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Editorial

If It Looks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck …

Anne Katz
ONF 2015, 42(1), 9 DOI: 10.1188/15.ONF.9

Have you ever received an email inviting you to submit an article or edit an issue of a journal that sounds vaguely familiar? Do they recognize you as an expert in the field and shower you with compliments? Does your heart skip a beat, and do you feel flattered and think, yes, you will write that article? The invitation sounds great—a guaranteed two-week turnaround to publication and it seems to come from a senior academic, perhaps one you recognize as a big name in the field. So you write the article, your colleagues write their articles for the issue you are editing, and you work with them to make their manuscripts the best they can be. And then it all goes wrong. You receive an invoice for a large sum of money for the honor of publishing in the journal that you realize, too late, is not a legitimate journal after all. Your colleagues are annoyed with you because they too received an invoice requesting payment. You attempt to contact the editor of the journal or someone at the publisher, but now the contact information is not valid or the journal no longer exists. Your work is now in limbo, and you cannot use it because you have signed copyright over to a sham publisher and you are not able to get anything back. The published article will not count toward tenure and promotion, and you may have lost credibility with your colleagues.