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In the works

May 6, 2017


updated: 072517

On academic spam

One of the constant nuisances of having an academic email account is the ever increasing levels of spam emails you get from supposedly (open access) 'journals' and 'conferences' (with international standing). Both come usually with grand titles, like the "6th Annual Global Healthcare Conference (GHC 2017)", the Journal of Stem Cell Research and Medicine!! (including the exclamation marks), the "World Congress on Cancer", or the journal of CARDIOVASCULAR & HEMATOLOGICAL DISORDERS-DRUG TARGETS (in ALL CAPS).

The list is sheer endless. Some of the more fun journal invitations I received over the last year are requests for manuscripts from the journal of Green and Sustainable Chemistry, the journal for Recent Advances in Communications and Networking Technology, or the journal of Current Microwave Chemistry, all of which supposedly publish in a field that is somewhat(!) different from the research we are doing in the laboratory (specially current microwave chemistry; hmmm, maybe worthwhile submitting a manuscript that investigates tinfoil hats and their influence on current brainwave scanning technology, as employed by the Russian Special Forces to enhance DNA, RNA, personal health profile and performance, eye and vision health, as well as provide personal protection against Transhumanist agenda weaponry", with a special emphasis on changes to neuronal cell-chemistry??).

I kept track of these supposed invitations to 'journals' and 'conferences' over the last year. Below is a quick graph that shows how many emails I received per day, which includes invitations to submit manuscripts, conference abstracts, or invitations to join the editorial board and being a guest editor for a special issue.
In total I counted 83 emails from likely or maybe predatory publishers and conference organizers in a period from May 2016 to May (6th) 2017. The actual number might be higher though, as I usually delete the email without thinking twice, and my Trash folder only keeps track of deleted emails over the last 2 months.
Some of the publishers and organizations are well known to be (likely) predatory, like the Scientific Research Publishing Inc., the American Research Institute for Policy Development, or the Annex Publishing Group, all of which were listed in the (unfortunately) now defunct Beall's List of Predatory Publishers.

Number of email requests/day to submit a manuscript or abstract to a 'journal' or 'conference'.

And that is actually one of the real problems. A lot of times one can really discern if an invitation to submit a manuscript to a journal is (obviously) bogus. Especially once a supposed conference or journal website redirects you to a VERY shady website to gain a Russian Visa, like in the following example.

The link for this surely 'reputable' conference Drug Discovery & Therapy 2017 (with the website redirects to - an equally well 'respected' "Palytra LLC Online Service for Travelers who value time" if you ever wanted to visit Russia.
Btw. The owner of the email-server that sent the email ('') sits in Karachi.

But sometimes it is actually very difficult, and often emails from real journals get lost in the deluge of spam emails from these other 'journals'. Hence, a well curated list of journals/conferences that are 'shady' would be extremely useful.
The question is who is going to take over from Dr. Beall, now that his list is only available in the web archive, and not being updated anymore.

Here is a small collection of some great excerpts and Stilblüten (see the meaning in English) contained in some spam emails I received, and that can be found on websites for these 'journals'...
If you do not wish to receive any further e-mails, kindly reply as “Abolish”.

Wishes from EC Cardiology!
[Wishes for what/whom?]

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
[What follows is a list of random scientific terms and fields]

Dear Doctor/Researcher
[Make up your mind!]

Vascular Diseases and Therapeutics (VDT) announcing complete waiver for its upcoming issue. Since, we are lack of 2 articles for our upcoming issue which we are going to release the issue by the end of this month.
[Please waive this away from me...]

"Honorable Dr. Stephan Lange
Hope you are doing well!"

[Sounds like the beginning of a typical 'nigerian scam email']

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.4

An actual(!) testimonial found on the American Research Journals website:
Dr. Kennedy C Onyelowe, Nigerian researcher
I am a Nigerian researcher in the field of Geotectnical
[sic] Engineering and an author of several published articles in local and international journal. My publishing experience with the American Research Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering has been great and soooth[sic]. I enjoyed a lot of benefits based on the professional touch and attention this establishment is given to research articles. I am convinced that publishing house want to contribute to this journal one can trust.
[LOL, one cannot possibly make up this stuff]

From the 'Scientific Federation' SciFed Pharmaceutics journal homepage
Here, we Scientific Federation open our hands to receive your valuable researches and show cases them through our group in SciFed Pharmaceutics Journal to the world in the form of E-Publishing. Please go through the Instructions for Authors which will explain your doubts if you are publishing your first article. We are here to help to take your step towards the success in this scientific community.
[Doubts, what doubts???]

From the 'Scientific Literature' journal homepage
Our company will support the new encroachment oh high eminence research articles through the open access policy. Our company is a non-revenue scientific publishing association which circulates high quality, peer-reviewed journals and formulates them easy to get too explicitly to all the learners, annals, academic persons and readers from corner to corner of the world.
['encroach' and 'formulates them easy'... Oh dear, oh dear]

As a bonus, why are the pictures of editorial board members or organizers ALWAYS so bizarrely distorted? Like in the following great example from a conference organized by the 'Scientific Federation':

(I removed the names of the organizers.)
update: 072517

Another hilarious specimen of a spam email (click on the image above to get a closer look).
This one is a particularly nice example of how the spammers aim to give their emails a 'personal' touch. Also the use of 'Bridget Jones' as the name of the Editor(?) is quite amusing.

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