Monday, December 26, 2016

How Scitech Central Fakes a U.S. Address

Ironically, Scitech Central posted a comment -- no, an advertisement -- on the blog Forensic Science, Statistics and the Law. That -- and the content of its website -- earns it a place here. Many of the brands with "Central" in the name are OMICS in disguise, but this one could be an independent voice in the cacophony of pseudo-journals.

It is hard to know, inasmuch as Scitech Central uses a virtual post office in the US rather than its true address. The putative address on its website (12/26/16) is "SciTech Central Inc., 340 S Lemon Ave # 2725, Walnut, CA 91789, United States." The 340 S. Lemon Ave. address is that of a company that sells an "Online Postal Mailbox" to "View Postal Mail Online. Anytime. Anywhere."

Get a real US address to receive postal mail. View your mail online without forwarding. Manage your postal mail no matter where you live.

Mail sent to the above address goes to Virtual Post Mail's building, and "your mail will not ship out of our facility, it'll simply be held at our warehouse until you pick it up."

There are lots of other telltale signs of flakiness. Among the frequently asked questions for SciTech Central is "How to find out if the particular journal exists?" (Answer: "use the search option.") Scitech Central is "inviting everyone to ... understand our motto." I am working on that, but I have not yet plumbed the depths of the slogan, "a quantum to research."

Also from its website (12/26/16):
  • established with a sole motive to disseminate knowledge, bring awareness and provide a good quality literature to the developing world
  • an amalgamation of great researchers and scholars who are constantly working for the betterment of human race with their dedication in research
  • To avail the scientists with all its support in the said cause, SciTech Central is accelerating ahead to become one of the leading service providers in Open Access Publications consisting a wide range of International Academic Journals.
  • We are inviting everyone to ... experience the rewards of advanced technologies without much pressure of cost on your side so that you’ll not regret in having to choose, or to be with us.
  • As our tagline says, “quantum to research” we are moving ahead with a great acceleration of 21st century and the vast global research scenario to ensure maximize distribution of enhanced developments to the world and the entire scientific community.
But it may difficult to "maximize distribution of enhanced developments" when eight journals have no named editors.
The other editors with "USA" in their affiliations, are
  • Stem Cell Research & Therapeutics: Prof. Paul J. Higgins, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY
  • Jpurnal of Cancer Science & Treatment: Prof. Min Li, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
  • Food & Nutrition: Current Research: Prof. Dr. Lu Qi, Adjunct Professor, Peking University, Beijing; Associate Professor of Medicine Medicine [sic] Harvard Medical School (HMS); Boston, MA
  • Journal of Pharmaceutics and Drug Research: Prof. Ke-He Ruan, University of Texas Graduate School at Houston, Houston, TX
  • Journal of Immunology Research and Therapy: Prof. Xue-Zhong Yu, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
  • Journal of Chemical Science and Engineering: Dr. A. Heidari, California South University

Apparently, Scitech Central was feeling left out. It came to my attention by trying to post a slew of advertisements in the guise of comments on postings about other publishers. They begin "Great post.This article is really very interesting and effective.I think its must be helpful for us." Then the comments give links to their journals.

UPDATE: 12 December 2020

Zoominfo reports that Severino Nodar is "Professor, President and Chief Executive Officer at SciTech Central." It identifies him further as "Professor of Molecular Biology, AlbizĂș University." AlbizĂș's main campus is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It has no biology department. The academic programs are limited to psychology, education, speech and language, criminal justice, and human services. No Severino and no Nodar is in the faculty directory for the campuses. Zoominfo also reports 78 employees, annual revenue of $15 million -- and headquarters at the mail drop in California.

A remarkable paper from one of Scitech Central's journals displays what I am tempted to call peerless peer-review.

13 comments:

  1. They spammed my blog too, even though it's been inactive for more than five years. According to whois, the Scitech Central website is owned by a guy called Naveen Ramineni, a self-described website designer in Hyderabad, India. Who'd have thunk it?

    I also note that they share their corporate headquarters in Walnut CA with a whole range of interesting if somewhat aspirational enterprises, including a would-be "adult personal services" broker High Heelz Entertainment. Their board meetings must be a hoot.

    If they are following the standard business model of predatory open access publishing, their "editors" are probably real academics who have no idea that their names and photos have been stolen off the net.


    ReplyDelete
  2. I received an invitation by SciTech Central Inc.- Conferences to be a speaker for my paper that had already been published. Besides the conference title being unrelated with my piece of work. I wouldn't have known it was a spam email until I noticed as you rightly mentioned the choice of words. This is what they have emailed me:

    Greetings from SciTech Central Inc.- Conferences!!

    SciTech Central Conferences is proud to announce the initiation of Global Congress on Infectious Diseases & HIV/AIDS (SciTech Infectious Disease 2020) during April 29-30, 2020 at Mauritius.

    Click Here for Conference Sessions

    We appreciate your work and request your presence as a Speaker which will provide support towards organizing this conference with our motive to provide International Platform to all our authors, co-authors and their colleagues & students; with an opportunity to share their work with industrialists and companies as well.

    Associated Journals:

    Journal of Allergy Research
    Journal of Infectious Diseases & Research
    Journal of Microbiology and Microbial Infections
    International Journal of AIDS
    Please let us know your interest towards the same.



    Regards

    Ema Evans

    SciTech Central Inc.

    USA



    Disclaimer: This is not a spam message, and has been sent to you because of your eminence in the field. If, however, you do not want to receive any email in future from the SciTech Infectious Disease 2020, then reply us with the subject "remove /unsubscribe". We concern for your privacy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wooo..I received the same invitation and I have submitted the abstract...Is it a fraud? What have I done!..I am scared now..

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is politics in defining a journal and its reputation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Meaning what? If the information about the journal is inaccurate, please post a reply with more accurate information so everyone can learn from it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agreed to avani... There must be some politics for defamation... I personally had a very good experience with some of their Journals with quality review process and where other publishers asked for hefty fee they discounted it all... For most of researchers quality of work done matters not the country...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It makes me wonder what is the agenda of the blogger- this is a blogspot platform, so what are the self motivations of the writers of this blog- That should be disclosed. In the end of the day, all science/publishing is a business- and honestly, the paywalls of major academic journals are getting really tiring because it is blocking access to information.

      Delete
  7. This is from Blogspot.com/this in itself would not constitute an "academic" source. Also, many academic platforms have paywalls, which is a block for getting scientific knowledge available. The question then becomes, who pays for the article- Be it the individual researcher or academia. Also, just because the reviewers are from other countries, that does not not limit the credibility. Not everyone's first language is English, so it helps to have platforms for people who may not be experienced in English writing, but are scientifically knowledgeable. It comes off somewhat xenophobic to base legitimacy from a the writers background of country. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00492-4

    ReplyDelete
  8. If the problems with many of the publishers noted in this blog were limited to matters of English usage, this blog would not exist. Take a look at http://flakyj.blogspot.com/2020/12/scitech-centrals-idea-of-scientific.html for an example of the deeper pathology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I do agree that example itself is quite flagrant, this is not something new to the community of research in general. There are articles that have had to have been retracted from reputable journals where society is still facing the repercussions (Ie the paper that had to be retracted from Lancet where the authors wrote an article containing stated there was a linkage between childhood vaccinations and autism). Here is an example from the New England Journal of Medicine.
      https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303
      It would seem to be reputable because of its affiliation to NEJM, but had be retracted. People were still using it to cite as an article for other papers even after it was retracted within other reputable journals. In the past, academics would laugh at novel science ideas- some of those scientists self published and some other person who may have saw something worthwhile in the research, would come to help make new discoveries. "Reputable" journals are allowing drug companies to publish specious claims as well of drugs. It is just they get more money and funding and because the "reputation" carries them, people seem to turn a blind eye to the Gorilla in the room.
      So really, the problem seems to have been created by the journal business itself of competition and paywalls and the "publish or perish" attitude of academia. They are the ones setting the example of how science and information sharing should not be.

      Delete
    2. No one believes that the scientific establishment is perfect. Peer review can stand in the way of new knowledge, and it cannot protect against fudged data, omission of critical information, and outright fraud. But no journal -- open access or traditional -- that deserves to be called "scientific" publishes papers that jump from the epiphanies of "the Divine Mentor" to the "result" that "[d]uring the physical union of the father and mother, one of these souls [floating in the space - great soul, good soul to bad soul and evil soul] is downloaded in the newly created human being depending on the worship, prayer and meditation of the parents during the creation of the new human being."
      No serious journal publishes a paper with an abstract that begins, "Many people wonder: what’s the deal with birds? This is a common query. Birds are pretty weird. I mean, they have feathers. WTF?"
      Quality journals use copy editors to improve the authors' prose, and they use reviewers who can tell whether a paper is interesting and whether its methodology and reported data seem to support its conclusions. This blog exists because there has been an explosion in the number of journals that do not do these basic things. It exists to provide accurate information -- corrections are always welcome -- to authors whose careers could be affected by where they publish. And it exists because I am sick of spam.

      Delete
    3. I agree- there are journals out there that are of poor quality for their content. Again, this issue stems from academia and their concept of "publish or persish" mentality which causes for lack of quality even amongst the top realms. the issue of paywalls again is a barrier to actual science. The issues are created by the big journals not wanting to compete and wanting a monopoly over content. Also, the explosion of journals is due to the explosion of ideas that are out there that people want access to and wish to share- We live in the age of the internet/social media, and there are sources where people can even upload their research to share for free (or write blogs)- That is where true science comes in- Sharing of information- Maybe the big journals need to evolve and so should academia to accomodate the era of the Internet and actually share the information so that science can progress versus having to buy journals at high costs to institutions- Many individuals cannot even access their own content that they have published which is ridiculous. so again, it is a business. A reputable place may only stay "reputable" because of a name, when reviewing further, is based off the same concepts of what are now the "open journals." Academia and journals get funding from drug companies, and top institutions that created drugs at their institutions and sold it to pharmaceuticals, get a percentage, so again the science becomes "biased" so there is also bias in the content. Thus, it is important to look at the content of the article itself critically and to see if there is sound science within the content. And many times, those answers are from scientists who were once rejected from the reputable journals and turned away from conferences, only years later to be given awards and Nobel Prizes. So again, the very essence of academia is based on a weak foundation. I again say, look at the top causing the issue and fight them for creating such a nasty system. But it is harder to fight a monopoly that works in ones favor, but to many, that system is broken and the science and information are slow to get to the people, so we are in the age of unregulated information be it in journals or blogs.

      Delete