Another reputable physics journal?

When I received emails from a physics journal offering publication in journals relating to various fields of physics for a price, my response was to put a post on here. Another student who received emails from another such set of journals decided to test how reputable they actually were. Philip Davies, a graduate student at Cornell University received emails from Bentham Science Publishers. Seeing he was being offered publication in fields outside of his expertise, he used a computer program called SCIgen to create a nonsensical paper that he then sent in to the publishers. Normally, a real peer reviewed journal would send papers to reviewers, who will pass judgment on whether or not the advances are sufficient to merit publication. Davies believed the services offered in the email were in fact a form of vanity publishing, whereby money is paid to publish and no checks on quality made. Sure enough, as he reported in the Scholarly Kitchen blog, the paper was accepted. All this despite the acronym of his supposed research institution – Center for Research in Applied Phrenology, or CRAP.

As New Scientist reported, this isn’t the first time such methods have been used to test entry qualifications for journals and conferences advertised by email. Though this article may well not be making an appearance in any future publications, it certainly gets the point many a scientist would like to make through.

Bentham themselves say that they realised this was a hoax and wanted to get the name of the hoaxer through pretending to accept the article. Davies wonders why they didn’t just ask him and I wonder, given the large amount of hoaxes journals do have to put up with as well as the large volume of traffic in a journal, why they would do this anyway. It seems they will not be doing it in the future however, as New Scientist now reports, the editor in chief has been sacked as a result. He mentioned that the explanation of trying to solicit the name of the hoaxers was news to him and suggested in his letter of resignation that all editorial decisions on publication transferred to the science editors…


2 responses to “Another reputable physics journal?

  1. Bentham Science Publishers has always been a serious STM publisher operating in the industry for the last 25 years. We have a collection of 122 subscription-based journals, 240 Open Access titles and over 300 eBooks, 260 of which are Scopus indexed.

    37 Bentham Science journals have impact factors, some of which are the leading titles in their respective fields. Our flagship
    publications include “Current Gene Therapy” (I.F. 5.318), Current Drug Metabolism (I.F.:4.405), “Current Molecular Medicine” (I.F. 4.197), “Current Medicinal Chemistry” (I.F. 4.07), “Current Cancer Drug Targets” (I.F. 4.00) and “Current Drug Targets” (I.F. 3.848).

    A stringent, standardized review process is followed for all our publications. The Editors of our journals enjoy complete freedom to exercise their authority subject to our standard quality control procedures. We use the Ithenticate System to detect Plagiarism of any kind and have a clear policy on any interests being publicly declared by all authors.

    The article in question in our Open Physics Chemistry Journal was published many years ago and went through the standard review process and was approved by the neutral reviewers. The authors stand by their article and research work and have responded promptly to any queries about it.

    Bentham Science processes about 20,000 articles for publication each year, which is proof of our quality control system’s credibility that this article as well as several other attempts were caught. There are always some people who have axe to grind or who want to extort money from organization like us. Large number of authors, editors and board members have endorsed the quality of our publications and our organization. Please view….

    • Many thanks for your comment, Faizan. Unfortunately, it would appear you’ve got your wires crossed somewhere. This (four year old) post doesn’t refer to the Open Physics Chemistry Journal, but the Open Information Science Journal. Additionally, “The authors stand by their article and research work and have responded promptly to any queries about it.” doesn’t refer to this as the author is the one who reported the problems with the submitted paper (ie that it was a nonsensical piece of computer generated prose). Your last paragraph, which contradicts the previous one, also has an incomplete link – probably a copy and paste error. I will be happy to correct the link if you sent the url.

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