“This journal CHARGED me to publish my article and they want to CHARGE me to cancel it!”

“This journal CHARGED me to publish my article and they want to CHARGE me to cancel it!”

Q –

Hi Angela,

I am writing this to see if you’ve heard of this company.

In early September, they contacted me through LinkedIn, and asked me to submit an article to their online (medical) journal. They emailed me all the specifications, etc. but at no time did they mention or even hint that I had to pay them for this “privilege” to publish with them.

So, I put many hours into researching and writing a 3,000 word article, meeting APA criteria and including citations, and emailed it to them as instructed. This was in mid-September. Imagine my surprise when, on October 5th, I received an email with attached “Galley Proofs,” and an invoice for $750.00.

I told them I wouldn’t pay to get published and they then sent me a bill for $250 to withdraw my article.

S.G.


I read the emails, and noticed that the firm claimed their website stated their fees on every page of that site. I did not see that on their site at all. Here is my response to the writer:

Unfortunately, many medical journals (and some other industry-specific publications) charge professionals/researchers for publication instead of the other way around. Think of it as really expensive advertising.

Whenever someone offers you an opportunity to write, negotiate up front how much they will pay YOU, and the payment terms, before you ever write the first word. I do not recommend paying their withdrawal fee. If they’re so hard-up for writers that they’re contacting people on LinkedIn, I’m willing to bet your not the first person who has contested that.

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4 Responses to "“This journal CHARGED me to publish my article and they want to CHARGE me to cancel it!”"

  1. william adams, pe, phd  October 16, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    It is standard practice in the STEM fields for page charges by publications in order to publish current papers as they have little readership demand except by a few specialized experts in the same field.

    Many authors are turning to online distribution which generally costs a lot less to even free.

    Some new folks and first time writers are naive and do not understand that STEM print journals are not wide circulation general content publications.

    Reply
  2. Kim Davis  October 16, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    I have been approached by journals raving about my work. It’s exhilarating until you get the follow up email and the invoice. It happened to me in grad school initially, and I went to one of my advisors with it. They explained that it happens all the time, and that despite what a journal looks like on their website, they may be scammers.

    Reply
  3. Linda Rosencrance  October 15, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Ang, what a coincidence that this is the subject of your “Ask the Expert” column. I am a freelance journalist writing about information technology. The other day I emailed a person I wanted to interview for a particular story, explaining who I was and the publication I was writing for.

    The next day I received a call from him and the first thing he asked was, “Is there a fee for this story.” I was a little taken aback — I guess I’m a bit naive and had no idea this was going on — and explained that there certainly was no charge. I said I was a legitimate journalist and I had never heard of such a thing. He responded, “We’re always getting emails from people saying that want to do stories about us and the fee to us is $750.” That’s even the same dollar figure as S.G. was quoted.

    Needless to say he was happy to participate when he realized it wasn’t going to cost him a penny – never mind $750!

    Reply
    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  October 16, 2020 at 10:57 am

      Yes, there are some publications that pay writers to entice businesses into paying for being written about (the publicity). They’re advertorials.

      Angela

      Reply

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