… submit any type of the article based upon your research interest …

Academic spam can be funny some times. Who on earth is going to fall for this one?

Respected Doctor,

I had a glance at your profile online and was extremely amazed with your work. I feel you will be an ideal person who helps us for the progress of our Journal. Hence, I am approaching you through this email.

All the authors around the globe are cordially invited to submit any type of the article based upon your research interest for the upcoming edition.

I hope you will consider my request and I wish to have your speedy response in 24 hrs.

Await your cheerful comeback.

👉 So, please, all the authors around the globe, quickly submit any article! I’m sure it’s going to be great, any you’ll have plenty of readers… but note that you’ll have to respond within 24 hours…

Academic Spam

I guess I’ve got used to academic spam — invitations to publish in predatory journals. They typically scrape conference programmes, but today I got a surprising one:

I congratulate you on the paper “<paper title>”, published in the “3rd ISA Forum of SOCIOLOGY 2016”. Observing the relevance and contribution that the paper has in the field of study addressed, after analyzed by our editorial board, I invite you to publish it in <journal paper>


Yes, it took them five years to “read” the conference paper. We also get the usual nonsense of being invited, and pretension of the journal being important, but the time lag… I’m sorry, you’re simply too late.

Should I review this?

I have just received an invitation to review an article by a publisher that’s — let’s say “less established”. Given that they have been accused of being a predatory publisher in the past, I was at first positively surprised: There was none of this silly flattering of being a leading expert etc. and they apparently did try to get a proper review. Then came the title and the abstract. It had “public attitudes” in it, and a “scoping review” — so if you allow for synonyms in the keyword search, I can see how their machine picked me, but if no human is involved, neither am I (irrespective of the fact that this was utterly out of my expertise). Maybe we should react with automatized reviews, a fork of SciGen perhaps?

A gem from the spam folder

I got this today…

Cooperating with 6 other guest editors […] the Lead Guest Editor, has proposed a special issue titled Society, Culture and Politics in Contemporary Africa

wow,  I count 7 editors in total, that must be a big special issue…

gather together researchers in order to spread their academic experience and research findings on all topics in relation to Africa

I see, all topics in relation to Africa. Now I wonder whether they can manage with 7 editors, I mean all topics in relation to Africa.

Unfortunately, this is followed by this table:

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
  1. Socioeconomic dynamics
  2. Culture
  1. Social mobility
  2. Tradition
  1. Politics
  2. Society

That’s a real shame, not all topics after all. Now I’m not so sure anymore, I mean they do narrow it down quite a bit (there’s hope, though, that desperate “not limited to”).

Image credit: CC-BY-NC AJC1

Would I like to pay to contribute to a book nobody reads?

I got this e-mail today:

Dear Dr. Ruedin,

I would like to invite you to contribute a chapter to a new open access book project under the editorship of Dr. Ingrid Muenstermann. The current working title of the book is “Immigration”.

That’s a really specific topic. (Honestly, most academic spam I get is even less specific.) Fortunately they offer a link to tell me more about this book project:

Check out the project outline for suggested topics, deadlines and information regarding the publishing process via your Invitation Page [link removed]

On this page, I learn that “This book will be a self-contained collection of scholarly papers targeting an audience of practicing researchers, academics, PhD students and other scientists.” and “The authors are given the liberty of choosing a topic which best suits their current research efforts. In other words, we do not limit you in terms of the topic but encourage you to present your work. Later, when all chapter proposals are collected, the editor will give a more general direction of the book and decide on its scope.”

That’s great, I get to write on anything I want. Nobody really cares; surely there’s a huge readership out there for this kind of book… not! The e-mail even provides information on the publisher:

InTech has been at the forefront of open access publishing for over 10 years, overcoming the challenges associated with restricted access to knowledge by providing free, unlimited access to scientific content to our readers, and helping our authors achieve global recognition.

My name is Ana and I will be your personal contact during the entire publishing process. Feel free to contact me anytime. I hope you will join us in this project.


Ana Simcic
Publishing Process Manager

[contact details removed]

I’m not sure why I’m hesitating.

Don’t we all seek seek global recognition? The publisher sure sounds important (does it matter that I have never heard of them?), and is a specialist in STM (science, technology, and medicine; just the kind of publisher I need to promote my research on “immigration”). It’ll only cost me €670 APC (at least the APC is mentioned somewhere on their website). The book will even be submitted to be included in the Thomson Reuters Book Citation Index…

Can you please just stop this?