“Please add my journal to your list”

International Journal of Biology

I’m happy to add this to my list, sure.

I regularly receive emails from new open-access publishers asking me to add their publisher or journal to one of my lists.

My lists include publishers and standalone journals that I have found to be predatory or questionable in their practices, so it’s odd that a publisher would request inclusion.

I assume they do it because they are trying to promote their publications and just go through some list of websites,  sending the same boilerplate email to all the email addresses on the list. In their rush to make money, predatory publishers typically pay little attention to important details.

I investigate each journal or publisher, finding that in most cases they merit inclusion on my list. I’m delighted to fulfill their requests, carefully archiving a copy of each email so that in a possible future lawsuit, I can say, “Hey, you ASKED to be placed on my list.”

Here is one such request I received on May 8, 2013:

Hello And Good Evening Mr. Jeffrey Beall,

My name is Samuel Rivero and i am working as a internee for International Journal of Biology, the reason why i am sending you this e-mail is because i was hoping that if you can add our Journal’s name on this page: http://scholarlyoa.com/individual-journals/

The aim of IJOBIO is to publish peer reviewed research and review articles in rapidly developing field of all biological research areas. This journal is an online journal having full access to the research and review paper. The journal aims to cover the latest outstanding developments in the field of all biological Research Areas specifically in the following branches.

Keep in mind we are a non-profit organization and we mostly provide Journal publication services to 3rd world countries. It’ll be a huge favor if you can add the name of our journal in the “Individual Journals” list.

URL of our journal: http://www.ijobio.com

Best Wishes,

Samuel Rivero

Upon investigating this standalone journal, I discovered deceit.

The journal uses the nickname International Journal of Bio, and most of the claims in the email are false.

The new journal has “published” four issues, but upon closer examination, it really hasn’t. It’s a ruse. Among the four issues, there are only six articles. At least some of them are copied from the former BioMed Central (BMC) journal called the Journal of Biology. In 2010, this journal merged with BMC Biology, and the merged journal is called BMC Biology.

Here’s an example:

The publisher of the new journal has taken previously-published articles and edited them, changing some of the words, and published them as new original articles in the journal.

What a scam! I can’t figure out where this journal is based, and my reply email to “Samuel Rivero” bounced back. Do not submit to this journal. Be wary of all OA journals.

24 Responses to “Please add my journal to your list”

  1. Strange request, indeed. Perhaps the aim is to force googlebot to improve the page ranking of their journals. That would be however a very short-term strategy, since final impact will be necesarilly negative.

  2. Steve Coleman says:

    Sylvain is likely correct. Them more URL’s point to a site the higher the ranking. The best method would be to add them to the list but omit any kind of usable URL pointing to the actual site. If Google/Bing/Yahoo/etc can not index it, but you still convey your message then that would be the best tactic.

    Perhaps an image of the main URL tied to a javascript launch button to take them there. Since a javascript action that dynamically composes a URL link can’t be indexed it would not promote/pagerank the site the way they want it to. Justice is done with no unwanted side affects.

  3. Rasyad says:

    The editors seem to be from reputable universities, though. Are they really the editors?

  4. Guido says:

    I noticed that in the paper cited above, they also replaced the names of the original authors by “Lims Jasica Tery”, presumably a bogus name. The author names on other papers also look fake to me, so probably they did it there too… In the first paper of the first issue, they even replaced the first reference with a bogus reference to a (non-existing) previous issue of the journal (although they seem to have left the original reference in the bibliography). What a bunch of crooks.

    • parklane3 says:

      However, when they cut-pasted-edited the texts they left in the corresponding author emails/addresses, which show who the original authors were (not the ones named in their ToC).

  5. Those are good ideas for showing inactive links, but the simplest approach (I suppose) would be to replace the period with something like a double asterisk ** (the doublet being more visible than a single asterisk, easy to type, distinct from any URL content, and easy to target for replacement by visitors who want to check the original site). e.g. researchcooperative**org

    On the other hand, having URLs visible at all is kind of ugly, and for aesthetic and readability reasons, there is value in showing a journal title and embedding the link in the title. I doubt that a single blog will add greatly to the SEO of a particular journal.

    For visitors here, it is convenient to be able to click through to the journals under discussion.

    Cheers, P.

  6. Peter says:

    If you want to link to a site, but not improve its page rank, use “nofollow”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nofollow

  7. D says:

    “Perhaps an image of the main URL tied to a javascript launch button to take them there. Since a javascript action that dynamically composes a URL link can’t be indexed”

    You know just enough to be dangerous. I hope I never encounter a website you had anything to do with.

    rel=nofollow https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nofollow

  8. Phillips Jonathen says:

    Hello scholars,

    I want to add a utility in Mr. Beall’s so-called investigation of predatory journals. The extent to which he is working is hard but i think the soft portion must be touched. He should send the manuscripts to journals and observe the publishers attitudes and behaviors. Beall hope you shall agree with me. This strategy will bless you with more genuine fact and spicy data for your blog.

    • No, I am not going to do that because it would be dishonest. A person should only submit to a journal if he or she has original work that they truly want to submit to the journal. I don’t use fraud to investigate fraud.

      • Prof. Brooks says:

        Hmmm…I think perhaps PJ is trying to lure you into something actionable (as if you would fall for that). I just discovered your list through the recent CHE story about the Indian “publisher” seeking to sue you–ridiculous–and all it did was bring your valuable blog to my attention and to many other scholars as well I am sure. Glad to have this resource, and keep up the good work.

  9. Adiwinata J says:

    Very strange. They might be do not know the meaning to be in your list. May be they think that it is prestigious to be in your list.

  10. John says:

    The logical explanation for the request is that the journal want to make known to public that submitted paper can be published easily. Free advertisement. It is known that some “scholars” in certain countries intentionally publish in the dubious journals to achieve the publication rate determined by University.

  11. […] ink in places like The New York Times. (And yes, now he even receives pseudo-spammer journals who request to be featured on the site without really […]

  12. naomi says:

    it’s a bit unfair to conclude with “Be wary of all OA journals.” when the original article was published in Journal of Biology/BMC Biology, itself an Open Access journal, and a reputable one at that. The problem is not OA but scammers, and a scammer is generally fairly easy to spot.

    • I take your point.

    • Lynne Johnson says:

      I don’t think JB is suggesting with this statement that all OA journals are bad, just that it’s wise to examine all OA journals before submitting. Similarly, I tell my students to be suspicious of all email attachments and links before deciding whether to open them or not.

  13. […] ink in places like The New York Times. (And yes, now he even receives pseudo-spammer journals who request to be featured on the site without really […]

  14. […] sul quale m’informo meglio, semmai ne scrivo su Oggi scienza o qui, e la storia dell’editore predone che gli chiede di includere una propria rivista nella  Beale’s List delle riviste da […]

  15. […] writes here about one such email, wherein a correspondent who describes himself as “a internee for […]

  16. …I’m delighted to fulfill their requests, carefully archiving a copy of each email so that in a possible future lawsuit, I can say, “Hey, you ASKED to be placed on my list.” Here, you sound like someone who is afraid. Are you afraid for any reason?

  17. V.TOMIC says:

    Dear dr. Beall,

    I was approached by the following person, the managing director of KY Publications to join the Editorial/Review Board of the Bulletin of Mathematics and Statistics Research (BOMSR).

    Journal link: http://www.bomsr.com, http://www.kypublications.com

    I think that this is a suspected journal.

    Sincerely,

    Welko Tomic PhD

  18. Prof, kindly add our journals to your list. You can see our aim and objectives in our website. Anamakiri O. Dio, Managing Editor

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