Sunday, January 7, 2018

ECSAC: "The Most Recent Studies in Science and Art"

It looks like the organizers of a questionable academic conference are inviting everyone to pay for the privilege of having a "separate Chapter" in a book to be "hosted at libraries of world-famous prominent universities such as the British Library." The US editor is Robert Elliott, Department Head, Music Theory, String Bass, Tennessee State University.
From: Book Chapter []
Sent: Saturday, January 6, 2018 3:30 PM (also 1/8/2018)
Subject: Book Chapter
Dear Researcher,
We hereby invite you to participate in the international “The Most Recent Studies in Science and Art” in which original research and compilations of national and international researchers will be published.
With a multidisciplinary approach, and with the participation of many researchers from different disciplines (each study will be included in a separate Chapter), the book will be released in English, and include the most up-to-date research and developments in science and art.The book will be released by “Gece Kitaplığı Yayınevi” (Publishing House), which has covered the conditions of being “Recognized International Publishing House” (the publishing house must have run regular activities for at least five years at international level; must be included in the catalogues of universities well-known throughout the world; and the publishing house must also have published at least 20 books from different authors at international level) declared in the Associate Professor Application Conditions List for December 2016 by Presidency of Interuniversity Board (PIB) with an ISBN. The books of the publishing house are hosted at libraries of world-famous prominent universities such as British Library, the University of Chicago, University of Oxford; ... .
“Gece Kitaplığı Publishing” published the first book “Researches on Science and Art in 21st Century Turkey” that was in a similar concept and had the quality of being prestigious for the House in 2017 with the participation of many researchers who worked in different disciplines of science and art. The book was sent for the purpose of being included in the catalogue of well-known 17 different universities and libraries whose examples have been provided above. Furthermore, it is also included in sales catalogues of many companies that have a widespread marketing network like Kitapyurdu, D and R and similar companies. When this very first book was welcomed by a wide variety of readers, we, as the editors, had the excitement, enthusiasm, and encouragement to proceed with similar works.
The expenses like layout, cover and internal design, typesetting, publishing, volume, the fees for shipping to author(s) and university libraries domestic/abroad, and taxes for this second book that will be prepared will be covered by the authors, and the fee for each chapter that will be released in the book will be 250 Euros. The publishing of the book will be completed between 2018 March/April, and will be sent to all responsible authors as 1 (one) piece for each and/or as a set of books as free of charge. We look forward to your contributions, and wish you success at your work.
Kind regards, Editors
Prof. Hasan Arapgirlioğlu, Akdeniz University
Assist. Prof. Atilla Atik, Yildiz Technical University
Prof. Salim Hızıroğlu, Oklahoma State University
Prof. Robert L. Elliott, Tennessee State University
Assist. Prof. Elif Taşlıdere, Bezmi Alem Foundation University
The Link for Sending Your Work: researchesonscienceandart(at)
Special Text, latest delivery date: January 30, 2018.
Feedback date to the editors after evaluation: February 15, 2018.
Deadline for sending the full English text of the accepted chapters: March 02, 2018.
Date of publication and sending the book to the author(s): 01-15 April 2018.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ivertis Journals "Wishing You With Mighty Heart"

Invertis University, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, 243123, India, is spamming for a couple of subscription-fee journals.
From: IJRE Invertis []
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2017 3:23 AM
Subject: Happy New Year 2018
Dear All,
All of us at “Invertis Journal of Renewable Energy and Invertis Journal of Science and Technology” would like to wish you, your colleagues and family.
To End Something Old,
Will Start Something New,
Wishing You With Mighty Heart,
Though The Words Are Very Few!
Happy New Year 2018
Thanks and Regards
Invertis Journal of Renewable Energy,
Invertis Journal of Science and Technology.
Ph No- 011-42430358,9811193210.
Sent with Mailtrack

Monday, December 25, 2017

Immense Pleasure from Open Access Text (OAT)

Open Access Text (OAT) seems to another collection of manuscripts from India. Why do I say that? 
⊗ 113 journals at with titles ranging from "Mouth and Teeth" to "Translational Brain Rhythmicity".
⊗ A known spammer (see that takes "immense pleasure contact an eminent person" like me to publish in a radiology journal, even though I am neither an MD, a radiologist, or anything else connected with the field.
⊗ A lot of blather on the website, such as "OA Text galvanizes a community of scientists that collaboratively advances and communicates science and its power to ensure a sustainable future."
⊗ Journals publish trivial articles. E.g., Zięba-Palus J (2017) Forensic examinations of micro-traces. Forensic Sci Criminol 2, doi: 10.15761/FSC.1000113.
⊗ Email omitted an address for the journal, but it came from an Indian server.
⊗ The domain is registered to Ranjith Donthi, 114A Billet Road, Romford, Essex RM6 5PR, UK, +44.7734963575,
⊗ The domain is registered to Journals Directory, Gachibowli, Hyderabad Telangana 500032 India, +91.7799886448,
⊗ The domain is registered to Camp RW, Gachibowli, Hyderabad Telangana 500089 Indica, +91.7799886448,
  • From: Mia Ashley []
    Sent: Thursday, December 7, 2017 2:29 AM
    Subject: Pediatric Radiology, Diagnostic Radiology - Radiology, and Diagnostic Imaging
    It is an immense pleasure to contact an eminent person like you. Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging Journal is an international peer-reviewed journal; it publishes high quality open access research articles with a special emphasis on Medical imaging, Radiotherapy, Musculoskeletal Radiology, Pediatric Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Abdominal Radiology, Cardiovascular Radiology, Chest Radiology, Diagnostic Radiology, Surgical Radiology and spreads the knowledge to everyone across the globe. You can submit your article from any discipline related to Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging in our upcoming issue of the journal. You are welcome to contribute your article to on or before 15th December 2017. Anticipating your quick response. ...
    Regards, Mia Ashley, Editorial Assistant, Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging
    You are receiving this email because of your relationship with the sender [which is to say none]

    Note: The journal's editor-in-chief is said to be "Yi-Hwa Liu, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist/Scholar in Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences at National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, and Professor (Adjunct) of Biomedical Engineering at Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan, Taiwan." 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Is Frontiers Media a Predatory Publisher?

Frontiers Media ( is an open access publisher in Lausanne, Switzerland, founded by serious neuroscientists. I looked around to learn what people were saying about it after receiving a request to review a manuscript for Frontiers in Genetics. The associate editor who wrote me as well most of the large board of "chief editors" seem to be serious and published researchers, but I do not know what to make of the journal's claim to have 5,689 editors. Zooming in on the field of "ELSI in Science and Genetics" yielded a list of 131 "associate editors." Frontiers notes the number of articles these editors have written; 27 had no publications of their own (or if they did, Frontiers neglected to mention them).

Naturally, Frontiers claims that all of its 59 journals covering more than 460 specialties conduct transparent and rigorous peer review. It also states that "We publish all papers that are scientifically correct." (Emphasis in webpage). This asservation is hardly transparent. What is a "scientifically correct" paper? One that reports true results? No journal can guarantee that. Does it mean that every article that meets some methodological criteria will be published? What about those that do not meet these criteria? How many of the 65,000 papers published in the profusion of journals are not only incorrect, but reflect poorly conceived or executed research?

Wikipedia lists various controversies about Frontiers articles and resignations of editors. Individuals have complained about the shallowness of the review process (e.g., 1, 2) and allegedly heavy-handed or unscrupulous tactics by Frontiers to shut down Beall's list of predatory journals (e.g., 3, 4). One Frontier editor wrote an interesting description of "How to create a top journal by accepting (almost) everything" (5).

So what is the verdict on the Frontiers collection of articles? I am not prepared to pin the label "predatory" on them, but given the nonscientific polling and anecdotal reports that abound (6), it seems doubtful that publishing in these journals would be regarded as a coup.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

SciHuβ's "American Journal of ..."

Sci-Hub is best known as a pirate site for scientific papers. Articles on its spectacular success in this regard -- and the lawsuits against it by Elsevier and ACS -- have appeared in Nature, Atlantic, Wikipedia, the blog TorrentFreak, and elsewhere. The site co-opts university library servers to reach behind "paywalls." There is a Robin Hood quality to the site's founder and function that has garnered support, the blatant illegality notwithstanding.

In the original version of this posting, I wrote that
It also has six online journals of its own, named "American Journal of ... " The American Journal of Biotechnology and Molecular Sciences has no editorial board (11/26/17). Ditto for the American Journal of Medical and Dental Sciences. Its "current issue" is from 2013. The American Journal of Social and Management Sciences has more than 50 editors and no editor-in-chief. Only a handful are in America. They are
Stan Weeber, Ph.D., McNeese State University, (There is such a Professor of Sociology at McNeese State U., which proudly reports that "he received a Certificate in Social Justice Studies from the Oxford Roundtable at Oxford University." The Oxford Roundtable is not affilated with Oxford University and apparently awards certificates to anyone who will come to its conferences.)
Tetsuji Yamada, Ph.D., Rutgers University (an economist who is an editor-in-chief of journals for OMICS and Sciforschen as well).
⊗ Dr. Sohail Mahmood, Independent Political Analyst (the author of at least six books on Pakistan),
Moustafa Abu EL Fadl, Ph. D., Old Dominion University (not listed in the university directory, but he received his Ph.D. there and is a visiting assistant professor at Clark University).
A reader pointed out that these journals are not associated with Sci-Hub -- that they are run by someone else using the name Science Huβ (for the homepage at The domain name is registered to Science Hub, LLC, P. O. Box 3423, Milford, Connecticut 06460, with the phone number (724)909-0482 and email url

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Predatory Publishers Doing Well But Not Good, Reports Nature

Excerpts from a Comment in Nature (notes omitted) follow. The full comment is well worth reading.
... Frequent, aggressive solicitations from predatory publishers are generally considered merely a nuisance for scientists from rich countries, not a threat to scholarly integrity. [¶] Our evidence disputes this view. We spent 12 months rigorously characterizing nearly 2,000 biomedical articles from more than 200 journals thought likely to be predatory. More than half of the corresponding authors hailed from high- and upper-middle-income countries as defined by the World Bank

Of the 17% of sampled articles that reported a funding source, the most frequently named funder was the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). The United States produced more articles in our sample than all other countries save India. Harvard University (with 9 articles) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of Texas (with 11 articles across all campuses) were among the eight institutions with the most articles. ...

Articles in our sample consistently failed to report key information necessary for readers to assess, reproduce and build on the findings. ...

Just the subset of articles that we examined contained data from more than 2 million individuals and over 8,000 animals. By extrapolation, we estimate that at least 18,000 funded biomedical-research studies are tucked away in poorly indexed, scientifically questionable journals. Little of this work will advance science. It is too dodgily reported (and possibly badly conducted) and too hard to find.

In our view, publishing in predatory journals is unethical. Individuals who agree to be studied expect that their participation could benefit future patients. Use of animals in biomedical research is rationalized on the assumption that experiments will contribute valuable information. ...
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (7 papers), sent a note to Nature that articles in predatory journals are not considered for academic advancement. D. Y. Patil University in India, which, with 20 papers, had the most in our sample, did not reply. Nor did the University of Tehran ...
Our experience with these journals is that they provide both poor vetting and poor access. Their websites and archiving systems are unstable. Although some articles appear in PubMed (often after a delay), the titles are not indexed by Medline and are difficult to find. ...

Even without Beall's list, savvy authors should know when to suspect that a journal is predatory. Our research group has identified 13 characteristics of predatory journals; these include low article-processing fees (less than US$150); spelling and grammar errors on the website; an overly broad scope; language that targets authors rather than readers; promises of rapid publication; and a lack of information about retraction policies, manuscript handling or digital preservation. Manuscript submissions by e-mail and the inclusion of distorted images are also common.
However, predatory journals are becoming increasingly adept at appearing legitimate, and little is being done to warn authors away from them. Just one of the ten most common funders reported in our study, the University Grants Commission, India, provides guidance about journal selection on its website. ...

Funders and research institutions should increase the funds that they make available towards open-access publication; prohibit the use of funds to support predatory journal publications; make sure that researchers are trained in how to select appropriate journals when submitting their work; and audit where grantees, faculty members and research staff publish. When seeking promotion or funding, researchers should include a declaration that their CV is free of predatory publications. Publication lists could be checked against lists such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or the Journal Citation Reports. Developing automated tools to facilitate the proposed audits would also be valuable. ...

Substandard publications have permeated authentic electronic databases. A problem largely unknown a decade ago, there are now a roughly estimated 8,000 predatory titles that collectively 'publish' more than 400,000 items a year.
Source: David Moher, Larissa Shamseer, Kelly D. Cobey, Manoj M. Lalu, James Galipeau, Marc T. Avey, Nadera Ahmadzai, Mostafa Alabousi, Pauline Barbeau, Andrew Beck, Raymond Daniel, Robert Frank, Mona Ghannad, Candyce Hamel, Mona Hersi, Brian Hutton, Inga Isupov, Trevor A. McGrath, Matthew D. F. McInnes, Matthew J. Page, Misty Pratt, Kusala Pussegoda, Beverley Shea, Anubhav Srivastava, Adrienne Stevens, Kednapa Thavorn, Sasha van Katwyk, Roxanne Ward, Dianna Wolfe, Fatemeh Yazdi, Ashley M. Yu and Hedyeh Ziai, Stop This Waste of People, Animals and Money, 549 Nature 23 (2017),

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Spring Journals, An Academic Caterer

The journal that spammed me does not seem to exist. As of 11/23/17, it is not listed among the journals on the website for Spring Journals. It came from an "Editorial Officer" named "OE" and gave no physical address. The domain registration for lists Francis Ekevere, 2 Idahor St. Off Iyobo Off Uwelu, Benin, Nigeria, +234.7034247920,, as a contact

The website offers the following description of the publisher: "Spring Journals is an International Academic Research Institute where all research issues are catered for ... ." Nothing beats a good academic caterer. The editorial boards of the two journals I clicked on had names only -- no titles or affiliations.
From: Spring Journals  (
Sent: Nov 12 at 4:06 PM
Dear Colleague, Spring Journal of Agricultural Biological Sciences invites Scientists, Academicians and Researchers to submit their original research/review articles for publication after a thorough review with eminent professionals in the same field. All articles published by Spring Journals will be peer-reviewed. Our goal is to inform authors of the decision on their manuscript(s) within two weeks of submission. We invite you to kindly support this initiative by:
♦ Sending us your paper
♦ Joining as a member of editorial team (send your cv to,
♦ By telling a colleague about us. ...
Best regards, Francis OE, Editorial Officer, Spring Journals (SJ), E-mail: ,,