Beware of Scholarly scam (In the Internet)

Unlike subscription-based journals like, say, Nature, Econometrica or theAmerican Journal of International Law, 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.

Modus operandi

Their modus operandi is to send mails to researchers and scientists soliciting manuscripts but never mentioning the processing fee charged per “article” published. 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. “We currently offer a 75 per cent discount to all invitees,” the journal website states. 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.”