/or because the current reward system encourages too many schools to count publications without reading people's articles.
I am quite certain that these last two items on my curriculum vitae would count against me at schools that assess people only by the prestige of the journals in which they publish. I call journals like those two, "vanity journals", not unlike the vanity press that publishes some authors' novels: pay-to-publish.
The problem is that reading a candidate's publications is time-consuming and difficult. It's easier to count publications and/or count publications weighted by the number of characters published, weighted by the prestige of the journals in which the articles appear, and perhaps weighted by the citations the article receives.
Misuse of signals is not an indictment of the efficient use of signals. Just don't say I was a victim for having chosen to publish in these journals.
Actually, my most recent c.v. item is forthcoming in a refereed conference volume. My article is "Property Rights and Contract Enforcement in the Post-Zombie Apocalypse".
“Misallocation Costs under Rent Control: Experimental Evidence” (with Jason Childs), Scientific Online Publications: Transactions in Economic Research, (May, 2014)
- “The Economics of Culture: Implications and Underpinnings” (with Jason Childs and [the late] Gary Tompkins), International Journal of Liberal Arts and Social Science, (May, 2014)