15 Responses to Open-Access Journal Offers to Pay Peer Reviewers

  1. I agree it’s a terrible wage and a total waste of time reviewing for these guys or any other predatory publisher.

    But why is this any different in principle than Elsevier paying an expected value of $10 (euros) in their Cortex lottery?


    Why not call them out as well?

  2. nonkululeko says:

    This is all about biotechnology and it’s income,lots and lots needs to be explained.

  3. JanosToth says:

    This reminds me of the “take paid surveys” system, where most respondents are coming from third world countries and only paying attention to the first few questions to make sure they does not get screened out. I’m pretty sure that would be the same with these “peer reviews” too.

  4. Victoria says:

    “credit will be transfer to your bank account.” So you would need to provide them with your bank account info. Part 2 of the scam.

  5. Dave Long says:

    Dear Mr. Beall. You mentioned in last post that Thomson Reuters listing is not an indicator of quality. What is your opinion about Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) by ed.gov, ERIHPLUS by ESF/NSD and Inspec by The IET, and journals indexed/abstracted by these databases/services? Scholars in US AU, EU and CIS region respect these services. What do you think?

  6. Derek says:

    Actually, some legitimate journals do pay referees who get reviews submitted by deadlines. One is the Journal of Banking and Finance. See https://www.elsevier.com/journals/journal-of-banking-and-finance/0378-4266/guide-for-authors#3501. However, $7 would be more of an insult than “tokens of appreciation”, to use JBF’s description. Seven dollars would only attract people willing to accept everything without looking at the papers submitted.

  7. Sudesh Kumar says:

    just read on the PLoS One website:

    “PLOS ONE does not copyedit accepted manuscripts, so the language in submitted articles must be clear, correct, and unambiguous…..”

    Isn’t copyediting something which is expected from a world class journal. Does it not cause additional burden on non-native English speakers? Many smaller publishers do copyediting of the papers, then why not PLoS One.

    • Akhlesh Lakhtakia says:

      1. Minimal copy-editing is done by American Physical Society and Elsevier (among major publishers).
      2. Non-native English speakers should either learn to write well in English or have their manuscripts professionally edited or publish in journals published in other languages.

      • Sudesh Kumar says:

        if minimal something is done by someone, it does not mean that minimal something should be done by everyone. PLoS is a good publisher, and needs to give some services to improve the quality of paper.

        if PLoS employs copyeditors, it will cost them about $50-60/paper. Same paper will be copyedited in $200-300 by a copyediting service. Can’t they spend $50/paper out of $1350 they charge as APC to improve quality of paper? Why not out source the copyediting work, it will cost even less.

    • tekija says:

      I am dissatisfied by PLoS and will not publish with it for this very reason. The latest paper, a meta-analysis, that I read in my field not only had terrible gaffes in the list of references but also listed and analyzed a European country as being part of Asia. Thus errors also exist in scientific contents, not just language. Errors like that lead to loss of credibility on the entire meta-analysis that after all necessitates that the authors carefully extract and cite the literature their analysis is based on. PLoS is also contributing to the declining standard of scholarly publishing.

  8. Sudesh Kumar says:

    Another gem from PLoS One

    “To ensure prompt publication, your manuscript will not be subject to detailed copyediting and you will not receive a typeset proof for review. You will be able to review the final version of your manuscript when it is returned to you at editorial accept.”

    Is there any other publisher in the world who does not provide page proof to authors for corrections before final publication? What if authors discover a problem in typesetting after final publication?

    They are sure saving a bundle of money by not employing copy editors…and no page proof!!! almost like a publication machine not a journal

    • Jake Bundy says:

      I’m an academic editor for PLOS ONE, but obviously I don’t speak for the journal – the following is just my own set of opinions.

      1. The lack of copyediting and page proofs is all down to keeping costs low – when PLOS raised the APC for PLOS ONE, it generated criticism even though they had frozen costs for several years before then. Extra functionality costs extra.

      2. I happen to agree with you about the page proofs … I think PLOS should introduce them, even if it means an increase in APC. But for now, if you have a typo introduced in the typesetting process that alters the scientific meaning of your paper, contact the journal – I believe that in this case they will issue a corrected version.

      • Sudesh Kumar says:

        com’on Jake, how much does it cost to send page proof, one email and some server space to send, one email and some server space to to receive. hindawi publishes at $600-800; PLoS One at $1350, even if accounting for high labor cost in USA.

  9. fexadom says:

    Fake open access journals should know better than to send spam to Jeffrey Beall!

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