FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OMNISCRIPTUM
First of all – yes. Yes, we are aware of the criticism towards OmniScriptum that can be found on the Web. So far our policy has always been to counter the (often bluntly false) information directly with each of our prospective authors. While we will continue this approach, we also want to tackle the criticism on a public platform as this. Because we are conscious that the media, competitors and academic circles would also want to know what we have to say in this regard. And if anything can be said about OmniScriptum is that we are NOT shy.
As a preamble to all that is coming, an advice. Before reading a blog entry, media article or any other source of information about OmniScriptum, check the date. Chances are that the information is years old, outdated and false. Our company has changed tremendously in the last years. We have changed our business (no more Wikipedia since ages), we have changed our publishing terms, we have even changed our name. Just to clarify – we are OmniScriptum!
So here it goes…
OMNISCRIPTUM IS A PREDATORY PUBLISHER WHO WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR COPYRIGHTS
Since you are author of the work, you are the copyright owner. Period. In fact – here is a direct quote from our publishing agreement: “The Author will remain the copyright owner of his / her work.” Content created by you belongs to you, and you decide what to do with it.
OMNISCRIPTUM DOES NOT GIVE FREE PRINTED COPIES
If you are our author, you know 2 main things about our processes – the publication process as such is free of charge and all the titles are printed on demand by one of our 12 print partners across the globe. Namely, there is no physical stock of the more than 300 000 monographs found in our catalogue from where we could just select a printed copy. Would it be environmentally sane to keep 500+ copies of each work (yes, that is how many copies need to be printed if we want to turn on an offset-printing machine) all across the globe? No. Our environment deserves better. So we only print copies once there is demand for them (order, request from the media for a review copy, request from a national library for deposit copies etc.) We are also able to ALWAYS offer free print copies to our authors accompanying their book orders.
OMNISCRIPTUM BOOKS ARE OVERPRICED
First of all, we offer our publishing services completely free-of-charge for our authors. In order to ensure this, we must rely on the book’s price to cover the publishing costs. This includes not just the print, IT and HR costs associated with the publication, but also distribution costs. We need to make sure the title is available worldwide, this includes listing the title with various wholesalers, participating in academic tenders etc. all of whom have a distribution charge attached. A commission, simply. As we are financed exclusively through the selling of our books, we attach importance to an optimal balance between profitability and marketability when setting our prices. If you compare our pricing with other publishers of academic content, you will find it similar. Sometimes even more attractive. Some of the World’s top 5 academic publishers sell an e-book for 100 EUR. Not us.
OMNISCRIPTUM PAYS LITTLE-TO-NO ROYALTIES
But let’s be straightforward here – if you have chosen to publish with us because you would like to become the next Paulo Coelho, Nora Roberts or Stephen King in terms of income, we might have to disappoint you. We don’t promise our authors that they can make a living just from one (or two or three…) publications with us. Academic market is specific, it is a (sometimes narrow) niche where your publication would fit in. Most likely your title will not end up on the Amazon bestseller’s list. Does it mean it is less worthy to be published? Absolutely not! Therefore we remunerate our authors with royalties that are considered average-to-high in the academic print publishing. We have authors that have received thousands of Euros in royalty payments. But most authors have received a voucher for a few Euros. It is in the common interest of us and our authors to be able to earn big royalty checks. And our sales and distribution team is working hard to achieve this for as many authors as possible.
OMNISCRIPTUM DOES NOT DO PEER REVIEW
Peer review has been one of the most discussed topics among scientists and one of the most frequently used spears against us by the academic publishing industry. Firstly, all the theses we have published have already passed a scrupulous peer review by the supervisor and 2nd reader upon submission. Why should we claim we know the niche topic better than a committee of professors at a university?
The idea behind peer review was that it would sift out low quality works and share only scientific works that withstand the ‘’quality criteria’’. Nonetheless, peers in peer review have been accused on being ineffective, biased, wrongly motivated etc. Dr. Richard Smith in the Times Higher Education Ranking described peer review “largely is a lottery, anti-innovatory, slow, expensive, wasteful of scientific time, inefficient, easily abused, prone to bias, unable to detect fraud and irrelevant.” The debate of pro and anti peer review in the academic community is ongoing. We happen to be in the anti-peer-review movement, along with a large community of scientists and academics. How large? Just search for “criticism of peer review” in your preferred search engine and be surprised.
WHY SHOULD I PUBLISH WITH OMNISCRIPTUM IF I CAN PRINT A COPY OF MY MANUSCRIPT AT THE COPY-AND-PRINT SHOP NEXT DOOR FOR 3 EUROS?
Yes, you can take your manuscript to the closest copy-shop and get a printed version for 3 Euros, maybe even with a ‘’cover’’. This is something similar to what self-publishing companies also offer to authors. But note that the paper manuscript, although resembling a book, is missing a few elements that publishing with us (but not with self-publishing companies) would add to it. First of all, our Print Management team takes care that the book can be printed worldwide. This includes making ready-to-print files. Secondly, we index your book with an ISBN. Another thing the copy-shop does not offer. An ISBN ensures that your title can be listed and sold by the biggest booksellers in the world. Thirdly, we market your book. We send the information about your title to more than 200 distribution companies in over 40 countries of the world. This includes to industry giants like LSI / Ingram, Amazon, Hachette Livre, Ozon and others. When needed, we design catalogs for your title, send review copies to media and perform other marketing activities.
OMNISCRIPTUM PUBLISHES WIKIPEDIA CONTENT
Years ago our predecessor company used to publish content also available on Wikipedia, and did it openly (each title had been marked with the label ‘’Contains Wikipedia content’’), legally and according to Wikipedia’s own Terms & Conditions. However, this practice was stopped more than 5 years ago. OmniScriptum does not publish any Wikipedia content, focusing solely on original academic or special interest authors.
OMNISCRIPTUM WILL PUBLISH ANYTHING WITHOUT ANY SELECTION WHATSOEVER
Unlike the traditional tone of the publishing industry, we are an inclusive publisher. Everyone is welcome to share their work, ideas, and have a high chance that the work will be published. Does it mean that we have a 100% submission-publication ratio? No, we don’t. We have had to reject authors because their works are not properly referenced, contained plagiarised content or, frankly speaking, nonsense. We have also terminated publishing contracts with authors who have allowed themselves to be rude to our editorial staff or other authors. If you are an opinionated, but open-thinking aspiring author, you will feel just at home with OmniScriptum.
OMNISCRIPTUM IS A VANITY PUBLISHER
Everyone’s go-to-for-quick-read encyclopaedia (W) will tell you in its first sentence that vanity publishers charge authors for publication. We will add to that – not only vanity publishers charge the author, but so do the traditional publishing houses. OmniScriptum does not charge its authors for our publishing service. There are features that entail higher production costs (like color printing, for example), and here we usually discuss with the author what is possible free of charge and what not. But our publishing service as such is free of charge.