Img Source:

I don’t see too many questionable open-access journals that originate in Japan, but here’s one, the Journal of Physical Therapy Science. It purports to be the organ of The Society of Physical Therapy Science, for which I can find no website, other than the journal’s. The journal is hosted on Japan’s J-STAGE platform, which calls itself a journal aggregator, but in this case, it essentially functions as this journal’s publisher.

Journal of easy academic credit.

Here are some of this journal’s additional weaknesses:

  • It’s a monthly that publishes over fifty articles each month, a sign of easy acceptance. The table of contents is split into multiple screens, essentially hiding the works beyond the first screen.
  • It has no editor-in-chief or editorial board that I could find. If you can find them, please let me know.
  • The articles are uniformly short (2-4 pages) and almost all show a quick, four to a five-week period between submission and acceptance.
  • There’s a submission fee (¥10,000) in addition to the author fee (¥20,000 per “printed” page). The submission fee is waived for members of the society, but there are no members, apparently. It’s a sham society.
  • The authors of the articles seem to come from pretty much every country EXCEPT Japan, the home country of the “society” publisher. I noticed many from Korea and a lot from Turkey.
  • The author guidelines (published as a separate PDF), don’t say anything about how articles are licensed. The articles bear copyright statements that say “©2015 The Society of Physical Therapy Science” and also say they are licensed under a CC-BY NC ND license. Do authors have to sign the copyright over to the journal which then releases it under a CC license? Why can’t the authors just retain copyright?
  • Looking at the articles, I observed many author and journal self-citations.
  • The journal uses a small logo that says “Peer Review,” but there’s no evidence that any peer review is done. It appears this journal just takes orders from authors needing easy publishing.
Img Source:


This journal exists chiefly as a means for researchers to easily purchase academic credit, in the form of short articles, which they then use for tenure and promotions and securing employment outside universities. Its publisher is a pretend scholarly society that has fooled many.

J-STAGE should not be publishing low-quality journals such as this one.