I just finished the review of the book chapter I had agreed to do for iConcept Press. It was an interesting survey chapter, written by non-native speakers of English, about a topic I’m familiar with, but on which I am by now means an expert. I therefore recommended acceptance with medium confidence.
Most of my comments were about spelling or grammar mistakes, or suggestions on how to reword parts to make the intention clearer. I don’t know the literature well enough to determine if important references are missing (the authors definitely cited most of their own work), but I did find that it completely ignored one part that it alluded to several times: There is a different way of specifying the way these systems work, and the way it is different from the currently prevalent approach was briefly mentioned, but the consequences, advantages, and disadvantages are completely omitted. Perhaps they haven’t been studied yet, in which case that should be stated, but otherwise I would like to see such a discussion.
Unfortunately, I don’t think this exercise of mine will get us any more information on whether iConcept Press is just a vanity press. I don’t see reviews by others, and there is obviously no program committee meeting to discuss the paper. Even if I had rejected the paper, acceptance wouldn’t tell us anything. The only interesting outcome would be if the paper were rejected in spite of my recommendation to accept.
Should I contact the editor or the authors? What would I ask? I can’t exactly ask “is this a vanity press?” or “why are you putting USD 626 into this?”
At least the editor has renamed the book from “Java in Academic and Research” to the more parallel “Java in Academia and Research,” although I still wonder why we need academia and research and not academia and industry.