Q for those in academia/familiar with publishing in journals

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ratonlaveur
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18 Sep 2009, 4:37 pm

Ok so I got a really random email from one of the editors of an obscure neuroscience research journal who is offering to publish a paper I wrote 4 years ago (it's on some web pages). It appears legit and is indexed in Psycinfo, it's just pretty obscure. Should I go and submit my paper? I've never been first author before on anything so I don't know the submission process from a first hand basis. I also don't have an advanced degree (currently working on Master's), a current affiliation with a research group, or grant money to pay any possible publication fees.



AnotherOne
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18 Sep 2009, 5:18 pm

hm, advanced degree is not necessary. is the paper going to be reviewed?
so i guess you were working in someone elses lab at that time so you'll need this prof permission to publish, thus you should ask his/her opinion. that solves the funding problem too. publishing without pi's permission is a big no-no.

since you are a ms student i guess journal's ranking is not that much important.
there are invited papers but usually for established researchers.



ratonlaveur
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18 Sep 2009, 6:43 pm

I believe the paper is going to be reviewed. It was actually a metareview I wrote by myself - originally as a resource for a non-profit org which ended up doing nothing with it. I just use it now as a writing sample when applying to relevant jobs.



AnotherOne
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18 Sep 2009, 10:22 pm

sorry, i do not know how metareviews are valued or peer-reviewed (that would be strange). can you check the impact factor?
still if it shows in a database it may be worth if it is not awfuly expensive.



AnnieK
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20 Sep 2009, 6:12 am

I don't think it's such a great idea. Obscure, low-impact factor journal soliciting unknown researcher who hasn't got a Master's yet to publish work done a long time ago. And the work is not even original research but just a metareview. Not trying to bash you here but I'm trying to point out how suspicious the situation is. I sense that they probably just want money off of you. They'll probably charge you an exorbitant amount to publish. Also, if the journal as a bad rep, the article may look bad on your CV because people will think of it as "vanity" publishing.

The most important question is though - what does your supervisor say?

I had solicitations like this when I started publishing. I had a good laugh because it was in a completely different field to what I was working in. Obviously they just did an automated text search and saw part of my title which matched a term in the other field and sent out an automated letter inviting me to write a chapter for a book (the title of the book was a dead give away that this is what they did). That's the sort of level we're talking about here. I of course junked the letter. As well as the advertising for experimental equipment (all my papers were theoretical) and the ads for textbooks in biology (hint: I don't work in a discipline anywhere near biology). Oh and how can I forget the "certificate" congratulating me for my membership to this distinguished society (but only once I paid the subscription fee). The point is, scientific research has plenty of dodgy operators.

On the other hand, if you are not looking for a career in academia, and the price is not too much, well, hell, why not? Just to see your name in print.



ratonlaveur
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22 Sep 2009, 1:39 pm

I asked my advisor who agreed that the journal is legit (been around for 50 years and is indexed), just pretty obscure. She also told me that she's never had to pay any fees aside from page fees for illustrations, etc... I asked the journal directly if they charge publication or page fees and they said it's free. However they seem way to eager to publish. I said in my email response to the editor's offer of publication that "I would be interested" and asked if there were any fees. They replied that they've already peer-reviewed it and plan to publish it later this year - I just have to format the references and email it in Word format to the editors. I'm thinking they must really be desperate for submissions or something... My other option is to work on updating and touching up the paper with a faculty member here, having them as 2nd author, then submitting it to a decent journal based at my school that takes metareviews.



AnnieK
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23 Sep 2009, 5:43 am

ratonlaveur wrote:
I asked my advisor who agreed that the journal is legit (been around for 50 years and is indexed), just pretty obscure. She also told me that she's never had to pay any fees aside from page fees for illustrations, etc... I asked the journal directly if they charge publication or page fees and they said it's free. However they seem way to eager to publish. I said in my email response to the editor's offer of publication that "I would be interested" and asked if there were any fees. They replied that they've already peer-reviewed it and plan to publish it later this year - I just have to format the references and email it in Word format to the editors. I'm thinking they must really be desperate for submissions or something... My other option is to work on updating and touching up the paper with a faculty member here, having them as 2nd author, then submitting it to a decent journal based at my school that takes metareviews.


If your adviser thinks it's a good idea then go for it. Norms differ in different fields so I think your adviser would be the best one to trust.