«You could be a great witch. You could be anything. Anything you want. Come into the circle. Let me show you.»
The girl takes a few steps forward, and then hesitates. There is something about the woman’s tone. The smile is pleasant and friendly, but there is something in the voice too desperate, too urgent, too hungry.
«Lords and Ladies» by Terry Pratchett
Recently I was asked to review an article for a «Frontiers in» Journal («Frontiers in Education»). I did not reply immediately, as my plate is quite full at the moment.
And that was probably a good thing.
Over the next few days I got a reminder that I was asked about every second day. Quite obnoxious. A closer read of the eMail indicated that they expect a review within 7 days. That is short — even shorter than the last short paper reviews for conferences I was asked to do. They also provided the names of the authors — so no blind review. And even worse, they name the reviewers on the article page.
And apparently, they were on Beall’s list of predatory journals, before Beall deleted the list.
So, I send them an eMail asking them to remove me from their database/list of possible reviewers. Only to get an eMail about twenty minutes later stating that they are no longer looking for someone to review the article (so far, so good), but followed by:
«I hope to collaborate with you on other manuscripts and will contact you about future opportunities.»
Sure, perhaps they did not read the eMail, although that timing is suspicious.
That short experience leaves me with two conclusions:
#1 If a publisher is very active in trying to get you to review, that’s actually a bad sign.
#2 I will not review anything nor try to publish anything in any «Frontiers in» journal.
Even that short interaction left a really bad taste.