orgtheory.net

that gender studies hoax is dumb, but look at this business model

Today’s five-minute-hate is on gender studies, or people who dump on gender studies, depending on your POV. The short version for those of you not paying attention: A philosopher and a math PhD decided gender studies is dumb and ideological. They wrote up a jargon- and buzzword-filled article titled “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construction” and paid to get it published in a peer-reviewed journal no one’s ever heard of. Ha ha ha! Take that, gender studies!

This is a stupid prank that has already been taken down in about five different places. I’m not going to bother with that.

But in looking at the original journal, I noticed this crazy business model they have. The journal, Cogent Social Sciences, is an open-access outlet published by Cogent OA. It charges $1350 to publish an article, unless you don’t have $1350, in which case they’ll take some unspecified minimum.

Okay, so far it sounds like every other scammy “peer-reviewed” open access journal. But wait. Cogent OA, it turns out, is owned by Taylor & Francis, one of the largest academic publishers. Taylor & Francis owns Routledge, for instance, and publishes Economy and SocietyEnvironmental Sociology, and Justice Quarterly, to pick a few I’ve heard of.

Cogent OA has a FAQ that conveniently asks, “What is the relationship between Cogent OA and Taylor & Francis?” Here’s the answer (bold is mine):

Cogent OA is part of the Taylor & Francis Group, benefitting from the resources and experiences of a major publisher, but operates independently from the Taylor & Francis and Routledge imprints.

Taylor & Francis and Routledge publish a number of fully open access journals, under the Taylor & Francis Open and Routledge Open imprints. Cogent OA publishes the Cogent Series of multidisciplinary, digital open access journals.

Together, we also provide authors with the option of transferring any sound manuscript to a journal in the Cogent Series if it is unsuitable for the original Taylor & Francis/Routledge journals, providing benefits to authors, reviewers, editors and readers.

So get this: If your article gets rejected from one of our regular journals, we’ll automatically forward it to one of our crappy interdisciplinary pay-to-play journals, where we’ll gladly take your (or your funder’s or institution’s) money to publish it after a cursory “peer review”. That is a new one to me.

There’s a hoax going on here all right. But I don’t think it’s gender studies that’s being fooled.

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Written by epopp

May 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm

9 Responses

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  1. The minimum is $625. It’s not listed on their website but was mentioned in the original “big reveal” of the hoax. Supposedly “fee waivers” are available for some countries, but based on the Science larger sample “sting” a few years ago, that probably just means the minimum is negotiable but non-zero.

    Liked by 2 people

    Andrew Boysen

    May 20, 2017 at 4:27 pm

  2. A minor point but I also wouldn’t call these journals interdisciplinary. Yes, they publish articles from multiple disciplines but interdisciplinary work implies some sort of interaction or conversation between disciplines. These sorts of take-all-comers predatory journals are just a grab bag of fields and might more accurately be described a-disciplinary or, simply, incoherent.

    Liked by 1 person

    owasow

    May 20, 2017 at 10:12 pm

  3. What’s kinda funny/sad is that the tweeters and bloggers who thought this paper was a real gotcha on social science were faked out by the professional-looking typesetting of this particular scam journal.

    To put it another way, yes there’s a hoax, but the people being hoaxed are not the editors of that fake-o journal from “Cogent OA”; rather, the hoaxees are the people who thought that this was a real journal that represents real social science.

    Of course there’s lots of bad social science to go around. It’s particularly sad that critics had to go to such an obscure source to find a nonsense paper; they could’ve just searched through PPNAS!

    Liked by 1 person

    Andrew Gelman

    May 21, 2017 at 5:24 am

  4. […] im Eigentum von Taylor&Francis steht, einem der größten Wissenschaftsverlage der Welt. Wie von Elizabeth Popp Berman am Orgtheory-Blog herausgearbeitet, publiziert Cogent OA vor allem Ausschussware seriöser Taylor&Francis-Verlage (meine […]

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  5. […] von Taylor&Francis steht, einem der größten Wissenschaftsverlage der Welt. Wie von Elizabeth Popp Berman am Orgtheory-Blog herausgearbeitet, publiziert Cogent OA vor allem Ausschussware seriöser Taylor&Francis-Verlage […]

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  6. Navigating the sludge of fake journals has become a real problem, as you note, giving ammo to anti-intellectualism with the “gotcha” moments like this that non-academic folks can’t parse.

    FWIW – as someone who is extremely skeptical of any journals I haven’t heard of and usually auto-delete contact from them – I agreed to review a manuscript for Cogent Social Sciences after seeing its affiliation with T&F. I want to support open access, and was torn on using my time for this, but the paper was a bit of a joke and a quick easy reject so the opportunity cost was low.

    I recommended rejection of the manuscript and it was also rejected by the journal.

    I am unlikely to ever bother to review for them again, given my time constraints, the journal (lack of) quality, and the general outlook noted in this blog post. But I felt it was worth sharing my experience of seeing a rejection at CSS.

    Liked by 1 person

    Brian Mills

    May 21, 2017 at 4:21 pm

  7. […] im Eigentum von Taylor&Francis steht, einem der größten Wissenschaftsverlage der Welt. Wie von Elizabeth Popp Berman am Orgtheory-Blog herausgearbeitet, publiziert Cogent OA vor allem Ausschussware seriöser Taylor&Francis-Zeitschriften (meine […]

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  8. […] sociology blog Orgtheory.net wrote of the connections between Taylor & Francis, NORMA and Cogent Social Science. “So get […]

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  9. […] The Secret Life of Urban Crows The engine of irrationality inside the rationalists Some Work Is Hard The Resistome Of Important Human Pathogens There’s a hoax going on here all right. But I don’t think it’s gender studies that’s being f… […]

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