Fear and Loathing at Frontiers

Here’s a truly scary inside story about the behaviour of one of the, sadly many, predatory open access journals out there.

For Better Science

Many scientists have been receiving unsolicited emails from the Swiss publisher Frontiers, with invitations to submit papers or become peer review “editor” with this Open Access (OA) publisher. In fact, the Holtzbrick-owned Frontiers are occasionally criticized for these activities, which were compared to spamming. These “spam” emails however are not written by robots, but by actual human beings, usually interns. Many of them do not seem very happy about their jobs with Frontiers, as one can read at the employer-evaluation portal Glassdoor. Most of the criticism is directed against middle management, who, as I have previously shown, sometimes nonchalantly manage academic topics way outside of their professional competence.

Now, you can learn what goes on inside the Frontiers “spam” factory from a first-hand source.  I was approached by a reader of my website, who turned out to be a former full-time employee at Frontiers. This person…

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One Response to “Fear and Loathing at Frontiers”

  1. There is an entire blog devoted to predatory journals. What puzzles me are the comments: people asking the blogger if a certain journal is predatory, has a good reputation, etc. It seems to me that if one doesn’t even know which are the good journals in one’s own field, then one might as well leave research entirely. These journals exist because people pay money to publish there, but they do so, at least in some cases, because publishing low-quality and/or plagiarized papers actually gets them a job somewhere. Obviously, people who publish such papers shouldn’t be taken seriously as researchers at all, but it is not they who are asking in the comments—it’s people concerned about quality, apparently, but don’t even know what the good journals are in their own field.

    By the way, when can we expect the first batch of OJA papers?

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