Dear Esteemed Professor, Please Give Us $$$ In Exchange For A Publication
Beware the vanity and predatory publishers!
About once a week I receive an offer to publish an article or review or essay or study or chapter in an unknown academic journal. You'll find a few of these offers throughout this article. The offers are always dripping with compliments and genuflection. They are also often dripping with typos and other errors, such as a misspelling of my name ("Dr. M. Whitehead Patrick").
Once the warmth from the kind words has dissipated, I check out the journal website to see if there is an Article Processing Charge (APC). This is the cost to the author for having their article published. In the hundreds of such requests I have received, every single journal has an APC of at least $500 (US). Sometimes this number is as high as $2500 (US).
Now, not all APCs are money-making schemes. I am on the editorial board of a philosophy journal called Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology. The last time I published with them, the APC was around $500 (US). This paid the salary of the editor, who was a very kind and helpful person, along with the copy-editor, proof-reader, and production crew. When publishing with IPJP I grew a lot as a writer and scholar. The feedback I got was encouraging and helpful. I think I had around six revisions. Of course all of this help came before my paper was accepted for publication and the fee became due. This meant that I could have benefited from all of this help and then taken my paper elsewhere.
But this is not what happens at vanity presses or predatory presses.