A well-known philosopher at a ranked PhD program writes:
I thought you might like to draw attention on your blog to a scam that Springer seems to have going. One of my graduate students submitted a (quite good) paper to the Journal of Ethics, which I had thought was a pretty good journal. He got a rejection six days later, with a suggestion that he send his paper to SpringerPlus, which is an open access journal, which charges a processing fee of 850 euros. The paper was clearly not refereed in that short a time. He has since received three emails from SpringerPlus encouraging him to submit his article to them. Graduate students are a particularly vulnerable target for this sort of thing. They need publications, and they are short of money. Charging over a thousand dollars to publish an article in such a venue seems egregious to me. The journal itself doesn't even appear to be a philosophy journal. I've pasted below the latest email he received, with his name removed:
From: Gonnella, Lauren, Springer UK <Lauren.Gonnella@springer.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 29, 2013
Subject: Invitation to transfer your manuscript to SpringerPlus
Dear Mr. ,
Recently you submitted your manuscript to a Springer journal. At that time the Editor-in-chief indicated that your manuscript unfortunately could not be published in his journal, but they
considered it very well suited for publication in the new Open Access journal SpringerPlus: www.springerplus.com.
Benefits of transferring your manuscript to SpringerPlus may include:
• Easier publication and dissemination of your work, saving you the task of finding and
submitting to an alternative publisher;
• Faster publication, we will transfer your details, manuscript and reviewer comments to
SpringerPlus for you;
• Reaching the right audience for your work.
Please note: SpringerPlus articles are free to read, an Open Access article processing fee (APC) of €850 is charged to cover all the costs associated with the publication of your article. If you would like to know more about this APC and the waivers we offer, please visit our website at: http://www.springerplus.com/about/apcfaq. Your institution may be a registered member of SpringerOpen or Biomed Central. This should entitle you to a partial or full discount of this APC. For more information, please check http://www.springerplus.com/about/apcfaq/automaticwaivers or
ask the information services at your institution.
All you need to do to initiate the transfer of your manuscript is to follow these easy steps:
1. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org in the next 4 weeks and please list the following; All author names and emails addresses, original manuscript number, original journal name and manuscript title – we will then transfer your manuscript for you. Please do not resubmit
your manuscript yourself!
2. You will receive a message when the transfer is complete. At this stage you will have an opportunity to make any necessary changes to the manuscripts before confirming your re-submission to SpringerPlus.
We would be delighted to consider your article for publication in SpringerPlus. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
With kind regards,
Editorial Assistant | Springer London
I'm opening this for discussion for signed comments only: full name, valid e-mail address. Maybe there is an explanation for what's going on here, but it does, as my correspondent suggested, look suspicious.