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On social media there is a discussion about the editorial policies of the publisher MDPI, which has been involved in different controversies (see e.g. Jeffrey Beall: What I learned from predatory publishers the Wikipedia article MDPI ) . In the Norwegian Scientific Index the publishing house MDPI has recently been downgraded to zero for the publishing year 2019 . What this will mean for 2019 for the 127 individual MDPI journals listed in the Norwegian index has not yet been made public.
As I recently followed part of this debate on twitter I recalled two strange messages received last autumn from two MDPI journals. I took them first seriously since the Land editorial board contains, among its 64 (!) members several colleagues I respect. I also thought it was associated with the Global Land Programme. And since I have really been a reviewer also for Sustainability (although strange experience) I also thought that message was serious. But as I read these mails I realized they were of the same character as the many similar mails I regularly get from clearly predatory journals. I therefore quickly dismissed them. Luckily I recently found them in my old mailboxes and can now publish them here, as some evidence towards the debate on the reputation of MDPI.
Both messages came from the editorial office and not from any editor/colleague, which they would do if there were serious invitations to a Special Issue. Message B is clearly out of the blue. The article by Bergius et al. they refer to is much quoted already, but does not in any way relate to wild plant gathering.
I leave it for the reader to make up their own opinion about the seriousness of MDPI - there might be other MDPI journals that are more firmly led by a serious academic editor.
A: Message received September 21st 2018 from Land editorial office
Dear Professor Widgren,
Thank you for your continuous support in reviewing for our journal, /Land/ (ISSN 2073-445X, http://www.mdpi.com/journal/land).
To acknowledge your great efforts, we would like to invite you to contribute a *FEATURE PAPER* to our journal or the current Special Issues (http://www.mdpi.com/journal/land/special_issues).
As a feature paper, the Article Processing Charges will be fully waived.
It can either be a comprehensive review paper or a full research paper.
The deadline of this activity is *31 November 2018*.
You may submit your manuscript now or up until the deadline at http://susy.mdpi.com/user/manuscripts/upload?journal=land
The submitted papers should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. You are also encouraged to send a short abstract and tentative title to the Editorial Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com in advance.
Land (ISSN 2073-445X, http://www.mdpi.com/journal/land) is an international, scholarly, open access journal of land systems and land management published quarterly online by MDPI. It has been covered by some important databases, like ESCI-Web of Science and Scopus. CiteScore
2017 (Scopus): 1.44, which equals rank 50/124 (Q2) in the category 'Nature and Landscape Conservation' and 129/306 (Q2) in 'Ecology'.
For further details on the submission process, please see the instructions for authors on the journal website http://www.mdpi.com/journal/land/instructions
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Ms. Viola Gao
B Message recieved Dec. 12th 2018 from Sustainability editorial office
The journal Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050, IF 2.075) is currently running a Special Issue entitled "Certified Wild Plant Gathering in Organic Farming: Sustainability, Food Safety, Compliance and Supply Chains".
Prof. Dr. Christian R. Vogl and Dr. Christoph Schunko, of the Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Natural Resources and Life Science Vienna, (Vienna, Austria), are serving as Guest Editors for this issue. We think you could make an excellent contribution, based on your expertise and your following paper:
Green economy, Scandinavian investments and agricultural modernization in Tanzania. J. Peasant Stud. 2018, 45, 825-852.
A large diversity of organically certified products include ingredients from wild plant species, but consumers, stakeholders and even experts of organic farming are frequently not aware of it. Indeed, around 40% of the total areas certified for organic farming on a global scale are not dedicated to cultivation but to wild plant gathering (including beekeeping). Wild plants can be certified as organic products if gathering areas have not been treated with products forbidden in organic farming for three consecutive years and when the gathering does not impair the stability of habitat and maintenance of species. [...]
For further reading, please follow the link to the Special Issue Website at: https://www.mdpi.com/si/sustainability/certified_wild_plant_gathering_organic_farming
The submission deadline is 31 December 2019. You may send your manuscript now or up until the deadline. Submitted papers should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. We also encourage authors to send a short abstract or tentative title to the Editorial Office in advance (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sustainability is fully open access. Open access (unlimited and free access by readers) increases publicity and promotes more frequent citations, as indicated by several studies. Open access is supported by the authors and their institutes. Article Processing Charges of CHF 1400 (APC) apply to accepted papers (APC: CHF 1700 from 1 January 2019 onwards). You may be entitled to a discount if you have previously received a discount code or if your institute is participating in the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program (IOAP), for more information see: http://www.mdpi.com/about/ioap.
For further details on the submission process, please see the instructions for authors at the journal website.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Ms. Kitty Cao