The Philippines-based journal Asia Life Sciences charges authors a submission fee, and, when their papers are accepted, it also charges an exorbitant author fee. The fee is one of the highest open-access author fees in Asia.
This email from William Sm. Gruezo, the journal’s “Chairman, Board of Editors,” was forwarded to me by an author who submitted a paper to the journal. I’ve redacted identifying information from the message.
From: “Dr. William Sm. Gruezo” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: “WILLIAM SM. GRUEZO” <email@example.com>
Subject: Reply to DR. [redacted] re:receipt of paper to ALS Journal from ASIA LIFE SCIENCES [redacted] 2015
Dear Dr [Redacted],
Acknowledge with appreciation your kind submission of a paper to ASIA LIFE SCIENCES (ALS). Please see attached set of proforma reply or information. Kindly prepay the review process fee of US$200 per paper by return e-mail/ASAP through bank transfer payment (see attachéd for bank account details) in order for your paper to be sent to reviewers immediately. After your paper has been accepted for publication, a publication fee of THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED US DOLLARS (US$3,500) per accepted paper (starting fee) should be prepaid instantly through bank transfer payment in order to insure that your paper will be included in the next issue of ALS. In return, author(s) will receive one mint hard copy of the Journal issue and fifteen reprints of his/her/their paper to be sent by airmail/air parcel post.
Your immediate acknowledgement of receipt of this reply is requested. Kindly use both my e-mail addresses whenever you will send a reply or message to ASIA LIFE SCIENCES.
DR. WILLIAM SM. GRUEZO
Chairman, Board of Editors/Chief Editor
ASIA LIFE SCIENCES
81 Governor F.T. San Luis Avenue
Masaya, Bay 4033, Laguna
Mobile No. (063) (049) 0915-360-4660
As the email shows, the journal charges a $200 submission fee, even though the journal’s website indicates the fee, rarely charged by scholarly journals, is only $100.
The email from the editor indicates the author fee is a whopping $3,500, and the fee is not stated on the journal’s website. Instead, the author guidelines only make a passing reference to the fee, without stating the amount:
To defray the cost of publication, author(s) of accepted manuscripts would be requested to pay a publication fee, the exact amount of which will be determined on or before printing time. Author(s) will be informed of this publication fee through notice of acceptance of their manuscripts.
All author fees should be clearly stated on open-access journal websites, especially if the fee is high, as in this case. This sneakiness on the part of the journal is unprofessional.
Also unprofessional is the journal’s overstatement of its impact factor. At the top of the journal’s main web page, the journal states, “Asia Life Sciences has an Impact Factor of 0.259.”
This is the value from last year. The current impact is a lot lower: 0.075. This information should be updated immediately on the journal’s website.
It’s likely they left the higher figure on the website to entice authors to submit articles, authors who are then charged thirty-five hundred dollars.
The sole reason this journal is able to charge a $3,500 author fee is because of its impact factor, which it may not have for long at the current rate of decline.
Asia Life Sciences is one of 14 titles published by UPLB Journals Online at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Hat tip: Dr. Mohd Hasnain Md Hussain