måndag 13 april 2020

More on MDPI: Strange antics from LAND

More than a year ago I wrote a blog post Is MDPI a serious publisher or predatory? It is still much read (more than 2000 visits last month, which is very much for this blog). I guess it means that the status of MDPI as an academic publisher is still very much under debate. I did not take a clear standpoint for or against but wanted to put some evidence on the table.

Two things have happened since I wrote that blog post.

1. The Norwegian Index have now included most (or many) MDPI journals in their index for publications in 2019 and 2020. This was at the time of writing of my post not made public.

2. Dan Brockington published in december 2019 in an open letter to MDPI an analysis of the economics and quality of the whole venture of MDPI. It is a thought provoking and empirically well based analysis that goes against the grain. Anyone trying to make up their own mind about MDPI has to read it. He explains why he is no longer sceptical.

To me the way the journals  of MDPI behave is still difficult to swallow. Last week I did get a mail from an assistant editor of the MDPI journal LAND. To me this still reads as refined version of the many spam mail you get from clearly predatory journals. No intellectual idea except a title, no direct contact with any of the editors or members of the editorial board, but commercial offers on the APC. Brockingtons analysis of the political economy of MDPI helps me understand the character of the mail , but I still do not understand how the  editorial board and editors can be behind such spam-like attempts. I publish it here and leave it for the readers to judge the strange antics.

Quote from mail received april 9th 2020:

" Dear Professor Widgren,

We invite you to join us as Guest Editor for the open access journal Land (ISSN 2073-445X, SSCI), to establish a Special Issue. Our suggested topic is ‘Historic Settlements and Landscape Analysis´. You have been invited based on your research experience and strong publication record in this area, we hope to work with you to establish a collection of papers that will be of interest to scholars in field.

Please click on the following link to either accept or decline our request:

As Guest Editor, you will be granted one peer reviewed free-of-charge publication in Land. You are also entitled to solicit or invite 3 waived high quality Feature Papers; if at least 10 papers are about to be published in this Special Issue.
You are welcome to invite 1–3 colleagues to share the workload and co-edit the collection with you.

The office will overtake all the editorial work which includes: inviting contributors, peer-reviewing the manuscripts and doing the final publication step for accepted papers.
The responsibility of the Guest Editor is to take a final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of a paper based on the comments from peers and to invite some feature papers. In order to obtain better visibility of the Special Issue, it is highly recommended that at least three Reviews are published among other types of manuscripts.

If this Special Issue collects more than 10 papers, it could be made available in printed book format on request. The advantages of a reproduced special issue book are:
- A standard ISBN will be assigned to the book;
- Your name will be listed as editor on the cover of the book;
- You will get one free copy;
- The book can be uploaded to platforms like Amazon, Google Books, etc.;
- Authors can purchase the book at a low price.

Land (ISSN 2073-445X) is an international and crossdisciplinary open access journal of land use/land change, land management, land system science and landscape, etc, published monthly online by MDPI. It has been covered in the Social Science Citation Indexed (SSCI) in Web of Science. Land will receive the first Impact Factor in June 2020.

We would highly appreciate to have you as Guest Editor for this topic. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested and would like further details, or have any questions.

Kind regards,
Ms. Vivian Du
Assistant Editor

/Land/ is indexed in SSCI - Web of Science and Scopus!
CiteScore 2018 (Scopus): 2.15, which equals rank 37/140 (Q2) in the category 'Nature and Landscape Conservation' and 90/336 (Q2) in 'Ecology'.

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