# Are open access journals legit for my CV?

Staff Emeritus
2021 Award
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.

Well, you could Google him, go to his web site, download his CV and have a look. I did. Took two minutes.

You will discover "International Journal of Quantum Foundations" is not listed, although fifteen others are. I don't know why you are so hell-bent on publishing in what is obviously a low-quality, if not outright predatory journal. If that's the only place that will take your paper, maybe you shouldn't be publishing it anywhere.

berkeman
Mentor
This is fun!

diogenesNY
jedishrfu
Mentor
There are so many warning bells here with respect to this journal and this editor but the OP is the mark and the mark never sees the con until it’s too late.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confidence_trick

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sting

The fact that they didnt see your mistakes, the fact that you didn’t get a referee report, the fact that the editor is in contact with you doesn’t counterbalance the time they are now taking Nor does having Carlo Rovelli listed as part of the editorial Review board. Carlo may not know or if he knows can’t do anything about it.

Imagine for a moment that the journal is a one man operation and that he has several author marks interested in publishing papers so now he’s spending time negotiating with each one to insure he’ll get his $300 fee and then you might never hear from him again or he’ll tell you that it’ll be in a future journal the real soon now... Basically, he has your paper and he has your money what more can he ask for? As an aside, I once dealt with a software company where I was transferred from customer support to technical support. It turns out it was mom and pop operation where the wife answered the phone and passed the call to her husband if it was something technical as she handled sales. This journal could well be like that and you have to trust your intuition here. Lastly, one other consideration is that you may tie your paper up in some kind of legal knot where you cant publish it elsewhere because they now own the copyright. Cue the music: Last edited: f95toli Science Advisor Gold Member This sounds like a contradiction. What do you mean by having publication costs without forcing me to pay? They will ask you to pay and most universities and institutes will. However, they are also aware of the fact that there are many scientist out there who might not have access to much money, meaning they will publish the paper even if the fee is not paid. I guess you could call it a form of charity, but it also ensures that scientists with good manuscripts don't go elsewhere because of the costs. atyy Science Advisor Rovelli is not listed on the current editorial board of International Journal of Quantum Foundations. He is listed as a past member. I dont know what your point here is, but on his cv he lists his current and past editorial board memberships. Neither contain said journal. DrClaude Mentor Maximilian Schlosshauer is listed as a member of the editorial board and mentions it in his cv. However, considering how your manuscript has been handled, I would remove it from consideration at IJQF, telling the editor that you found some errors that need to be corrected, which is the case. Once corrected, submit it somewhere else. There are some better journals dealing with the foundations of QM. jedishrfu and diogenesNY Dr. Courtney Education Advisor Gold Member The fewer publications one has on their CV, the more the quality of the journals matters - at least once one has finished their PhD. Some of the undergrad research I've mentored has been published in journals most would recognize as below average. We reckon that for undergrad scholarships and graduate admissions, publishing in those journals was better than not publishing at all or publishing in dedicated "undergrad" research journals. And since I'm a co-author, those papers are on my CV also. But I'm not worried since I have plenty of publications in top tier journals. I can also point out that I have 50+ publications with undergrad co-authors. At this stage in my career, I reckon that may help if I apply for a faculty job where being an undergrad research guru is an appealing feature. I'm in a frequent position to advise students and colleagues on the trade-offs between likely rejections and delays from submitting to higher tier journals and the reputation issues of lower-tier journals. Often, if a student or colleague would benefit from a paper being accepted before their next job, scholarship, or admissions application, a lower-tier journal is recommended. But I don't recommend journals I reckon would hurt their next application. Below a certain level of quality, it's better simply to have it at arXiv and "under review" at a higher tier journal than accepted by some of the poorer journals. If the parties reviewing the application really care, they can go to arXiv and read the paper and judge the quality for themselves. diogenesNY and DrClaude I would like to thank all of you for your feedback. As an update, I received an email from that journal with "proof" and a request to submit the corrections within 48 hours. I responded to that email by listing my doubts and asking the editor to address them. Here is what I wrote: Dear Professor Shan, Unfortunately when I was submitting this paper to you, I didn't take a careful look at the website of this journal. But now that I looked at it more carefully, I would like to clarify the following questions before deciding whether or not to publish my paper here: 1) I seen in the description of your journal that members can upload papers without peer review process. Does this imply that a paper in this journal is more similar to arXiv than to proper publication? I already have the paper I sent you on the arXiv. My purpose of trying to publish it in the journal is to give it more credibility due to the peer review nature of that journal. I realize that in my case my paper did go through peer review, since I am not a member, but how would the people that read my paper know it? The fact that "some" people can post it without peer review, would it take it away from the level of credibility I am seeking? 2) If the answer to Quesiton 1 is, indeed, that your journal is similar to arXiv, does it mean that I would be allowed to publish it in your journal and in another journal at the same time -- just like I am allowed to publish it in the arXiv and in a journal at the same time? If the answer is no, wouldn't it be a "bad" thing that I would basically prevent myself from publishing it elsewhere by publishing it in your journal yet, at the same time, won't be able to cite it as a publication on my CV? 3) Speaking of peer review process, when I was submitting my papers to other journals, I would typically receive a referee reports with detailed list of thins I have to address. But in case of submitting it to your journal, you didn't actually send me the referee report (you simply informed me that the referee was in favor) and then gave your own suggestion what to add. In fact, this was the one thing that made me look at your journal more closely. In particular I began to woner whether peer review process in your journal is less detailed than the other ones and whether it would take away from the credibility of the papers published in your journal. 4) When I look at the editorial board of your journal, I see Carlo Rovelli there. But when I look at Carlo Rovelli's website, I don't see him listing your journal, although he listed lots of other journals. Can you show me an independent verification that the list of people on your editorial board is accurate? Thank you Dale ZapperZ Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Education Advisor You can't be THIS desperate! Zz. berkeman and Vanadium 50 Update: I received a response quoted below. In light of this response I would like to ask you the following: A. What do you think of the answers he gave me? B. If I do decide to cancel it, should I still pay (due to what he said at the bottom of the email) or should I just ignore him and not pay? By the way, the reason he gave me for paying him is that he will have to pay the referee for reading my paper. But the thing is that I have been referee myself (NOT for his journal but RATHER for Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity) and the journal didn't pay me for being a referee. Do you think this policy changes from journal to journal and in his case he has to pay his referees? Or do you think he is simply not telling the truth? Anyway, here is his response: Thanks for your query. Here is my brief answers. 1. Yes, members can post their preprint papers on the IJQF website. But this is not the journal. 2. IJQF is a normal journal, not like arXiv. You can cite the paper in your CV, as many others did. 3. The answer is partially true, since I don't believe in much the peer review process based on my 30 years experience in the field. (Some of my own papers have been rejected by the oponents for many years) As an editor of IJQF, I encourage more speculative papers. I usually just asked a member to check the math details. This is an advantage of IJQF. I think the credibility is based on the real value of a paper, not on the opinions of the reviewers. Besides, many members of IJQF will read the papers pubished in the journal, since I also have a weekly email sevice for the more than 200 members. 4. Carlo is not on the editorial board now. He was, but he resigned last year due to his many other duties. You may ask the board members by yourself. BTW, if your withdraw your paper in the currecnt phase. you stilll need to pay the APC, since we have processed your paper. Certainly, if you don't pay, we can do nothing. But then I will need to pay the fee by myself for the person who edited the paper. Best regards, Shan Gao wrobel Science Advisor 1) See 3. 2) What else did you expect an editor to say about his journal? 3) So really they do not review the paper. In that sense it is moot whether their own “preprint server” or whatever is not the journal, and it also doesn’t matter how many famous scientists they, legitimately or not, claim to be members of the editorial board. 4) See 3. But you already know what the opinion of everyone here was anyway, so I am not really sure what you are after. Finally someone spotting this thread who gives you an opinion you like better? gotta be kidding said: BTW, if your withdraw your paper in the currecnt phase. you stilll need to pay the APC, since we have processed your paper. Certainly, if you don't pay, we can do nothing. But then I will need to pay the fee by myself for the person who edited the paper. (emphasis added) How about if you don't pay, he doesn't publish? I'm always wary when a person says to me "you need to", when what he can plausibly sustain is, apparently, only that he wants me to. Please note that he did not say that you have made any agreement to pay. Moreover, he is saying that he has to pay a "person who edited the paper"; however, it does not appear to be the case that you have been the recipient of any substantial work product. It looks unprofessional to me. Vanadium 50 Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Education Advisor 2021 Award Why are so you hell bent in publishing in what appears to be The Shady Journal of Unmitigated Crap? Dale and sysprog But you already know what the opinion of everyone here was anyway, so I am not really sure what you are after. Finally someone spotting this thread who gives you an opinion you like better? Its not like I want to seek reassurance so that I can submit it; rather, I seek reassurance *either* to submit it *or* not to. As it is, I got reassurance not to. If I were one on one with the editor I might have feeled forced to submit it. But now that I see your replies, I am leaning not to submit it, without feeling as much guilt about it as I would have felt otherwise. But notice I used the word "leaning", so I haven't made a final decision yet. Thats why I am still talking to you. The next question is what to do with his statement that I would have to pay even if I refuse to publish it. Is it true that he will be paying his referee or is it a lie? One reason to think its a lie is that I, myself, has been referee for "Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity" and they didn't pay me. But can I be *certain* thats a lie or is there some risk of it being the truth? Because you see, if thats the truth, then I will be ruining my relationship with scientific community. Because if you google Shan Gao, he *is* a professor somewhere, and the email adress listed is the same one I been writing to, so I know he is real. Then, of course, *if* it happens that some of the people on his editorial board are real as well, this would make it even worse. Vanadium50 said: Why are so you hell bent in publishing in what appears to be The Shady Journal of Unmitigated Crap? If you re-read my posts, you will see that I wasn't saying I wanted to publish it. I was saying I was uncertain. Maybe the miscommunication came at the point where I was "refutting" other people's reasons not to publish it. Well, if someone were to come along and tell me to publish it, I would be "refutting" their reasons too. I have my doubts in both directions, and I sm trying to express my doubts so that people on this board can clarify things further. In any case, I have responded to the editor. Here is what I wrote: Dear Professor Shan, Regarding point 2, even if I can cite your journal on my CV, the question is: will citing it help me get a job? Because from what other people were telling me, the jobs are looking for people that publish in journals with proper peer review process. It is always possible, however, that there are some unconventional jobs that I haven't heard of. So can you let me know what kinds of jobs do the people in your community have and did the publications in your journal in any way helped them get those jobs? Regarding point 3, I can see where you are coming from, since I have great difficulty getting my own papers published largely because they are unconventional (I have 30 papers in the arXiv, only 4 of which has been published so far). However, speaking of those 4 papers, I was finally able to get them onto journals with the proper peer review process, despite the fact that it took me several years to do so. I hope to be able to do the same thing with the paper I sent you (when I was sending it to you I was, mistakenly, thinking that your journal has proper peer review process which you admitted it does not). Regarding the payment, I am surprised you are saying you will have to pay the referee. I have, personally, been asked to review three different papers for "Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity" and I never got paid for reviewing them. By your own admission (see point 3) the referees for your journal do a lot less work than the referees for conventional journals. So why would you have to pay your referees if the conventional journals don't pay theirs? Thank you ZapperZ Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Education Advisor Because you see, if thats the truth, then I will be ruining my relationship with scientific community. Now that's priceless, considering that you didn't mind one bit not paying for any publication fees and pushing its cost onto others. Zz. Now that's priceless, considering that you didn't mind one bit not paying for any publication fees and pushing its cost onto others. Zz. Thats because I didn't know these costs existed on the first place. Here is the proof that I didn't know. If I actually knew, why was I looking at the cost as one of the evidence that the journal is fake? And besides, what would be the purpose of bringing it up anyway if I knew I was the one doing something wrong? Here is the subsequent correspondence that happened just now: HIM: OK, I will pay the fee for the person who helped to edit your paper (NOT the referee). ME: The word "edit" means "make changes". Are you saying that someone made changes on my paper? Can you give me some examples of the changes they make? By the way, referees don't edit the papers, but they are sending me the list of changes they want "me" to make. HIM: I meant typesetting your paper to the journal format. So, based off of this, can you guys tell me if thats the truth or not? I mean, I remember few years ago I was writing a proceedings paper for one of the talks I gave, and they asked me to convert it to journal format myself -- and it took me the whole day to figure out how to do it (which involved asking other people for help). But, at the same time, I am really bad with computers. So its possible that other people that are better with computers than I am might be able to do it within few minutes -- I simply don't know. The reason this question is important is that I want to figure out whether its plausible that converting it to the journal format would cost 300 dollars. If it is a lot of work then yes, if it is very little work, then probably not. What do you think? atyy Science Advisor https://journals.aps.org/prx/authors/submissionguide-prx Physical Review X is an open-access journal that is financed by article-processing charges to the authors of published papers or to their institutions. The articles are published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license (3.0 Unported or 4.0 International). Before making submissions authors must take steps to ensure that they or their institutions accept the responsibility for the payment of an Article Processing Charge ($2900 for up to roughly 20 formatted pages) should their manuscripts be accepted for publication.

Nature Communications is an open access journal. To publish in Nature Communications, authors are required to pay an article processing charge (APC).
The APC for all published papers is as follows, plus VAT or local taxes where applicable:
£3,790 (UK)
$5,380 (The Americas, China and Japan) €4,380 (Europe and rest of world) CrysPhys Education Advisor Thats because I didn't know these costs existed on the first place. Here is the proof that I didn't know. If I actually knew, why was I looking at the cost as one of the evidence that the journal is fake? And besides, what would be the purpose of bringing it up anyway if I knew I was the one doing something wrong? I just looked at the IJQF website. If you click on the "Submit" tab (https://www.ijqf.org/submit), you get these instructions: "If you are a IJQF member, you may log in and post your paper as a PDF attachment in the Blogs. You may also write something relevant to your paper in your post. If you are not a IJQF member, you may send us an email with cover letter and paper attachment in PDF format. Premier members of IJQF can publish papers in the journal for free. For other authors of accepted papers, paying article processing charge is mandatory. The charge is$600 USD for authors with access to grant funding and $300 USD for authors without grant funding." <<Emphasis added>> Before this, I never heard of this journal. If I could find their publication fees so easily, then it wasn't hidden (either intentionally or through poor website management or whatever). Can't see how you missed it. I just looked at the IJQF website. If you click on the "Submit" tab (https://www.ijqf.org/submit), you get these instructions: "If you are a IJQF member, you may log in and post your paper as a PDF attachment in the Blogs. You may also write something relevant to your paper in your post. If you are not a IJQF member, you may send us an email with cover letter and paper attachment in PDF format. Premier members of IJQF can publish papers in the journal for free. For other authors of accepted papers, paying article processing charge is mandatory. The charge is$600 USD for authors with access to grant funding and \$300 USD for authors without grant funding."

Before this, I never heard of this journal. If I could find their publication fees so easily, then it wasn't hidden (either intentionally or through poor website management or whatever). Can't see how you missed it.

He was confronting me about the fact that I didn't pay the journals where I published in the past so thats what my statement "I didn't know" was referring to. The summary of the relevant conversation is as follows:

ME: If I decide not to publish on IJQF, should I still pay the cost of the work they already done? This is really an ethical issue.

Zapper: It is ironic that you are concerned about the ethical issue with IJQF if you weren't concerned about being unethical with the other four jounals where you didn't pay for your publications

ME: With the other four journals I simply didn't know

As you see, the "I didn't know" refers to the other 4 journals -- and IJQF was *not* one of them.

Now, as far as IJQF is concerned, I also didn't know at first because I didn't read that carefully enough. But -- after I became suspicious when I didn't get the referee report -- I decided to read their website more carefully and thats when I saw it. I saw it on their website a week ago, and they mentioned it to me the day before yeasterday, so clearly I saw it before they mentioned it to me which confirms the fact that its easy to see. Yet I didn't see it a month ago -- which is when I should have looked since thats when I was sending them the paper. But, due to my own sloppiness, I only saw it a week ago.

That, however, is not what I was referring to in my reply to Zapper. In my reply to Zapper I was referring to not knowing the costs of the other 4 journals. And that is something I found out strictly from him.

On a separate point I am still asking whether I should pay the IJQF seeing that I chose not to publish it. But that is another, separate topic. They say the answer is yes, but I am not sure if I can trust them seeing that they are shady. And their website doesn't cover the issue of what happens if you withdraw your paper before its published.

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Cthugha
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.

Just for the record: PRL, and PRA to PRE do not charge any publication costs unless the article is supposed to be open access, needs heavy editing or people request to have figures printed in color. From the APS webpage: " The hybrid journals – including PRL, PRA, PRB, PRC, PRD, PRE, PRApplied, PRFluids, and PRMaterials – allow authors to publish at no cost under the traditional subscription model, and also provide authors the option to publish an accepted article open access under a CC-BY 4.0 International license, upon the payment of an APC. "

In my recent experience PRA and PRB strictly offer free publication. PRL has started asking for voluntary publication charges a while ago. For PRC to PRE I have no personal experience, but would expect than things are similar to PRA and PRB. I chose to pay the voluntary page charges for PRL a while ago at the beginning of 2019 for one article and got heavily criticized by the funding agency funding the project to spend taxpayer money on non-mandatory charges. The opinion of the funding agency was that PRL offers a subscription model and double-paying (for the subscription and for publishing) should not be encouraged. I understand the issues of non-profit publishers and we still publish most of our stuff with the APS, but APCs for hybrid journals are a non-trivial topic from several points of view. APCs for "true" open access journals such as PRX are of course a different thing.

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

You may check Scimago journal ranking to judge the quality of a journal quite easily and to some extent comprehensively.

1. International journal of quantum foundation is not listed in Scimago which is a negative.

2. For the journal 'Universe' it is listed in Scimago. It has an impact factor of around 2.00 which is good. Its H-index is 16 which means it has published at least 16 papers each of which is cited at least 16 times so far. H index of Universe is not so good. Its SJR score is 0.72 which placed it in the second quartile. Moreover, nearly 40% of all the papers published so far in 'Universe' are yet to receive any citation. In short it is a mediocre peer reviewed academic journal and you can go for it . Find out more at the link: https://www.scimagojr.com/journalsearch.php?q=21100903488&tip=sid&clean=0

mathwonk