An Exciting Opportunity to Publish Your Research!

It’s Monday morning, and, as you check your email over a cup of coffee, you notice a new message:

From: mdawson@gmail.com
Subject: An Exciting Opportunity to Publish your Research! 

Dear Dr. Smith,

I want to congratulate you on all your many accomplishments in your field of research and expertise. I am writing this e-mail with reference to your article published in the field of medicine. Specifically, I have had an opportunity to read your paper: Diabetes and Renal Malignancy in Adults, which was published in The Annals of Medical Case Reports, Volume 10 Issue 3. 

I know you are an expert in this field, so it is my honor and privilege to invite you to submit a manuscript to our new journal, The Open Annals of Medical Case Reports. This Open Access journal has a distinguished editorial board with extensive academic qualifications, is double blinded peer-reviewed, and is indexed in EBSCOhost, Ulrich, Informed Librarian Online, DOAJ, ISI, Google Scholar, CrossRef, OAK, and similar indexes. Volume 1, Issue 1 needs only two more articles to publish, so I am pleased to offer you a 30% discount on our APC! If perhaps you do not have a manuscript at this time, we request you to suggest your colleagues to submit.

Please let me know about this exciting opportunity as soon as you can!

Thank you!

Mike Dawson
Editorial Coordinator
The Annals of Medical Case Reports

Have you received an email like this in the past? Perhaps your first thought was, ‘Finally a good place to get my work published!’ Or, maybe you saw a 30% discount and the bargain shopper in you got excited. Maybe, instead you were suspicious: you’ve never heard of this person or this journal. But it’s new, so that explains it. Wait, is it really their “honor and privilege” and why are they congratulating me? Something is off. 

The email above is, in fact, fake. We made it up based on samples of messages sent from predatory publishers. The term “predatory publisher” was coined in 2010 by librarian Jeffrey Beall and continues to be used to describe amateurish or fraudulent organizations that intentionally deceive scholars into paying for their works to be published without the value-added services and support that reputable organizations offer, like peer-review, copy-editing, and indexing. Like most social engineering schemes, these predatory publishers use flattery and deceptive tactics to get your money, your research — or both! Similar schemes include invitations to become an editor or attend a conference, where your name and reputation might be used to lure other authors.

Don’t fall into the trap!

Photo by Skitterphoto

We recently received several inquiries from faculty regarding a few questionable publishers’ solicitations. We did some detective work to help make sure that our researchers publish with trusted and credible organizations. Here are some of the ‘red flags’ we check for each time we receive a request from your colleagues to evaluate a journal or publisher:

  • Publisher’s direct marketing, or spamming your email, asking you to share 
  • APC fee is not mentioned anywhere 
  • The promise of unusually and virtually impossible short submission-to-publication times (2 or 3 days!)
  • No clear guideline for author’s submission
  • Information on copyright and Creative Commons licenses is absent or unclear
  • Non-functional contact information, such as email and social media platforms
  • The contact address is residential or represents another business; try a search on Google to check for this
  • The names of lead authors or editors are repeated in other journals from the same publisher 
  • Editors are not known as experts in the field
  • The scope of journal is vague or too vast
  • Indexing claims use incorrect jargon

This is not a comprehensive list, so remember: when in doubt, contact your librarian! Suspicious emails should also be reported to Touro IT, especially ones with links and requests for personal information.

Additional library resources

  • Think, Check, Submit! Choose a trustworthy journal for your research. 
  • Rubric for Journal Evaluation
  • Research & Scholarship Library Guide 
  • Ulrichsweb: A global serials directory useful for researching if a journal is refereed/peer-reviewed

This post was contributed by Sara Tabaei and Timothy Valente, Midtown Library

Introducing UlrichsWeb: A Periodicals Directory

An authoritative source with over 300,000 periodicals, including scholarly, peer-reviewed, open access, popular magazines, and newspapers in over 900 subject areas, UlrichsWeb has numerous features to guide faculty and graduate students as they decide where to publish, judge the quality and legitimacy of publications, and assess how widely an article might be disseminated in any particular publication.

Ulrich’s platform is searchable and browsable by title, subject, keywords, and more. If you are exploring potential journal titles in which to publish your work, you can jump-start your query with its simple search box, or, if you want to search like a pro, try out the Advanced Search options, where you can limit your search by type of publication, subject area, and key features, such as whether it is peer-reviewed, open access, abstracted, or indexed, or has one of many other attributes.

Since this directory is integrated into the Touro Libraries databases, you can easily discover what journals are available via the Libraries by clicking on the green logo for the 360 e-Journal Portal on the right side of the page. If the journal is available in full-text, you can browse through previously published articles to get a better sense of what kind of publications the journal is looking for.

Ulrich’s provides indexing and abstracting information (you can select this limiter in the advanced search) for a publication with several benefits:

  1. If you want your published work to be visible and retrievable, it is important to know if the journal of your choice is indexed in databases or resources where it can be retrieved by other researchers, practitioners, and scholars. In other words, the indexing information for a journal can be a measurement of your article’s future exposure.
  2. The more databases in which the article appears, the more potential impact any given article may have.
  3. The indexing and abstracting information can also help in identifying journals that are more established and recognized in your field. Predatory journals will automatically be forced out of the game, since they are mostly not indexed in prestigious databases — though some have sneaked their way in, so we have to be always on the alert. See more information on how to avoid predatory publishers in our Research and Scholarship LibGuide.

In addition to the advanced search, you can also narrow your search by checking the options in the left pane. On the results page, you can view the details of a journal title, save or download your list of searches or email them to yourself (note: you need to open an individual account to save your lists for a later date).

If you click on “Change Columns,” you can customize some of the information depending on what you are looking for. Personally, I would add “Frequency” to my search column, since it gives me an idea about how long it might take to get published.

Finally, a small but important space is dedicated to a review or description of a journal’s purpose and its intended audience. This summary helps to quickly determine if your research topic aligns with the scope and content of the journal. On the results page, you can also directly access the publisher’s website with more detailed information on the journal, its submission guidelines, and more.

UlrichsWeb is accessible via the Touro Libraries Databases after you log in with your TouroOne credentials. Please email Sara Tabaei with any questions about UlrichsWeb or to schedule a walk-through of the database over Zoom.

Fun fact: Ulrich’s was originally published as a book in 1932 by Carolyn Farquhar Ulrich, the Head of Periodicals at the New York Public Library. Librarians rock!

This post was contributed by Sara Tabaei, Library Information Literacy Director

Copyright Infringement vs. Plagiarism

Copyright is complicated — there is no doubt about it. It overlaps with a lot of other issues in academic integrity and scholarship, including plagiarism. While copyright infringement and plagiarism can and do sometimes occur at the same time, they are separate concerns.

Plagiarism is using someone’s ideas or words and passing them off as your own or not giving the original author credit. Copyright infringement is using someone’s copyright materials — visual works, literary works, or otherwise — without permission (and without a fair use or other legal exemption). This includes sharing works, making copies of the work, and editing or remixing the work, among other actions.

a lego pirate figurine
Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

Using Your Own Work

Whether you can use your own copyrighted works depends on what your publisher allows. For example, to make copies of an article you wrote to give to your friends, you might need to get permission from the publisher if you signed away your right to distribute your work in your author contract. This can be especially frustrating, so it is important to carefully review your publishing contracts and add an addendum when necessary.

Self-plagiarism is another mistake to watch out for. Self-plagiarism occurs when you use work that you have previously published in a new work, without referencing your previous publication. It is important to let readers know the scholarly history of your thought, especially in scientific research; for students, self-plagiarism can result in academic dishonesty sanctions.

letters flying out of an open book
Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Examples

Q: Adam uses several sentences from his dissertation in a new research paper he is writing; since he is using his own work, he decides not to cite it. What’s wrong with this scenario?

A: This is self-plagiarism.

Q: Beatrice is part of a book group with other members of the physics department. She thinks they would really like copies of her dissertation, which was published as a book last year by a commercial publisher. She doesn’t want them to have to buy the book, so she makes copies of it for each of them. What’s wrong with this scenario?

A: This is copyright infringement.

Learn more in our LibGuides for Copyright and Fair UseCiting Sources, and College Writing, read up in the blog post “Using Images on Blogs and Social Media (or: Pictures on the Internet Aren’t Copyrighted, Right?),” or contact a librarian for help with your writing and research.

This post was contributed by Georgia Westbrook, Open Educational Resources & Instruction Librarian.

Open Access Week

oaTraditionally, faculty and researchers publish their findings in academic journals without expecting any financial reward. They share their work hoping to advance humankind’s knowledge. Before their work gets published, however, authors are also asked to sign a copyright agreement with the publisher. By signing the agreement, the researcher is giving away most of his or her rights to use or disseminate their work. If the author wants to share the article with others in class, on social media or on digital repositories, he needs to get permission from the same publisher who originally published his article. Permission is sometimes granted and sometimes denied depending on the publisher’s policy.

Scratching your head? Think this doesn’t make sense. Wait! There is more. Continue reading