A lot of things had taken place in my #ShahrillsRoadToPhD journey since my last entry in September 2019. Where do I begin? First, the conference I attended in UUM as stated in previous entry was quite ambiguous. Sure as you can read down there (in the previous entry), I was so excited when the chairman of the conference told me that “SCOPUS editor has given green light on my paper”! Come on, as a novice researcher desperately needing a paper to publish in order to graduate?! Are you kidding me? Of course I was so excited! So, I’ve been waiting for the news about it for the whole month of July (I attended the conference on July) and August. There was no clue although it was initially claimed that my paper was OK. Then in September when I finally gave the ultimatum either to respond or I will pull back the paper, I received the SMS that everything was perfect (as per my previous blog entry) and SCOPUS editors were “satisfied”. Nevertheless, the catch was that, I have to pay the processing fee of USD500 which was equivalent to RM2000++; and my paper would be published under a journal called “Opcion”. Now, when I first saw the name; I had bad feeling about it. The name, simply didn’t sound legit. I googled and found that Opcion is :-
The details of the Opcion and its Scopus coverage years when I searched in September 2019.
- A journal by Venezuelan University named Universidad del Zulia;
- Scopus coverage years were from 2008-2018;
- It is mentioned in Jeffrey Beall’s tweet as a corrupted journal (Beall’s List is famous as the ensemble list of predatory journals where researchers are tricked into giving their writings to a supposed journal to be published provided a certain sum of fee is paid and the articles usually received nonchalant or no reviews from editors, at all!
Jeffrey Beall is a controversial scholar but his “Beall’s List has gathered a lot of questionable and ambiguous journals deemed ‘predatory’. You tell me, how could I ignore this tweet?!
I messaged two lecturers; my Co-Supervisor Dr. Moniza and Dr. Akmar. Both told me that if I sensed red flags, I should redraw the paper. After all, it is important for UPM to recognize the journal in order for me to graduate. After thinking about it; and read about traits of these predatory journals, I decided not to continue with the “publication”. The paper entitled “A Rhetorical Analysis on Tun Mahathir’s Speeches During His Political Hiatus” was then pushed to another journal namely Pacific and ASEAN Communication Journal (PACA) by the end of October 2019. So happened that Dr. Moniza who was the editor was so patient by aptly corresponding to my emails, WhatsApps and inquiries about it. There were a lot of amendments I had to make (how come UUM said my paper was “perfect”?? Haha! Another RED FLAG!) and the truth is, my article still needs a lot of improvement in order to “be on par” with the other published articles. But Alhamdulillah, after two months the article was finally published in PACA December issue. Thank you so much Dr. Moniza for your patience and guidance although I know you have so much in your plate! Will never forget that!
Reading these traits of predatory journals have strengthen my hunch not to continue with Opcion. Although tonight (dated 26th December) when I search in SCOPUS I did found that the coverage years are now renewed to “2018 to present”, I think it’s better that way. I did not want to take risk of UPM not recognizing the journal!
But of course to give Opcion a fair view, tonight I once again googled about it and well, I have found that its Scopus coverage years are being renewed to “2018 until present”. Well, I may have lost the opportunity to get published in a SCOPUS journal but then again, it is quite questionable = paying RM2000+ and my paper was “perfect”?? Too good to be true! Well, that’s a lesson learned!
As presenter in ICRGD 2019 Conference in UIA.
Secondly, I attended another conference in UIA namely the International Conference on Religion, Governance and Sustainable Development (ICGRD2019) on 16th-17th October 2019 where I have presented another conceptual paper entitled “A Rhetorical Analysis on Azhar Idrus’s Ethos in Gender-Provocative Selected Sermon”. It went well. I was hoping for Question-and-Answer to sharpen my upcoming viva session but there were no questions. But I did have a great time discussing with the other speakers and that experience boosted my confidence. I guess I need to attend more conferences for that. Anyway, I am still waiting for the verdict whether the paper will be published or not. Already sent an email asking about it. If there is still no answer, I am going to push it for another journal.
I am so emotional seeing the email and the snippet of my published article. Not polished, not perfect but it is a good start for 2020. Alhamdulillah! Aiming for another article and the thesis. Amin!
Anyway, whatever it is Alhamdulillah at least I have published an article this year. And I’ve completed another chapter in the thesis. I am looking forward for 2020. I will be working my ass off for it, Insya ALLAH. Amin.