An email tells me that I have a subscription to a journal called Anthrologia. I’ve never heard of it before, so I checked out Beall’s List of Predatory Journals, and found that it wasn’t mentioned, which it would have been if it were seriously dodgy.
Image from Wikimedia Commons
So I had a quick look at its website (you’ll find a link here), to find out who publishes it and what it aims to do. First of all, Anthrologia styles itself as a networking organisation for academic researchers in what it calls ‘the soft sciences’. Its particular focus is on inter-regional networking between Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, and it claims to have over 200,000 ‘members’.
Second, it is based in the unit for Communication and Cultural Innovation and Support, University of Malaya, a highly reputably institution, and lists a number of well-regarded bodies among its supporters, including the social science departments of several prestigious western universities. Third, it does not charge members to belong, nor does it seem to charge authors to publish their work.
No doubt Anthrologia forms part of the University of Malaya’s strategy for raising its visibility and status, but that seems to me a reasonable goal. After all, researchers who decide to become involved will hardly be unaware of the tendency of universities to seek prestige.
Taken together, anyway, this information suggests to me that Anthrologia is a kosher outfit, and not an attempt to diddle the unwary out of their money. This being so, why did the organisation behind it take the rather bizarre decision to send people unsolicited emails that look like spam, and that invite us to read or write for their journal? Surely they are aware that we are all on our guard for dodgy journals and iffy learned societies?