Beware of junk journals and publishers


12 August 2011


Today I received the following email:

Dear Professor,

  1. Antarctica Journal of Mathematics
  2. Archimedes Journal of Mathematics
  3. Bessel Journal of Mathematics
  4. Cayley Journal of Mathematics
  5. Diophantus Journal of Mathematics

We are charging only $3 per page, which is very cheap when compared to some money oriented journals.

Further we request you to withdraw your paper from other journals keeping in view of high page charges.

You can submit your research papers to our online journals. We also consider paper from Statistics and Computer Science.

I wonder how many mathematicians actually live in Antarctica for them to warrant their own journal!

I seem to be receiving a couple of these sorts of emails every week, in addition to the requests from publishers I’ve never heard of wanting me to write a book for them.

As a general rule, if you’ve never read a good paper in the journal, don’t send them one of your own. And resist the flattery of publishers who claim they love your work and want to publish a whole book based on your recent PhD thesis. Getting rapid and cheap publications will damage your reputation, not enhance it. There is no substitute for the old slog of trying to get your best work in the best journals. Aim as high as possible.

A useful first step in choosing an appropriate journal to send your paper is to look at what journals you cite most often. If you are citing the Archimedes Journal of Mathematics frequently, then by all means send them your paper. But it is more likely you will be citing something with a hard-earned and established reputation, and if you want other researchers to cite you, then you will need to publish where they will see your work.