Are open access journals legit for my CV?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

One obvious disadvantage of Open Access Journals is that you have to pay for it. However, paying would have been worth it if it were to give me something I can cite on my CV. And this brings me to the following question: would citing open access journals on my CV help me at all? In particular, I am thinking about the following two journals:

1. International Journal of Quantum Foundations
2. Universe, ISSN 2218-1997, IF 2.165

Please let me know what you think about those.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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1. check if it has an impact factor. If I check with google, Universe seems to have an impact factor of 2, which is OK.
2. check if it is on Beall's list of predatory journals. Neither are in them.

I don't know these journals, but this is the first I'd do for any journal I'm not personally familiar with.
 
  • #3
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It is becoming increasingly common that funding agencies require the output of the projects they fund to be published in open-access journals.
This has led to the creation of lots of new journals over the past few years, some are indeed predatory but there are also quite a few really good ones (PNAS, Nature Communications etc).
Hence, "open access" does not automatically imply "bad".
 
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  • #4
I second the opinion that open access does not mean bad, and in fact is to me not an indicator of quality at all (though this may vary from field to field, for me most relevant journals are open access).

Here are some things for you to consider:

1) Are these the journals where research in your field is typically published, and is it accepted as a source by other researcher in your field? I.e., are the articles you read during your research and cited in your articles also published there? If not, why did you choose to publish there? (Of course, if yes, it could just be that one is producing crackpottery based on others crackpottery).

2) As you indicated that you already published with them, you probably deep down know the answer anyway. How was the review process? Did you get critical feedback on your submissions that were written by (an) expert(s) in the field having read your manuscript thoroughly? Did it help you improve your articles? Would you, after knowing the review process, trust an article published by this journals (more than just an unpublished manuscript)?
 
  • #5
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check if it is on Beall's list of predatory journals. Neither are in them.
One is an MDPI journal, and MDPI is widely thought of as the reason that Beall's list no longer exists.

I looked at a few articles, and my opinion is, whether or not these journals are "predatory", they are of extraordinarily low quality. As for whether or not to put them on your CV, that's up to you.
 
  • #6
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One obvious disadvantage of Open Access Journals is that you have to pay for it.
Back up a bit.

Practically all journals, be it open access or not, have publication fees. So why is this a "disadvantage" only to open access journals?

However, paying would have been worth it if it were to give me something I can cite on my CV. And this brings me to the following question: would citing open access journals on my CV help me at all? In particular, I am thinking about the following two journals:

1. International Journal of Quantum Foundations
2. Universe, ISSN 2218-1997, IF 2.165

Please let me know what you think about those.
The prestige of a journal depends on its history, quality, and the audience that it reaches. It has nothing to do on whether it is open access or not. In accelerator science, other than Nature/Science/PRL, Physical Review Accelerator and Beams is a highly respected journal for that field, and it is an open access journal! The same can be said for Physical Review Physics Education Research, which is one of the premier journals for PER.

The criteria that you are using to gauge the level of a journal is all wrong. Pick a field of study, preferably the one you are in, and see what journals are commonly used. Those are the journals you want to publish in and cite in your CV, not whether it is open access or not.

Zz.
 
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  • #7
As you indicated that you already published with them, you probably deep down know the answer anyway
Actually, I haven't published papers with them. I am only considering whether I should.

Here is how these journals came up:

1) I had one paper regarding ontology of a wave function in Fock space that I couldn't get published in the past. Now the types of journals I was sending it to was Physics Review D. But few weeks ago I had an idea that maybe I should look for a journal specifically devoted to quantum foundations. So I searched for it on google and found "International Jounral of Quantum Foundation", so I sent it there. Now, few days ago the editor of the journal said that referee thinks it should be published (but he didn't show me the copy of referee report) and he also added that he agrees that this paper is "interesting", and made his own suggestion as to what I should add before he publishes it. I found it weird because, with all the other journals, the referees are the ones who suggest what to add, not the editors. But this time they didn't even let me read the referee report and the editor was the one making a suggeston of his own. The other thing is that, normally when I get a feedback, there is a long list of different corrections, but here there was just one suggestion -- which is weird since the paper is 38 page long and in fact when I was fixing it for that suggestion I found some mistakes on my own which are rather obvious but which neither referee nor editor seen. So then I decided to look at the journal more closely and then I saw that it has a publication fee of 300 dollars, and this is what made me wonder whether this jounral is legit or not since other journals didn't ask me to pay for publication. The other troubling thing that I saw is that, in the description of how that journal works, it says that certain people that are part of that group can simply submit the PDF papers without review and only people outside that group have peer review + 300 dollar fee. So if some people can submit it without review, how is it any better than arXiv (and I have that paper on the arXiv already). But, on a flip side, when I look at the editor board, they listed Carlo Rovelli among others. So since Carlo Rovelli is well known physicist, it would have to be legit. So I don't really know what to think. In any case, I only found the 300 dollar fee yesterday -- but I sent to the editor my corrections to the paper, with the addition that he suggested, the day before yesterday. He said it will be processed ASAP, but I didn't hear back from him yet. I guess its a good sign: since they are taking their time it means they do take a professional look at it. In any case, since he is still in the stage of processing it, he haven't asked me to pay yet (I found that fee all on my own). So my current intention is to wait until I hear from him again and the moment he asks to pay -- refuse to pay. Do you think this would be a good move, or what would you suggest?

2) As far as the Journal Universe goes, there was a *different* paper that I wrote. I uploaded that paper to the arXiv and then the next day I sent it to the "Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity". But then, the next day after I sent it, I was contacted by the editor of Journal Universe who saw my paper on the arXiv suggesting I publish it in his journal. No, he did NOT know that I sent it to "Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity". His ONLY source of information was the arXiv. So I simply told him that I already sent it to "Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity" and I am waiting for their feedback. If it happens that they refuse this paper (which I don't know yet one way or the other) then I will send it to him. He responded by simply wishing me luck with "Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity" and saying I will be welcome to send it to him if this doesn't work out. But now I have a question: should I really do that if that were to happen, or should I look for some other journal?
 
  • #8
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Why are there warning bells ringing all over the place here?

Zz.
 
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  • #9
Practically all journals, be it open access or not, have publication fees.
That is not what my experience has been. So far I have four publications at the following journals:

Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity
Physics Review D
Journal of Foundations of Physics
Journal of Mathematical Physics

None of them required publication fee. Although, at the same time, the only one of those where I was a single author was Journal of Foundation of Physics one. So its possible that with the other three publications my co-authors have paid. But I highly doubt it, because if that was the case, there would be some discussion on how we are to split our payment or something, which there was none.

One thing I *do* remember though is that when I submit the paper to one of those journals, they all say that *if* I choose my papers to be open access, *then* I would have to pay the fee. But making it open access was optional, not required. So thats why I am thinknig that open access journals are "forcing" me to pay the fee by "requiring" said open access (that is optional otherwise).

I also remember, few years ago, I "almost" had my paper published in one of the open access journals, until a few different people I talked to stopped me from doing that, precisely on the basis that the journal was fake. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of that journal -- so it probably was *not* either of these two journals I am talking about now. But here is what happened. I submitted a paper there, and then I got referee report, with recommendation to publish it. But one thing I noticed in that report is that the referee said "In this paper the author did such and such" but instead of "such and such" he just cut and pasted some portions of my abstract. So why did he have to cut and paste the abstract instead of summarizing it in his own words? He then said the paper was worthy of publication. And that was all there was in that review. He didn't give any of his own thoughts or suggestions -- which is also weird. Then the editor asked me to pay publication fee. So I was surprised about the publication fee and asked a few people I know, and they all said the journal was fake. I remember one person said "If they ask you to pay, don't pay". So that phrase suggests that most legit journals are free.

But like I said, that is not the journal I am talking about now. That was few years ago and I don't remember its name. The reason I am suspicious of the journals now is because I remember that quote "if they ask you to pay don't pay".
 
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  • #10
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That is not what my experience has been. So far I have four publications at the following journals:

Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity
Physics Review D
Journal of Foundations of Physics
Journal of Mathematical Physics
https://journals.aps.org/prd/authors#postaccept

I suggest you read very carefully the guidelines of each of those journals. How do you think they pay for all the work that needs to be done in administrating each of those journals?

Zz.
 
  • #11
https://journals.aps.org/prd/authors#postaccept

I suggest you read very carefully the guidelines of each of those journals. How do you think they pay for all the work that needs to be done in administrating each of those journals?

Zz.
But the fact is that, in the first three of these four journals, I published few years ago. So if they were to have me pay, they would have had me pay back then -- which they clearly didn't.

The only recent one is Journal of Mathematical Physics. This one published my paper online this June and the hard copy is to come out in June 30. So far, they didn't ask me to pay anything either. I don't know if my co-author was asked to pay, but it would be weird if he was, and didn't make any indication about splitting the cost.
 
  • #12
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But the fact is that, in the first three of these four journals, I published few years ago. So if they were to have me pay, they would have had me pay back then -- which they clearly didn't.

The only recent one is Journal of Mathematical Physics. This one published my paper online this June and the hard copy is to come out in June 30. So far, they didn't ask me to pay anything either. I don't know if my co-author was asked to pay, but it would be weird if he was, and didn't make any indication about splitting the cost.
Many of the non-profit journals, such as those run by the APS, do not force you to pay. But there ARE publication costs! If you were the first author, then they will inform you of the publication costs after your manuscript has been accepted for publication. Most research grants will include expenses for journal publication. If you do not pay, then you are shifting your share of the responsibility to others, i.e. the rest of us who did pay were "supporting" you.

But this is besides the point. The fact is that there IS a publication cost for these journals, open-access or not.

Zz.
 
  • #13
Many of the non-profit journals, such as those run by the APS, do not force you to pay. But there ARE publication costs!
This sounds like a contradiction. What do you mean by having publication costs without forcing me to pay?

In any case, it just occurred to me how the journals -- that are not open access -- finance their publications. Since they are not open access, the people who want to read my paper would have to pay in order to read it. So they get the money from them. But if they are open access, then the people who want to read it can read it for free. So then they have to get the money from me instead, by having the publication fee.
 
  • #14
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This sounds like a contradiction. What do you mean by having publication costs without forcing me to pay?
Don't believe me. Read the page I gave you from the APS webpage. I'm not making this up. And I have published in PRL, PRB, and PRAB, and we paid the publication costs for each one of them. These are FACTS that happened.

You may not have paid a cent, but it doesn't mean the publication costs didn't exist. You chose to ignore it.

In any case, it just occurred to me how the journals -- that are not open access -- finance their publications. Since they are not open access, the people who want to read my paper would have to pay in order to read it. So they get the money from them. But if they are open access, then the people who want to read it can read it for free. So then they have to get the money from me instead, by having the publication fee.
PRX, PRAB, and PRPER are all APS journals (and follow the same general APS publication guidelines), but they are also open access journals! It means that you can also ignore their publication fees if your conscience allows it!

Zz.
 
  • #15
You may not have paid a cent, but it doesn't mean the publication costs didn't exist. You chose to ignore it.
If I were to ignore the existing costs, then they wouldn't have published my papers -- but they did.
 
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Why are there warning bells ringing all over the place here?
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  • #17
So I searched for it on google and found "International Jounral of Quantum Foundation", so I sent it there.
So no, other people doing research relevant to your work are not publishing there?

But, on a flip side, when I look at the editor board, they listed Carlo Rovelli among others.
Did you try to confirm this?

But then, the next day after I sent it, I was contacted by the editor of Journal Universe who saw my paper on the arXiv suggesting I publish it in his journal.
From my experience, emails asking you to publish “your article ..., which we have found to be of extraordinary quality” in this and that journal are basically the academics world equivalent of offers to get certain parts of your body enlarged, and I treat them in the same way.
 
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  • #18
So no, other people doing research relevant to your work are not publishing there?
When I looked at the papers in that journal, I saw that most of them "were" relevant to my field of study. But saying that "most entities of set A are in set B" does not imply that "most entities of set B are in set A". So I have no idea how popular that journal is among people of my field of study. What I can tell is that that journal is a "subset" of my field of study, but it can be a very small subset.

One thing that speaks in favor of that journal is that some of my work (including that paper I was trying to publish) is focused on ontology of wave function. I find that most people (even within quantum foundation) don't seem to do this sort of thing. But if I look at the papers in that journal then I see *a lot* of them on that topic, without even having to look too hard.

But, of course, none of this would count if that journal is fake. Hence my question.

Did you try to confirm this?
How would I do it? Are you suggesting I email Carlo Rovelli? In my experience when I email physicists that don't know me, they normally don't reply to my emails.
 
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  • #19
What I meant is that it is not relevant to you in the sense that the articles that you read and cite in your papers are not published there, otherwise you would not have to google for it.

How would I do it? Are you suggesting I email Carlo Rovelli? In my experience when I email physicists that don't know me, they normally don't reply to my emails.
You are the one who wants to judge a journal based on them writing famous names on their webpage. Anyway, he appears to have a CV online http://www.cpt.univ-mrs.fr/~rovelli/ ...
 
  • #20
What I meant is that it is not relevant to you in the sense that the articles that you read and cite in your papers are not published there, otherwise you would not have to google for it.
I can always add the new references to my paper -- which I often do anyway. The fact that I didn't see them on the first place is not an indication of anything since I am not typically keeping track of other people's work. I know thats what I should change in the future and learn to read other people's work more regularly, but the question is what to do in the here and now in terms of deciding whether to let them publish my paper or not.

You are the one who wants to judge a journal based on them writing famous names on their webpage.
If the journal was legit, then I wouldn't care one way or the other. But since I am doubting its legitimacy, then having a famous name as one of its editor might refute my doubts.
 
  • #21
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I can always add the new references to my paper -- which I often do anyway. The fact that I didn't see them on the first place is not an indication of anything since I am not typically keeping track of other people's work.
Sorry, what does that mean?
 
  • #22
So either they are willing to publish an article from someone who does not know most of the current literature on the relevant field, or the other articles they already have in this field are so low quality that they are not relevant. Does not sound great to me either way.
 
  • #23
Sorry, what does that mean?
Since they haven't published it yet, I can add those references to the new version of my file and ask them to publish the new version (*IF* I decide to publish there, that is).
 
  • #24
So either they are willing to publish an article from someone who does not know most of the current literature on the relevant field, or the other articles they already have in this field are so low quality that they are not relevant. Does not sound great to me either way.
There are hundrids of journals, what would be the probability that I would cite from any specific one? In that particular paper I cited 11 papers. But this is actually on the very low side in terms of how much I cite. Normally I cite between 20 and 40 papers.
 
  • #25
There are hundrids of journals
Normally I cite between 20 and 40 papers
So far I have four publications
So, basically you never cited two articles published in the same journal?


But you are missing my point anyway. I did’t say you should add a reference to the journal you are going to publish in. The fact that you didn’t even hear about the journal while doing your research, despite it having an exceptional high density of potentially relevant articles as you said, means

either they are willing to publish an article from someone who does not know most of the current literature on the relevant field, or the other articles they already have in this field are so low quality that they are not relevant.
 
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