International Prank Involving Predatory Publishers Makes Headlines in Indonesia

The original article.

The original article.

The prank article.

Somebody copied a scholarly article, slightly changed the title, replaced the co-authors’ names, and submitted it to the predatory journal African Journal of Agricultural Research (published by Nigeria-based Academic Journals), where it was accepted and published (of course) after the author fee was paid.

The July, 2012 prank article, “Mapping Indonesian Paddy Fields Using Multiple-Temporal Satellite Imagery,” was copied from an earlier article that appeared in the Scholarly Journal of Agricultural Science (v. 2, no. 6, p. 119-125).

This original article, alas, also published in a predatory journal, appeared in the journal’s June 2012 issue. Its title was “Mapping Indonesian Rice Areas Using Multiple-Temporal Satellite Imagery.”

What’s made the story interesting is that the pranksters removed the name of the original second author from the article and replaced it with the names of two popular Indonesian entertainers, Agnes Monica and Inul Daratista, both household names in Indonesia.

Also, the prank article listed their affiliation as “Institute of Dangdut,” a fictitious organization. Dangdut is a genre of Indonesian popular music. Also, the institute’s address is listed on the title page as “Jalan Tersesat No. 100.”  This roughly translates as “Road to Astray No. 100.”

The prank article has been tacitly removed from the publisher’s website. (This is how predatory publishers retract articles; they just make them disappear).

The story has been picked up by the Indonesian press, with a story appearing in the national newspaper Kompas, and also in the popular magazine Tempo. [Note: The Chrome browser will translate these articles using Google Translate]. Some follow-up stories have also been published in the Indonesian press.

There is a possibility that this prank was carried out by a journalist writing a story about predatory publishers. It is not known who paid the $600 author processing charge that enabled the bogus article to be published. Also, it is not known who Nono Lee, the lead author on both the original and copied articles, really is or whether he really exists.

The citations.

Others have played similar tricks on predatory publishers. An OMICS journal once added a bogus persona to its editorial board after it unwittingly accepted a bogus application. Consultant Phil Davis once got a nonsense article accepted in a journal published by Bentham Open.

Predatory publishers deceive researchers by pretending to be legitimate journals. It’s fascinating to see that they too can be the victims of deceit.

Hat tip: Jeff

Note: The copied article is available here, see Scribd page 58 (journal page 4038).

The original article is available here.

12 Responses to International Prank Involving Predatory Publishers Makes Headlines in Indonesia

  1. Phil Davis says:

    Honestly, I don’t view this act as a “prank,” but a dishonest act. If the prankster was serious about testing the integrity of the publisher, he could have waited for acceptance but refused to pay the OA fee.

    Second, I doubt that the editor of an African journal would catch on to a joke routed in Indonesian popular culture.

    And last, to a non-Indonesian, this paper looks like a legitimate submission.

    In sum, there is little to learn from this act except that this African journal does not use a plagiarism detection service, like CrossCheck. I don’t think it means anything about the state of open access publishing.

    Open Access Publisher Accepts Nonsense for Dollars

  2. pathetic born looser says:

    I think both articles are fake. “Pejabat Palsu” is not a common name. “Pejabat Palsu” means fake bureaucrat/false official.

  3. The original second author named “Pejabat Palsu” is most likely also fake. It means “False Office”.

  4. iyan says:

    But the original article seems a fraud as well. Pejabat palsu is not a person name. You should clarify more.

  5. Jeff says:

    The ‘original’ paper is also a prank. The second author “Pejabat Palsu” means “Fake Officer” .The content of the paper is plagiarized from internet materials

  6. milad says:

    please, check this website and it’s four journals;

    you could aware students who submit their paper to these journals, especially “management science letters”
    publisher didn’t say anything about author fee, but if your paper accepted, you will be aware of publishing fee and should pay!
    at the other hand, all of papers are published in the framework which is very similar to sciencedirect!…
    please write about this publisher and its journals…

  7. naser says:


    The site, growingscience, you mention does not charge all authors and the fee is waived in most cases. One of my friends published his paper with them and the fee you mentioned was only for assigning a group to carefully edit their papers. The final version of the paper was different. They honestly helped authors improve their paper, significantly.

    You could also check with plagirism checker tools and see that they do their best not to publish fake papers. I have seen some people whose papers rejected by them solely because they had published their paper previously elsewhere. They have published many highly cited papers. You could check this with google schoolar. Please advise your friends to ask for the terms and conditions when they submit a paper.

    The site does not claim to be affiliated with other publishers anywhere in their websites. Many other journals use similar frameworks and put ISSN number, doi, email address in the footnote. This helps other people could track the papers. However, if you think this is misleading, simply tell them and they will be open to your constructive comments.

    About African Journal you mentioned, one of my friends had actual experience where he attempted to republish his paper in African Journal of Business Management and they simply accepted and asked him to pay the fee. I think making such mistakes caused this journal lose ISI and Scopus index. In fact African Journal of Business Management was indexed by ISI in 2010 but it was delisted in 2011 ISI report. Scopus covered them in 2010 but they decided not to include shortly after they published many papers like that.

    Finally, asking for Fee does not mean the journal publishes junk papers. Hynadwi publisher has an open text journal in chemistry with impact factor of around 4 and they ask 1300Euro for publication. Many people pay that fee to have the chance of their paper getting cited simply because the paper is open text.


  8. naser says:


    This fake site is a good target for investigation

    This is a fake site from

    using the identity of Archives Des Sciences

    You could easily check both fake and actual and see the difference between the quality of the published papers.

    Good Luck

  9. naser says:

    Thanks to jeff for disclosing the fraud in

    Please note the site has changed its address to

  10. […] seperti dijelaskan di website yang membahas secara khusus hal itu. artikel ‘ilmiah’ itu tidak lain adalah artikel plagiat yang berasal dari artikel […]

  11. nilam says:

    The real name of the author is Karim Makarim, he’s a professor.

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