In the course of the last two or so years I have received a lot of emails from publishers. With one exceptions, I have never heard of the journal and press before. For edited books it is the same pattern: emails from people I have never heard of, who work for publishers I have never heard of. All emails follow the same pattern: because I gave such a good talk / wrote such a good paper I am invited to publish a paper in a certain journal, or contribute a chapter to a book. And, gee whiz, it is all open access.
Hm, what’s that smell? Oh, THAT small again: dead, festering rat!
Each time I take care to read the email in full. Some declare right away that I will have to “contribute an editing fee” or some such. Others don’t, but it seems my distrust is warranted: there is a new scam out there, the academic publication version of the Nigeria scam.
Links to read:
Remember: there are many legit open access journals out there, who will publish your work for free (or for a reasonable page charge if it is very long), and there are legit commercial publishers who ask for a fee up front, publish in very high quality, with proper peer review, have good impact factors and are highly reliable. Head over to the Open Source Paleontologist (Andy Farke) for a list of journals with details, and Andy’s Cheers and Jeers (read the comment, too!).