Saturday, January 07, 2012

Draft post cleanup #9: Open Access spam from Bentham

Yet another post in my "draft blog post cleanup" series.  Here is #9; from June 2008.  It can in a way be viewed as an extension of my post from a few days ago about Bentham.  Here is what I wrote in 2008:

OK, I know I am supposed to be supportive of Open Access journals, just because a journal is OA does not mean it is OK. Take "The Open Evolution Journal." being published by Bentham.

On paper, this could be a useful contribution to the list of OA journals. They have some good people on their Editorial Board and I am glad to see such a big list of people in Evolution seemingly supporting OA publishing.

And Bentham is certainly doing the OA talk and pushing OA as a major option for their publications. In fact, they might be pushing OA a bit too much. For example, in their letter to me they say

All published open access articles will receive massive international exposure and as is usually the case for open access publications, articles will also receive high citations.
Hmm. A bit over the top no? I love OA mind you. But OA in and of itself does not guarantee citations and exposure.

But this is a minor quibble. My real issue with them is the SPAM. I keep getting frigging emails from Bentham for all sorts of journals. And some of the emails I get are for accounts that I cannot easily send email from to use their lame unsubscribe option. I assume others out there get these emails from Bentham too, as I have gotten them from like 20 of their journals so far. And many are in areas that I have no expertise in (I just got one for a Geology journal).

Just goes to show - OA sometimes means "Objectively Annoying."


  1. I've been fortunate enough not to get the same amount of spam from Bentham that you have (or at least my spam filter may be better). But it sounds like there have been two themes to the spam: 1) submit an article to journal X, and 2) join journal X's editorial advisory board. It's kind of funny to look back on the effect of 4+ years of such spam for 4 of Bentham's OA journals in my field:

    Open Evolution: 22 articles published since 2007, 72 editorial advisors

    Open Systems Biology: 9 articles since 2008, 75 editorial advisors

    Open Bioinformatics: 37 articles since 2007, 116 editorial advisors

    Open Genomics: 13 articles since 2008, 103 editorial advisors

    Just from browsing those 4 journals, it also seemed to me that articles published per year were declining after a peak in 2008.

  2. @Shaun: I was struck by how many more editorial board members there are than articles, until I realized that you have to pay to publish an article, but not to join the editorial board.

  3. @SMS: Of course! And it would seem that editorial board membership isn't that costly in terms of time spent reviewing/editing manuscripts either!


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