It’s not often you come across a scientific paper which notes that the information it covers is like something “seen on the television series Monster Quest.” And you rarely read a paper which concludes, “The data conclusively proves that the Sasquatch exist as an extant hominin and are a direct maternal descendant of modern humans.” But today, we have such a paper—and there’s nothing usual about it, including the journal where it appears.
Back in December, our own Nate Anderson drove me to the bottle with a flurry of questions about cryptozoology. One of the big motivators of Nate’s interest in sasquatch was a report that a Texas group had sequenced the creature’s genome. Not surprisingly, the team behind this startling research had some trouble publishing a paper describing their results.
By all appearances, they’ve solved that problem… by establishing a brand new journal, called De Novo (I’m not kidding; they apparently bought an existing journal and renamed it). The journal’s site appears to be a mix of clip art and some basic HTML. Though it claims to be “open access,” the site actually charges $30 to see the bigfoot paper (although their press person was kind enough to provide Ars with a free copy). Payment requires a Google Wallet account.
So, a new journal comes up and publishes their paper, with a $30 access fee. The only paper available in the first volume of the new journal.
It looks like some sort of scientific vanity press. I guess we will have to wait and see if the results are verified.
But check out the manuscript submission page. Wonder whether to submit your paper? Here is what they look for: “DeNovo – Accelerating Science is an online scientific journal that is intended to reach a broad audience of scientists, authors, and researchers.”
That is the only criterion. BUt it does cost $1500 to submit in their default option.