Tag Archives: Journal of Scholarly Publishing

On Writing a Topical Piece for a Quarterly Journal



Written by guest blogger Stewart Manley

I encountered unique challenges when I wrote about an ongoing legal case, Federal Trade Commission v. OMICS et al., for the Journal of Scholarly Publishing. I anticipated that the quarterly publishing cycle of JSP meant that it would take longer to publish my work than at a news outlet or blog, but I initially overlooked the fact that the legal case could develop—perhaps suddenly and significantly—at any moment between the time of editing and publishing. There was a risk therefore that the piece, if accepted, would lag behind what was actually happening in the case and, even worse, omit crucial information that readers would have learned about from more timely media.


Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Location of the court that heard the FTC v. OMICS case.

At the same time, though, I did not want to wait until the case was over. It was unclear how much longer the proceedings would last. I could imagine a judgment still years away. Additionally, although the lawsuit had initially garnered interest in the press when it was filed in 2016, I had seen almost nothing after that, creating a gap that I thought my research could fill.

In their reply to my submission, the co-editors of JSP wisely expressed concern about how potential developments could impact my predictions on pending legal motions. They also suggested I consider not presenting the manuscript as part 1 of a series of progress reports, explaining that the article would appear in the April 2019 issue and no major edits could be made after early November. A lot can happen in a court case in five months. Their recommendation was to “time-proof” the article as much as possible so that it would remain relevant regardless of what might happen during the intervening months.

I removed the predictions, made it a stand-alone piece, and strengthened the sections that would not be affected by case developments. Every so often, I checked the online case records for updates. Between late July 2018 and early 2019, there was only a motion to delay the case, which was subsequently withdrawn. I was relieved in a way, hoping that nothing major would happen before the April publishing date. On 22 March, I submitted my formatting edits to the final proofs. The article was now ready for publishing.

Only seven days later, however, on 29 March, Judge Gloria Navarro of the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, issued a final judgment in favour of the FTC, accepting the FTC’s factual allegations as uncontroverted and granting a summary judgment without a trial. The news made the New York Times and Science. I felt a surge of panic in my chest, worrying that this development would require extensive revisions to my piece. After reading the judgment, however, I realised that our “time-proofing” had made changes unnecessary. I quickly contacted Robert Brown, a JSP co-editor, who kindly agreed to include a brief update at the end of my article.

In retrospect, things could not have worked out better. The suggestion to remove my predictions helped me avoid prognosticating about things that would turn out to have been already decided. Even better, the article in its final form is more useful to future readers. And I am glad that I wrote about the case when I did because the April issue of JSP was published online just a couple weeks after the judgment, making the article more timely than I could have hoped for.

FTC v. OMICS may not be over. OMICS has said it will appeal the decision. Perhaps there will be a part 2 after all.


Seal of the Federal Trade Commission

Stewart Manley is a lecturer for the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya. He can be reached at stewart.manley@um.edu.my. His articles, personal essays, poetry, and photography can be found at www.stewartmanley.com. Read his latest article in Journal of Scholarly Publishing Predatory Journals on Trial: Allegations, Responses, and Lessons for Scholarly Publishing from FTC v. OMICS free for a limited time here.

The Inspiration and Process Behind Our Investigation into Chinese Humanities and Social Sciences Scholars' Language Choices

Written by guest bloggers, Andy Xuesong Gao & Yongyan Zheng, authors of “Chinese Humanities and Social Sciences Scholars’ Language Choices in International Scholarly Publishing: A Ten-Year Survey,” from the latest issue of the Journal of Scholarly Publishing!



Andy Xuesong Gao, University of Hong Kong Yongyan Zheng, Fudan University

What drove us to write this article was initially a casual talk with a colleague who studies the Japanese language and culture in a Chinese university a year ago. As a good friend, he complained to me how he struggled to get published in international journals and how difficult it was for him to get his research achievements duly recognized because he does not publish his research in English. It never occurred to us before, as we work within the English language studies and have always taken English for granted, that language choice could figure prominently in research assessment and publication.

Then we began to think, what about scholars in other humanities and social sciences disciplines? Are they also troubled with the issue of which language to choose to publish their research? This is how an initial idea evolved into an investigation, and after some time, our article on Chinese humanities and social sciences scholars’ language choices.

The whole reviewing process was very smooth, and we were able to address almost all the concerns brought forth by the reviewer, except one last question that almost threw us off the track: the reviewer asked us to explain our own language choice, why we chose to write our article in English and to publish in an English-language journal. To be honest, it had never occurred to us that there was any alternative choice. In discussing Chinese scholars’ language choice, we lamented on how their language preferences for international publishing are exclusively confined to English and Chinese, but despite everything, we chose English to express this lamentation, which underscores an ultimate irony. This question brought us to serious critical self-reflection. By writing this paper, we realized that we actually benefited from the dominance of English in academic publishing, through which we pursued professional goals and secured our academic career advances. But this makes it all the more significant, almost obligatory, for us to use our command of the English language, and to write this article in English so that our argument for multilingualism in international scholarly publishing could be heard and heeded.


To learn more about Gao’s and Zheng’s investigation and findings, be sure to check out their full article, available here and on Project MUSE!

Press News: January 30, 2014

The Journals Division has published an array of new material since our last update in December. New editions include

We also have advanced online articles from

After much hard work and dedication, UTP Journals is proud to announce the completion of The Champlain Digital Collection. There are 113 volumes of beautiful, completely searchable PDFs, as well as four volumes of epubs, available to members and those who purchase a print copy of those volumes.

In addition, we also have four volumes of Champlain up for sale on Amazon:

Check out The Champlain Society’s new Findings/Trouvailles post—“The History of Mr Radison’s Transactions”: William Yonge’s Letter, 1692.

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