Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Internal Medicine Review

Beall is uncompromisingly negative, calling IMR "complete rubbish" from "a completely fake medical journal that falsely claims to be based in Washington, D.C." He maintains that this "hybrid" journal, as it calls itself, has "no subscribers — the entire operation is a scam [that may be] connected to the predatory publisher called KEI Journals. KEI claims it’s based in California, but they use a mail forwarding service there."

The Author Guide (viewed 10/17/16) states that "[t]he Internal Medicine Review grants authors rights to publish their work in any form for any scholarly purpose." That's great -- authors get to pay at least $1250 (unless they qualify for fee reductions on unspecified grounds) to give away their copyright to a "journal" that has no known circulation.

The emails purport to be "confidential and intended only for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed." In case you don't understand, they add that
This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not read, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail or at 712 H Street #1018 Washington DC 20002 USA. If you have received this e-mail by mistake or wish to not recieve [sic] future emails from us, and delete this e-mail from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.
A two story building at 712 H St NE Washington DC 20002 is the location of Gold Spot, a payday loan and check cashing business. The website (viewed 1/27/17) uses the same fake address.


It is not apparent that there are any internists among the editors of Internal Medicine Review.
  • Senior Editor Lisseth Tovar's qualifications begin "Department of Anesthesiology staff." But where is this department? The website Upwork indicates that she is "a very creative person" who consults in London for $8.00 an hour
    I am Lisseth Tovar, Medical Doctor, specialist in Anesthesiologist [sic] and a very creative person too, I am here to help you out specific areas like: Prezi presentations, powerpoint presentations, spanish transcriptions, translations (spanish – english), copy writing, data entry, academical writing (specifically about medicine), data-entry (typing speed 50 WPM). I have experience in translations related to medical journals. I have a proven ability to maintain the confidentiality to my employers. ... I am here to provide you the best solution. Moreover good and completing any Project in given time, meeting deadlines according to the instruction that is what I am. ...
  • Senior Editor Milena Mihaleva has the following qualifications (as listed in their entirety): "has served as a senior editor of the Internal Medicine Review since 2015."
  • The Editors include "Dr. Chadwick C. Prodromos, MD, The Johns Hopkins Medical School." This means that he received an MD degree from Johns Hopkins, not that he is on the faculty there. He is "a board certified Orthopaedic Surgeon practicing in the Chicago Metropolitan area."
  • The only other US editor is Dr. Timothy A. MirtzHe is Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Secondary and Physical Education at Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Florida, and an "Adapted Physical Education Teacher" at a "Community, Educational and Vocational School."
  • Clicking on the names of a couple of other members of the editorial board reveals a dentist, a transplant surgeon, and a "a physical activity psychology scientist."
Sample Article

The current issue (Dec. 2016) begins with an article from a Tetsuya Isobe on "The Treatment To Make Home Life Peaceful." Dr., Mr., or Ms. Isobe (I can't say which because no information beyond the name is provided) concludes that "[t]he efficacy for mental symptom of PMS in shallow acupuncture using the specific pattern of needle placement was excellent, and this treatment made home life peaceful." The author's evidence for the benefit to homelife is that "When asked 'Is your home life peaceful?', 51.1% (23/45) [of the patients receiving acupuncture] answered 'Yes'." Dispensing with control groups or any other kind of comparisons certainly would make medical research easier.
    First contact
  • Dr. Kaye DH, I came across your paper on The good, the bad, the ugly: the NAS report on strengthening forensic science in America. [sic] and was hoping to have the opportunity to discuss possibly having a followup to this paper or perhaps a short review article published in one of the next issues of the Internal Medicine Review. It would be interesting to see a paper with information on any continued research or new data since this was published. We are a peer-reviewed monthly journal, published both in print and online. The submission deadline is flexible. I would be happy to asnwer [sic] any of your questions. Please get back to me at your earliest convenience. Best Regards, Milena Mihaleva, Senior Editor, Internal Medicine Review
  • Second try
  • Received 10/13/16: Dear Dr. Kaye Dh, My colleague asked if I could get in touch with you about a paper you authored entitled "The good, the bad, the ugly: the NAS report on strengthening forensic science in America.". Firstly, thank you for taking the time to publish this, it was an interesting read. I am hoping to discuss with you having a short follow-up article or perhaps a review article published in one of the next issues of the Internal Medicine Review. ... It would not have to be a long article, but if you don't have time for this perhaps you could ask one of your co-authors or students to collaborate or contribute instead. If you have moved on from your previous research interests I am certainly interested in knowing more about your current projects; perhaps there is the potential for an article that would be published in our journal. If you have any questions about whether or not a certain subject fits our scope I can put you in contact with Dr. Chadwick Prodromos from our editorial board. Could you please let me know your thoughts on this? Sincerely, Dr. Lisseth Tovar, M. D., Senior Editor
  • A few days later
  • Received 10/17/16: Dear Dr. Kaye Dh, My last email must have reached you at a bad time so I am following up. If you are not the right person to talk to about this please let me know or feel free to forward this email. I am also pasting links to a couple of our recently published articles so you may have a sense of the style and formatting. Current Technological State of Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Lung Cancer. Longitudinal Follow-up Study of Bone Mineral Density in Adult Survivors of Solid Pediatric Cancers. Sincerely, Dr. Lisseth Tovar
  • OK, I'll reply
  • 10/17/16, to 'Dr. Lisseth Tovar, M.D.' RE: Followup to Dr. Kaye Dh's article?
    Dear Dr. Tovar, Would you kindly send me the names of the editorial board members who are internists? Thanks, DHK
  • Lisseth and her colleagues ceased communicating with me until
  • 1/25/17 Re: Checking in regarding your paper - The good, the bad, the ugly: the NAS report on strengthening forensic science in America: Dear Dr. Kaye DH, I wish you a happy new year. We talked some months ago about the idea of publishing a followup article to the one you authored entitled "The good, the bad, the ugly: the NAS report on strengthening forensic science in America.". Is now a better time for you to write something? Is there anything I can do to help? If now isn't the right time for you to work on a followup to this article, I would certainly be interested in knowing more about your current research. I will tell you more about the journal in case you don't still have our earlier emails. The Internal Medicine Review is a hybrid journal with optional open access. The issues are monthly, and published both online and in print. The submission deadline is flexible. Please get back to me at your earliest convenience. Sincerely, Dr. Lisseth Tovar, Senior Editor, Internal Medicine Review (IMR)
  • To Lisseth, 1/27/17
  • Dear Dr. Tovar, I like your idea, but before submitting my article, I want to be sure the editorial board has the requisite expertise to understand its remarkable contribution to medical science. Would you kindly send me the names of the editorial board members who are internists? Thanks, DHK [No reply received]
  • 3/23/17: From: Internal Medicine Review [mailto:submissions@internalmedicinereview.org] Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:06 AM
    To: the bad
    Subject: Article for Internal Medicine Review
  • Special Issue: Clinical Medicine -- Mark your calendars for the Internal Medicine Review's special issue on clinical medicine. Research, reviews, and case reports will be published.


  1. Sometimes the spam from Internal Medicine Review features the name of "Dr Donald Combs", slotted into the template as the member of the editorial board whom Lisseth is writing on behalf of.

  2. Received a solicitation today similar to the "second try" today...

  3. It's not obvious at first glance, but if you scroll to the bottom of the e-mail, there should be a small link you can click to unsubscribe you from the list.

    1. Doesn't work. Only alerts the recipients to the fact that the e-mail address is a valid one (and the e-mails are being read), valuable information in the journal-scam ecology.

  4. I have received four almost identical requests, all citing the same article that I wrote, in January 2016 from Milena Hihaleva, in June 2016 from Dr Kateryna Bielka, in October 2016 from Dr Lisseth Tovar and again from Ms Tovar in March 2017. I explained that I wasn't able to provide an article when I received the first and second request, and have referred them to those messages thereafter. By sending the same message repeatedly they are simply showing that the journal is not reputable.

  5. I received my solicitation today similar to your "second try." Funny thing in my case is the article they chose to focus on was published about 20 yrs ago and has to do with habituation of hissing in Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. Internal medicine????? Does anyone even screen these cons before they send them out?

  6. Thanks to D.H Kaye all who commented. Internal Medicine Review is now on my junk mail list.

  7. Thank you Prof. Kaye. Thank you for posting the information on this flaky journal. They are getting creative. They quoted an article I wrote and asked if I could write a follow up in their Journal. Was not sure if this was a real journal and you posting confirmed my suspicions.
    P. de Caprariis

  8. I've now had 4 emails asking me to write for them on my research (which is about evolution and creationism - I'm not a medic and it would be of no interest to genuine readers of a medical journal). Fed up I replied today and stated my terms and conditions (I will write for a minimum $750 fee for a 1200 word article) and my 'price list' for publishing. I offered to send them a contract and on signing expect 50% of the fee to be paid to me upfront. I also placed an order for General Tso's chicken from Major's carry out Chinese which I believe is in the next building. I bet it will wind them up a bit but perhaps they'll appreciate the humour and stop hassling me? Another e-mail address to add to my blocked list. Sigh.