Uncommon Ground

Scholarly publishing

Yet another (possibly) predatory publisher to add to the list – Asteroid Publishers

Why do I think Asteroid Publishers might be predatory? Because I received this e-mail from them earlier today:

Dear Dr. Kent E. Holsinger,

Greetings for the day

We are aware of your reputation for quality of research and trustworthiness in this field. With a great pleasure we would like to invite you to join the Editorial Board of our “Journal of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery”. We are very glad to have an eminent like you to guide the journal in a well-organized way.

Hoping that you will accept our invitation.If you are interested, kindly send your updated C.V, Biography, Research Interests, Recent Photograph and working details for our records.

We hope you are always being there to support us.

Looking forward to have your long lasting scientific relationship.

Best Regards,

<name removed>

Journal Coordinator

Journal of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery

I have a strong background in evolutionary genetics, but the closest I come to knowing anything about plastic surgery is that my father was a family practitioner until he retired and he occasionally performed minor cosmetic surgery. Any journal publisher who thinks I have a reputation “for quality of research and trustworthiness” in the field of plastic and aesthetic surgery doesn’t deserve to be trusted and should probably be shunned.

Announcing a new platform for BioOne

Some of you know that I serve as Chair of the Board of Directors for BioOne, a non-profit publisher founded in 1999 with the goal of ensuring that non-profit publishers in the life sciences receive the revenue they need to support their journals while keeping the subscription cost to libraries affordable. We now publish more than 200 journals from 150 scientific societies and independent presses on BioOne Complete.

Earlier today we announced that BioOne Complete launched on a new website made possible through collaboration with SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. Here’s a copy of the press release:

BioOne Complete launches on new platform powered by nonprofit partnership

Released: January 2, 2019

Washington, DC — BioOne (about.BioOne.org), the nonprofit publisher of more than 200 journals from 150 scientific societies and independent presses, has launched a new website for its content aggregation, BioOne Complete. Powered by a nonprofit collaboration with SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, the new site leverages SPIE’s proprietary platform for the benefit of BioOne’s more than 4,000 accessing libraries and millions of researchers around the world.

The new site (remaining at bioone.org) was designed with the needs of today’s researchers in mind. The modern and intuitive interface allows for enhanced searching and browsing, and simplified off-campus access. My Library features allow researchers to easily organize and access relevant articles and alerts, drawing from BioOne Complete’s database of more than 1.5 million pages of critical content.

“We are delighted to launch the new BioOne Complete website and share the redesigned interface and expanded functionality with our community, ” said Susan Skomal, BioOne President/CEO. “Our collaboration with SPIE has yielded not just a strong not-for-profit partnership, but a leading-edge website that helps better promote the important research of BioOne’s publishing participants.”

For more information about this transition and features available on the new website, please visit the BioOne Help Desk, Resources for Librarians and Administrators, or Resources for Publishers.


About BioOne

BioOne is a nonprofit publisher committed to making scientific research more accessible. We curate content and support discourse while exploring new models in scientific publishing. BioOne’s core product is BioOne Complete, an online aggregation of subscribed and open-access titles in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences. BioOne Complete provides libraries with cost-effective access to high-quality research and independent society publishers with a dynamic, community-based platform and global distribution. about.bioone.org.

BioOne is collaborating with SPIE and moving to a new platform

A few of you know that one of the hats I wear is that of Chair for the Board of Directors of BioOne. BioOne is a non-profit organization that provides low-cost access to journals in organismal and environmental life sciences while providing the society and non-profit publishers of journals in the BioOne collection with substantial revenue. Leadership of BioOne includes representatives of both the scholarly publishers and academic libraries. I have found it very rewarding to be associated with such a productive collaboration. The focus on low-cost access increases the availability of the journals to students and scholars everywhere. The focus on providing income to publishers ensures that they can continue to publish the journals. Working together, we help to ensure that scholarly communication within the fields represented in BioOne is accessible and sustainable.

Today BioOne is announcing a new collaboration with SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. What does optics and photonics have to do with life sciences you ask? Well, like BioOne, SPIE is committed to providing electronic access to a wide audience, and BioOne’s journal collection will be hosted on a new, high-performance web site in collaboration with SPIE that launches on January 1, 2019. SPIE is already providing the technology behind the BioOne Career Center, and we look forward to working with them to provide even better access to journal resources than we do now and to develop new ways of serving the life science community that we haven’t even thought of yet.

Here’s the press release:

BioOne, the nonprofit publisher of more than 200 journals from 150 scientific societies and independent presses, has announced the forthcoming launch of a new website for its content aggregation, BioOne Complete. The new website, to launch on January 1, 2019, will be powered by a nonprofit collaboration with SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

This significant partnership leverages SPIE’s proprietary platform technology to meet the needs of BioOne’s community, including its more than 4,000 accessing libraries worldwide. The new BioOne platform (remaining at bioone.org) will give BioOne Complete a more modern and intuitive look and feel, while enhancing user functionality.

Lauren Kane, BioOne Chief Strategy and Operating Officer, notes, “This exciting partnership better positions BioOne for growth in the future, all while redirecting a major cost center to a fellow not-for-profit organization. SPIE has already proven to be a responsive and creative collaborator with an appreciation for BioOne’s mission and stakeholder needs. We are excited to share this news, and soon, our new site, with the community.”

Scott Ritchey, SPIE Chief Technology Officer, adds, “Our partnership with BioOne demonstrates the value that compatible, not-for-profit organizations can create when working together. The SPIE mission is better fulfilled with the shared insights and economies of scale created by our relationship with BioOne.”

BioOne’s goal is to ensure that this will be a seamless and transparent transition for all stakeholder groups. All aggregation content, subscriber licenses, and user profiles are being migrated to the new site. The BioOne team will be in touch throughout the fall with updates, required actions, and educational resources.

BioOne has a new look

BioOne logos

The new organizational logo for BioOne (left) and the new logo for the BioOne Complete collection (right)

Some of you know that I have chaired the BioOne Board of Directors since a year after its initial incorporation in 1999. In the last 17 years, BioOne has seen many changes. The most recent is an updated set of logos for BioOne, the not-for-profit organization that supports innovative approaches to scholarly publication in organismal and environmental life sciences. BioOne is a collaboration between not-for-profit publishers and libraries, both of whom share an interest in ensuring that scholarly research is widely accessible and that not-for-profit publishers can recover the revenues they need to support their publishing operations. BioOne Complete is BioOne’s core product, “a database of 200 subscribed and open-access titles in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences.”

A week ago BioOne and BioOne Complete launched the new logos above. More information about the new logos is available at http://www.bioonepublishing.org/news/1412/.

A journal I don’t trust – Journal of Forensic Medicine Forecast

I won’t say that the Journal of Forensic Medicine Forecast is a predatory open-access journal. I will say that I am suspicious. Why? Beccause I received an invitation over the weekend to join its editorial board. If you’re reading this post, you know enough about me to know that I have no expertise at all in forensic medicine. How could I not be suspicious any journal, open access or not, that invites me to join its editorial board when I lack expertise relevant to its subject.

Here’s the text of the e-mail I received, with a name redacted to protect the individual’s privacy:.

Dear Dr. Kent E Holsinger,


Journal of Forensic Medicine Forecast is an international, Open Access and peer-reviewed journal has been launched by ScienceForecast Publications. The journal devoted to Clinical forensic medicine, digital and multimedia sciences, forensic analytical chemistry, forensic anthropology, forensic biology, forensic education, forensic entomology, forensic genetics, forensic microbiology, forensic odontology, forensic osteology, forensic pathology, forensic physical evidence, forensic psychiatry, forensic radiology, forensic serology, blood spatter analysis, drug delivery, crime scene investigation, dna fingerprinting, toxicological, human toxicology, applied toxicology, experimental toxicology, environmental toxicology, investigative toxicology.

At the onset, we are going to invite editorial board members, journal is seeking energetic, qualified and high profile researchers to join its editorial board. We believe the quality of a journal is depends on the quality of its Editorial Board.

Based on your high expertise in the field of forensic medicine, we are inviting you to join as editorial board member of our journal. As an EB member of our journal you may be required to occasionally review papers, solicit articles from your colleagues/acquaintances and help promote the journal at initial stage.

If you are interested to join as our Editorial Board member, please reply with your latest CV, photograph along with research interests as an email attachment.

To visit Desktop site: www.scienceforecastoa.com

We look forward to receiving your valuable response.

Best Regards,
<name redacted>
Editorial Office: Journal of Forensic Medicine Forecast
Tipple, View drive W
Ohio – 43016

This is not a spam email. If you are not interested to join as Editorial Board Member of this journal, please reply to this email with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

A new approach to spam journals?

This is a new one. I’ve received invitations to submit to what appear to be spam journals well outside my field, and I’ve received conference invitations to present at conferences well outside my field. But this is a new one – an invitation to review a paper well outside my field that will (a) make me a member of the Technical Program Committee for a workshop and receive a discount on registration as a result. Keep in mind as you read this that my expertise is in plant evolutionary genetics and population genetics. I know molecular biologists, even some who have worked on membranes, but I am not a membrane biologist, and I don’t even play one on TV.

Dear Kent E. Holsinger,
Due to your innovative findings in the field of Biology, we need your expertise for reviewing one or two papers in a special issue to be published in Molecular Membrane Biology (2015 Impact Factor: 1.983).
This reviewing will entitle you to become a member of the Technical Program Committee of the Workshop on Molecular Biology, and will give you a discount in case you will attend the 6th International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology (Oct.17-20, 2017 Guangzhou, China).

You may also send your report there to be published in the special issue. If you are too busy to attend our conference and/or review the papers, we would appreciate if you recommend us your colleagues or subordinates who can represent your honorable institution in our international cooperation.

Please feel free to contact me on this or related issues.

For more information, please visit

or contact

Wellcome Trust establishes Open Research

The Wellcome Trust just announced that it will launch a new publishing platform for scientists who receive support from Wellcome (https://wellcome.ac.uk/press-release/wellcome-launch-bold-publishing-initiative). Work published through Wellcome Open Research will be open access, and Wellcome will cover all article processing charges.

Wellcome Open Research will use services developed by F1000Research  to make research outputs available faster and in ways that support reproducibility and transparency. It will enable Wellcome grantees to publish a wide variety of outputs from standard research articles and data sets, through to null and negative results.

The platform will use a model of immediate publication followed by transparent invited peer review, with inclusion of supporting data, enabling researchers to reanalyse, replicate and reuse the data, all of which will help to improve the reproducibility and reliability of the research it publishes.

Once articles pass peer review, they will be indexed in major bibliographic databases and deposited in PubMed Central and Europe PMC. Wellcome Open Research will disseminate results almost immediately, ensuring critical advances in urgent areas of research are not held up by lengthy journal processes.

Hat tip: Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, STAT.