27 November 2019

Is this a real journal?

A student of mine went to conference, then got an email from unknown journal. The student asked me if this was normal and whether the journal was legit. Here’s the process I went through to evaluate the journal and try to help the student.

I googled the journal title. First thing I noticed was the domain name. The publisher's name is not a correctly spelled English word, which either means the publisher is trying to be gimmicky or using a non-English spelling. Neither makes a good first impression.

The sidebar lists journal information, and I see “Year first Published: 2019”. So even if this is a legitimate journal, it has no track record and probably no reputation. And journals are all about reputation.

Nor does the journal info sidebar say anything about the journal being indexed anywhere, like Web of Knowledge or Scopus. Most aspiring legitimate journals at least mention indexing, whether they currently have it, because most authors want their work to be findable in academic searches.

The second paragraph of the journal description has a glaringly obvious typo about the type of research the journal publishes (“-olog” instead of “-ology”). This suggests that someone is not paying attention to the home page. This could be because they are a fly-by-night operation that is only interested in charging authors, or that they’re new or inexperienced and can’t be bothered to proofread.

So this looks like either a scam (likely) or something made by careless amateurs. Neither’s good.

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