OMICS Publishing Group’s Abuse of Researchers: More Evidence

OMICS Publishing Group logo

Avoid this publisher.

Hyderabad, India-based OMICS Publishing Group is among the most abusive of the scholarly publishers classified as “predatory publishers.” One of the ways it rips off researchers is by spamming them without mentioning the article processing charges.

Occasionally, researchers respond to the spam emails by submitting a manuscript, which is quickly accepted, with a quick and trivial peer review. Soon afterwards, the authors are surprised by a hefty and unexpected invoice, often for $2,700.

Below are three emails I received recently that document three cases of this abuse. The third example is an email exchange between the duped author and “Joseph Marreddy,” a contrived name used by someone at OMICS Publishing Group, followed by a summary email sent to me.

Example 1

Hi Jeff,

I stumbled onto your blog recently as I was looking at the omics group. I am sad to say that I was one of those researchers duped by the omics group. My boss, a prominent doctor was invited by omics group to submit some articles. We did so, not realizing how bad it was, but after we submitted, they gave us an invoice charging us for it, even thought they invited us to submit articles, with a tight deadline no less! Now we seem to be stuck. We have not approved the final proof, and we specifically told them we want to withdraw the article, but they are not letting us do that, as they had already assigned a DOI for the paper. I have tried to contact them about this, but to no avail, and they always seem to give me the runaround. Is there any recourse for poor victims like me? What would you suggest we do?

Thank you for your kind attention.

Number 2

Hello

I live in France and I’m sorry if my English is not very clear.

I write to you because OMICS contacted me last year for submitting and publish an article in the Journal of Medical Diagnostic. In their email, they were talking about special issues and did not mention fee publication. However, I submitted an article. After a review, they ask me to modify a little article (not a lot) then send me authorproof this month. And I discovered fee publication, which were not mentionned in their first email. Fee are about 919 dollars. When I told them that I can not pay because I am still a student, they proposed me 500 dollars, and they say that it can not be lower (it’s the minimal) and show me by internet link intructions for authors mentionning fee publication of 900 dollars.

I read an article on web about predatory scholary open-access publishers written by you. I didn’t know that it can exist until now.

OMICS is now asking me to pay. But before they publish it I said when I receive authorproof that I didn’t wish to publish in their journal but even, they publish it. However, they didn’t send any examplary of the review and when I asked for when I can see the article, I wonder if it is a false view of the page or not (http://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/ArchiveJMDM/articleinpress-medical-diagnostic-methods-open-access.php).

Can you help me? I am French so I don’t know the law in USA, I don’t know what to do and i am very afraid that they ask me for more money.

The OMICS contact is:
Mr Joseph G Marreddy
Journal of Medical Diagnostic Methods.
731 Gull Ave, Foster City
CA 94404, USA
Phone: +1- 650-268-9744
Fax: +1-650-618-1414
Toll Free: +1-800-216-6499
Please can you help me? i would be very grateful

India-hyderabad

Hyderabad, India, the headquarters of OMICS Publishing Group.

Number 3

This is a series of emails between OMICS and an author who submitted a manuscript in response to an OMICS spam email, followed by an email to me:

From: OMICS Group Inc., [authorproof-openaccess@omicsonline.org]
Sent: Friday, 27 June 2014 11:15 PM
To: [Redacted]
Subject: [Redacted]_Author proof & Invoice

Manuscript Details:

Reference number: [Redacted]
Journal Title: Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals
Title: [Redacted]
Corresponding Author: Dr. [Redacted]

Dear Dr. [Redacted],

Herewith we are sending the Author proof & Invoice of [Redacted]. Check the proof carefully and return within 48 hours. Please arrange to make the payment within two weeks. Correct the misprints and send back to the editorial staff by e-mail to authorproof-openaccess@omicsonline.org<mailto:authorproof.openaccess@omicsonline.com> or FAX to +1-650-618-1414

Only necessary typographical errors should be corrected, no new additions should be made. Extensive changes will request a new approval of the editorial committee. They will be inserted as notes added in the Proof. If you have corrections, please write them in the author’s proof directly with marking and send it.

Or Please fill in a character with an intelligible character or type, scan and send it by e-mail.

Or Type the misprints in separate word file with two columns, one is for misprinted and one is for to be print and send by e-mail.

Author will be charged for any expenses incurred by the publisher for making extensive corrections or additions.

* If you fail to send the corrections within 48 hours, we may assume that you agreed to publish without corrections.

We request you to carefully check the PDF file.

Please inform us if you need any reprints of your article.

The cost of reprints on acid free papers:
1000 reprints: 719$
500 reprints: 519$
100-200 reprints: 419$
Shipping cost: 50$ with in USA
100$ outside USA
Dispatch time: 10-15 working days

OMICS Group successfully running 300 Open Access journals and 100 more scientific conferences (per year) in different disciplines with the support from 30,000 well qualified editorial board members. We are the proud partner in making healthcare and scientific information Open Access.

If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

On behalf of Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals ,

With best regards for your ongoing research.

Joseph Marreddy
Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals ,
731 Gull Ave, Foster City
CA 94404, USA
Phone: +1- 650-268-9744
Fax: +1-650-618-1414
Toll Free: +1-800-216-6499

________________________________________

—–Original Message—–
From: [Redacted]
Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2014 5:17 PM
To: OMICS Group Inc.,
Subject: RE: [Redacted]_Authorproof & Invoice
Dear Mr Mareddy,

Thank you for this however I must admit to being completely taken aback regarding the invoice. This was a solicited review and it was never mentioned that a cost would be incurred to me or my fellow authors for publication. I am not in a position to pay this sum and am considering withdrawing the article from JAA.

Please do NOT assume that I agree to publication without correction as I do not.

I have been in touch with the editorial assistant who originally invited me to write the review, Gracia, but have not yet heard back from her.

If I do not hear within the next 48 hours that the fee will not be charged I shall have to withdraw my submission.

Kind regards,

[Redacted]
From: OMICS Group Inc., [authorproof-openaccess@omicsonline.org]
Sent: Tuesday, 8 July 2014 11:05 PM
To: [Redacted]
Subject: RE: [Redacted]_Regarding manuscript

Dear Dr. [Redacted],

Warm greetings!!

Initially sorry for the inconvenience caused.

Mam, we initially inform you we cannot let you withdraw the manuscript as it published online and more over assigned with DIO number. We would like to inform you that article processing charges are mentioned in the homepage of our website and also in Instructions for authors. kindly follow the link “http://omicsonline.org/index.php

http://omicsonline.org/instructionsforauthors-antivirals-antiretrovirals-open-access.php

However considering your mail as special we would like to provide discount on publication fee. we provide you 20% discount on fee. now you are asked to pay 2179$ as fee.

Hope the amendment made will satisfy you and will support us by paying the fee. Mam, as you are aware of the fact that ours is an Open Access and does not receive any kind of financial support. As we solely depend upon gracious contributions made from generous authors like you. we request kindly support us by paying the fee.

We look forward to receive an positive reply .

If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

On behalf of Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals ,

With best regards for your ongoing research.

Joseph Marreddy
Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals ,
731 Gull Ave, Foster City
CA 94404, USA
Phone: +1- 650-268-9744
Fax: +1-650-618-1414
Toll Free: +1-800-216-6499

From: [Redacted]
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2014 12:33 AM
To: Beall, Jeffrey
Subject: OMICS group invoice.
FW: [Redacted] Regarding manuscript

Dear Jeffrey,

I am a [Redacted] researcher from [Redacted].

I recently received an invitation to write an article for the “Journal of antivirals and antiretrovirals” from OMICS group. I googled Omics but unfortunately at that time, did not look far enough down the page beyond their website etc to see other negative things that have been written about them.

In the original invitation from an “editorial assistant” there was no mention of a fee but there was a link to the website which they said would provide more details. I did not at the time follow it. Looking at it now on the website there is one tab with one heading (author instructions) in which the fees are mentioned.

The editorial assistant said I could just email her the article which I did. I did not go through an online submission process or sign a copyright agreement.

The article was accepted within about 5 weeks with a 4 line peer review which was largely just technical.

A few days later the proofs were sent me along with the invoice for $2700!

I sent them an email saying I was not in a position to pay the sum and that it had been an invited review, the fees never mentioned etc and that if I did not hear from them in 48 hours I would be withdrawing my article. There was no response in 48 hours so I sent an email saying I withdrew my article and I planned to submit it elsewhere, that I had never signed a copyright and they did not have any authority over the manuscript, I will forward that email separately. I received a response 1 week later, below, although it replied to the second last email I had sent.

I have checked the Journal of Antivirals and antiretrovirals website and the article is not published online including under “articles in press”.

I do not want to pay the money and ideally I would like to submit my article to another, reputable journal.

I realize I have been terribly naive and that you may not be in a position to offer any advice, but if you have any experience, in particular with what has ensued in such cases I would be grateful for it.

Best Wishes,

[Redacted]

One of the significant things about this last exchange is that publishers claims that the paper cannot be withdrawn because it already has a DOI (digital object identifier, which it calls DIO). This is completely bogus, as the assignment of a DOI does not mean that an article cannot be withdrawn. In fact, articles with DOIs are withdrawn and retracted regularly. This is just a trick to manipulate the researchers and pressure them to pay.

In the strongest possible terms, I advise all researchers to avoid submitting any manuscripts to all of OMICS Publishing Group’s journals and cut off any contact you have with this publisher. As the evidence here shows, this is an abusive publisher that exploits honest researchers.

29 Responses to OMICS Publishing Group’s Abuse of Researchers: More Evidence

  1. Farid says:

    My Friend from Iran who often travels between Iran and US was another victim of this predatory journal. His student received an acceptance letter and bill on a joint paper and OMICS group managed to find his mobile number asking for the bill payment. They were also ready for discount and any price negotiation, my friend said. Eventually, my friend simply ignored their calls and messages and they were left with no payment. I think if anyone treats them like this, they may stop doing business like this and tarnishing growing OA business.

  2. ED says:

    Appropriately, according to his likely fake LinkedIn profile, Joseph G. is the ‎”Fianace Executive at OMICS Group Incorporation”.

    • Ole, Ole! says:

      Is it not possible to try and get this Joseph Marreddy arrested? There seems to be enough evidence on this page alone showing that he is scamming scientists. His address lists in California, but is he really in Hyderabad? The other thing I noticed among this truly scandalous greedy, non-academic “publisher”, was the clear omission of a very important adjective (in square parentheses): “with the support from 30,000 well qualified [unpaid] editorial board members”. ONe way to sink this boat would be to get the 30,000 editors to resign.

      • herr doktor bimler says:

        ONe way to sink this boat would be to get the 30,000 editors to resign.

        Sadly, the resignation of editors would not prevent OMICS from continuing to use their names and claim them as editors.

  3. Dan Riley says:

    Undisclosed fees are generally unenforceable (in common law terms, there’s no contract), though of course the details will vary by jurisdiction. If you are a victim of a predatory publisher and are associated with an institution with legal staff, talk to them.

    The OMICS group business model is similar to patent trolls and ambulance chasers, in that they depend on people being willing to settle.

  4. Yehuda says:

    I receive unsolicited e-mails from open-access journal publishers on a regular basis. I routinely delete all messages listed on this site. This has saved me from the annoyances discussed in this thread.

  5. kk says:

    I don’t think Joseph Marreddy exists. I checked the address mentioned in the OMICS group – 731 Gull Ave,Foster City, CA on google – it is really surprising to see a residential building! Please educate me. Jeffy Kennison – is another person who requests articles. And there are 100s of conferences they organise and they send invitations to people of all ages. I think this needs to be stopped.

  6. John Mashey says:

    People might search for OMICS in this discussion at RetractionWatch, about an interesting person who edited and published in one of their journals.

  7. Enrico Marsili says:

    I did submit to a questionable journal only once in my life, and one other time (long time ago) a very famous colleague of mine invited me to write a book chapter for a questionable publisher (I accepted, as I trusted him). So, be careful, be careful, and when you think your are OK, review again your decision to submit. OMICS email are simply appealing to the innocence and ego of researchers.

  8. Paul Jenkins says:

    One important rule: When a journal is not immediately clear about the fact that there is a fee (and how much!) this is suspect! Almost certain you’re dealing here with a predatory journal.

  9. bishal says:

    what about few other publishers; they do almost same strategies: sciepub/ global journal / dove press … and few others. if anyone have ideas about them. please kindly post here.

  10. PA says:

    I just published on one of their journals before reading all of this. They actually didn’t spam me. I found the journal myself and knew about the fees. I’d say they had two reviewers with good comments. Nevertheless, I wish I knew this before I sent them my work. Thanks for all the good work.

  11. Novice Researcher says:

    I just read all the reviews. I had paid for my article to be published and I asked them if it will be indexed on pubmed. They replied that ‘we are working on indexing and it will be available in the near future’. Now i’m not so sure, so i requested my bank to reverse the transaction – which is done thankfully. I have also emailed them to remove my article from their archives. Still waiting for a response…

  12. javi says:

    Most people and magazines from the comics group use the address 731 Gull Ave, Foster City. If you street view that address you will see is a regular house in a suburban-looking area.

  13. Hieu says:

    Now we are also being squeezed published an article which we do not want, I do not know how solve

  14. Limam says:

    Hi everyone
    How I can withdraw my article from this journal. please anyone have an idea how to do it.

    • It is very difficult to withdraw articles from OMICS Group journals because this publisher does not behave ethically. Their strategy is to hold your article “hostage” until you pay. First, you must tell them clearly that you want to withdraw your article, so send them an email saying this. Save a copy of the email. They will try to pressure you to pay.

      • Scarlet says:

        I refused to revise the manuscript and ask for retraction. They ask me for $119 to withdrawn. What should I do now

  15. Daniel says:

    My article was sent to OMICS. It was accepted on 25/3/2015. But, nothing has been sent to me after acceptance of the article. I wrote my message to OMICS. However, nothing has sent to my message. Now I am waiting for response.

  16. Carmen González says:

    Hi everyone! I have been having the same problem. They ask me to pay a fee of 300. My question is… what happens if I refuse to pay? I am obviously not going to pay a single penny, neither to answer their emails, but I would like to know if there’s any consequence or any other solution better than ignoring them. Thanks a lot in advance!

  17. Dr Ahila says:

    We have had the same issue with OMICS. We had asked them not to publish when they sent us an invoice. They published with a lot of mistakes and subsequently demanded money. We finally managed to speak to somebody on the phone and gave a strong message of a subsequent legal notice. They stopped asking for money then. Don’t ever go near OMICS.

  18. Mark Chapman says:

    apparently their head office is a small suburban street in California:

    731 Gull Ave 94404 Foster City California

    I find this hard to believe!

  19. Xavier says:

    Hi everybody. I am in the situation that I submitted a paper there and then discovered the tru nature of the omics group. After the accepted the paper very fast, we saw it was not write and decided to withdraw the paper. After seven days we have not get an answer from them. We would like to publish our paper in another journal but we don´t know how to proceed because our paper is still cited as “in press” in their website. Can somebody tell me about your experience? Should I just go and publish somewhere else? use another paper name? Ignore their emails (if they answer some day) and don´t pay anything?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Adi says:

      This is what I encountered too. I decided to pay them the withdrawal fee of 219 USD. I just hope it’s over now.

      Money aside, the damage it could have done to our credential is too much compared to the withdrawal fee.

      Now I’ve learned this the hard way. I just hope nobody will ever experience the same thing that happened to me.

      I learn this the hard way.

  20. cassie says:

    hi,
    I made a mistake of submitting to one of these journals. After a lot of back and fourth and after they demanded that I pay them 1500 for submission of my article, they seemed to finally stop emailing me and I Thought it meant that they were letting me withdraw my article. I went to their open access website and when I typed in my name, the article still shows up!!! What should I do to get them to withdraw it from the website?

  21. Zijuan Liu says:

    I made mistakes by registering their meetings and they never refund me. It is definitely a scam and scientists need to boycott them for sure.

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