34 Responses to Be Careful with Spam from Research Media

  1. john matthews says:

    They are spamming non-medical fields too. I published a commentary in PLoS Biology on conservation issues and they have been emailing me repeatedly.

  2. Dr.Rao says:

    Hai Dr.Jeffrey Beall
    I would like to know your opinion about journals published by Research and Reviews, it website is http://www.rroij.com.
    They are publishing both electronic and printed journals and i receive lot of mails from the publisher.
    Hoping for quick response and many of my friends are planning to submit articles for the journals published by the publisher.

    • My goodness! Another large fleet startup from Karnataka, India! There are many bogus publishers from that area. I will do a full analysis of this one, but it certainly looks questionable and even suspicious to me. I had not heard of it before. Thank you for letting me know about it.

      Why are there so many predatory publishers from Karnataka, India?

      • Dr.Rao says:

        Dr.Beall
        Thank you for accepting to review http://www.rroij.com. My sincere request is not to label any place like Karnataka, as you know Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka, and it is one among the top 10 IT and ITES destinations of the world.
        There are many places even in developed countries which harbor more open access predatory journals which appear in your list .
        Hope i am not hurting your feelings.
        Waiting for response
        Yours
        Dr.Rao

      • Thanks. I just added this publisher to my list. It meets the criteria.
        They claim to be a non-profit. Is there a way to verify whether an Indian non-profit is really a non-profit? Is there an agency that will confirm this? Are non-profits normally required to state a registration number? Thanks.

      • Dr.Rao says:

        Dr.Beall
        It is really very hard in India to differentiate non-profit from profit journals. According to rules ( as per my knowledge, i may be wrong also) a trust or a society means for non-profit purpose only. Regarding the journals status as either profit or non-profit, the issue is highly debated in India. In India, even educational institutions are not allowed which run on profit basis.
        However, i request to kindly confirm once again the rules governing the publications of journal on either profit or non-profit basis.
        Yours
        Dr.R.Rao

      • The question of how to recognise a genuine NPO is not easy to answer.

        I operate a self-declared NPO that has no official status at all.

        To be registered and have official status in Japan (where I live), my so-called NPO would have to have a certain minimum number of members based in Japan, enough financial turnover to pass a basic threshold, and a formal record of accounts maintained by an accountant.

        Below this threshold it is difficult to get formal recognition. And without significant income, it is not necessary or practical to employ an accountant (which will cost more than all possible income, for my own NPO, and for many start-up NPOs).

        This creates a paradoxical (Catch 22) challenge for organisations that would like to be registered, but have no significant income and few members.

        To overcome the challenge, it is necessary to operate without official recognition until the organisation is big enough — but without official recognition, it is difficult to gain the trust and income needed to become big. We can’t avoid the paradox. It’s just one of the natural challenges of any start-up organisation or business.

        Of course, there are other ways that NPO publishers can demonstrate sincerity, and most ‘predatory’ publishers fail to demonstrate sincerity at all.

        Small NPO publishers are usually also very small and weak, so calling them predatory may sometimnes be like calling a 1-cm long shark baby predatory, in an ocean that has many fully-grown predators, of many different species.

    • I have added this publisher to my list. Thanks for asking about it.

  3. bencomp says:

    If email addresses are harvested from PLOS websites, Research Media Ltd. is violating the PLOS Terms of Use:
    “As a condition to your use of PLOS Sites, you agree not to:

    impersonate any person or entity or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; or obtain, collect, store, or modify personal information about other users;
    …”

    On this scale it’s a clear violation.

    • I wouldn’t assume that Research Media itself is skimming email addresses from PLOS One. Many companies collect email addresses that lie exposed and readible, and then resell lists according to subject.

      It would be good if publishers and social networks that allow comments could automatically recognise and then disguise addresses for their contributors, to make automated skimming more difficult. This is a product suggestion that someone with ability or suitable contacts could useful and perhaps profitably develop!

  4. Manjunatha says:

    Sir i need to know is intech open is fake one or not

  5. John says:

    Beall Check out tpgjournals.org

  6. Jeff Shrager says:

    Here’s what I write back to these folks:

    Dear Dr. ….

    Thank you for your interest in my research. I would be very pleased to help you integrate my research into your offerings.

    I’ve set up a net 30 billing log for ResearchMedia. My fee is usually $1000/day (plus expenses), but as you represent a non-profit research organization, I can offer you my discounted rate of $800/day or $4000/week (plus expenses, of course). You may put me in touch at your convenience with the person with whom I will be working on this interesting project. I’ve pre-clocked one day, which should cover the preliminaries.

    I bill on the first of each month, net 30. Is your email address the correct one to bill? If not, please give me the correct billing address.

    Your reply to this email, or any further communication from ResearchMedia representatives regarding this project, will constitute agreement to these terms.

    I look forward to assisting you in this project.

    Best,
    …..

  7. Vitaly Citovsky says:

    Research Media differ from other “predators” by being very, very sleek, friendly, prompt and professional, both in their communication with the “mark” and in the actual published work (high quality paper magazine, nice graphics, nice quality pdf, etc.). Their price ($3K) is also not exuberant and is comparable to standard page charges of mainstream professional journals. So… they hooked me. Although I am not too happy to have been taken advantage of, but the whole experience was actually easy and pleasant, albeit, of course, useless. WHAT is interesting is that, after Research Media (I guess having become a “certified mark”), I was contacted by another British outfit from London who offered some similar promotion, but requested $10K (!!!), and, unlike Research Media, were very pushy; they, however, were also very open about charging for self promotion (which, in their view, was mandatory for researchers). Of course,they did not get my money. I still wonder whether anyone in fact does look at the Research Media publications…

  8. Simon Gee says:

    Is it possible to professionally write and distribute your research without the likes of Research Media? Isn’t this the value these businesses offer. Did you receive distribution statistics from Research Media?

  9. Fatima Cvrckova says:

    Thanks for saving me from swallowing the bait!
    In my case, they clearly latched on the title of my recent grant project, which is, of course, public (including my e-mail address).

    This is what I answered (just for inspiration):

    Dear Dr. Harrison,

    while I feel flattered by your invitation, I am afraid that I cannot imagine how my research could fit into the area of healthcare, or any of the remaining thematic areas covered by International Innovation (Climate, Energy, Environment, Food & Agriculture, ICT, Nano & Materials Technology, Regional Research or Transport). Moreover, I am rather doubtful if the readers of International Innovation will be interested in a basic research project without any obvious connection to practical application.
    I am thus afraid that the time and effort invested into my possible contribution would be time and effort lost for more productive and enjoyable activities – such as research itself, or teaching. I would therefore be willing to contribute to your journal only (1) if it brings no cost for me or my institution and (2) if my investment of time and effort is compensated by an adequate honorarium.
    As your mail does not mention any of these two points, I cannot give you a positive answer until I am sure that these two requirements are met.

    With regards

    Fatima Cvrckova

  10. Dr.Phys says:

    Minutes ago I got the following solicitation from Research Media. I’m a physicist, so this is not just targeting biologists or medical researchers. This is much more casual and friendly than the random spam I get out of Asia. This is as close as I’ve come to taking the bait. I’m reproducing some of the verbiage here to help others see what it’s like. All in all, however, $3K for glossy self promotion may be very useful for tenure decisions in small and relatively unsophisticated institutions. It may be worth the money, but one should be aware that this is simply vanity publishing and has no scientific or real disseminatory value.

    ________

    Dear Dr. Slipmok,

    I would like to speak with you concerning your project, the Physics of Biomedicine.

    Research Media are producing a special publication in June 2014 and we would like to feature your work, within this publication we will be working with a small number of researchers and institutes with a broad focus on space, physics and earth sciences.

    Our publication is called International Innovation and is quite different to typical scientific or peer reviewed journals, we cover the most important issues in science, education and research currently but our approach was developed to bridge the gap between science, education, policy, research, government and the private sector.

    The series of reports provides concise, educational, informative and easy to understand information to all key stakeholders involved in the sector and beyond. We publish in hard copy format, along with digital.

    The primary element of our work is to have a team of editors, science journalists and graphic designers translate often complex science in to a easily understandable piece that clearly demonstrates impact and relevance of the research to the wider community of stakeholders.

    A very important point to note is that very little of your time is required in production of the article. I understand how busy you are at present but we have lots of time before the production deadline, throughout this process we usually require around two to three hours of your time over the coming months.

    We will have an editorial team from Research Media assigned to you directly. This experienced, highly skilled team have worked with hundreds of scientists to disseminate in a simple language to a professional, visually attractive standard.

    If you are not familiar with the publication you can view recent digital editions via the following link:

    http://www.international-innovation-northamerica.com

    Before we talk further please look over the attached articles recently produced. These examples will give you a clear idea of how your article could look.

    I hope you agree, the attachment example articles I have sent look wonderful, and are written to the highest of standards.

    International Innovation will also feature a selection of high level figures from both Government agencies and some of the worlds leading organisations and associations involved in the enhancement of research and science policy.

    —-It then goes to list a bunch of previous “interviewees” and countries to which they disseminate information, etc…

  11. I too almost bit! (this was for astrophysics)

    Thank you, Jeffrey Beall, for your valuable work!

    – Jeremy

  12. J Apfel says:

    I fail to understand how this company is doing anything wrong. They’re not taking authors work and publishing it for a fee – they seem to work with an author to transform something academic into layman’s terms so it can be more widely read and understand. Fair enough they charge a fee for that I think – it’s essentially a writing service?

  13. Vitaly Citovsky says:

    i agree that they are not doing anything blatantly wrong. but i do think that they misrepresent the impact of their publication and, most importantly, they lie when they suggest that they select the topics/scientists/papers by their high impact.

  14. EvaSara says:

    I have also got an invitation to be included in a publication from Research Media. I found the e-mail to be fairly correct: They don’t claim that it would be a published paper and it was clear from the start that the text would be popular science (i.e. not peer reviewed) and it was also implicitly clear that the authors would pay a certain fee since the resulting publication would be open access.

    I have been involved in projects where we have produced folders with popular science that were distributed to practitioners and this involved costs for editorial staff in the project and for printing. The projects in question target practitioners and the funding agencies encourage communication of the results to stakeholders and the general public. If I would have a need to distribute that kind of information from my project, I would consider taking the offer.

    However, I would not like to have the one-page interview and I would also like to have more printed copies at my disposal. The question is also how the price compares to the alternative of hiring an editor (seriously, I’m a researcher and anything that I would produce would not be nice to look at) and printing.

  15. Katherine says:

    They are also spamming grant awardees. They contacted me regarding a USDA-NIFA grant that I received a few years ago.

  16. Jesse says:

    Just got one today from these guys. Thank you for the warning. To be fair though, buried within the very lengthy email was the information that it’s not a peer-reviewed article, and would cost me about $3000.

  17. Brynjulf Owren says:

    Got one yesterday from William Todd regarding a piece to be published in International Innovation. Subject of email contained the full name of a grant I was recently awarded. Thanks for the information in this blog, including the comments, that saved me from further speculation, although in any case, I would not have been able to spend $3000 or more for it.

  18. AM says:

    Thanks. I almost fell for this, because the email included:

    Among the many high profile figures we have recently interviewed from the global research arena are the following;

    - Canadian Space Agency: Gilles Leclerc
    - - National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada: Dr Suzanne Fortier
    - Canada Excellence Research Chairs: Michele Boutin
    - Canadian Foundation for Innovation: Dr Gilles G Patry
    - Canada?s Minister of State for Science and Technology: The Honourable Gary Goodyear
    - U.S. Department of Energy?s Office of Science: Dr. William Brinkman
    - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): Gordon W Day, President
    - American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME): Victoria Rockwell, President
    - National Institute of Standards and Technology: Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology: Robert Celotta, Director
    - American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE): Norman L. Fortenberry, Executive Director
    - Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society: Jerry Baker, Executive Director

    Being an engineering researcher in a Canadian University, having the name of Dr. Suzanne Fortier, who was the former head of the main engineering funding body (NSERC), made me think that it was a genuine publication. It is a good thing that I checked online before falling for the trap. Thanks!

  19. Karen says:

    I just received an email from them, looks like their price has gone up to $3120 for a 3 pg article. They make a great effort in their email to sound like they are legitimate. let me know if you want a copy of the email.

  20. MartinBL says:

    Hi,

    I almost fell for it too. The email sounded fishy at first and I deleted it right away. Then one, maybe two weeks later got a call from the UK (+441172232193) from guy who called himself Lewis Batchelor. He was very friendly and sounded professional. Yet, although I tried to understand what he wanted from me (not an interview apparently) I did not get a clear answer. When I asked about who the audience is he started listing research institutes and departments in my country until I stopped him –> there was that fishy smell again. Nevertheless, I agreed to have him resend the email, which he did 2 days later (see below) (funny: apparently they mixed-up their own email adresses and names).

    Now I started googling the company and ended up here and over at another blog (andrewgelman).
    By the way: in the second email there’s no mentioning of a fee (don’t know about the first email).

    I don’t usually fall for spammers and phishers but this was the first time someone even went all the way to give me a phone call… Next time I’m prepared.
    Thanks to everyone who helps warning from those (money-)suckers.

    Cheers,
    Martin


    email from lewisb@researchmedia.eu

    Dear Dr. MY_NAME,

    I have been trying to reach you with regards to the email below. I was not sure if you were on vacation so I thought I’d try reach you again.

    If you could email me a good time to discuss this later this week or early next week, that would be much appreciated?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    William

    —–Original Message—–

    From: William Todd [mailto: wtodd@researchmedia.eu]
    To: MY_EMAIL
    Subject: TITLE_OF_RECENT_PAPER_OF_MINE – request International Innovation Environment report – Research Media

    Dear Dr. XXX,

    I was hoping to talk with you at some point later this week regarding your research into TITLE_OF_RECENT_PAPER_OF_MINE in conjunction with the International Innovation Environment report which my company shall be printing in September 2014, which shall have a special focus on MY_RESEARCH_FIELD.

    I have personally worked with researchers from KNMI, Meteo France, The Smithsonian Laboratory in the USA and assisted in presenting projects like MYOCEAN, JERICHO, POSEIDON and SWARM in a similar format to the articles attached to this email.

    International Innovation is a publication in a series of reports covering emerging environment and earth system monitoring research being conducted worldwide and shall be distributed to over 30’000 stakeholders at every level in the government, policy, research and industry/private sector. If you do not regularly receive copies of the publication in the post, I am happy to send you a recent edition in the post if you like, though you can view a previous edition related to your field here – http://www.research-europe.com/magazine/ENVIRONMENT/ENV17/index.html

    The September edition shall address a number of different areas including: LONG_LIST_OF_KEYWORDS_AND_PERSONS_RELATED_TO_MY_RESEARCH_INTERSTS_AND_INTERNET_TRACE

    I am keen to showcase a small number of researchers within this publication so I would like to discuss the possibility of disseminating some of the aims, objectives and planned methodologies of your work at some point this week as I believe there could be a number of elements that are very relevant to this edition of the publication. Could you please drop me a mail and advise when would be a good time to discuss this at some point this week or early next week?

    Regards,

    Lewis Batchelor | Project Manager

    t: +44 117 223 2193
    e: lewisb@researchmedia.eu
    w: http://www.researchmedia.eu

    Research Media Ltd, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA. Tel: +44 117 3700 828
    COPYRIGHT © 2013 RESEARCH MEDIA – RESEARCH & SCIENTIFIC DISSEMINATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION
    The information contained in this email is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential/privileged material.
    If you are not the addressee any retransmission, dissemination, copying or use of this communication without prior permission is strictly prohibited and you should contact the sender by e-mail return and then delete all material from your system.
    Whilst Research Media has taken every reasonable precaution to minimise the risk of viruses, we cannot accept liability for any damage that is sustained as a result of software viruses which may be contained in this email.
    Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be timely secure, error or virus-free. The sender does not accept liability for any errors or omissions.

  21. Ravi Singh says:

    This is a complete scam me and several of my colleagues have received a number of emails from a ‘Project Director’ are they just spamming every Future Fellow they can find. I advise all of my colleagues to avoid them and I am glad I have found this site to back up my thoughts. Would anyone like a copy of the email they send?

  22. Darwin says:

    Thank you for the helpful information.
    Another one to avoid is: OmniScriptum GmbH & Co. KG

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