Dear legitimate open-access publishers: stop spamming!
June 4, 2013
I just got this message from Rana Ashour of Paleontology Journal, an open-access journal published by Hindawi, who are generally felt to be a perfectly legitimate publisher:
Dear Dr. Taylor,
I am writing to invite you to submit an article to Paleontology Journal which is a peer-reviewed open access journal for original research articles as well as review articles in all areas of paleontology.
Paleontology Journal is published using an open access publication model, meaning that all interested readers are able to freely access the journal online without the need for a subscription, and authors retain the copyright of their work. All manuscripts that are submitted to the journal during June 2013 will not be subject to any page charges, color charges, or article processing charges.
(Apart from anything else, the waiving of APCs pretty clearly indicates that this is not a scam journal.)
Hi, Rana. Thanks for this invitation. I am supportive of Hindawi as a good-quality, low-cost open-access publisher. In particular I want Paleontology Journal to do well: it has at least one colleague of mine among its editors. I am particularly pleased to see that no APCs are payable on submissions made during June 2013.
But as a matter of principle I never respond to “academic spam”. Messages sent as bulk mailings to a broad group of potential authors are at best impolite, and at worst actively damage the reputation of the journal and its publisher — see point M on Jefffey Beall’s Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers.
I urge you to use what influence you have to discontinue the use of spam to advertise Paleontology Journal. If the journal is good, it can be advertised by publicising the papers that appear in it.
Dr. Michael P. Taylor
Department of Earth Sciences
University of Bristol
Let’s hope they go with it. I’d love them to build another low-cost, high-quality, journal in the palaeontology OA space, to compete with Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, Palaeontologia Electronica, PalArch and of course PLOS ONE and PeerJ. But they won’t do it by spamming.