A journal published by the Serbian Biological Society is under investigation by the Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science (CEON/CEES), which runs the Serbian national citation index in cooperation with the National Library of Serbia, according to a source in CEON/CEES.
The investigation follows a revelation by Scholarly Open Access blog that the journal, Archives of Biological Sciences, accepted a paper in 24 hours with no peer review and demanded 1,785 Euros to publish it.
“With a verifiable impact factor and 24-hour, peer-review-free acceptance, I imagine the Society is making a lot of money at this time,” the blog post said.
But can peer review be done in a day?
The journal’s editor seems to think so.
“Acceptance of [the] manuscript within 24 hours (or more correctly, 36 hours) was done by engaging two anonymous reviewers, the Editor-in-Chief of the ABS being the third, so as to provide the author with a (positive) response as soon as possible,” says Božidar Ćurčić, Editor-in-Chief of the journal and president of the Serbian Biological Society.
“The Editor of ABS is of the opinion that reviews, positive or negative, need to be carried out in the shortest possible time. Furthermore, he considers it better to have any review as soon as possible rather than none, or a review that is long delayed.”
He also says that all papers in the journal are published either with peer-review or the opinion of at least two referees; the reviewers’ identities are not available to the public. He adds that the claims that the journal has an extremely high level of self-citation do not stand; instead, he says “the self-citation is within the limit of normal procedure”.
CEON/CEES has given the editor seven days to reply to its questions, and has also started a bibliometric analysis to address the accusations, before deciding on the course of action, if any.
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