After having presented a paper of mine at a conference last summer, I received an email from someone claiming to be part of an editorial team of a journal, to whom my paper was recommended. I sent my work to them, and received an unconditional acceptance after four weeks. But there have been some things that made me doubtful on whether it is actually a good idea to go on and publish there.
I received no comments from reviewers. The journal claims on the website that it is “peer-reviewed” (says nothing on the blindness). When I inquired about comments, the assistant to the editor told me that the editor’s comments could be forwarded to me, but that that would take some time. I am currently waiting for this (for about three weeks).
The contact I have with them, exclusively with the editor’s assistant, has been interesting. I receive emails at times when people in the US (it is an American journal) are unlikely to work. The person has an Indian-sounding name, and the hours of activity are more likely to be Indian working hours than American.
I could not find anything on the assistant to the editor online. She has referred to me multiple times as “Dr.”, even though I am not yet, never used that prefix, and wrote to her after the first time that that is the wrong title. In general, the mails are unresponsive, and only answer one question out of three I asked them, etc.
On the journal website, they cite their h-index for the year 2010, and compare it to those of other journals in 2010. The journal does not appear in the ranking at https://www.scimagojr.com/journalsearch.php?q=JOURNAL+NAME. In turn, I do not know how reputable that website is, but it looks quite complete.
I can not find a list of articles that appeared in this journal on their website. I would like such a list to compare my article to others, and to see who the other authors are, how often their articles were subsequently cited, etc. As the journal’s name is consisting of quite generic words, it is difficult to find articles from it on Google scholar – or they are not even indexed on Google scholar, although they claim to be on their website.
In case of acceptance, I have to pay 320$ to publish, this includes the subscription to the journal for one year.
I am now wondering whether, given all of the above, it is a good journal to publish in, or whether there even is such a thing as a scam in this area of academia that I need to be aware of. Other journals also require a publication fee or even a submission fee, but in their cases, it is more clear to the authors what they gain in return. If it is not a financial scam, could it be a sort of academic scam – an attempt to steal results? But what good are stolen results with no data?
Should I mention the publisher and the journal name in this question?