Predatory publishers often use fake names. For example, I documented that Ashry Aly, the sole-proprietor of Ashdin Publishing, used the name “John Costa” in his spam advertising. I think he used the fake name because he knew a Western name would more likely attract article submissions — and therefore more article processing fees — than his Egyptian name would. He claims he no longer uses the false name. However, some predatory publishers are using a new twist on the fake name strategy.
Lately, I have observed a new trend with fake names: the use of contrived or made-up female names in spam email solicitations. Here are some examples:
Generally, the fake names include a common first name and a common surname, a strategy that makes it hard to Google the names for conclusive information on the persons’ backgrounds.
An Indian teacher and editor of scientific writing shared an excellent analysis of this practice with me. He believes the use of female Western names in spam is a “tactic … to draw readers into at least opening the email.” Given that most researchers, especially in Asia and Africa, are men, I think he has a point. They may be more likely to open an email from a Penny than from a Cornelius.
Also, I think that spam sent to researchers by “editorial assistants” is impertinent. In higher quality journals, the editor in chief and editorial board members themselves personally seek quality submissions from among others in their fields; they don’t delegate article recruiting to editorial assistants.
The use of fake names is just another way that predatory publishers use deceit to get the attention of and exploit scholarly authors.
Hat tip: http://odanta.net