Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Spammers but not dodgy

So I got this email:

Subject: Materials Science Books
From: Helen Edwards

Dear Dr. Goossens,

Firstly, please excuse this unsolicited email. I’m sure that like me you receive too many as it is and so I’ll keep it brief.
I was recently appointed as Commissioning Editor for Cambridge Scholars Publishing with a brief to expand the subject areas in which we publish books. As such I am in the process of developing a collection of books based in the field of Materials Science. As I believe you already have some experience of academic and scientific writing, I wondered whether you would consider us as your publisher should you decide to put ‘pen to paper’ and write a book at some point in the future?
We are also developing Editorial Advisory Groups to help ensure that we only publish high quality texts. If this is something that you would like to become involved in, please do let me know.
As I promised, I have kept this message short, but would be delighted to talk or correspond more if you feel you would like to explore possibilities.
Kind regards,

Helen Edwards
Commissioning Assistant

Web: http://www.cambridgescholars.com
Email: helen.edwards@cambridgescholars.com
Social Media: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Blog

If you experience any difficulty reading this message, please send us an email to admin@cambridgescholars.com.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing Ltd is registered in England. Reg. No: 4333775; VAT No: 108280727

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily represent those of Cambridge Scholars Publishing Ltd. The contents of this message are intended for the addressee only. They are confidential and may contain private information. Cambridge Scholars Publishing is not responsible for any damages resulting from the unauthorised use, forwarding or disclosure of this message, and will not be held liable for damages or loss caused by any viruses.

About Cambridge Scholars Publishing (www.cambridgescholars.com):

Cambridge Scholars Publishing (CSP) is an independent academic publisher, founded in 2001 by former lecturers and researchers from the University of Cambridge who felt existing publishing companies took too long to publish academic books, monographs, conference proceedings and textbooks.
CSP has its own printing facility, now publishes 750+ titles each year in both electronic and print formats and is committed to providing a forward-thinking publishing service that champions original thinking, whilst ensuring we put our authors at the heart of everything we do. Our back list catalogue contains approximately 7,500 titles.

So I google it ‘cos it looks dodgy and I find this: https://flakyj.blogspot.com.au/2017/09/cambridge-scholars-publishing.html. So it’s not quite clear. They certainly seem to be spammers. But the ‘I’m sure you’re busy’ start is a nice touch.

Now, they’re probably not as dodgy as many on this list; comments on the web are various. Overall impression is that they are not predatory — they do not seem to ask for money up front and in fact promise to pay royalties — but also not terribly highly regarded. But they did solicit work from me using a generic email that looks like it was sent by a robot, albeit a polite one.

Update

March 2018, I got this:

Dear Dr. Goossens,

I am a Commissioning Editor for Cambridge Scholars Publishing (further details below my signature) with a brief to develop the subject areas in which we publish books. As such I am in the process of developing collections based on key areas of Crystallography. As I believe you already have some experience of academic and scientific publication in this field, I wondered whether you would consider publishing a title with us. We are accepting proposals for monographs and edited collections.

We offer a fast, fair and friendly proposal review. Our titles are distributed worldwide via our international network of booksellers including Amazon, Blackwell, Baker & Taylor, YBP and Ingram, in handsome hardback, as well as eBook formats. We offer an escalating royalty payment – the more we sell, the higher the royalty rate. Your book will never be out of stock, with our unique Print on Time global distribution system. And we never charge for publication.

You can download a Book Proposal Form from our website. Alternatively, contact me and I will gladly send one to you and answer any queries you may have.

We are also developing Editorial Advisory Boards across our publishing fields. If this is something that you would like to learn more about, or apply to join, please do let me know. You can see more details on our website.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Helen Edwards
Commissioning Editor

Web: www.cambridgescholars.com
Email: helen.edwards@cambridgescholars.com
Social Media: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Blog

About Cambridge Scholars Publishing (www.cambridgescholars.com): Cambridge Scholars Publishing (CSP) is an independent academic publisher, founded in 2001 by former lecturers and researchers from the University of Cambridge who felt existing publishing companies took too long to publish academic books, monographs, conference proceedings and textbooks. CSP has its own printing facility, now publishes 750+ titles each year in both electronic and print formats and is committed to providing a forward-thinking publishing service that champions original thinking, whilst ensuring we put our authors at the heart of everything we do. Our back list catalogue contains approximately 7,500 titles.

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing – Reg. No: 4333775; VAT No: 108280727
Registered Address: Lady Stephenson Library, Welbeck Road, NE6 2PA

Now, this mentions the royalties in the email, and the text seems a little more precise in addressing me (“I believe you already have some experience of academic and scientific publication in this field“). Having said that, it is still pretty generic.

Conclusion: Still spammers, but not predators. As yet I can’t gauge the quality of the content. A couple of samples I looked okay, though the production left a little to be desired — pixelated, oddly positioned equations…

csp_extract

…and a few other style things that look a little amateurish (hyphens rather than en dashes in bullet lists and number ranges, that sort of thing). I suspect they’re doing the best they can with limited resources. Could be quite fine if the author is happy with a low-key publication, but as yet not in the front rank. If the work is not good enough for a better publisher, maybe it should not be published…?

 

Pfft.

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About Darren

I'm a scientist by training, based in Australia.

2 responses to “Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Spammers but not dodgy”

  1. Pete M says :

    Interested in your comments on CSP. They also cold-emailed me. I think the bottom line on this outfit, who seems to incorporate the name Cambridge in their title for no other reason than to suggest prestige, is that they seem to have some very low grade review board members. Not only that, but their website actually solicits applications to be a review board member. Generally speaking, a reputable publisher would not do this. They would privately approach recognised and accomplished authors in their fields. That’s enough for me!

    • Darren says :

      I agree. What they don’t do is ask authors to pay. So I think they’re using a ‘quantity not quality’ approach to publishing. I would not recommend publishing with them.

      Thanks for your comments, I think you summed it up really usefully.

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