When invited to act as Editor-in-Chief for SCIRP's Applied Mathematics, Prof. Cannings checked with another UK Editor, as well as with the journal itself, regarding their operation. The journal appears to operate from China but is incorporated in the US. He could not verify their claim, that the journal is non-profit making.
Applied Mathematics charges \\$500 for papers under 10 pages, but reduces this to \\$200 on occasions for authors from poorer countries. This charge seems reasonable in the light of a recent report to the UK government by Prof. Janet Finch (see the report and this this article in the Guardian), which proposed a model in which the author would pay an average charge of £2000 per paper.
Although the scope of the journal broad, and the editors can only judge the quality of papers in a somewhat restricted range, Prof. Cannings finds the quality of accepted work decent. He was assigned an editorial assistant who deals with the day-to-day running of the journal very efficiently, and was responsive to requests, such as for instance to provide to the option of submissions in LateX format.
This information does not point in the direction of "predatory" open-source publishing. On the other hand, it is impossible to assess the claim that this particular journal is not for profit, or the goals and financial structure of SCIRP as a whole. Do you have experience with this, or similar, open-source journals? Do you have an opinion to share about the movement towards open-source publishing? Contribute to the discussion in the Letters from Readers section by contacting the Magazine's editors.
Lennaert van Veen