Everyday I receive invitations on my email to submit a manuscript in some sort of an upcoming journal offering rapid peer review and wider coverage. Most of these journals are either online first, or purely online and open access. Some claim to process the manuscripts in a few weeks and some in a few days and unfortunately most of them come from developing countries like India. Yesterday I received and email from the editor of the Journal of Science Dr. Akhilesh Gupta which offered me to publish my article in 3 days. The email says that the journal is peer reviewed and of international standards and that they have made the submission process easier and faster than before. The scope of the journal seems to be the whole world of science as they have not left any field which I know of. Below is the snapshot of the email I received.
I usually ignore such emails, but this particular email managed to catch my attention for two main reasons. The first subject line which says that “We publish paper within 3 days” and second the sentence at the bottom of the email which says “send ur valuable manusctip us only at email@example.com”. I wondered how can anyone publish a peer reviewed paper in 3 days only, I have quite a few papers published and the fastest I could get the reply from the editor/reviewer was a month. Surely it will take at least a day to find the reviewers and send them the invitation and the reviewer might take a day or two just to think about whether they want to review the paper or not and what kind of research can be reviewed and published within 3 days. The editor of the journal doesn’t even bother to write “ur” in full, this is not an SMS to a friend its a professional email to a researcher. And a whole lot of other mistakes in the email.
The reason why these publishers are increasing day by day is because it’s easier and less expensive to setup an online publishing company. What all you need is a website hosting the published manuscripts and an ISSN number. I was also surprised how little they are charging for the manuscript fee, only INR 1000/$30. I don’t know for that price how they are managing to afford staff for the company. It is either just a one man company who is using his home computer to do everything or he is plainly exploiting students to do his job either for free or at a very low wage. However, I can think of other reasons why such companies are flourishing. Research is growing at a very rapid rate, government organizations have already put a lot of pressure on academics and students to publish their work for admissions to higher degree, getting jobs or promotions. And not everyone is capable of doing substantial research in the given time that it can be published in a high impact journal and therefore people just want to get published somewhere so that they have atleast something to write in their resume.
As researchers we should discourage such bogus publishers and black list them from our institutions.