Predatory journals

I just returned from a truncated visit to the IAMCR 2016 conference in Leicester, England. I’m still pretty proud of myself – I managed to turn a rushed paper into something that my discussant thought was quite outstanding and has a book-length amount of research in it. As the kids say, I know, right?! Interrobang interrobang.

But upon return to the Rainbow Nation, I saw an email in my inbox inviting me to publish my paper in their peer-reviewed journal called “Journalism and Mass Communication”. At first my heart skipped a beat – an invitation! Gosh, I am making waves. Then I noticed the publisher’s name: David Publishing.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had communication from these guys. The first was an invitation to be a reviewer for “Philosophy Study, USA”, also with David Publishing. It was this email that piqued my interest and caused me to do a bit of research. I’m a copy-paster (creepy pasta?) by trade (try and do SEO copywriting without doing that) and teach students who copy-paste so I know the tell tale signs of someone who can’t do it properly. David Publishing are one of these bots.

Totes legit, right?

First flag that they’re copy-pasta: different font size / type, and a hang over from the colour on whatever website they’ve pasted from. They didn’t even bother to correct it. That said to me: SPAM! BOT ALERT! So I googled their publishing name and journal. Turns out, I’m not alone.

David Publishing runs what are known as “predatory journals” – they charge a high fee for submission to their publication and lure over-eager scholars and junior academics (like myself) to their publication. According to philosopher Christopher Pynes on the Leiter Reports, their peer review process is an absolute joke. Paige Alfonzo writes on her blog that she, too, was almost caught out but did some research. She posts the list of journals David Publishing claims to publish. I’d recommend you follow the link before you submit anything to these guys, or any of the other “predatory publishers” on Beall’s List.

Here’s the second email I got from them, after attending IAMCR 2016.

More legit this time

Please be aware. Don’t waste your time and effort on predatory journals and publishers like these ones. It’ll only hurt you, your pocket, your CV, and your research in the long run. Check your university listings for genuine peer-reviewed academic journals that are rigours and give you valuable feedback.


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