OA Publisher to Peer Reviewer: Never Mind

ScienceDomain

Avoid this publisher.

The Indian open-access publisher SCIENCEDOMAIN international invited a professor from Montclair State University to complete a peer review on a manuscript it had received, and he agreed. Less than a week later, the professor got a surprising email from the publisher.

SCIENCEDOMAIN international emailed the professor to tell him they no longer needed his peer review, for they had already received enough and had accepted the paper. The professor was just about to complete his review.

Here’s the email the professor received:

Dear Dr. James J. Campanella,

Thank you for agreeing to review this manuscript.

You may appreciate that, we are committed to complete the peer-review formalities within a strict time frame, to help the authors. As a result of constant effort of our editorial team, we have already received minimum number of quality review comments to complete the peer review of this manuscript. Final decision was also communicated to authors at the end of deadline (i.e. 21 days).

So, very politely we want to inform you that in this occasion, we would not be able to use your valuable comments. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

As per our policy, when we receive minimum number of review comments, we inform other agreed reviewers to save their precious time.
But we will be delighted if we can get your expert comments for our future manuscripts. We are thankful to you for agreeing to spend your valuable time for this review.

With regards

Partha Dey

SCIENCEDOMAIN international

www.sciencedomain.org

Reg. Offices:

UK: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, Third Floor, 207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH,UK,Registered in England and Wales, Company Registration Number: 8988029
USA: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, One Commerce Centre, 1201, Orange St. # 600, Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, USA, Corporate File Number: 5049777
India: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, U GF, DLF City Phase-III, Gurgaon, 122001, Delhi NCR, Corp. Firm Registration Number: 255 (2010-11)
Editorial office: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, Guest House Road, Street no – 1/6, Tarakeswar, Hooghly, WB, 712410, India, Corp. Firm Registration Number: L77527.

So, it appears SCIENCEDOMAIN international casts a wide net for peer review but then cancels outstanding requests when it gets enough positive reviews.

It is unethical to abuse peer reviewers in this way.

The publisher’s email is signed by Partha Dey. I found this LinkedIn profile from a Partha Dey who works for SCIENCEDOMAIN international:

Partha Dey

Peer review manager?

He looks quite young and lists his occupation as “Database operating at Science Domain International.” So it appears they have a kid working in IT managing their peer review process.

ScienceDomain has been doing a massive amount of spamming recently. The publisher has been on my list for several years, and I stand by this listing.

I recommend that researchers not submit papers to — or accept peer review requests from — SCIENCEDOMAIN international.

Appendix:

List of ScienceDomain international journals as of 2015-03-28:

Advances in Research
American Chemical Science Journal
American Journal of Experimental Agriculture
Annual Research & Review in Biology
Archives of Current Research International
Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology
British Biotechnology Journal
British Journal of Applied Science & Technology
British Journal of Economics, Management & Trade
British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science
British Journal of Environment and Climate Change
British Journal of Mathematics & Computer Science
British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research
British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
British Microbiology Research Journal
Cardiology and Angiology: An International Journal
European Journal of Medicinal Plants
European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety
International Blood Research & Reviews
International Journal of Biochemistry Research & Review
International Journal of Medical and Pharmaceutical Case Reports
International Journal of Plant & Soil Science
International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health
International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal
International Research Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry
International STD Research & Reviews
Journal of Advances in Biology & Biotechnology
Journal of Advances in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International
Journal of Applied Life Sciences International
Journal of Cancer and Tumor International
Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International
Journal of Scientific Research and Reports
Ophthalmology Research: An International Journal
Physical Science International Journal

54 Responses to OA Publisher to Peer Reviewer: Never Mind

  1. Frank Lu says:

    So, they host American, Asian, British and European journals in addition to the customary International ones. Is there something from Xanadu?

  2. Nicola Simola says:

    Dear Prof. Beall,

    unfortunately this is common practice also some for most renowned journals. I had the same problem with the journal “Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs (IF 5.432)”.

    Of course, I am no longer willing to consider reviewer invitations from that journal.

    • tekija says:

      Yes, it has happened to me, too. It is standard but not frequent practice in the era of electronic peer review.

      • Nicola Simola says:

        Dear tekija,

        Standard or not, this is a disrespectful practice. I am a fan of timely peer review, and I always do my assignments by the due time. However, if you allow me 14 days (for example) to perform my review, well you should wait at least 14 days before taking action.

    • K Tada says:

      I had a similar experience with Wiley’s journal “Advanced Energy Materials” (IF 14.385), which is one of the best journals for materials science.

      I understand that the editorial team is trying to accelerate the reviewing process (I highly appreciate it as an author), it was an irritating experience as a reviewer. The editorial team may be losing a lot of potential reviewers for their journals.

      • tekija says:

        I have been more tolerant, for exactly the same reason and because the journals were of good standing – and guess what, it has never again happened with the same journals. So, as this discussion has documented, it is standard but infrequent practice. I would definitly not like it to become a rule, that goes without saying.

  3. ZisaBusolo says:

    I think there is nothing abusive in the mail sent to the professor, you know some of these Publishers send the papers to several probable reviewers, and as you may be aware, some reviewers being knowledgeable in the subject it surely does not take them 4 days to read through a paper.
    I personally think that it is not wise to make a sweeping statement to all researchers to never send their research to the publisher.
    On another note, age is not wisdom, DEY being young does not give reason for him not to be an IT specialist. How many people are older that Bill Gates yet he commands respect in the Wealth arena? surely age makes no substance in your post.

  4. …now if that’s not a reassuringly professional photo on his LinkedIn profile, then I don’t know.

  5. AlexH says:

    Naah its irritating indeed, but you just gave us an example that they do conduct peer review. And they are more transparent about it than the majority of perfectly legit and well respected journals out there.

  6. Amelia says:

    Hi Jeffrey,
    First I want to say that I have no connection with this publisher. But I see some interesting facts, which I consider may be useful in context of your this blog post.
    ScienceDomain International rejected the famous Science Journal “sting” article after extensive peer review (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60.full). The Science article categorizes three levels of journal peer review that the paper received: no peer review, superficial peer review, and substantial peer review. It says that, the ScienceDomain journal is one of the eight journals (of 98) that rejected the article based on “substantial peer review” (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60/suppl/DC1). You may note that Hindwai, PlosOne, PAGEPress, were among the few publishers, who succeeded the test. Substantial peer review is characterized in the article as “substantial review that identified the paper’s flaws”. Please see the graphic at the bottom of page 64 of the Science article, at
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60.full.pdf
    The underlying data for all the journals is archived at
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60/suppl/DC1
    ScienceDomain is at line 41.

    In addition, the archived emails at the same page (http://scicomm.scimagdev.org/data/journals/63/6.pdf) indicate that the ScienceDomain journal sent the article out to a three reviewers, which indicates a more extensive review than is typical.

    Perhaps it is fair to say that ScienceDomain appears to be improving. You have every right to your own opinion. But providing the proof of rigorous peer review, is the most important thing expected from a publisher/journal.

    • Guido Berens says:

      I also have no connection to the publisher, aside from having done reviews for them a couple of times. I just wanted to add that in principle, all reviews are published on the journal’s website, under the link “Review History” accompanying each article (but only if the reviewer has agreed to share the review). So in principle anyone is able to verify the thoroughness of the peer review process. I think this is a very good idea that might actually help to solve some of the problems with the current review system. This policy was actually the main reason why I agreed to review for them, in spite of them appearing on Beall’s list.

      I also have experience with the ‘cancellation’ of accepted review assignments and it seems that the publisher started doing so only recently – I presume to speed up the process. For me it’s not a problem because (I admit) I usually do reviews at the last minute, but I can understand that it’s annoying to some people.

      • Regular Joe says:

        I have no relation to the publisher although I do have one paper published there. I can state that “peer” review was very superficial, seemingly conducted by a PhD level student or recent post-grad. Mostly superficial comments and requests like to focus on style, etc. The worst part was not so much the peer review Lite, but rather the ghastly proof that was sent. IT’s almost as if the person who created the proof had no sense, I mean abslutely no sense whatsoever, of text setting. This might have been as a result of a doc to docx conversion, or something similar, but many words were “sticking” together. And when I say many, literally dozens of words. And the publisher did not even bother to fix it. After two rounds of complaints, finally, a (hopefully) corrected proof was issued for approval. Those in charge were Sumana Koley and Paramita Das. And, just to be sure that my point is explicit, they sent me a “Gally” proof (whatever that is). So, my personal experience is a solid thumbs down, even if publishing fees are waivered 100%. The journal is BJAST, by the way. Finally, from January 2013 to January, 2015, I have received about 20 “spam”-like invitations to join their journals, usually starting with “Dear Colleague…”.

  7. Barry says:

    If speed is needed in a peer review, shouldn’t journals use a better system where reviewers ‘bid’ on a paper to be the one that gets to review it? I know some journals do exactly this. They send out a notice to qualified reviewers and then the first required number of reviewers that reply with interest are then allowed to review. I believe this may speed up the review process and also help ensure that the reviewer is more qualified to review the article.

  8. Fernandez M says:

    I appreciate your good work always. You are pioneer to this area. But this publisher seems to be improving. Anyway this credit also goes to you. I have read your paper, where you have analyzed this publisher (http://eprints.rclis.org/17051/1/TCA%20review%20April%202012%20five.pdf). In this paper you have very nicely documented the weakness of many publishers. It seems that this publisher has improved on your points.
    1. Contents are improving: many many authors from good universities are publishing with them. (http://www.sciencedomain.org/page.php?id=author-profiles)
    2. They clearly provide their editorial office address, as evident from the mail you have posted in this blog and from the website (http://www.sciencedomain.org/contact-us.php).
    3. All of their journals have substantial editorial board.
    4. They provide evidence of strong and existing peer review (as evident from their open peer review policy, where they publish the name of the executive academic editor and reviewers and also all peer review reports).
    5. They provide digital preservation policy. Better searching system in the website.
    6. They provide standard numbers like DOI for each article.
    7. They always provide discounts (80%-95%) to authors (may be a marketing strategy). But it is always good for the authors to publish a paper at 50 or 100 US$ than spending 900 or 1150 US$.

    I know that a good critique can find out many loop-holes in Sciencedomain. But may be a bad-boy, who wants to be good, require some appreciation.

    I always appreciate your good work and your dedication. But this time, I am having little different opinion. I hope you don’t mind.

  9. Sciencedomain Intl are criminals.

    Why and how?

    They are clearly processing personal data (personal email addresses of potential reviewers, for example). They are also based in the United Kingdom. It happens to be a criminal offence in the UK to process personal data without having registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, and there is no evidence at https://ico.org.uk/esdwebpages/search of their having registered.

    In other spam from them, we see this footer

    “UK: Third Floor, 207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH, UK, Registered in England and Wales, Company Registration Number: 7794635, Fax: +44 20-3031-1429”

    Interestingly, Company Reg. No 7794635 was dissolved on January 14, 2014, or so Companies House tells us. Nonetheless, they continue to spam, and therefore to process personal information.

    We recommend that everybody getting their spam contact the ICO at casework (at) ico dot org dot uk. Be prepared for a lukewarm response, but there just might be strength in numbers.

  10. Bisen says:

    Hello Beall,
    I as a Reviewer of several SCI journals, would like to bring to your notice, that the practice of ScienceDomain to politely inform the reviewer to no longer work on the assigned article, is not common. In fact, it is not a wrong policy, and many publishers of high repute do follow such a policy. I personally don’t see anything that should be taken up so seriously; and probably not right to comment on the publisher and advising authors to remain away from ScienceDomain. I have received several such emails from NPG alliance publishers, Elsevier etc. It is my personal opinion and experience only.

  11. Reinhard says:

    This procedure is not only used by OA publishers. Often more reviewers than required are invited. After spending valuable time on a review I also once learned that my review is no longer necessary. Fortunately this happened to me only once. However with the inflation of OA journals setting short deadlines for a review this practise may become more common.
    When I am asked to review a paper for a journal unknown to me I always check this website. If I find the journal or publisher here, I decline and send them a link to scholarlyoa.com.

  12. Sandra Gomez says:

    It seems that the publisher is practicing good open peer review. Though in some cases I found some weak peer review reports (may be law of probability and finding expert peer reviewer is not possible always by any journal), it seems that most of the cases peer reviewers are expert in the area of the manuscript and provided detailed report. And more interesting that all peer review reports, different versions of the manuscript, editors’ comments are available for the readers. I have randomly selected five manuscripts from five different journals and found more or less satisfactory transparent peer review practice.

    Case 1: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history.php?iid=628&id=12&aid=5819
    Total 3 reviewers; two rounds of peer reviews; one round of editorial review. Submission to final decision: approx. 6 weeks

    Case 2: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history.php?iid=237&id=29&aid=2058
    Total 4 reviewers; three rounds of peer review; two rounds of editorial review; Submission to final decision: approx. 15 weeks

    Case 3: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history.php?iid=849&id=19&aid=7302
    Total 4 reviewers, two rounds of peer review, one round of editorial review; Submission to final decision: approx. 6 weeks

    Case 4: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history.php?iid=582&id=32&aid=5207
    Total 3 reviewers, three rounds of peer review, one round of editorial review, Submission to final decision: approx. 4 weeks

    Case 5: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history.php?iid=660&id=29&aid=5990
    Total 3 reviewers, two rounds of peer review, one round editorial review; Submission to final decision: approx. 7 weeks

    I know that more numbers of samples are required to come to any conclusion regarding good/bad peer review. But at least this publisher is transparently publishing the peer review reports. Kindly consider this comment as my personal opinion, which may differ from others. I am sorry if I am not in line with others opinion.

  13. K Nakamura says:

    I just came across this Interesting announcement by this publisher.

    Publication and site statistics (up to Dec, 2014)

    Number of submission: 15642
    Number of published paper: 5696
    Number of peer review reports & files published (for Open Peer review): 58074
    Website visitor: 0.92 M
    Website page view: 5.9 M

    See here: http://www.sciencedomain.org/announcement-news-details.php?id=publication-and-site-statistics-up-to-dec-2014

    I don’t know the correctness of this data. But publication of 58074 peer review related files is really amazing and requires lots of efforts. If the data is correct, kudos to this publisher.

  14. She blinded me with says:

    This is true for most large publishers. Despite only requiring x number of reviews, editors often invite more than that – as mentioned above, cast a wide net – because it can prove difficult to secure reviewers; especially when you are handling more than a dozen papers. And often the editor does not even realize that they are terminating assignments prematurely when they submit their decision (or they do not care). The peer review process is managed entirely online using editorial programs – so of course SCIENCEDOMAIN has someone from IT running it!

    • Who are you? What is your source for this information? Are you another shill for the publisher, like some of the previous commenters?

      I have done many peer reviews but have never had a publisher say ‘never mind, we have enough’ to me. This is not common.

      • She blinded me with says:

        I work in academic publishing and will choose to remain anonymous, but shill is a strong word; and I wouldn’t say I was defending this particular company or their practices. And while the incident described – of an editor making their decision based on reviews already submitted before all remaining reviews are due – does occur from time to time. Sometimes it is the result of user and/or system error; but also due to pressure from the publisher to speed up the peer review process. My point is less that the action is common (you are right, relatively speaking it hardly ever occurs) but that it does happen occasionally and usually for the wrong reasons.

      • Johnny Whiteman says:

        In other words, yes he/she is a shill.

    • Kitty says:

      Actually, I can confirm that this does happen, but it’s not good practice.

  15. Mohamed Nasser says:

    Dear Jeffrey Beall
    I got the same email as above.
    On May 26, I accepted to review an article for “for British Journal of Mathematics & Computer Science‏”.

    ——————————————————————————–
    On Mon, May 26, 2014 at 4:38 PM, Managing Editor 27 (PRM) wrote:
    Dear Dr.Mohamed ,

    Thank you very much for accepting our review invitation.
    ——————————————————————————–

    Then, on May 30, I got the following email.

    ——————————————————————————–From: Managing Editor 27 (PRM) (editor.27@sciencedomain.org)
    Sent: Friday, May 30, 2014 4:09:29 PM
    To: Mohamed *** (**@**)
    Dear Colleague. ,

    Thank you for agreeing to review this manuscript.

    You may appreciate that, we are committed to complete the peer-review formalities within a strict time frame, to help the authors. As a result of constant effort of our editorial team, we have already received minimum number of quality review comments to complete the peer review of this manuscript. Final decision was also communicated to authors at the end of deadline (i.e. 21 days).

    So, very politely we want to inform you that in this occasion, we would not be able to use your valuable comments. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

    As per our policy, when we receive minimum number of review comments, we inform other agreed reviewers to save their precious time.

    But we will be delighted if we can get your expert comments for our future manuscripts. We are thankful to you for agreeing to spend your valuable time for this review.

    with regards,

    Ms. Priyanka Das

    SCIENCEDOMAIN international

    http://www.sciencedomain.org

    Reg. Offices:

    UK: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, Third Floor, 207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH,UK,Registered in England and Wales, Company Registration Number: 7794635, Fax: +44 20-3031-1429
    USA: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, One Commerce Centre, 1201, Orange St. # 600, Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, USA, Corporate File Number: 5049777, Fax: +1 302-397-2050
    India: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, U GF, DLF City Phase-III, Gurgaon, 122001, Delhi NCR, Corp. Firm Registration Number: 255 (2010-11), Fax: +91 11-66173993
    Editorial office: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, Guest House Road, Street no – 1/6, Tarakeswar, Hooghly, WB, 712410, India, Corp. Firm Registration Number: L77527.

    Disclaimer: This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the webmaster. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. Finally, the recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. The publishing firm accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email. If you have any further queries, you can contact at the Registered Office of this publisher at SCIENCEDOMAIN international Ltd., Third Floor, 207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH, UK, Fax: +44 20-3031-1429, or at USA Office: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, One Commerce Centre, 1201, Orange St. # 600, Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, USA, Corporate File Number: 5049777,Fax: +1 302-397-2050 or at India Office: U GF, DLF City Phase-III, Gurgaon, 122001, Delhi NCR, Corp. Firm Registration Number: 255 (2010-11), Fax: +91 11-66173993. Kindly note that, E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secured or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message, which arise as a result of e-mail transmission. If verification is required please request a signed hard-copy/scanned version. Our company accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, unless that information is subsequently confirmed in writing.
    ——————————————————————————–

  16. ZYX says:

    There are two points to be made:

    1) Terminating reviewing assignments and sending polite letters informing reviewers about this decision is an acceptable practice although it is not used very often. I have seen this done even by the best society journals. However, the terminations should not occur so fast and not on a regular basis, and the termination letters should be written much more professionally (the letters discussed here are obviously amateurish).

    2) I have looked at one journal by this Publisher that I can evaluate (on Physics and Math). It’s not just low quality, it simply has nothing to do with science. The records of peer review and editorial comments look like a joke. Whether they terminate the reviewing assignments or not or whether this practice is acceptable is immaterial.

  17. Nils says:

    I have looked at a few papers in the “British Journal of Mathematics & Computer Science”, and I entirely agree with ZYX. Their “peer review” is a complete joke, and has absolutely nothing to do with serious refereeing.

    Let’s take the example of the paper “Discovering Geometric and Topological Properties of Ellipsoids by Curvatures”. I’m not saying anything about the paper itself (it takes time to review a research paper), but let’s have a look at the so-called referee reports:
    Report 1 consists in just one sentence: “This paper is well written.”
    Report 2 is barely longer: “In second page (here numerated 101), in the formula of the definition of Ellipsoid, I propose that you put: ai≠aj when i≠j.”
    The Editor’s comment reads “The two referee reports are strongly positive. Therefore, I think this paper should be accepted for
    publication.” I think there is no need to say more on these reports.

    Another example is the paper “On Non-metric Covering Lemmas and Extended Lebesgue-differentiation Theorem” (again, I comment only the reports, not the paper itself).
    Report 1: “They give a non-metric version of the Besicovitch Covering Lemma and an extension of the Lebesgue-Differentiation Theorem into the setting of the integration theory of vector valued functions. The quality of the paper is good .”
    Report 2: “I think this paper includes a new result and make important contribution to and improvement in the integration theory of vector valued functions. This study gives a more general, non-metric Besicovitch Covering Lemma that satisfies any size function and extend the scope of the Lebesgue Differentiation Theorem to the more general setting of the integral of vector valued function. Namely, the paper contains a non-metric version of the Besicovitch Covering Lemma and an extended Lebesgue-Differentiation Theorem. Proofs of the Lemmas and Theorems are open enough and they sounds interesting.”
    Report 3: “In this paper under review the author gives a more general non-metric version of the Besicovitch Covering Lemma concerning any size function and an extension of the Lebesgue differentiation Theorem to the more general setting of the integral of vector valued functions, as introduced in [the author] (2013) and later in [the author and a coworker] (2013).” followed by a list of typos.
    Editor’s comment: “Paper looks very strong. ACCEPT”.

    In fact, I suspect that this has more to do with incompetence than with malevolence: the editors apparently have no clue what a genuine referee report looks like.
    I’ve been writing and refereeing math papers for 20 years. Though I occasionally got very short reports, a typical review is several pages long. It does not just paraphrase the abstract and say that the paper is “very good”. A report should show that the reviewer has checked the main part of the proofs, comment on how the paper improves previous results, check whether relevant existing literature has been correctly cited, state whether the presentation is clear and propose improvements, comment on the results’ relevance, and so on.
    Such a process takes time, and it’s completely unrealistic to expect a report in a few days (the usual time frame in math is more like several months). The above sockpuppet’s comment “it surely does not take them 4 days to read through a paper” tells a lot on these peoples’ understanding of peer review.

    • Reader says:

      This also raises the question of who the reviewers are, that they would write such an empty review! Peers I guess!

  18. Blazeyastic says:

    Dear Beall,

    Establish a publishing company for journal papers so that every paper on Beall’s publishing company will be the best. If I may advice also, don’t charge for publication and it should be free for readers and scholars to have and work with. I think that will be a welcome idea and it will definitely remove or end the life sperm of most of the listed fake journals in your list.

    Beall have all the tricks of this fake journals everywhere hence, his own established journals which should cut across all fields will be rated standard, thanks.

    Just a kind opinion.

  19. Kanka Leighta says:

    I really cannot see people’s point that they expect aggresive comments against authors. I very often face with comments like “blabla is not in concordance with previous studies, so REJECT!”. Saying “a good study” is far better, if the reviewer has no reason to explain in details. Also, on the side of an editor, it impossible to predict if the reviewer will make a good job. So, criticizing is the easiest in the academy; however, trying to do the best is the praiseworthy one.

    • Nils says:

      I don’t think anybody here is expecting “aggressive comments against authors”. Nobody likes aggressive reports. But honestly, I am equally disappointed when I receive a positive report that just paraphrases the abstract without any constructive criticism (this has happened to me on occasion), because it shows that the referee has not read the paper, making the report worthless.

      Of course an editor cannot predict the outcome of a review, although he can try to avoid meaningless reports by selecting the referees carefully (i.e., choosing competent reviewers). But it’s an editor’s job to make sure the reviewing process is of adequate quality. This may mean to contact further reviewers if the first reports are not thorough enough, which takes a certain amount of time.

      It’s essential that the referees are given adequate time, first to accept or decline to review, and second to perform the review if they are willing to do it. Hence it is not realistic to promise the authors that the review process will only take a few days.

  20. J.D. says:

    I just received the same email seen above from British Journal of Mathematics & Computer Science. Here is my reply. Feel free to copy and paste if it is useful to you.

    Dear Partha Dey,

    After spending a number of hours looking into the details of the paper, I have now received your notification canceling my review.

    Your email states “You may appreciate that, we are committed to complete the peer-review formalities within a strict time frame, to help the authors.” Indeed I understand that deadlines are strict; this is precisely why I had invested a number of hours into reviewing the paper well before the deadline. Your initial email stated “We’ll wait to receive your valuable review comments in time (25 Apr’2015)”. I had taken you at your word quite seriously — expecting that you would wait whilst I invest many hours.

    You also state “We are thankful to you for agreeing to spend your valuable time for this review.”. In professional settings the way that you show thankfulness is to value commitments. It is understandable to cancel commitments in the case of emergency situations or unforeseen circumstances. However your review process is by design to cancel excess reviews for which you have previously agreed to wait. This is clear evidence that wasting reviewers valuable time is quite literally an integral part of your reviewing process.

    You also state “So, very politely we want to inform you that in this occasion, we would not be able to use your valuable comments. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”. If you are truly sorry for the inconvenience then you would not have a review process that by design wastes reviewer’s time and effort.

    I urge you to consider reforming your review process. Other schemes exist that would achieve quick turnaround for authors while not wasting reviewer’s time.

    Please kindly remove me from your list of reviewers.

  21. Kitty says:

    I work for a reasonably well-known set of research journals, and while this practice is not just limited to predatory publishers, it is something that I would encourage all editorial staff to nip in the bud if possible! I do my best to encourage our Editors not to make a decision on manuscripts until all invited reviews are received, and not to invite more reviewers than the manuscript needs.

    Mistakes will happen, obviously, but I agree with the previous poster who said that this is potentially disrespectful to reviewers. Academics can waste precious time and energy on a review, only to be told at the last minute that their review is no longer needed. This is not a good way to treat people who invest their time and energy (often free of charge) into helping other academics in the field.

  22. Marcus Muench says:

    I had the same thing happen to me as an editorial board member of a BenthamOpen journal (which I just checked and doesn’t seem to exist anymore – no surprise). They gave me 7 days to review a paper, which I thought didn’t include the weekend, but did. I submitted my review on day 9 and then a little while later noticed that the paper was published without my second review and none of my comments were addressed. I contacted the editorial office and they said that my review came in late and that they had enough reviews. First of all, I was furious that I had rushed and spent my time to honestly try and help the authors prepare a better manuscript. Some issues were easily fixed, but critical (like missing ethics statements on animal work). I actually spent my time writing the editorial office on how such practices undermine their efforts to build a reputable journal and I contacted the editor-in-chief, who I found out really did nothing for the journal. The editorial office never seamed to make any genuine effort to take simple steps to improve their service, although they did drop the dumb idea of 7 day reviews. Regardless, I got myself off their editorial board and will refuse to work with any publisher that tries to spread a wide net to get their reviews done quickly. It is an incredibly disrespectful practice and just demonstrates the greed of the publisher and their ignorance for the peer-review process.

  23. sandy ofori says:

    This is not as uncommon as some commenters here have said. I received the same email four days after accepting to review a paper. Four days!

    Dear Dr. Sandy Ofori ,

    Thank you for agreeing to review this manuscript.

    You may appreciate that, we are committed to complete the peer-review formalities within a strict time frame, to help the authors. As a result of constant effort of our editorial team, we have already received minimum number of quality review comments to complete the peer review of this manuscript.

    So, very politely we want to inform you that in this occasion, we would not be able to use your valuable comments. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

    As per our policy, when we receive minimum number of review comments, we inform other agreed reviewers to save their precious time.
    But we will be delighted if we can get your expert comments for our future manuscripts. We are thankful to you for agreeing to spend your valuable time for this review.

    With regards

    Partha Dey

    SCIENCEDOMAIN international

    http://www.sciencedomain.org

    Reg. Offices:

    UK: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, Third Floor, 207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH,UK,Registered in England and Wales, Company Registration Number: 8988029
    USA: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, One Commerce Centre, 1201, Orange St. # 600, Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, USA, Corporate File Number: 5049777
    India: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, U GF, DLF City Phase-III, Gurgaon, 122001, Delhi NCR, Corp. Firm Registration Number: 255 (2010-11)
    Editorial office: SCIENCEDOMAIN international, Guest House Road, Street no – 1/6, Tarakeswar, Hooghly, WB, 712410, India, Corp. Firm Registration Number: L77527.

    Disclaimer: This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. Finally, the recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. The sender therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message, which arise as a result of e-mail transmission. If you have any further queries, you can contact at the Registered Office of this publisher. If verification is required please request a signed hard-copy/scanned version. Our company accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, unless that information is subsequently confirmed in writing.

  24. Chico Artemias says:

    I also received a request from Partha Dey to review a manuscript (for British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research). Before replying, I found this site, read the comments, and noticed there were some indicating this publisher/editor has improved. As a result, I indicated I would agree to review the manuscript and added that I would do so ONLY if they would accept my review if submitted within the requested 14 day period (I included the URL for this site in my reply and mentioned I was aware of this issue); if he couldn’t make that guarantee then I wasn’t interested. I received a reply with instructions on completing the review (no mention was made of my caveat). Three days later I received an email indicating they had received the minimum number of reviews and so mine was no longer needed.
    I’m sharing my experience to refute any idea that this publisher has improved in their abuse of reviewers. I don’t care how common this practice is, it’s still unethical.
    Add my voice to those who urge others to not review manuscripts for this publisher. It is the only way to change their behavior.

  25. ICC says:

    Another example of “research” published by this journal, with ample potential of damage to society as various internet “news” sites pick it up: http://earhustle411.com/nigerian-professor-creates-drug-that-cures-hiv-aids-in-2-months/

  26. Spamtraps just got an identical mail from Elsevier.

    Dear Dr X,

    I have made a decision on a manuscript which you had been invited to review:

    Manuscript Number: SCHRES-X
    Title: X

    As this is the case, your review is no longer required. I appreciate the time you have already devoted to this review and thank you for your efforts.

    We sincerely hope you will be available to help us with our next request and look forward to working with you.

    Sincerely,

    Lynn E. Delisi
    Editor – Europe, Asia, ROW
    Schizophrenia Research

    The headers match up too – MXLogic, a reputable provider of outbound mail services, sent the mail on behalf of Elsevier.

    Elsevier supports idiots (such as in the King Saud University) spamming researchers with invitations to review articles that are nowhere near their field of expertise, and spamming the same addresses again, again and again despite the fact that either no reply is ever received (as in the case of spamtraps that passively only receive the mail) or that a friendly reply is sent indicating the request is misdirected (in the case of real researchers who contribute to our work). Elsevier does not respond to comments, and Elsevier permits the spam to go on. Hence, Elsevier.com is listed in our service since February 2, 2015.

  27. Ozer says:

    I may be a victim of a plagiarism and my case is currently under investigation. The paper allegedly plagiarised my work was published at British Journal of Mathematics and Computer Science, which is one of the Science Domain journals.

    The whole revision of allegedly plagiarized paper took only 45 days from the day of initial submission to the final publication.

    Any thoughts?

  28. Kalyanmoy Dey says:

    just accept the peer review request and hang them up.

  29. Report SCIENCEDOMAIN Int’l Ltd to the UK Information Commissioner. They are still processing personal data without having registered with the ICO. See above (April 9, 2015 comment from ourselves) for instructions.

  30. Mohan says:

    This journal is one of the predatory journals coming out of India and their practices are obvious if you care to spend 2 minutes on the quality of the articles published. They hire few computer science graduates to run the website, that’s all the investment they make. Even if they publish few hundred articles per year they make good money.

    Yet, from the comments I read above, many experienced scientists are willing to give the benefit of doubt and review articles for this company. Please stop this at once, do not support these outfits in any form. Articles will be published as long as the service charge is paid, regardless of your comments.

    Do not send articles or review them, if you do you are doing big disservice to Science.

    Mohan

  31. Vince DeBari says:

    Here’s the text of a reply I sent to a journal a couple of months ago. I believe it’s self-explanatory:

    “You sent the invitation at 1:04 am and told me that my services were no longer required at 6:00 am. As I cannot stay up all night waiting for requests to review for your journal, please don’t bother me again.”

  32. Kof says:

    I have no financial interest in SD. Being a “shill” [stooge] for SD is not a clear motivation for publishing with SD. The open access policy is attractive. The low cost is another consideration. In the UK many e-commerce are outsourcing functions to India and other lower cost locations. Try having small talk with an operator in Delhi about the weather in Somerset? In the long-term folks got used it and began (i suppose) to appreciate the 24/7 politeness and patience at the other end of the line. The can-do attitude. The good follow-up. Outsourcing to India that is. The Manufacturing industry did it. Financial services/Banking did it. Globalisation is not irrelevant to these discussions. I consult the predatory lists of journals for every paper. The evidence seems really convincing. So why aren’t the authorities doing something about what is surely illegality?

    I publish with SD and will continue to do, at the risk of loosing my publications (whatever that means). My experience of their peer review has been mixed but there reviewers did not appear to be from a typing pool of SD employee or fake academics (as claimed in some blog or other). The quality of reviewing was sometimes dubious, rude and irrelevant -but then again many comments were highly useful and adopted. Authors have a right of reply to reviewers. The quality of reviewing is a function of reviewers, not only the fault of the publishing company. To deal with my voluntary reviewing workload of about 1 paper/month – it helps to keep track reviewing good practice as suggested by Provenzale
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16751587

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