I have submitted a paper to a journal. Having got no reply (after waiting for more than the period of acceptance) I tried to connect the editor via telephone numbers given on website. It said that the telephone number did not exist. So, I tried to open the website link, it did not open initially and later it connected me to a different site with the same name where it sold hardware parts. Hence I thought it was a fake website and applied to another journal and was accepted. Now it asks me to pay fee to publish paper. Is there any problem if I publish the paper in the second journal?

  • 1
    Did you tell the story about the first journal to the second journal? Also, who asks you to pay fee to publish paper? Please clarify.
    – scaaahu
    Apr 13 '15 at 5:43
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    Just a rough intuition: That is a fake journal and do not pay to publish, for it would do you no good...
    – Megadeth
    Apr 13 '15 at 5:47
  • "Never pay to publish" is good advice only in some fields, I am afraid. Apr 13 '15 at 11:43
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    "Now it asks me to pay fee to publish paper". Would you please clarify that who is that "it"? Who asks you to pay fee to publish paper? The first journal or the second journal?
    – scaaahu
    Apr 13 '15 at 12:18

Based on what you describe, I would see it as exceedingly likely that the journal is indeed fake. I would formally retract the paper at the journal, and afterwards discontinue all dealings with them. They will likely not answer, but I would just assume that the entire submission is dead as soon as you have told them that you wish to retract. The will likely not publish the paper anyway, if you are not paying them a fee (which you will of course not do).

After you have retracted the submission to the first journal, there are no ethical issues with submitting the paper again, this time making sure that the journal is in fact "real". Some advise you to tell the second journal about the "history" of the paper, but I am honestly not convinced that this is ethically or practically necessary. As long as the paper is not under consideration elsewhere (and it is not, as you have retracted the original submission), the new journal does not need to know where you have tried before to get the same material published. For instance, one also does not typically indicate if a paper was rejected before at a different venue.

  • May I ask: how would the OP do to contact the first journal to express the will that he wants to formally retract the paper?
    – scaaahu
    Apr 13 '15 at 9:34
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    @scaaahu Well, I was assuming that you still have something (a contact mail address, a contact form, anything). If you have indeed no way of reaching the old journal, I would just assume that the entire thing stopped operating by now.
    – xLeitix
    Apr 13 '15 at 9:49
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    I know what you mean. I am still dubious. I am not a lawyer. I don't know how can you legally claim that you have formally retracted the paper?
    – scaaahu
    Apr 13 '15 at 9:58
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    @scaaahu I don't think that this is a legal question. Legally, as long as you have not signed the copyright slip, the journal cannot go forward and publish the paper. It is more a question of publishing ethics re: double submission, and in this sense I think you should be ok as long as you made due effort to retract from the first journal.
    – xLeitix
    Apr 13 '15 at 11:26
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    @scaaahu You're thinking about it too much.
    – jakebeal
    Apr 13 '15 at 11:53

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