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Recently I've been receiving an increasing number of invitations to submit papers to several new Open-Access journals published by Scientific Research Publishing (SCIRP).

Has anybody here had any direct interactions with any of their journals? If so, what is your opinion?

I googled around a bit and they do not seem to be an exceedingly serious outfit. Although I have no intention of publishing there, I think this discussion may be useful for others receiving the same, or similar, invitations.

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If you stay in the academia, you will get a lot of unsolicited e-mails from shady unknown pay-to-publish journals. Many move them into the same folder as penis enlargement e-mails. (with the due exceptions, of course.) –  Federico Poloni Aug 21 '12 at 13:29
    
I have heard of the "Nature news item" which states that SCIRP is not a serious outfit. But then why did USA today report on one of its articles? –  user5919 Feb 4 '13 at 9:09
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@eva: Because, in terms of academic research, USA Today is not a serious outfit either. –  Nate Eldredge Feb 4 '13 at 13:20
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@eva: It's hard to say. Even a terrible journal may occasionally publish a worthwhile paper, submitted by someone unaware of the organization's reputation, so we couldn't learn much from one case. It's also worth noting that USA Today is in no position to judge this work. They probably received a press release from the authors, decided it sounded interesting, and ran a short article with little or no further investigation. (One clue is that they write "Alpert said in a statement", where the statement is probably the press release. Another clue is that they quote nobody but the authors.) –  Anonymous Mathematician Feb 4 '13 at 13:28
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This publishing company is run like a financial business in a stock market with a thin outfit of academic research. It is intended to earn profits from those who are eager to publish something. Your paper with it will disgrace your reputation if you have a real research effort you want to make known to the public. –  user6329 Mar 11 '13 at 13:12

4 Answers 4

up vote 20 down vote accepted

This recent Nature news item would seem to suggest rather strongly that SCIRP is not a serious outfit. Given the ethical improprieties mentioned in that article, staying away from such journals with a ten-foot pole (or longer) seems advisable.

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Yes, I do indeed have some direct experience with them. I've written about it on my blog.

Summary: The SCIRP journal Advances in Pure Mathematics provisionally accepted a randomly-generated nonsense paper. This seems a clear indication that their peer-review process is a sham, and that they are essentially a vanity press, and not a "serious outfit" at all.

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Scientific Research Publishing is currently listed in Beall's List of Predatory, Open-Access Publishers, so it isn't a good idea to submit papers to their journals.

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I think that is a little to strong of advice. Beall's list is the opinion of a single individual (he recently published his method, but I am not convinced of its merit yet). I think it should it should raise concerns about a publisher/journal. but should not be the only reason for not publishing there. –  StrongBad Sep 9 '12 at 9:50

If you have preprints posted on a preprint server or on the arXiv, they will ask you to remove them before reviewing your work. I am unaware of other open access publishers who insist that all prior revisions of a work be removed before the current version is reviewed. Submission to a preprint server such as the arXiv is encouraged by some journals in some fields (e.g., mathematics). Removal from the arXiv is all but impossible after submission. The refereeing process does not strike me as serious, e.g., referees have been known to ask authors to remove citations to personal communications from submitted manuscripts. There is nothing wrong with citing correspondence; disallowing such citations is bizarre, goes against accepted scholarly practice and, at worst, encourages plagiarism.

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Removal from the arXiv is all but impossible after submission. — In fact, it is completely impossible, by design. Even after a paper is withdrawn, past revisions are still available. See arxiv.org/help/withdraw . –  JeffE Mar 12 '13 at 23:02
    
As a matter of policy, yes; empirically no--there are cases where the administrators remove papers, but this is unusual. –  Anon Mar 12 '13 at 23:25
    
@I.M.Flaud: When have the administrators removed papers? I haven't heard of this happening, and it sounds troubling. –  Anonymous Mathematician Mar 13 '13 at 0:57
    
@AnonymousMathematician Google for "Carlos Castro Perelman", it is a kinda famous or infamous story. Without checking carefully his work, it looks like a crackpot, so should the arxiv keep or remove his papers? –  Nick S Mar 15 at 23:58
    
@NickS: Do you know whether any of his papers have actually been removed after posting? I did a few searches, and it sounds like he is forbidden to post new papers and some of his old arXiv papers were moved to the "general physics" category, but I didn't see any indication that any of his papers were actually deleted from the arXiv. –  Anonymous Mathematician Mar 16 at 4:10

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