I recently reviewed a manuscript for a journal I didn't know very well, but which was indexed on Pubmed and Scopus and seemed to be legitimate. In my review, I recommended rejection based on what I considered to be substantial flaws in methodology, data analysis, and interpretation. In addition, I had ethical concerns about the manuscript, including suspicions of self-plagiarism and possible copyright infringement. It seemed that the authors had inappropriately reused text, data, and figures from an article that they had previously published in another journal. I detailed all of these concerns in my report to the editor.
After an automated response from the editor acknowledging receipt of my review, I heard nothing from the journal for 3-4 months. Out of curiosity, I looked online and was surprised to find that the manuscript was already in print! In fact, it had been published less than 2 months after I submitted my review, and the published version is essentially identical to the draft version I reviewed.
I have since made multiple attempts to contact the editor, but have received no response. To be clear, I certainly understand that the editorial team may not agree with my review, but I have been quite disappointed to have received no response to address the scientific and ethical issues I raised. If nothing else, in my experience (and I realize this may be a niche-specific expectation) an editor for any reputable journal will keep reviewers apprised of the editorial progress of manuscripts they have reviewed.
Some readers have asked whether this is an online open-access journal with article processing charges, but instead it is a subscription-based journal. Thus, the journal and publisher are not eligible for inclusion on Beall's List (scholarlyoa.com).
Are there any other steps I can or should take? Anyhow, if I continue to be ignored by the editor, I am considering sharing this information with the editorial board of the journal that published the original paper (the one that I think may have been self-plagiarized).