World Journal of English Language – treat with caution

I just received the following email entitled “Call for paper and reviewer” from this journal I’d never heard of:

“Dear Dr. Alex Case,

We are reaching you because of your article entitled, ‘Don’t Do Anything For Students That They Can Do For Themselves’, which was published in Humanising Language Teaching, Year 15; Issue 5; October 2013, and was very impressed at its scope and contents. I know you are an expert in your research area.

I am the Editorial Assistant of ‘World Journal of English Language’, a peer-review journal, published by Sciedu Press. It is devoted to publishing research papers in various aspects, fields and scope of the English Language, such as but not limited to teaching and learning English as a Second Language (ESL), as an Additional Language (EAL) or as a Foreign Language(TEFL).

It is my honor to invite you to submit your new manuscripts to us as one of the ‘Authors’ in our next publication.

For manuscripts submission, please visit: http://www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/wjel/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions

We would appreciate if you could share this information with your colleagues and associates who might be interested in joining us as a ‘Reviewer’ or submit their manuscripts to us as ‘Authors’.

Thank you and we hope to hear from you and/or your colleagues and associates soon.

Sincerely,

Ms. Sara M. Lee

Editorial Assistant, World Journal of English Language

Sciedu Press”

so as instructed, here I am sharing it with my blog readers. However, what I really want to share is my suspicions. The first thing I checked was whether they charge money for publishing with them, and lo and behold there on their submissions page was a 200 US dollar fee. I next turned to Google to see whether anyone else shared my doubts, and indeed the only independent source on the first page of Google on the organisation Sciedu Press was one adding it to a list of questionable publishers. That also showed that the wording of the email above is, as I suspected, used in every email they send out in a spamalicious kind of way – including their fondness for the rather strange sentence “I know you are an expert in your research area”. The fact that I only write practical teaching advice and don’t have a research area to be an expert in just adds the custard to the pie of my doubts.

I’m going to write back to them to see if they can calm my doubts, but in the meantime I would assume they are simply there to make some kind of money off naive teachers and researchers with 200 dollars to spare, and so are best avoided. If anyone has time, probably the best way to check is to send them a hilariously bad article and see how long it takes them to get back to you with an acceptance and request for payment.

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15 Responses to World Journal of English Language – treat with caution

  1. Raymond says:

    Wow! Thank you for warning us. The desire to be published could potentially cause people to get caught up in such things not knowing that there are scams in this area also.

  2. Rob says:

    I get these emails sometimes. There’s a few “publishers” like this around, perhaps the most prominent being Lambert Academic Publishing. It’s worth mentioning that these aren’t just a strain on your wallet, but also on your academic credibility. If you cite a publication in one of these “journals” on your CV, it actually counts against you when applying for jobs in universities (assuming the universities are relatively competent).

    They’re parasites, praying on fledgling writers who are desperate to get published.

  3. Daniel says:

    How does it feel? You know… being a doctor and all? My throat hurts. Can you have a look?

  4. alexcase says:

    Daniel

    I imagine the only benefit of being a Doctor of TEFL was getting your other half to call you “doctor” during kinky roleplay, but you’d have to ask Rob about that as I never even finished my MA.

    Raymond

    As Rob says, there are plenty of them about, as the site I link to clearly shows.

    Rob

    You don’t happen to remember the other TEFL-related ones which spammed you, do you?

  5. Alex,
    Thanks for this excellent analysis of Sciedu Press and how it operates, I should add that the name “Ms. Sara M. Lee” is likely fake. The owner of this “press” is Wenwu Zhao, a 2010 immigrant to Canada. He uses made-up names when spamming. In this case, he spammed in drag.
    Regards,
    Jeffrey Beall

  6. Rob says:

    Not sure, I’ll have a look and get back to you.

    I think the benefits of being a doctor of TESOL/Applied Linguistics (which I’m not) are mainly in terms of finding jobs at the university level, and also having the chance to learn more about the subject, if you’re into that kind of thing. Plus you get to call yourself “doctor”, which is wicked cool.

  7. alexcase says:

    Thanks for your comment Jeffrey, and for letting me link here from your blog – and in fact thanks for the existence of your blog. Do you happen to have any other TESOL and/ or Applied Linguistics journals on your site I could mention?

  8. alexcase says:

    Just emailed Sciedu Press to see if they can defend themselves, and also the editor of Humanising Language Teacher to see if she can warn other writers there, who probably all received the same email.

  9. Rob says:

    Here’s one “publisher” that my colleague was contacted by recently. They’ve got a load of fake journals, and you can find the ELT-related ones under the “social sciences” tab.

    http://www.davidpublishing.org/journals/

  10. alexcase says:

    Thanks Rob

    Here’s my email communication with them so far:

    ************Original Message***********
    Sender: Alexander Case
    Recipient:WJEL
    Time: 2013-11-24 17:26:53
    CC:
    Subject: RE: Call for paper and reviewer

    Dear Ms Lee

    Thank you for your email.

    I’m always interested in finding new places to get published. However, I’m afraid I’d never heard of your publication and on researching it online I found some doubts about its legitimacy. Could you give me some more details?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best

    Alex

    —————————–
    Dear Alex,

    Thank you for your interest. Please find more details about our journal from http://www.sciedu.ca/wjel

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    Sincerely,

    Ms. Sara M. Lee
    Editorial Assistant, World Journal of English Language
    Sciedu Press
    —————————————–
    Mailing Add: 1120 Finch Avenue West, Suite 701-309, Toronto, ON., M3J 3H7, Canada
    Tel: 1-416-479-0028 ext. 218
    Fax: 1-416-642-8548
    Email: wjel@sciedu.ca
    Web: http://www.sciedu.ca/wjel
    —————————
    Dear Sara

    I had already read the information on your website, but unfortunately that didn’t answer my question. I’ve found online accusations that Sciedu is a “predatory publisher”, by which they seem to mean that it is some kind of a con. Could you give me evidence otherwise?

    Thanks

    All the best

    Alex

  11. mutsumik says:

    Hi Alex,
    Have you got any further email correspondence with this publisher? As Jeffrey mentioned, the president of Sciedu is Wenwo Zhao. I am not sure if I would trust a journal published by a company owned by someone who lists “chating [sic] with beauty” under his interests.
    http://www.salespider.com/p-8701023/wenwu-zhao

  12. alexcase says:

    I later emailed them a link to this post hoping that would get a rise out of them, but no response.

  13. Lies Dadi says:

    I did the same thing but now in any publisher we have to pay and it is reasonable. However, the comments from the reviewers were also reasonable and made us learn more about writing an article. Otherwise, Sara did not force an author to publish his or her article on the sciedu press. That’s my opinion.
    Regard,
    Lita

  14. Sara says:

    Hi there,
    I received the same email yesterday, as I never trust anything easily I was searching about it and found this page! Thank you very much for all the info here!

  15. Nadi says:

    Dear scholars,
    First of all hello to all, I am a kind of person who has published lots of articles in different countries.
    Two editors send me e.mails about submitting my articles to them, ” world journal of english language” and ” English Linguistics Research.” what is so surprising is that they have the same address and they share this address with the third one “English Language and Literature Studies”
    I searched a lot but I know that the third one is a good one while the first two ones are fakes.
    anybody to help more about them?

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