Open publishing, good. Bentham Open Journals, not so much

Open publishing is a fantastic idea. However, this move by Bentham Science makes them look like Manutius Publishing. I just got an email from them that starts like this:

“Dear Dr. Scheidegger:
Bentham Open is one of the …”

Not only have they gotten the doctor thing just completely wrong, but I have been asked to join the board because of my “eminent contributions in the field of virtual reality”. However, later in the email, they write: “Should you be interested in being and Editorial Board Member, then please could you send us your CV and list of publications for consideration [sic]”. Wait, wasn’t I selected because of my eminent contributions? And do they pick virtual reality grad students to be on the board of their vis journals?

I can recognize at least one name from the current board. If it’s true (there are no affiliations and only abbreviated names, so I can’t be sure), that’s unfortunate. Also, stop calling your model Open Access. Pay-to-publish is NOT open access. I agree with Mihai Patrascu‘s feeling: from first impressions, this is a case of a creative publisher trying to trick us into giving them money. I have to wonder how many people they unsuccessfully spammed before they got to grad students…

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One response to “Open publishing, good. Bentham Open Journals, not so much

  1. I am not going to defend Bentham Open (they can do that for themselves if they are able), but I will defend “pay-to-publish”.

    BioMed Central, for whom I work, uses this model of charging article processing charges to the author (or more usually their institution, library, or funding body) for articles accepted after peer review. So do the journals published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS). Both are respectable Open Access publishers, so the adoption by Bentham of this model is not in itself a reason to criticise them.

    Charging to publish articles after rigorous peer review in order to fund Open Access publishing (no fee to read, no barriers to reuse) is by no means the same as running a vanity press.

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