This morning I received two separate emails from main(at)novapublishers.com inviting me to contribute to upcoming books. The first read:
Dear Dr. Nilep,
We have learned of your published research on
energy. We would like to invite your
participation in our publishing program. In
particular, I have in mind a new research or
review article for an edited collection
(invitation only) being assembled under my direction tentatively entitled
“Advances in Energy Research”
This made me suspicious, as I have not published research under the broad heading of “energy”. In this age of CYA it took me only a few minutes to find a post at Publishing Archaeology by Michael E. Smith suggesting that these invitations are ubiquitous, and speculating that the volumes that proceed from them are of low quality. Smith was also invited to contribute to a volume outside his area of expertise, a fact he attributed to having a common name. My own name, though, is not nearly so common. In fact, I know of no other scholar in any field named Chad Nilep, and would be curious to hear from any other Dr. Nileps reading this post.
A few more minutes of searching turned up this Wikipedia page, which suggests that Nova Publishers’ journals “cross publish” the same article in multiple imprints and re-publish older public domain work. Participants at Chronicle of Higher Education forums claim that Nova Publishers’ books are of low quality and may not be peer reviewed. Perhaps most damning, librarian David Bade’s survey of Political History and Culture of Russia and Current Politics and Economics of Russia, Eastern and Central Europe by Nova Publishers found “a pattern of entire books about Russia from the early 20th century being reprinted chapter by chapter as though they were separately titled articles.” Bade criticizes the high cost of the journals, particularly in light of the fact that portions of their content may be freely available elsewhere.
Five years after this blog post appeared, a comment has appeared praising this “absolutely amazing publisher”. One suspects the commenter didn’t read the post, or at least did not understand the message I intended.]