We learned recently about a scholarly publisher that appears to be operating like a pyramid scheme.
The publisher is Simplex Academic Publishers, based in Tiruchengodu, India. It publishes five journals, including the omnibus journal ScienceJet.
We obtained a copy of a spam email sent to a US researcher, asking him to serve as one of the “academic editors” of ScienceJet. The letter is available below as a PDF file.
In part the letter says, “The Academic Editor will receive an attractive and competitive annual remuneration based on the number of manuscripts managed by the Academic Editor each year.”
In other words, the more papers you review, the more money you make. This would encourage academic editors to get their friends to submit more articles to the journal.
The email does not say how much the “attractive and competitive annual remuneration” amounts to.
But there’s a hook. The email says that “The Academic Editor will submit an article (research or comprehensive review article) to our journal within next 3 months as the contribution in this term.”
So, this will operate like a pyramid scheme. The journal will add more academic editors, who in turn will bring in more authors paying author fees. With each payment, the publisher takes a cut.
The publisher is rare in that it claims to be a hybrid-publisher, both toll and open access. But all the articles we saw were open access. The APC (author processing charge) is US $450.
We advise against doing business or having any association with this publisher.
2. List of journals published by Simplex Academic Publishers as of 16 October, 2012:
- Chemical Sensors
- Journal of Nanoscience Letters
- Journal of Spectroscopy and Dynamics
- Physics Express