Hyderabad, India is one of the most corrupt cities on earth, I think. It is home to countless predatory open-access publishers and conference organizers, and new, open-access publishing companies and brands are being created there every day. All institutions of higher education, all funders, governments, and researchers should be especially wary of any business based in Hyderabad.
The tacit rule of thumb of Hyderabad-based businesses is: Use the internet to generate revenue any way you can.
There are numerous internet-based businesses in this over-crowded city, many located in a special enterprise zone called HITEC City, which some refer to as “Cyberabad.” The city is the home OMICS International, a notorious publisher I have been following since 2010 that has exploited, abused, and victimized countless researchers, as I’ve documented here on my blog.
I have been told that OMICS treats its employees as poorly as it treats researchers. Accordingly, many have left the company to start their own scholarly publishing houses, with most copying the malevolent business practices pioneered by OMICS.
Starting a new online business — such as a publishing operation — costs very little, especially in India.
Typically, the newly-launched predatory publishers use spam email to solicit manuscript submissions to hastily-launched, broad-scope journals. They quickly accept submitted papers, skipping peer review. Then they send an invoice to the surprised authors, who, realizing the journal is fake, request that the article be withdrawn.
Don’t go to Hyderabad.
At this point, it’s too late, and the publisher refuses to withdraw the paper unless a fee is paid. The authors are then left with the choice to either pay a fee to withdraw the paper or pay a fee to publish it. The publishers know that you cannot submit a paper to a good journal when it’s already been published in a bad one.
Given the city’s poor reputation, many businesses based in Hyderabad lie and claim to be based in Western countries. They use the addresses of virtual office companies or mailbox rental firms. OMICS International does this, deceptively claiming offices in Henderson, Nevada and Foster City, California.
Again — be very careful with any online-based business that originates in Hyderabad, India. Corruption is the rule in Hyderabad, and businesses based there are world leaders in ripping off honest consumers, including researchers. □