Predatory publishers contacts students

Recently there have been cases of students being contacted by GlobeEdit Publishing, a predatory publisher that wants to publish the students work, the initial contact could look something like this:

“I believe this particular topic could be of interest to a wider audience and we would be glad to consider publishing it.
Should the commercialisation of your work as printed book meet your interest, I will be glad to provide you with further details in an electronic brochure.”

Usualy predatory publishers are interested in you paying the publication cost to make profit off your research. In this case GlobeEdit is offering to publish your work for free, the problem is with the contract; you will loose all rights to your work and they will sell it to make money. GlobeEdit do not care about scientific quality or making your work reach a “wider audience”; they will rather work to limit the access behind a paywall. The student thesis are usually already published and available online through the university repositories.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is also reporting similar cases.

Always be wary of:
“– Mass emails asking for submissions”. And to quote SLU:

“That students and researchers are being contacted like this is unfortunately a more and more common phenomenon. Be observant and make sure you know who you are dealing with before you sign anything.”

/Thomas Nyström

Academic texts, part 2: Publishers

One way to try to determine whether a text is scientific or not is to look at the context of the text and who is behind the text.

  • Is the article published in an scientific journal which you know of since before?
  • If you do not know the journal, is the publisher or organisation behind the journal known to publish scientific journals or to produce research? For example the Human IT, journal mentioned in the earlier post, is published by University of Borås. Another example is British Educational Research Journal which is associated with the British Educational Research Association (BERA) and published by Taylor & Francis which also publishes other scientific journals. Other well-known international publishers are Elsevier, Springer, Blackwell, Routledge and a number of publishers connected with universities, University Press –  although these are not necessarlily connected to a university anymore.
  • The above is valid for monographs and anthologies aswell.
  • When it comes to conferences a bit more detective work is needed but there are some conferences which are connected to an organisation, e.g. IEEE or ACM.
  • Some databases demand that journals and conference papers must have gone through peer review, e.g. Web of Science. If you are unsure you can check whether your journal is included there. Just remember, your journal is not automatically non-scientific just because the journal is not included in WoS-list.

So far the texts accepted as scientific in higher education are those which have been peer reviewed by external reviewers and the peer review usually takes place just before publishing. As the world of publishing is changing many researchers are using other channels to test their results and reasoning, such as blogs or publishing preprints (paper accepted for publishing but published yet) in open repositories such as arXiv.org. These texts are not necessarily considered as scientific although many of them are, especially those in arXiv.org. Depending on how the publishing world changes this might come to change.

//Helena Francke, lector at BHS

Blog posts are translated from Swedish by Pieta Eklund.