JScholar: A New OA Publisher from Frisco, Texas

JScholar

Let us help your English to write.

JScholar is a newly-launched publisher that purports to be based in Frisco, Texas. This publisher stands out for its salient misuse of the English language.

If you’re going to start up an English-language based scholarly publishing operation, among your first priorities ought to be making your website free of grammatical errors.

One of JScholar’s rotating banners offers, “Let us help your articles to publish.” It should say, “Send us your money, and we’ll publish your articles.”

The publisher lists five journals. None has any content yet, but JScholar’s successful spamming campaign has found scholars dumb enough to agree to serve on their five editorial boards.

The site discusses article processing fees but doesn’t state what they are. It also offers a membership option that grants a 50% discount off the article processing charges, but the membership costs $8,000 annually for an individual.

JScholar's Mission

Blurry vission.

Some of the people listed on this publisher’s editorial boards seem like accomplished scholars. Here are direct links to the five editorial boards: One, two, three, four, five. I don’t understand why they would agree to serve on such an unprofessional-appearing publisher’s editorial boards.

Appendix: List of JScholar journals as of June 12, 2013:

  • Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutic Oncology
  • Journal of Cardiology and Vascular Medicine
  • Journal of Clinical and Anatomic Pathology
  • Journal of Dentistry and Oral Health
  • Journal of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases

12 Responses to JScholar: A New OA Publisher from Frisco, Texas

  1. Frank Lu says:

    Why do they join such editorial boards? I don’t think dumbness factor is the sole reason although I quote myself: “Dumbness knows no limits.” Additionally, I think it is to quote the Wall Street philosopher Gordon Gecko, “Greed, in a word, is good.” Greed and a sense of self-importance run true even (or especially) in academia that is filled with highly singular behavior.

  2. Nils says:

    Are we sure these “board members” know of their luck? Or might this be an instance of the predator copy-pasting the board from a legit web site?

    • I did one check on a member I thought very unlikely to agree to serve here, an associate dean from Alabama. I emailed him, and he responded saying he had indeed agreed to serve.

      • David says:

        What explanation did he give? Why do this?

      • He didn’t give an explanation; he simply answered my question. Sometimes publishers add names to editorial boards without asking for permission. As part of my analysis, I sometimes email and ask ed board members if they really agreed to serve.

  3. Wayne Dawson says:

    I don’t expect that most academics start out suspecting the journal. At least with the traditional journals, some of which have come and gone too, I cannot think of any reason to think this way. Things may have changed though.

    Having lived abroad for quite some time, I must say, that I do sometimes perceive an attitude from the US. In some cases, it is fair and justified and I can firmly agree, but other cases….. I came to see that this as part of the reason journals have historically popped up in different countries. The current mechanism of open access is a new development and I agree that the current business model leaves a lot of room for potential abuse, but at least part of it roots from these kind of issues.

  4. Bort says:

    Honestly, wading through all the highly suspect invitations to be an awesome-researcher-by-publishing-in-this-journal-that-will-curve-the-future-of-scientific-world (seriously, I want in on that, it’s a superpower!) that I get daily (and I’m a lowly just-finished Phd), I hate to think what it’s going to be like when a quick read of the il-literature for each isn’t an immediate red flag.
    Maybe like some banks, *real* journals will need to make it policy that they never contact researchers without first being approached, for anything.
    And I can easily see how someone might want to pad their cv with a few editorships that are likely going to create zero work!

  5. Bort says:

    ps, just a thought (and probably not an original one) but there are a number of questions/comments that seem to repeatedly pop up in the threads here (eg “journal xyz is listed in scopus, which means it’s ok, right?”). It might be worthwhile (and useful for those wanting a quick trouble-shoot) if there was a FAQ page or a “ten tips and misconceptions for spotting a predatory journal” tab at the top of the site.
    I know you cover how to vet journals in your criteria, but it seems that 1. many readers are missing this link/page and 2. if you could boil it down to a handfull of most common/easiest to spot red flags it might make it easier for readers as a ready reference and save you time!
    Just a thought
    Thoroughly appreciate the time and effort you have put into what is an excellent and fascinating resource
    cheers

  6. ED says:

    My admittedly limited understanding of physics is that you need a rather weighty set of journals to “curve the future of scientific world.”

  7. Lori says:

    I am one of those “scholars dumb enough to agree to serve on their five editorial boards,” and I would like to thank Mr. Beall for this rather eye-opening article. Obviously I didn’t do my due diligence after receiving the invitation to serve on the editorial board. I looked at the Journal’s mission statement and then looked at the editorial board, which is sprinkled with some fairly prominent scientists. Future invitations will be vetted much more carefully.

Leave a Reply -- All comments are subject to moderation, including removal.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: