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The future of scholarly publishing

Is anyone else getting these e-mails with ever greater frequency? And if so could you point me towards an explanation of what’s driving this?

Dear Mark Carrigan,

I am Vernon Thompson, the editor of World Journal of Social Science Research (ISSN 2332-5534). I have had an opportunity to read your paper “There’s more to life than sex? Difference and commonality within the asexual community” which is published in Sexualities: Studies in Culture and Society, and can tell from your work that you are an expert in this field.

World Journal of Social Science Research is a new peer-reviewed open access journal which focuses on scholarly research and practical experience in the field of social science, which includes, but is not limited to the following field: anthropology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

We are calling for submission of papers. Please find the journal’s profile at: and submit your manuscripts online. If you have any questions, please contact with the editor at:

We are also recruiting reviewers for the journal. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer, we welcome you to join us.

Please find the details at

Download the application form

After that, e-mail the completed the application form to

It is appreciated if you could share this information with your colleagues and associates. Thank you.

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19 replies

  1. These solicitations are likely coming from preditory OA journals, which are set up to harvest author processing charges while providing few of the services of legitimate publishers. Preditory publishers are taking advantage of (1) the desperation of scholars to be published, (2) a shifted business model that extracts payment up front for services instead of selling a quality product to end users, and (3) the positive moral charge of “open access.” There has been a huge amount of discussion of preditory OA publishers: you should be able to search for more info. Beall’s List ( is the attempt by one librarian to provide a list of questionable publishers (although the list and the librarian are not without controversy).

    I started receiving solicitations from these publishers as soon as I published my first article.

  2. thanks Tim! have you looked at the website though? I’m not convinced this is an instance of that, unless the potential costs are buried away. I should have said “I’m not convinced this is predatory OA but if it isn’t, I’m not sure what the business model is & it’s clearly dodgy”.

  3. I get one of those almost every week. The first one, about two years ago, came from a Business Review with an impressive board. I sent a paper I had just presented in a congress with a friend and they replied (from China!!) accepting it and charging us 500 dlls. to publish it. Never again…

  4. ah maybe that would be true in this case, if I were to e-mail and offer a paper…

  5. There will definitely be a fee – it’s quite deeply buried in the author guidelines: “Ø Publication fee: Scholink is an independent organization which has no financial support. All the journals published by Scholink are open access. In order to operation our journals without difficulty, the publication cost should be covered by the author’s institution or research funds. The author should pay the publication fee after receiving the acceptance letter.”

    And this journal does not seem to be registered with DOAJ and the lack of clarity and use of language in their information pages should ring a few alarms bells …

  6. the whole thing rang alarm bells! my point was that the question of a fee wasn’t immediately apparent so I wasn’t sure if it fell into the same category as predatory OA publishers who mention the fee explicitly from the outset.

  7. I just got the exact same letter today. They couldn’t even get the title of my paper right… Their website looks unprofessional and has a bunch of typos/grammatical errors. Their little flowchart makes it pretty obvious there is a fee (where it says “payment”) and that there is no peer review except that by the editorial board (who are obviously interested in publishing, because of the fee…). I never saw a flowchart like this for serious journals…

    Good luck dealing with this new kind of spam…

  8. to be fair I’ve seen a few flow charts recently in very legitimate places, it seems like a good thing to do to simplify open access to those who are confused by it. otherwise I completely agree though.

  9. Thanks to those of you who responded to Mark. I have just been contacted by the same journal and wanted to check it’s legitimacy before replying. Everyone’s comments have been most helpful.

  10. I have just received a similar Email. I’ve checked their website, there is indeed a fee:

    “This journal charges the following author fees.
    Article Publication: 200.00 (USD)
    If this paper is accepted for publication, you will be asked to pay an Article Publication Fee to cover publications costs.”

  11. I’ve been getting scores of these after having a couple journal articles published. There are some flaky so-called journals that lack professional excellence, and they might be more inclined to publish marginal work for the author fees, but nothing is completely black and white. My first journal article got published in a highly esteemed journal from the Springer publishing corporation, and I have since leaned that Springer is a highly ranked publishing company. I did’t pay any author fees to Springer because I waived copyrights of the article to the publisher in exchange for the honor of having my paper published with them. Had I elected to retain copyright infringement of my paper Springer would have charged me $3,000! Wow! If you are a graduate student in a university, the school usually pays the publication fees, but I’m unaffiliated with any institution.

    With potentially high fees in mind my second paper got published with a less prestigious publishing company but I only paid $300 for author fees, and I was such a pain in the ass, the company deserved every dollar I gave them. The paper is doing very well and leading with downloads.

    There is a middle ground to all of this. Some journals are so pedantic and elitist that they take great pride in rejecting legitimate work that other journals might be willing to publish. Elite Journals may tend to be rigid, picky, and dare I say, a bit condescending, and very sensitive to political correctness. Conversely, I suppose you would not want to publish a paper in a journal that has no community respect, ranking, or standards of excellence. I am currently working on a paper that top journals have rejected several times because of political correctness to the subject matter, and not because the paper was poorly written. If I send it to one of the fly by night outfits it will be published immediately (I would guess) but I don’t want to stoop to the bottom of the barrel either. I’m trying to find a middle ranked journal I respect that has been in business for awhile, not on the verge of bankruptcy, and that is willing to publish my work, which is currently a very politically incorrect paper… Wish me good luck!

  12. It is a SCAM. They charge hundreds to publish. Do not take the hustling bait for these OA joker “journals.” Must take a lesson from americans and their endless hustling and huckstering. Anything for a buck.

  13. They are still sending these out. I just received one that is nearly identical to your original post. Also Beall’s list of predatory journals and publishers was taken down, but you can still find screenshots of the original lists on other websites. If they are not registered with the DOAJ, or affiliated with a respected institution, then I see that as a huge red flag.

  14. I just got a mail from WJSSR with more or less the same wordings as in the examples above, no doubt automatically generated, thus not coming from an individual who has actually have had the honor of reading your cited article, let alone being very impressed by it. I had my suspicions, although I have to admit that my first reaction was one of feeling flattered? Who can you trust ‘out there’. The comments above have been very helpful. The only good thing I can say is that the payment issue is clearly indicated on the flow-chart, although I could find no information on the actual charges, but I guess it will be waived for distinguished contributors for a slight fee……..

  15. Exact same email today in 2020, informing me also that sociology is an extremely expansive field: “World Journal of Social Science Research publishes qualitative and quantitative researches in **all areas of sociology such as**: Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Political science, Education, Language and Linguistics, Law, History, Culture, Environment, etc.”

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