The Hindu : Sci-Tech / Technology : On the Net, a scam of a most scholarly kind
Jeffrey Beall's bookmarks 2012-09-27
"First came the spam emails professing ... the pitches have become ever more focused and sophisticated. The latest — and arguably the most insidious — form: Open Access 'journals.' Open Access (OA) journals are freely accessible online. The business model revolves around the author-pay mode — where researchers pay for publishing their work... This model has become an academic game-changer in the last decade. With the number of genuine OA titles proliferating by the day, and even reputed publishing houses like the Nature Publishing Group jumping on the bandwagon, keeping track of the new additions has become extremely difficult, particularly by scholars in developing countries. The author-pay mode, the number of titles, and the average developing country researcher’s inexperience in scholarly communication have provided the perfect milieu for electronic ‘dons’ to make a killing... Their modus operandi is to send mails to researchers and scientists soliciting manuscripts... Many of the bogus 'journal' websites do not mention the charges. When they do, they are anywhere between $100 and $1,800. But some journals, like ‘Academy Publish’, offer a 'discount' up to 75 per cent... The ‘Asian Journal of Mathematical Sciences’ charges $250 per manuscript. But it offers a bait: 'If you do not have funds to pay such fees, you [sic] will have an opportunity to waive each fee up to 50 per cent. We do not want fees to prevent the publication of worthy work...' With some publishers offering up to 200 journals, they ensure that a variety of titles covering every imaginable area of specialisation is available. Interestingly, only some of these titles have any 'papers' listed and even these cover very different fields from medicine to physics to chemistry in one 'issue.' For instance, the Discovery group of publications has many 'titles,' but only Discovery Science has about half a dozen 'papers,' all from authors based in India. Speaking to The Hindu, one of the authors from a reputed institution in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, expressed complete ignorance about the status of a ‘journal’ he had contributed an article to. So what prompted him to choose this ‘journal’? 'I got an email from them asking me to consider sending my paper. I also saw other papers published by authors based in India'... While many titles do not have editors listed on the websites, a few others carry the names of respected researchers from reputed institutions. 'I get e-mails from the predators’ victims. Some have been named as members of editorial boards without their knowledge or permission,' writes Jeffrey Beall, in Nature. Prof Beall is Scholarly Initiatives Librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver and regularly updates his blog Scholarly Open Access (http://scholarlyoa.com/individual-journals/) with exhaustive posts on several issues pertaining to predatory publishing... Prof. Natarajan Muthusamy, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and the Ohio State University Medical Center has been named as the Editor-in-Chief of a journal from the OMICS Publishing Group, Journal of Postgenomics: Drug & Biomarker Development. 'I am not aware that I am Editor-in-Chief [of this journal]. I do not recall having committed to this job,' he told The Hindu in an email... So how can researchers inexperienced in scientific publishing identify a fake journal ... The first stop should be Prof. Beall’s blog where exhaustive lists (http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/ and http://scholarlyoa.com/individual-journals/) of counterfeits have been listed out. The lists are a product of research done assiduously since 2009, first by following up on email solicitations and then based on tip-offs by scholars. '[They can] consult my list. Discuss with senior colleagues or mentors [to know] which are the best journals,” he told The Hindu...'"
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