Predatory journals has become a major problem in academic publishing. This is periodicals published by rogue publishers only to earn money. They require payment from the author to publish, but offer no quality control, peer review, proof reading or anything else that one should expect from a publisher. Wikipedia has an extensive list of what characterizes predatory journals.1
Lambert Academic Publishing is an example of a predatory publisher that frequently contact researchers and students. This description by Jonathan Sterne is quite adequate for the way they do business:
"They [Lambert] claim your intellectual property and publish it without proper peer review or academic editorial process, which means that they have just devalued your thesis that You might otherwise have revised, improved, and published in a more appropriate scholarly outlet (in whole or in part). This is no small thing, as your thesis is the cornerstone of the next few years of your academic career." 2
You should never respond to inquiries like this without first checking carefully whether it comes from a serious publisher!
How to find out whether a journal is serious and provide publishing points
There are places to go to find out whether a publisher or journal is serious: You can search for the journal in NSD's overview of acknowledged publication channels.3 Journals that are registered here, and that are at level 1 or 2, give publishing points and economic benefit. If a journal is not registered in NSD it does not give publishing points, regardless of the quality of the journal.
The library has made a manual on how to locate reliable, good quality Open Access journals and that give publishing points.4
The American research librarian Jeffrey Beall does a lot of work in revealing predatory journals5 and publishers.6 If you have been contacted by a journal or publishing house that is in one of his lists, it is in all probability pure fraud.
The library can help you!
If you are in doubt about the quality of a journal: Contact the library! (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) We have staff who have extensive experience of managing academic publishing, and know how to reveal journal that are not of sufficient quality.
1. Wikipedia: Characteristics of predatory publishing. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_open_access_publishing#Characteristics_of_predatory_publishing (Visited 16.02.2015)
2. Sterne, Jonathan (02.02.2012): Why You Shouldn’t Publish with Lap Lambert, German Publishing House. URL: http://superbon.net/?p=2234 (Visited 16.02.2015)
3. Database for statistikk om høgre utdanning ; Scientific journals series and publishers. URL: https://dbh.nsd.uib.no/publiseringskanaler/Forside (Visited 17.02.2015)
4. Didriksen, John David (19.02.2015): This is how you find good Open Access-journals. URL: http://www.uis.no/library/research-help/open-access/quality-assurance/this-is-how-you-find-good-open-access-journals-article92099-13015.html (Visited 19.02.2015)
5. Beall, Jeffrey: List of standalone journals. URL: http://scholarlyoa.com/individual-journals/ (Visited 17.02.2015)
6. Beall, Jeffrey: Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers. URL: http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/ (Visited 17.02.2015)