Is JoVE Just Another Spammer?

JoVE Journal of Visualized Experiments

Scientific spammer.

JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, is an innovative video journal. However, the journal is mercenary and demonstrating at least a couple characteristics of predatory journals.

JoVE — which is not on my list — is a subscription journal, and it’s expensive. However, the publication uses the “delayed open-access” model, so its videos are made open access and re-published by the United States Government in PubMed Central after two years.

It also uses the “hybrid open-access” model, in which authors are given the opportunity to pay extra and have the content made open-access immediately upon publication. This option, however, costs the authors $4200. Like some predatory journals, JoVE charges both authors and subscribers.

Like most predatory journals, JoVE sends unwarranted spam emails. Here’s one that was forwarded to me recently:

From: Indrani Mukherjee Ph.D. []
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2016
To: [Redacted]
Subject: Publication Inquiry

Dear Dr. [Redacted],

I recently came across your paper, [Redacted]. As a Science Editor with JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, I am interested in speaking with you about the possibility of publishing your methods as a peer-reviewed video article.

JoVE is the leading peer-reviewed video methods journal. Authors submit a traditional text manuscript, and we take care of the entire process of filming and producing your video. The JoVE video article below by the Orkin lab at Harvard Medical School is an example of the high quality video articles we produce.

Is there a time Wednesday or Thursday that we could have a brief conversation?


Indrani Mukherjee Ph.D.

Indrani Mukherjee Ph.D.
Science Editor
One Alewife Center, Suite 200, Cambridge, MA 02140

This spam email was sent to a researcher in North America whose research does not fall into the scope of JoVE. The researcher is at a business school and the paper is a case study that does not use any lab-based or experimental methodology.

I am also concerned that the spam email is signed by someone who identifies herself as a “Science Editor.” Given the facts surrounding the communication, I think “sales representative” is a more appropriate term.

Summary: JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, charges both subscribers and authors and is expensive. It sends inappropriate spam emails to researchers, following the practice of many predatory publishers and journals.

12 Responses to Is JoVE Just Another Spammer?

  1. From Morocco says:

    “Praise worthy prize publishing house” a predatory publisher who charges both subscribers and authors.

  2. We don’t know if they’re _just_ another spammer, but they definitely are a spammer and recognized as such on the ScientificSpam DNSBL.

  3. Wim Crusio says:

    Isn’t it normal for a hybrid journal to charge both readers and authors? Readers need a subscription to access the journal’s closed content, but anybody can access the content that authors have paid for to be OA.

    As for the high price of having your article OA and to subscribe to the journal, I think that is because the costs of producing videos is significantly higher than creating a PDF, although I admit not being privy to the journal’s finances. (Disclosure: I have been a member of their editorial board since 2007).

  4. tekija says:

    Here is an unsolicited e-mail that I received today from Kager, which by the way does not mention the publication fee of the journal.

    Case Reports in Ophthalmology

    If you are having trouble viewing this e-mail, please click here.

    Invitation for Papers

    Dear Dr. (Redacted)

    Submit your case report to this peer-reviewed, online-only journal to share your findings with the international scientific community. Papers are published online within 2 weeks of acceptance and will be searchable in PubMed!

    Your benefits of publishing in Case Reports in Ophthalmology:
    High citation potential
    Fast online publication
    For more information, please visit Case Reports in Ophthalmology. To submit your own case report, please refer to the online submission instructions.

    We look forward to receiving your submission.

    Kind regards,
    Sandra Braun
    Product and Marketing Manager
    Karger Publishers

    Editorial Board

    Anat Loewenstein, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel

    Editorial Board
    Adi Abulafia, Ein Tal Eye Center, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Ehud Assia, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Albert J. Augustin, City Hospital of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany
    Francesco Bandello, University Vita Salute, Milan, Italy Irina S. Barequet, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
    Rubens Belfort, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Gabriel Coscas, Eye University, Créteil, France
    Diana V. Do, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, USA
    Dafna Goldenberg, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Michaella Goldstein, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Atsushi Hayashi, University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan
    Sue Lightman, University College London, London, UK
    Joseph Moisseiev, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
    Jerzy Nawrocki, Ophthalmic Clinic “Jasne Blonia”, Lodz, Poland
    Christian Prünte, Vista Clinic, Binningen, Switzerland
    Ursula Schmidt, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    Rufino Silva, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
    Eric Souied, Hôpital Intercommuncal de Créteil, Paris, France
    Simon Taylor, University College London, London, UK

    © S. Karger AG | Medical and Scientific Publishers | Allschwilerstrasse 10 | CH-4009 Basel | Switzerland
    t +41 61 306 11 11 | f +41 61 306 12 34 | |

    Please read the Karger Privacy Policy. If you have received this e-mail by mistake, click here and we will take you off this mailing list.

  5. Stuart McKelvie says:

    I was recently asked to review a submission to JOVE. INo flags were raised in my mind by the request.

    I did it and recommended a revision. I might contact them to ask what the status of that submission is.

  6. Stuart McKelvie says:

    Further to my comment above (with apology for the typo in “INo” which should be simply “No”, I looked at my review again. I treated the submission seriously and recommended that two major changes should be made. However, overall, I found that the submission was credible. Of course, that does not mean that the journal is or is not credible. Perhaps others could look more closely at the quality of the publications.

    In the meantime, here is an interesting exchange on Research Gate:

  7. RY says:

    Each scientist could record his/her methods in real conditions and publish them as real video rather than to use illustrations and make them animated!

  8. dzrlib says:

    They certainly are spammers (if the definition includes relentless phone calls to librarians attempting to sell subscriptions).

  9. Rishabh Jain says:

    They had set up a booth at the Materials Research Society conference (a very prestigious conference) at Boston, few years ago.

  10. herr doktor bimler says:

    This morning’s spam:
    Lab Productivity is the Key!

    Dear Colleague,

    Making experimental techniques work in your lab involves never-ending cycles of trial and error, which wastes your time and lab funds. JoVE solves this problem by publishing methods based video articles that provide step-by-step demonstration of scientific experiments. These videos not only are filmed at the top scientific institutions, but also allow for quick learning of research techniques and methods. Using JoVE, researchers, post-docs and students can focus on getting research results instead of spending their time mastering techniques.

    Please notify your colleagues and students about the availability of this tool. I’ve included some examples of our recent video articles below:


    JoVE is available under institutional subscription, if you find JoVE useful, please recommend it to your librarian so they can consider subscribing.

    Please contact me if you have any questions.

    Best Regards,

    Justin Cherny Ph.D.
    Innovation Department
    Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)
    1 Alewife Center, Suite 200, Cambridge, MA 02140
    I do not see the “innovation” involved in badgering random strangers with unwanted spam, and I responded in an equally non-innovative way by inviting him to die in a fire.

  11. Aaron Beedle says:

    I have to speak up to defend JoVE.
    Certainly, sending out a JoVE manuscript solicitation re a non-experimental paper is a ridiculous mistake on JoVE’s part. But aside from that error, they have some excellent articles/videos that are very helpful when setting up new experiments by having experts provide VERY in-depth protocols and creating videos so one can see how the experiment is done. In this time of the “reproducibility crisis”, JoVE articles make a very important contribution to increase consistency and reduce variability across labs with their published methods. It’s a fantastic resource for students.
    I was asked to do a video a couple of years ago, and I declined because of cost. But, I was asked again recently and accepted. There are some absolute top labs in my field that have published JoVE articles, which was a big factor in my accepting their invitation this time (despite the cost). I currently have a manuscript under review with JoVE. I can attest that their editorial review and peer review are both valid and extensive.

    Now, I just today received a publication request from “SAGE research methods video”. This looks very much like a predatory knock-off of JoVE…

    While I will delete it, I will still do my best to maintain some polite discourse by not inviting anyone to “die in a fire”, as above.

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