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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-47

Different rules for different quality of articles: A potential predatory nature of journal?


1 Department of Physiology, Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Physiology, MKCG Medical College, Ganjam, Odisha, India

Date of Web Publication24-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Himel Mondal
Department of Physiology, MKCG Medical College, Ganjam - 760 004, Odisha
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjmsr.mjmsr_59_17

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How to cite this article:
Mondal S, Mondal H. Different rules for different quality of articles: A potential predatory nature of journal?. Muller J Med Sci Res 2018;9:46-7

How to cite this URL:
Mondal S, Mondal H. Different rules for different quality of articles: A potential predatory nature of journal?. Muller J Med Sci Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Dec 9];9:46-7. Available from: https://www.mjmsr.net/text.asp?2018/9/1/46/223920

Dear Editor,

In recent past, we experienced a phenomenon in academic publishing which was shocking and surprising.

For a research article, we selected a multidisciplinary journal published by an academic society which does not charge article processing fee.[1] There was a “no fee” tag on the journal website, and it was mentioned that journal does not charge for submission and processing of the manuscript under “manuscript submission, processing, and publication charges” subheading. Hence, we formatted the manuscript according to the journal guidelines and uploaded it to the journal management system.

On the same day, we received an E-mail from the editor of the journal with a request of yearly membership of the society which publishes the journal. That E-mail along with related replies are truncated, paraphrased, and presented in [Figure 1]. We were surprised and immediately browsed the website again and found that the condition of membership was mentioned in the “authorship criteria” subheading on the journal website which we skipped. We were not willing to buy the yearly membership as it was too expensive for us. Hence, on the same day, we replied about our unwillingness for further processing of the manuscript with the journal [Figure 1].
Figure 1: E-mail communication (truncated, paraphrased and abstracted) between the corresponding author and the editor of the journal

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After that, we uploaded the manuscript to another journal. The story could end here, however, it did not.

After some days, editor of the previous journal informed us that after considering the “quality of the article,” they decided to process it without the annual membership fee. It was shocking because we already uploaded the article to another journal after clearly informing it to the editor of the journal. At this point, if we carefully scan the E-mail of the editor, it is clear that the reason why editor decided to process the article was the “quality of the article.” It indirectly indicated that if the manuscript could not pass their quality check, the authors had to promise to take the membership for further processing.

The journal of discussion publishes a peer-reviewed article, and it is published by an academic society. Hence, it was considered as a credible academic journal. However, factor which shocked us was the different rules for different quality of manuscripts.

This behavior of the journal editor puts a question forward. If manuscript of different quality is considered under different rules by a journal, then, is it a predatory one? This characteristic of the journal is not among the characteristics of Beall's criteria for identification of predatory journals.[2] According to our view, this type of behavior should be considered as dishonest, and it may be included as a new criterion to designate a journal as potentially predatory.

Beall's list is no more available in his official page.[3] Who would enlist all these predatory journals now?

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Access, Archiving and Author Fee Policies. Medknow. Available from: https://www.medknow.com/policies.asp. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 12].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Laine C, Winker MA. Identifying predatory or pseudo-journals. Biochem Med 2017;27:285-91.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Mimouni M, Braun E, Mimouni FB, Mimouni D, Blumenthal EZ. Beall's list removed: What stands between us and open access predators? Am J Med 2017;130:e371-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
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