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There is already a post on A.SE about the InTechOpen platform, which is currently listed as a predatory open-access journal. That question is 3 years old and since then the platform has changed a lot, for instance a number of highly respected colleagues have published there (in my field in mathematics). Moreover, the only accepted answer in the aforementioned post is a short "no", which does not address any specific concerns.

In light of that, my question is this: Is it worth publishing a book chapter through InTechOpen?

Advantages:

  • Many prominent researchers in my field have published there (*)
  • The quality of the articles is high in general, the papers are enjoyable to read and have excellent content (at least in my field)
  • It is a great opportunity to summarize the current state-of-the-art research in a specific area, knowing that InTechOpen publishes all books open access and you can even find hardcover editions in libraries/bookstores

Disadvantages:

  • The publishing fee for a single 20-page chapter is $1500, way too much (this is why it's considered predatory)
  • I receive unsolicited mail from InTechOpen, inviting me to publish there, which is a big red flag for me

However, in light of (*) and the huge visibility that it offers (thousands of views each week), I am considering that it might be a price worth paying.

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  • Please do not ask questions that request updates on closed questions. If you want a question reopened, you can ask on meta. Jun 16, 2021 at 12:11
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    The answer to your question is no, because the first two advantages you list are not, in my opinion, true. Jun 16, 2021 at 12:13
  • @AnonymousPhysicist The truthfulness of a statement has the advantage of not being subject to opinion. If you go on the publisher's webpage you will see that even Nobel Laureates have published articles there.
    – Klangen
    Jun 16, 2021 at 12:23
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    "The publishing fee for a single 20-page chapter is $1500, way too much (this is why it's considered predatory)" That is not enough to consider it predatory! What about Nature charging authors 2000€ just to get the peer review? then the publishing fees are still very high. And open free publishing costs would be 9500€.
    – EarlGrey
    Jun 16, 2021 at 12:57
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    Here's a somewhat more recent question that shows a better (IMO) reason to consider InTechOpen predatory than their publication charges: academia.stackexchange.com/q/138840/17254
    – Anyon
    Jun 16, 2021 at 13:44

1 Answer 1

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The usefulness of publishing in a predatory venue depends on which institution you wish to work in the future. If in the future, you wish to work in a highly-rated institution, I would strongly advise against publishing in such predatory venues.

You see, most of the prestigious people that you have seen publishing in these journals are people with established careers who have nothing to lose, or in many cases they did not even know that the journal was predatory. This is not a joke, I know quite a few reputed scholars who got confused and only realized after agreeing to publish that the journal was predatory!

Another reason is that often students do co-authored papers with established professors who then submit to these journals without careful investigation. Because these professors are also often busy, it can happen that the student informs the professor by email about the name of the journal they want to submit, and the professor was too busy to carefully double-check the journal, and says yes to go ahead. I know it seems crazy, but I have seen it happen with my very eyes.

There are other established professors who have chosen these predatory venues because they have some conflict, or a bone to pick with some gatekeeper colleagues at established journals, and they see these venues as an easy way to circumvent the issue.

If you are still in your early career, and you want to apply for well-paying jobs at a well-ranked institution, the mere sight of your CV with a mention of a paper included in a predatory journal might be enough to get you immediately disqualified.

Personally, I would not take the risk of publishing there. But I certainly am not going to judge others for their choices, and I hope everything goes well for you in the end.

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  • Thank you for this reply. Why is it that "the mere sight of your CV with a mention of a paper included in a predatory journal might be enough to get you immediately disqualified"?
    – Klangen
    Jun 16, 2021 at 13:20
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    There are different reasons, but the two most common ones are the following: (1) high-ranked universities are desperate to stay high in THE rankings, which put a lot of importance in the number of published SSCI/SCI/A&HCI papers. Predatory journals normally fail to be included in Web of Science lists. Univs cannot prevent tenured profs from publishing in predatory venues, but they can shun new applicants for doing so, since these people would not contribute to better rankings. (2) Some profs absolutely despise predatory venues, and it only takes one objection to reject an applicant.
    – djohn
    Jun 16, 2021 at 13:25
  • Most professors will not disqualify you for one or even two papers in predatory journals, most are aware these are designed to trick us into submitting there, but this answer is still valid. Some professor may take a hard line on this and why risk it? Jun 26, 2021 at 17:20

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