Journals that ask for money. Is it so dishonest?

taxidriverWell…, let’s shake this publishing martini a little bit.

Let’s see the publishing industry as if authors/professors were the clients: we scholars/clients place our papers in journals to be recognized, to improve our CVs and to have our research disseminated.

Would you like to send a paper to a journal and have a response by the Editor within a couple of weeks?
Would you like to have your peer reviews 3 or 4 weeks later? (Is it too demanding?)
What about having an estimate of the publication date if you answer your review comments within a determined period of time?
What else would you ask for?
Wouldn’t you pay for all this? … No? … Come off it!

But, do you know any journal with a service like that?

  • I do, or at least a couple of them which comply with most of the above: journals (indexed in acceptable and recognized databases) where you pay.
  • The rest strive with their success (or themselves), their processes and reviewers. For example, I sent in a paper to low quartile JCR journal (WoK) that is still in the process a year after!

We all know that the client is the reader, or shouldn’t they be? Subscriptions are decreasing… and internet uprising…

  • Is the reader of scientific journals someone who reads every issue of them? Or is the real reader an academic who looks just for the articles of their interest? In any journal available?
  • How many journals university libraries (or we) have to subscribe to?

Another issue is the academic questions and quality this new system may arise: you pay-you publish? Which are usually resolved via citation indexing.

What do you think about paying for a (publishing) service? Or the problem is what others think of you doing it? Have you asked them?


15 Responses to Journals that ask for money. Is it so dishonest?

  1. David Cooper says:

    Any journal that charges you a fee is a fraud. Legitimate journals do not charge fees. This is a scam to make money off of people who are desperate to publish. There are plenty of legitimate journals in which to publish. Go to conferences and make contacts, then you will be able to publish.

  2. Wei Zhang says:

    I believe that the ultimate goal of acdemic journal is to distribute new and assured knowledge explored by scholars. For doing this, a business model is needed. The readers, NOT the authors, are the customers of this business, so the readers should pay for the value they get, and this payment should cover the cost of doing this business. If we think that academic publishing is a public goods, then governments, not the readers or authors, should pay for this service. The real question is: what is a scholar at a public school paid for? For producing knowledge only? Or producing AND distributing knowledge?

  3. Kumar Ganesh says:

    The main goal of Academic journal is to make scholar research public….if a scholar wants to do new research , he need some previous work and that is publicly available by journal. This journal need some man power. Some indexing databases are paid not free, so to index research papers in that database , journal needs money. Authors get benefits what they made some research work. Journal also needs money for maintenance. Comments on this is most welcome……

  4. May be the ethics of some journals/publishers are questionable but I think that the model itself is beneficial for the industry. The challenge is about the knowledge (innovative, reliable, reputable, biased, ethical, etc.) not about who pays for it or its dissemination.

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  6. This is not right to say that all the journals who charge for the publication are fraud. For example Springer charge for the publishing the research papers. What do you say about them?

    • For me is not a fraud, they need funds to keep the journal going so one of the income sources they (or some of them) use is charging fees to authors.

      But I understand that academics, in general, think that this practice is unfair, because if journals is a business they should pay for the content (papers) and for the reviewing services, shouldn’t they?

      • David says:

        I think that the academic article publishing system has not yet found a fair and balanced system. The first objective of publishers is to make money (despite what they may say), and that is legitimate. It is how they make their money that is questionable. I know people in developing (and developed!) countries who just cannot pay for some articles. That is abuse of money and power, restricting access based on personal resources. It flies in the very face of those (publishers) who pontificate about democratic dissemination of scientific work. Who are they to decide who has access to research on water or on pollution (that probably affects the poor more than the rich)? Why do the big publishers not get together and devise a system that is fair for the world, and why do governments not contribute in some way? It is the usual case: the technology is there for it to happen; it simply a small clique of people (usually with money and power) who decide who has access to science. Why do we stay stuck between two systems that obviously do not work for the betterment of humanity? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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