MOVING TO FRONT FROM JUNE 18--UPDATED
A propos our earlier item, philosopher Christopher Pynes (Western Illinois) writes:
I want to bring to your attention, and the broader philosophical community, a scam journal Philosophy Study and predatory publisher David Publishing: http://www.davidpublishing.org/.
In July of 2011, I was contacted by a new journal Philosophy Study to submit a paper I had recently presented at a conference. The paper was under review at another journal, so I didn’t submit it. But the request also included a call for reviewers and board members. The journal wanted to build its editorial board and get a new editor in the near future. Since the journal claimed to be published by an Illinois company and I wanted to do some review work, I sent my CV and said I would be willing. What happened next was shocking to me.
First, let me say that they want ALL reviews done in two weeks. I accepted the first job and rejected the paper. It was bad, it got the philosophical problem it was trying to solve wrong, and I wrote what I thought was a decent report for the journal. I will come back to this paper shortly.
I then received two papers that were not in any condition for review. They were clearly written by non-native English speakers. They had no business being sent to a reviewer, and I said as much to the staff person, Karen Garcia who I no longer believe is a real person, but the name all the people at David Publishing use when they send out emails.
I was then asked to review again the paper I already rejected. The author had made a few changes, but it was still not worth publishing. I then used Google to search for the paper. I found that the paper had been published in an online journal type thing published by an institute run by the author. I alerted Karen Garcia about the fact that the paper had been previously published. She wrote back that Philosophy Study didn’t care and they were going to publish it anyway. I know now this is because they wanted the publishing fees.
I was irritated. I got one more paper to review, and I rejected it as unacceptable. The English was so bad that I couldn’t even make sense of it. I was then taken off the website as part of the editorial board and was only contacted when they said their website had been hacked.
I have since gotten solicitations from them every time I present a paper at a conference: The Society for Exact Philosophy and both the Florida and Illinois Philosophical Association meetings. The most recent of these solicitations said that the journal was indexed in the Philosopher’s Index. This is when I knew I had to act. I submitted two notes via the PI’s website in November of 2012. Here is what I wrote to them:
“I would like to provide some information about the newly indexed journal Philosophy Study. This journal is not reputable, and I believe it should not be indexed in the Philosopher's Index. I don't want to write a long letter here, but I am more than willing to share my story with you. I volunteered as an editor for the journal and was shocked at what I experienced. The journal is basically a vanity press exploiting the open access model. In fact, David Publishing is on Beall's list of predatory publishers, which you can find here: http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/. I am happy to explain even more, but I suggest you look into this publisher and remove them from the index. I should let you know that I have contemplated contacting Dr. Leiter to let him run a story on his blog, the Leiter Reports, on this journal. I didn't learn it was being indexed with the Philosopher's Index until today (12 November 2012). I think it is even more important to let people know that this is not a reputable journal, and they should stay away from it.”
The second note read:
“Here is another story about David Publishing that you might want to read when considering my last note about removing them.”
A few months ago, I got an email from Karen Garcia to review a paper from them. I was a bit surprised since I hadn’t had any contact with them in months. I was able to identify the author through a Google search of the paper title (it was presented at a conference) and warned the author about where they had submitted. I told the author that if they didn’t believe me, they could research the journal to make sure it was where they wanted to publish. This paper was too good to be in this vanity journal. I felt like I had to warn this person. Moreover, other sources suggest that there is a large fee to publish with the journal. I can’t verify the amount, but give the fact that Beall has put David Publishing on his list of predatory publishers, Beall’s List, there should be real concern.
So, I ask that you share this with your readers. I believe that the Philosopher’s Index should not be indexing this journal. It gives it credibility it doesn’t deserve. I know there are lots of people who want to support Open Access, and I think the Philosophers’ Imprint, is awesome, but this isn’t what is going on here. Philosophy Study is some kind of scam, and it needs to be known that papers in it are not what people think they are. It is a vanity press, and the publishers are predatory.
If people want me to explain even more why I know this journal is a scam, I can, but I suggest checking out the other blogs I have linked to above and look at David Publishing’s website. Another oddity is that they have David Publishing email addresses, but they also use a Yahoo address for the journal. All of this should have warned me early on about the unprofessional nature of the journal, but I was willing to give them a chance and help make them better. That was a poor assumption on my part. Everyone in philosophy should be warned of this journal and avoid it. And the Philosopher’s Index should stop indexing it.
UPDATE: Neil Easterbrook, an English professor at Texas Christian University, writes:
I read several of the abstracts for papers in their "Journal of Literature and Art Studies," focusing on literature (my area of competence), and I found all of them seriously flawed. They ranged from uninteresting to incoherent; all were littered with grammatical errors and contained fragmented, incomplete expression of their own arguments. Several did not seem to have an argument.
That the journal is published monthly; that its topic is *everything* in the arts; that the essays all seem to be seven or eight pages long; and that the publication cost of the journal is almost 500 USD a year seems diagnostic: this is a vanity publisher, and not just in philosophy.