Are open access journals legit for my CV?

  • #76
Dr. Courtney
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But you have, yourself, said earlier that at the early stage of the career the reputation of journals is important. So how does this go together with your current advice?

You are starting to seem like students I've had who spend more time arguing about their grade than learning the material well enough to earn a good grade in the first place. I'm beginning to think that your work may not be of the quality to publish in a better journal. If that's the case, submitting to a journal with the better reputation won't help, it will only delay the eventual publication of your work in a lower tier journal.

Remember I said, "In the long run, most good science usually gets due credit regardless of the reputation of the journal of record or peer-review issues." Most students, when applying for their first job after completing their PhD have not had their work out there long enough to have been widely recognized and cited. Therefore, they're depending on the reputation of the journals and the recommendation of their research advisor.

When I graduated, I was first author on two papers in PRL, and three papers in PRA. But none of these papers had any citations yet. (By now, they have hundreds.) So at the time, the work was only recognized by the quality of the journals, not by the broader community.

There is one student I've mentored who is first author on 8 publications that have a few dozen citations before he completes his BS in Physics. His most highly cited paper was a top 10 download the year it was published. But this student is a rare exception. Most students don't publish until their last year or so, and their papers simply don't enough time to be recognized and cited before they are applying for jobs. It is within this time window that journal reputation is so important. But this student is so good that his first seven papers were accepted by the first journal he submitted them to, none of them being open access or of questionable quality.

The tier of journal a paper is likely to be published in is limited by the quality of the paper. Being good is a prerequisite for looking good.
 
  • #77
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a) The fact that editor does not do proper peer review indicates that the journal is fake

Not fake in the sense that it would not actually publish documents.

b) The fact that high profile scientists publish there indicates that it isn't.

I don't think that high profile scientist are infallible.
 
  • #78
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Because of the advice I was given in this thread. If it wasn't for the advice, this paper would have been published by now (I was given 48 hour deadline to approve the proofs and its already been 4 days or so).

Trust me, if the check clears, missing a deadline won't matter a whit.
 
  • #79
gmax137
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International Journal of Quantum Foundations
I'm not an academic so I probably should keep my thoughts to myself. But...

I went to the website of the mentioned journal. I could read the table of contents for all of their issues, and download any of the papers. If you (the OP) look through the contents, look at the authors. Do you want your paper next to theirs? If you read their papers, do you want yours next to theirs? For this journal you can review the entire (5 year) history. Is it consistently "good" or is it declining?

The papers I looked at there are also available on arXiv . Is it possible that a journal can copy a paper from arXiv and put it on their site, claiming to "publish" it without the author's knowledge?
 
  • #80
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The papers I looked at there are also available on arXiv . Is it possible that a journal can copy a paper from arXiv and put it on their site, claiming to "publish" it without the author's knowledge?

That is a very interesting question. There are several papers that were put on the arXiv years ago and now appear in one of these journals. And without appearing on the authors' pub lists. I'm not saying what happened is what you suggest, but if what you suggest is what happened, we'd see pretty much what we see.
 
  • #81
gmax137
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This is not my world, so I wasn't sure just how predatory a "predatory" journal can be.

I am not suggesting anything about any specific journals.
 
  • #82
gmax137 said:
The papers I looked at there are also available on arXiv . Is it possible that a journal can copy a paper from arXiv and put it on their site, claiming to "publish" it without the author's knowledge?

It is a common practice to submit the paper to arXiv before sending it to the journal. So if you look at most "proper" journals you will see the same thing.

This, however, does not exude the possibility you described. I am just saying that you can't really prove it. But you can't disprove it either.
 
  • #83
You are starting to seem like students I've had who spend more time arguing about their grade than learning the material well enough to earn a good grade in the first place.

Incidentally, with grades it happened to me too. Case in point: I got an A for high school bio, and I got a D for college bio but -- in terms of my knowledge -- these two grades should have been switched around. Because in high school bio I was asked to memorize cell structure and all sorts of things, while in college bio 2/3 of the course was just ecology and evolution that is all nice and easy. But you see, in high school bio, the teacher actually told us what the test questions were going to be several days in advance and had us memorize the correct answers. Thats why I memorized it, got an A, and then forgot the whole thing. On the other hand, in college bio, they had multiple choice exams where they "tricked" us by having some answers "almost correct" with one detail wrong. I happened to missed these little details so I got a D.

With other courses things were not nearly as extreme (most of my grades are A and B). But there were plenty of times when I got an A for the math and physics courses I didn't understand that well and I got a B for the math and physics courses that I understood much better. Oftentimes it was due to the curve. Like if I take a difficult class, I might not understand it that well, but then the curve will bring my grade up to an A. On the other hand, if I take an easy class, I might understand it well, but make sloppy mistakes (like saying minus times minus is minus or forgetting the factor of 2) but because everyone else did so well in it, that would be enough to get my grade down to a B. By the way this didn't apply to the bio classes as neither of the two had any curve.

Then the grades for English classes is the whole other matter. Since in this case they have us write essays, and the criteria for grading the essays are entirely subjective. Back in high school they weren't that picky so I got my As and Bs for the English classes, but then the first time I took English at the community college I was getting a D in it, which I avoided by dropping it so I got W instead, and then my mom hired a tutor. When I retook that English class in the summer I got an A in it. Yes, the fact that the tutor looked over my essays probably helped, but I doubt I would have been getting a D in that summer class anyway. The instructor was different so his subjective judgement was also different.

The good news is that my current GPA is much higher than what it used to be. Back when I was an undergrad it was slighly below 3.3 (I don't remember if it was 3.28 or 3.29, but probably something like that) while right now it is 3.94. Part of it is that in graduate school they like to inflate grades, and the other part is that the school I am currently at is one of the lower tear schools while the school I been undergrad at was one of the top schools. But I don't think those two factors are the only ones. I think (or at least I hope) that I did probably master the habbits that allowed me to get better grades over the years. Although of course GPA doesn't matter any more.

I'm beginning to think that your work may not be of the quality to publish in a better journal.

Well, one area where the analogy between courses and research doesn't hold is that, in case of the research, one has to convince the referees that it is important enough to warrant publication. In case of courses you don't have to do that. So in my case one thing that hindered me is that I came up with the problems on my own that nobody else finds interesting or relevant. Since "interesting" is a subjective notion, it is really up to the luck whether the referee will agree with me that its interesting or not.

I realize, however, that I can't exactly make that case because the other problem with my papers is that they are very sloppy (even to my own eyes). Part of it is that a lot of them are like 40 pages long with lots of formulas that take several lines each, so I don't have patience to sit down and fix all my errors (which I find a lot when I try). But maybe one thing I can do is this. The reason my papers are so long is that each topic has many different sub-topics that then branch out to other topics. So maybe I should break those papers into several papers one devoted to each sub-topic. And then if each paper will be like 10 pages long I would have more patience to edit it properly.

Out of the 30 papers on the arXiv, 4 finally got published. Out of those 4 papers, 3 were pertaining to those issues that nobody finds interesting besides me, and, out of those 3 papers, 2 papers were published in reputable journals (one was Physics Review D the other one was Journal of Mathematical Physics). So its possible, it just takes a lot of time. But, in both of those papers, I convinced other scientists to be my co-authors, and they contributted quite a bit to fleshing out what I wrote. So maybe I should do the same with the other papers.

If that's the case, submitting to a journal with the better reputation won't help, it will only delay the eventual publication of your work in a lower tier journal.

Lower tier journal is one thing, fake journal is another thing altogether. I applied to lower tear schools, but they all had accredition. I would never apply to a school thats not accredited. So I was thinking that low tear journal is analogous to low tear school thats still accredited, while predatory journal is analogous to a school that isn't accreditted. But then again I am not that familiar with how journals operate. Are you saying I misunderstood it?
 
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  • #84
Not fake in the sense that it would not actually publish documents.

By fake I meant in a sense that publishing there won't count. In case of low tier journal, it still counts -- just not much -- but still somewhat. In case of fake journal, it doesn't count altogether. Thats what I was referring to.

I don't think that high profile scientist are infallible.

I know they aren't infallible. But it is still something that would make me pause and think.
 
  • #85
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But it is still something that would make me pause and think.

Well, this is the 85th post here. How much more pausing and thinking do you need?
 
  • #86
Well, this is the 85th post here. How much more pausing and thinking do you need?

The problem is that I also emailed three professors that know me (two at the low tier school and one at the top school) and none of them confirmed that the journal was fake. They didn't say that it wasn't -- their response was more along the lines that they didn't know. However, when I was saying that it was, one of them told me that I don't have enough evidence to say this.

I do suspect one thing though. When it comes to the professor at the top school, I talked to him two years ago about my work and he didn't like it. No he didn't discourage me from staying in the field -- but he strongly adviced me to do something more conventional. So maybe the reason he didn't discourage me from publishing it in this journal is simply because he didn't think any other journal would take it.

But thats just my own thinking when I am trying to pull together what he said 2 years ago with what he is saying now. He didn't say "hey your paper is no good so go ahead and send it there" rather he was saying "that journal might be low tier but I don't see why its fake, your paper matches its topics so send it there". But perhaps he meant the former when he said the latter.
 
  • #87
ZapperZ
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Does anyone know what the point of this thread is anymore?

Zz.
 
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  • #88
mathwonk
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Dear OP: you said

"When it comes to the professor at the top school, I talked to him two years ago about my work and he didn't like it. No he didn't discourage me from staying in the field -- but he strongly adviced me to do something more conventional."

I suggest strongly to you that this is valuable advice, which could help you far more than publishing in an arguably scam journal that targets and profits from desperate people like yourself. Have you considered taking it?
 
  • #89
atyy
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The papers I looked at there are also available on arXiv . Is it possible that a journal can copy a paper from arXiv and put it on their site, claiming to "publish" it without the author's knowledge?

The arXiv paper by Gisin states that it has been published in IJQF, so it is likely to have been published in IJQF with Gisin's knowledge.
https://arxiv.org/abs/1401.0419v1
http://www.ijqf.org/archives/1397
 
  • #90
atyy
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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

Do "Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity" and "Journal of Foundations of Physics" exist?
Or did you mean "Classical and Quantum Gravity" and "Foundations of Physics"?
 
  • #91
Do "Journal of Classical and Quantum Gravity" and "Journal of Foundations of Physics" exist?
Or did you mean "Classical and Quantum Gravity" and "Foundations of Physics"?

Well, their abbreviations are cqg and foop, so neither of them has j up on front. Yet I heard the word journal when their name is pronounced fully.
 
  • #94
atyy
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Yes

OK, those are "standard" journals. I did initially assume you meant those, but doubted after your later posts, as I'd assumed that anyone who's published in PRD, JMP, CCG would know standard etiquette. But I've just seen your post #83 - do you not have anyone supervising your PhD thesis?
 
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  • #95
OK, those are "standard" journals. I did initially assume you meant those, but doubted after your later posts, as I'd assumed that anyone who's published in PRD, JMP, CCG would know standard etiquette.

What does the word "etiquette" refer to in this particular context?

But I've just seen your post #83 - do you not have anyone supervising your PhD thesis?

Its my 2-nd ph.d. I did the first Ph.D. in physics a long time ago and now I am doing 2-nd Ph.D. in math. My intention of doing this was precisely what you just said: to get guidence from the thesis advisor. In fact, I proposed to him to connect the area of physics that I was working in with the area of math that he is working in. He wasn't convinced that there was as much connection as I thought there was -- mainly because I was thinking of his area of math in loose terms while he was thinking of it in a lot more precise terms. But he was still willing to hear me out and in fact we had weekly meetings. During our meetings he had problems with a fact that I phrase things sloppily so what he ended up saying is that he can't trust my physics because in the area that he understands -- which is math -- I make lots of sloppy mistakes, so how can he trust me in the area that he doesn't understand -- which is physics. So what he ended up suggesting is to take the "math" aspect of my proposal and solve some math problem that he came up with within my math framework. So, in one sense, it still borrows one of my ideas (since it uses the geometry that I came up with) yet, on the other hand, it doesn't do any physics within this framework. The specific math problem that he came up with within my framework I happen not to find interesting (I don't see how it would be relevant to physics at all). But I am still willing to work on it in order to make him happy. I mean if, one day, he finally likes what I do, then who knows maybe we will have a publication together or something, but this is very far fetched.

But in any case, this whole thing is about *one* paper. There was *one* specific arXiv paper -- that has never been published yet -- which I feel is similar to the math he is doing. So, at least in my head, this whole project is about coming up with new version of that specific arXiv paper, that perhaps we can co-author, that incorporates his math. So that would be 5 publications instead of 4, which is still too little. One path to success that I see is that the other professor (NOT my thesis advisor -- but rather the one with whom I co-authored my JMP paper) told me that in order to get math postdoc 3 publications would be enough. But they have to be math papers, not physics papers. So my papers at CQG, PRD and FOOP won't count. The paper in JMP is sort of a gray area I guess (that guy told me that JPM "could" be viewed as a math journal, but I am rather skeptical). In addition to that, *IF* I end up working together with my thesis advisor better than I do right now -- which is a big *if* -- I can hope to have joint paper with him, which would be the math paper (and therefore sort of first math paper sort of second math paper). And then there was also one paper on "experimental math" that I was working with one other professor and one of his students. When it comes to that paper, it was really far from my field and my contribution was rather minimal, but he still feels that my name should be there (I actually asked him whether he is sure he wants to keep it there and he said yes). That would be sort of second paper sort of third one. So I guess that way I can sort of get 2 1/2 math papers which might get me a math postdoc, I don't know we will see.

But in any case, those are *not* the papers I was talking about in this thread. The papers I was talking about here (which I was considering sending to those questionable journals) have nothing to do with what I was working on with any of these three people. I *would* have asked my math advisor, but I know his answer based on some other things that I was asking him: what he would tell me is that he doesn't want to hear about anything else I am doing since he wants me to focus on my thesis. So thats why I asked the three professors other than him and got the answers I summarized in reply 86.
 
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  • #96
Dear OP: you said

"When it comes to the professor at the top school, I talked to him two years ago about my work and he didn't like it. No he didn't discourage me from staying in the field -- but he strongly adviced me to do something more conventional."

I suggest strongly to you that this is valuable advice, which could help you far more than publishing in an arguably scam journal that targets and profits from desperate people like yourself. Have you considered taking it?

Yes I am thinking in this direction. Two things that make it difficult is that

1) What about all those years I spent doing that "unconventional" work. In order for those years not to be wasted, I better get it published.

2) I am currently in math department (see reply 95) and my advisor doesn't know physics. So in order for me to get guidence on starting up more conventional physics project I should look for people other than him.

But I do hope to do the conventional physics despite these two points.

As far as point 1 is conderned, I think the best course of action is to spend part of the time doing something conventional and the other part of the time trying to get past (unconventional) work published. On the one hand, when it comes to conventional work I will basically be starting from scratch while the unconventional work has already been done. But on the other hand, in case of conventional work I will have easier time convincing referees once I get it done. So I think I should just work on both fronts at the same time.

As far as Point 2, I do have someone in the physics department at my current school in mind. As a matter of fact, when I was applying to math departments, the reason I chose that particular school is because of that guy in the physics department. When I first came, I asked him for a physics project and he gave me a choice between three projects. I chose the one that I found the most interesting (renormalization). But then it turned out that his own ideas were inconventional as well, not just mine. And I ended up disagreeing with his ideas (in particular, he claimed that he could modify renormalization procedure to handle non-renormalizable theories and I disagreed with it). We were sort of going in circles about it: sometimes he would agree with me that there is a problem and say he "hopes" I can figure out how to solve it, but other times he would say he doesn't see the problem. I finally reminded him of the fact that he gave me a choice between three projects and asked him if I could do one of his other two projects instead. But he simply said he was busy working on a certain textbook (I don't know if it was just an excuse -- although he "did" write a textbook).

Perhaps I could get in touch with him again and see if he is willing to reconsider giving me one of his other two projects, or perhaps I could find some other physicists to guide me.
 
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  • #97
atyy
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What does the word "etiquette" refer to in this particular context?

Like where to submit one's work to be considered for publication, publication fees, how to detect if a journal is predatory or not etc
 
  • #98
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There is no point, publish on arxiv for free.
 
  • #99
There is no point, publish on arxiv for free.

ArXiv is not a journal. Nor a publishing house. It is simply a preprint repository which is essentially not peer reviewed.
 
  • #100
Dr. Courtney
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There is no point, publish on arxiv for free.
ArXiv is not a journal. Nor a publishing house. It is simply a preprint repository which is essentially not peer reviewed.

Right. But many of the lowest tier journals don't have a rigorous peer review either - nor does publishing in them enhance one's CV significantly - and there is often a hefty fee involved.

There are cases where publishing a paper at arXiv can be the right move. Some contributing factors:
1. The authors want the paper in print quickly as a service to other scientists or to cite in another paper.
2. The paper contains a result that is correct and interesting enough to be in print somewhere, but not interesting enough to get through rigorous peer-review.
3. The authors don't need additional peer-reviewed papers to enhance their CVs.
4. The authors have lots of papers in process simultaneously and prefer not to take the time shepherding all of them through peer review processes.
5. The authors have a limited publication budget.
6. The paper has been rejected by a couple of journals due to lack of interest and issues of scope (rather than correctness), yet the authors want it available to the public.
7. The paper is a comment having found an error in a prior publication. If the original journal of record refuses to publish the comment, other options may be limited. However, publishing at arXiv provides general notice of the error to the broader scientific community.

I see arXiv more as an e-print repository than a pre-print repository, since a significant fraction of papers there are never published by a traditional publishing house.
 
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