06 February 2017
Even though I have been a working professional scientist for some time, there are always more journals than time, so I am always on the lookout for journals that would be appropriate for Marmorkrebs papers.
When I first saw the journal Fishes, I though, “This is not for me, because I don’t study animals with backbones.” But despite the title, Fishes takes papers on invertebrates, too. The journal’s mandate includes “aquatic life science and aquatic animals (fishes, molluscs and crustaceans, both fresh water and marine).”
Fishes caught my eye for a few reasons.
It is a new journal, it is open access, and they are waiving article processing charges for articles published in 2017. Given that the main reason I see people not publishing open access is that people are unable to pay article processing fees, offering free publication as an “introductory offer,” as it were, is interesting to many researcher.
That said, while this journal doesn’t have much of a track record yet, the publisher, MDPI, has a mixed track record at best.
In brief, on the negative column, MDPI journals have published several very poor papers. They have also sent out a lot of unsolicited emails (this post was prompted by one).
On the positives column, MDPI is a member of the Directory of Open Access Journals and the Committe on Publication Ethics. The Fishes editor-in-chief appears to be a real person. Richard Poynder has a thorough article and interview from 2015 covering the debates about whether the Fishes publisher could be rightfully called a “predatory publisher.” Scammers are typically not as transparent as MDPI owner Shu-Kun Lin is in this interview, although some of his answers give me pause.
And publishing articles for free – as Fishes is doing this year – would be an incredibly bad scam.
Is MDPI a reputable Academic Publisher?