I am interested in hearing others’ opinions about the publisher Smith & Franklin.
The publisher is based in the UK and currently publishes these four journals:
- Aptamers and Synthetic Antibodies
- British Journal of Virology
- Life Sciences International Journal
- Science, Religion and Culture
There is / was also a fifth journal called System Theory, but this title was removed from this list after I pointed out some weaknesses to the publisher and one of the other journal’s editors. However it may still be accessible.
The weaknesses I pointed out included literary criticism (History and Identity in V. Sackville-West’s Pepita and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando) being published in the journal, plus the first issue has the same person (Lehel Simon) as co-author or sole author on the other four articles published so far.
Here are some other problems I noted with this publisher:
1. The name Smith & Franklin is contrived. There is no Smith or Franklin involved as far as I can tell; the owner is Muhammad Munir. They are trying to sound like Taylor & Francis. I understand that companies can use any names they choose, but is this name an attempt to mislead?
2. They use a virtual office company as their headquarters address, and it appears the publisher really operates from a dwelling. The virtual office address is:
Waterside Court Business Centre
Waterside Court Newerne St
Lydney Glos, GL155RF
Despite this address, the publisher’s domain name was registered in Sweden.
3. I question the business model of this publisher. They don’t levy article processing charges and hope to get income from donations, requests to funding agencies of published authors, profits from publishing online books (good luck with that!), and by licensing their journal management software, a product called e-submit. I personally would worry about the long-term access and preservation of my work published using such a tenuous business model, especially since there are open-source journal management systems out there.
4. On some pages the publisher uses logos of legitimate companies, perhaps to make itself look more legitimate. The logos (In this case, Google and Amazon) don’t link to anything (that is, there’s nothing to download). These logos used to appear on many of the pages but most have disappeared after I asked about them.
5. Like many questionable publishers, this one has social media icons on its pages, but when you click on most of them, you’re just taken to the main pages of the various sites. For example, the publisher links to Facebook and Google+ but has no accounts there.
One of this publisher’s journals, Science, Religion and Culture, has a hardworking, honest, and conscientious editor-in-chief. He has assembled a strong— albeit small — editorial board and appears off to a good start. But the journal appears as an outlier among the other journals, all life sciences journals.
I’d be happy to hear your thoughts and opinions on this publisher. Would you submit your work there? Would you recommend that others publish here?