OA-publishers AND Print on demand in a grey zone
There are Open Access publishers that operate in a grey zone and you should therefore think twice before you submit an article to such a publisher. No matter what, always consider the following before you submit an article to any publisher you are not familiar with:
- Are the published articles by well known authors and/or well known institutions in the field?
- Who is in the "editorial board"?
- Is the contact details to the publisher listed in a proper way?
- Are the conditions "License to publish" fair?
The publishers below have used non-standard marketing and/or editing methods which could include badly targeted spamming to contact authors, shaky peer-review, low-standard contact information on web pages etc. If you are contacted by any of them, try to be extra observant.
Bentham Science Publishers: Bentham Open
Scientific Journals International
Academic Journals use spamming to contact authors. Low standard of contact information on their web pages; authors are requested to sign away their copyright and few articles published in each journal.
OMICS Publishing Group
Use spamming to contact authors. Low standard in several of their journals.
A company that sells research promotion services is using email addresses left on PLOS Medicines comments section to spam researchers. See article on Baill´s blog.
Dove Medical Press
Public Service Review
Concerning Offer to publish Print on Demand
Now and then students and staff at BTH receive personal letters from LAP Lambert Academic Publishing AG & Co. KG (earlier VDM Verlag) in Germany, or other such companies, making offers to publish student theses, dissertations etc. as printed books. This has caused quite a few people to turn to the library for advice. Apart from the information you can find on the net by searching for "lap lambert" and find out what people write on their blogs or in different social forums, there are a few things we would like you to consider if you receive such an offer.
It is important to state that the author always own the copyright to the text. Therefore it is up to the author to decide to publish or not, but we do recommend that you contact your supervisor before you make a decision, just to make sure that your decision do not contradict any policy of the department. It is also vital to remember that disposition of the copyright can be limited if the rights already have been transferred to a scientific journal etc.
Lap Lambert is a so called vanity publisher, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanity_press. If you agree to their contract you sign over the rights of your work. They charge a very high price for the copies and give you a relatively small return. Their business model builds on this, that very few people will buy the copies and those that are bought compensate for those who do not sell. With the recent print on demand process, vanity publishing has again flourished, especially as it is visible on Amazon and similar sites.
To publish in this way for research is academic suicide. It means no one else will take you. To do it as a student though is less serious, if you do not want to use your work later yourself. On the other hand you stand to gain little except to show friends that you are "published".
Also remember to
- Carefully study the "Information for authors" that LAP attached to their offer. Just to make sure that this is something that you can agree to.
- If you decide to take the offer and LAP decides to publish, you will get a contract for signing. Make sure that the text in the contract corresponds with the information you received earlier on, so that you do not sign away more rights than necessary. Always make sure that you keep the right to publish your document on a university institutional repository.
- If you choose to publish with a so called "vanity publisher", remember that you can not use the same text to write a scientific article later.
- Your theses are already published in PDF-format either at BTH Institutional Repository or BTH Electronic Thesis Archive.
- The dissemination of your document can not be better than it is at the moment, freely available via BTH Electronic Thesis Archive.
Peter Linde 20141015