Scientists beware: There is a new scholarly publishing-related scheme that aims to separate you from your money. I recently blogged about several emerging, web-based companies that promise to promote individual scholarly articles for a fee. There no common term to describe this scheme, so I am making one up: Article Promotion Companies, or APCs. If you haven’t yet received a spam email from one of these companies, you will soon. They will write you about one of your recent articles and offer to promote it for you on their websites. The fees range from about USD $15-30.
I think the emergence of these companies will distort and perhaps invalidate article-level metrics (ALMs). Paid article promotion schemes will game article-level impact measurements. They will gratuitously inflate a particular article’s actual quantifiable impact. One of these companies is called Educational Researches. The company hides its location. It uses a WordPress platform and uses Wikipedia content to make itself look legitimate. Here is an example of one of their spam emails:
I am pleased to inform you that the Educational Researches team has identified your recent publication, [Redacted] as being of special interest to the progress in the Education field. We would like to list your publication on our next edition of the Educational Researches series.
Educational Researches was founded in 2013 for alerts the scientific community to breaking journal articles considered to represent the best in Education research. For today’s edition, click here. Educational Researches is viewed almost 10,000 times each month.
Publications featured by Educational Researches gain extensive exposure. This exposure may benefit you and your organization since this provides a showcase for key research studies such as yours. This exposure has the added benefit of encouraging additional funding.
There is a small processing charge for listing publications on Educational Researches (only $15). Please let us know if you are interested in having your work featured on our website. If you accept our invitation we will post the summary of your article and key words with proper citation of the original Journal. This may extend your findings; further highlight the importance of your work and organization’s activities. We will process your publication after receiving the payment click here. (Upon payment, please notify us the Article Title, and the Corresponding Author Name. Please send a very brief email to email@example.com)
We do operate within a narrow time frame to meet our aim of delivering breaking publications and we therefore request that if you do wish to be featured you contact us as soon as possible.
Whether or not you are interested please feel free to register to our Educational Researches service at http://www.EducationalResearches.com
Editor of Educational Researches
Soon we’ll likely see companies that will use social media to promote your research for you, for a fee. The facility with which one can game article-level impact measurements is making the good old impact factor seem even more valuable.