OA Publisher Offers Author Fee Waivers in Exchange for Citing Its Journals

Science Alert

Be on the Alert for Science Alert.

Science Alert is a predatory, scholarly open-access publisher based in Pakistan (despite the publisher’s false claim on its website that it is based in New York and Singapore). Its tag line is “Where the innovation begins.”

Unfortunately, Science Alert’s latest innovation is unethical.

The publisher sends thank-you emails to authors who cite articles from its journals in other publishers’ journals. In these emails, it offers them a waiver of author processing charges on a future article if they cite enough of Science Alert’s articles elsewhere.

The purpose of this incentive is to increase citations to Science Alert journals which will lead to new and increased Impact Factors™ (IF) in their journals. The publisher is gaming the IF system for its own benefit.

Here is a reproduction of a Science Alert email that documents this practice  [PDF Copy here]:

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: ScienceAlert <support@scialert.com>
To: [deleted]
Sent: Friday, October 5, 2012 8:53 AM
Subject: Thanks for citing the article

Dear [deleted],

I am writing you this e-mail on behalf of the entire editorial team of the “Journal of Applied Sciences” and would like to show our deep appreciation for citing the following article

Title: Chloro-Organics in Papermill Effluent: Identification and Removal by Sequencing Batch Biofilm Reactor

DOI: 10.3923/jas.2007.2160.2163 

In your following recently published paper.

Title: High temperature combined with drought affect rainfed spring wheat and barley in South-Eastern Russia: I. Phenology and growth

DOI:  10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.07.005

We hope you will cite articles from Science Alert Journals in your future publications. By citing more articles from Science Alert Journals you will get more chance to publish your significant research findings FREE of cost in any Science Alert Journal. You may search the related articles from the main page of the Science Alert website (http://www.scialert.net/) for citing in your future articles. We hope, you will consider Science Alert Journals (www.scialert.net/journals.php) for publication of your future research/review articles.

Thank you once again for citing the above article.

Regard Muhammad Imran Pasha Publishing Editor Science Alert

This is a clear example of unethical publishing practices. By increasing the Impact Factors of its journals, Science Alert will attract more submissions, thereby increasing its revenue from author processing charges.

Other predatory publishers are likely creating innovative ways to falsely their journals’ Impact Factors.

I recommend that all scholars discontinue any existing relationships with Science Alert and not enter into any new ones.

7 Responses to OA Publisher Offers Author Fee Waivers in Exchange for Citing Its Journals

  1. Frank says:

    Serendipituously, the paper that was cited had “papermill” in it, I suppose used in the context of a mill that manufactures paper, whatever that means nowadays.

  2. [...] The latest way in trying to up the journals impact factor is to buy citations. Some publishers have started to send thank-you e-mails to those who have cited articles from their journals in other publishers’ journals. In these e-mails they say they will not charge you APC if you ever want to publish in one of their journal with the condition that you continue to cite their articles. The aim with this is to increase the number of citations so that the journal’s impact factor will increase. This kind of play with impact factor is unethical and something serious science should not be a part of. Read more of this and other topics on predatory publishers in Jeffery Beall’s blog. [...]

  3. [...] Det senaste knepet att höja tidskriftens impact factor är att köpa citeringar. Vissa förlag har börjat skicka tack-meddelanden till dem som har citerat artiklar från dess tidskrifter i andra förlags tidskrifter. I dessa e-postbrev skriver de att de erbjuder gratis publicering av dina kommande artiklar i sina tidskrifter så klart om du citerar deras artiklar tillräckligt många gånger. Syftet med detta förfarande är alltså att öka citeringar så att förlagets tidskrifter och därmed tidskriftens får hög impact factor, vilket är oetiskt. Läs mer om detta och se ett exempel på tack-e-postbrevet i Jeffery Beall’s blogg. [...]

  4. [...] Det senaste knepet att höja tidskriftens impact factor är att köpa citeringar. Vissa förlag har börjat skicka tack-meddelanden till dem som har citerat artiklar från dess tidskrifter i andra förlags tidskrifter. I dessa e-postbrev skriver de att de erbjuder gratis publicering av dina kommande artiklar i sina tidskrifter så klart om du citerar deras artiklar tillräckligt många gånger. Syftet med detta förfarande är alltså att öka citeringar så att förlagets tidskrifter och därmed tidskriftens får hög impact factor, vilket är oetiskt. Läs mer om detta och se ett exempel på tack-e-postbrevet i Jeffery Beall’s blogg. [...]

  5. [...] The latest way in trying to up the journals impact factor is to buy citations. Some publishers have started to send thank-you e-mails to those who have cited articles from their journals in other publishers’ journals. In these e-mails they say they will not charge you APC if you ever want to publish in one of their journal with the condition that you continue to cite their articles. The aim with this is to increase the number of citations so that the journal’s impact factor will increase. This kind of play with impact factor is unethical and something serious science should not be a part of. Read more of this and other topics on predatory publishers in Jeffery Beall’s blog. [...]

  6. [...] journals out there that coming up with a brand new name is becoming difficult. And, in some cases, some of these journals offer fee waivers to authors if they cite papers from that journal. And the list goes on and on and one… including other topics, like shady publishers that fool [...]

  7. [...] The latest way in trying to up the journals impact factor is to buy citations. Some publishers have started to send thank-you e-mails to those who have cited articles from their journals in other publishers’ journals. In these e-mails they say they will not charge you APC if you ever want to publish in one of their journal with the condition that you continue to cite their articles. The aim with this is to increase the number of citations so that the journal’s impact factor will increase. This kind of play with impact factor is unethical and something serious science should not be a part of. Read more of this and other topics on predatory publishers in Jeffery Beall’s blog. [...]

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