I don’t see too many questionable open-access journals that originate in Japan, but here’s one, the Journal of Physical Therapy Science. It purports to be the organ of The Society of Physical Therapy Science, for which I can find no website, other than the journal’s. The journal is hosted on Japan’s J-STAGE platform, which calls itself a journal aggregator, but in this case it essentially functions as this journal’s publisher.
Here are some of this journal’s additional weaknesses:
- It’s a monthly that publishes over fifty articles each month, a sign of easy acceptance. The table of contents is split into multiple screens, essentially hiding the works beyond the first screen.
- It has no editor-in-chief or editorial board that I could find. If you can find them, please let me know.
- The articles are uniformly short (2-4 pages) and almost all show a quick, four to five week period between submission and acceptance.
- There’s a submission fee (¥10,000) in addition to the author fee (¥20,000 per “printed” page). The submission fee is waived for members of the society, but there are no members, apparently. It’s a sham society.
- The authors of the articles seem to come from pretty much every country EXCEPT Japan, the home country of the “society” publisher. I noticed many from Korea and a lot from Turkey.
- The author guidelines (published as a separate PDF), don’t say anything about how articles are licensed. The articles bear copyright statements that say “©2015 The Society of Physical Therapy Science” and also say they are licensed under a CC BY NC ND license. Do authors have to sign copyright over to the journal which then releases it under a CC license? Why can’t the authors just retain copyright?
- Looking at the articles, I observed many author and journal self-citations.
- The journal uses a small logo that says “Peer Review,” but there’s no evidence that any peer review is done. It appears this journal just takes orders from authors needing easy publishing.
This journal exists chiefly as a means for researchers to easily purchase academic credit, in the form of short articles, which they then use for tenure and promotions and securing employment outside universities. Its publisher is a pretend scholarly society that has fooled many.
J-STAGE should not be publishing low-quality journals such as this one.