You might be a low-quality scientific journal if...

The top 10 signs

In the spirit of David Letterman’s top 10 lists, here are my top 10 signs you might be a low quality scientific journal, inspired by an e-mail I received today from Computing in Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

  1. You are incorporated in Canada, and have “Canadian” in your title, but none of your editors lives in Canada.

  2. Your scope is so broad that it includes abstract algebra, textile engineering, and dermatology all in one journal.

  3. Most of your abstracts include misspellings of common English words, like “stander” for standard.

  4. Most of your article titles could be used as exercises for grade school students learning to fix improper verb conjugations and subject-noun agreement.

  5. You promise to complete reviews of articles in mathematics or similar fields in two weeks.

  6. You require math and physics manuscript submissions to be in Microsoft Word format.

  7. You spam researchers in other disciplines with your calls for papers.

  8. Your chief editor received a Ph.D. in the last five years.

  9. Your funding model is vanity press gold open access.

  10. You regularly invite graduate students to serve on your editorial board.

On a serious note: a few of these, taken by themselves, might not necessarily be a bad sign. And I must say that AM Publishers’ author charges (95 USD) are the lowest I’ve ever seen.

For a related, more serious analysis, see Beall’s List of Predatory Open-Access Publishers.