Open-Access Publisher Offers to Waive Fees, But There’s an Unethical Catch

Global Researchers Journals

Let’s make a deal …

Global Researchers Journals is offering to waive article processing charges (APCs) for authors who cite articles in its journals in other journals with impact factors.

Global Researchers Journals 2

The fine print (click to enlarge).

This publisher is sending out a spam email that offers to waive APCs for authors who publish in journals from other publishers that have impact factors AND who cite an article published in one of GRJ’s ten, low-quality journals.

The offer, currently being broadcast in a spam email, says,

NOTICE: Authors that cite manuscripts as reference in their ISI articles, they can send their manuscripts to one of above journals as FREE of charge. After evaluation and get an acceptance it will publish without any Article Processing Fee with DOI.

Global Researchers Journals is based in Urmia, Iran. I believe it is unethical for an open-access publisher to offer a fee waiver in return for citing one of its articles in a journal with an impact factor.

The normal APC for a single article in one of Global Researchers’ Journals is 80 euros. The publisher’s website is a complete mess, difficult to navigate, and full of coding errors.

A copy of the spam email is here.

Hat tip: Dr. Robert K. Colwell

Appendix: List of Global Researchers Journals as of 2014-12-04

  1. Journal of Animal Production Advances
  2. Journal of Animal Science Advances
  3. Journal of Chemical and Biochemical [sic]
  4. Journal of Computer Science Advances
  5. Journal of Food Science and Nutrition
  6. Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology Advances
  7. Journal of Pure and Applied Science
  8. Journal of Veterinary Advances
  9. Journal of Medical Science Advances
  10. Journal of Recent Advances in Agriculture

9 Responses to Open-Access Publisher Offers to Waive Fees, But There’s an Unethical Catch

  1. Robert K. Colwell says:

    Very nice, Jeffrey!


  2. Achilleas says:

    What I don’t get is, if an author can get their articles published in ISI-indexed journals, why would they even consider submitting to GRJ?

    • Ed says:

      If an author can produce one good paper, then he can publish multiple crappy follow-ups that will bypass any meaningful peer review and can be had for free. With minimal effort and cost, a researcher’s resume is padded by turning one paper into multiple papers.

      • AlexH says:

        Authors who can and do publish in TR-indexed journals know that articles in predatory journals will hurt them academically in any normal scientific environment.

        It is a pretty bad offer btw. One can sell ISI citations on the Chinese academic black market for real money, not for a crappy publishing opportunity that will stain their CV. :(

  3. How come they do this?????? Do our academic community who have better attention to forward education in the name of science particularly those that come from for “A-level institution” don’t have intention to at least stop them offerings this nonsense APC waiver (“Don’t misunderstand me guys, APC waive for me is OK since the journal acceptance is based on the acceptable standard in those discipline”) and ban their nonsense sites from those who don’t know anything about their doubtful scheme???? How far this would go as time goes by many potential young authors would be sacrificed as their research/study endeavors gone ashtray, particularly those that come from developing countries: Forgive me, don’t misunderstand! I don’t mean ALL authors from developing countries have this tendency to just publish their research in predatory journals. I even know some of my colleague have published in A-journal long before Jeffrey Beall’s disseminates this wonderful list in his blog. Please forgive me Jeff, I don’t mean to discredit you mate! I am an Indonesian from birth, I teach in university-level and interact also with those that come from elementary, high Scholl and non-degree institutions in this beloved country, but frankly from my experience in interacting with other student or even lecturer or researcher in Indonesia and other countries even those that come from what we call develop countries, some don’t really care if they publish their paper in what we call ‘questionable outlets” as institution where they come generally don’t care about this situation.

  4. Riaz Uddin says:

    Thanks Jeffrey for flagging the issue. Manipulating IF is certainly unethical IMHO. I think ISI is going to take this seriously.

  5. says:

    Hello Jeffrey,

    I have been following your blog since listening to your lecture at the INANE conference in August in Maine…..

    Just wondering if you saw this:

    This is right up your alley…..

    Angela Borger

    When Maggie Simpson Can Get A Paper Into A Science Journal, You Know You’ve Got Trouble

    The Huffington Post | By David Freeman


    Posted: 12/10/2014 10:30 am EST Updated: 12/10/2014 10:59 am EST

    Share 54

    Tweet 25

    Comment 1

    Maggie Simpson is known more for her red pacifier than her gray matter. But somehow the youngest member of the fictional “Simpsons” clan had the brainpower toco-author a scientific paper and have it accepted for publication by not one but two real-life journals. The unlikely tale begins with Dr. Alex Smolyanitsky, a Colorado-based materials scientist. As Smolyanitsky told The Huffington Post in an email, he was looking for a way to spotlight the laughably weak peer-review process used by certain scientific journals–ones that seem quick to accept just about any submitted paper as long as the author pays up. So with the help of an online gibberish-generating program called SCIGen, Smolyanitsky prepared an article full of scientific mumbo-jumbo so nonsensical that even Homer could have spotted the prank–just have a look at a few of the opening lines from the paper, entitled “Fuzzy, Homogeneous Configurations:”

    Unified perfect symmetries have led to many unproven advances, including Markov models and write-ahead logging. While prior solutions to this quagmire are excellent, none have taken the real-time method we propose in this work. On a similar note, this is a direct result of the evaluation of replication. Obviously, Internet QoS and reliable information are rarely at odds with the deployment of journaling file systems.

    If you’re not quite sure that’s nonsense, take it from Smolyanitsky. As he said in the email, the entire paper is “about nothing.” Smolyanitsky submitted the paper to Computational Intelligence and Electronic Systems and the Aperito Journal of NanoScience Technology, listing as the authors “Margaret Simpson” and her equally fictional friend Edna Krabappel, along with someone by the name of Kim Jong Fun. “I wanted first and foremost to come up with something that gives out the fake immediately,” Smolyanitsky told Vox. “My only regret is that the second author isn’t Ralph Wiggum.” But if the journals spotted the hoax, they didn’t let on. “The first journal (JCIES) only sent the acceptance letter, but since Maggie Simpson never paid, it wasn’t published,” Smolyanitsky joked in the email. “The fact of acceptance is important. The second journal currently has it as ‘article in press,’ though no one paid them either. They probably felt that it was a good idea to add such glorious scientific content to an otherwise empty page.” Pretty funny. And it’s not the first time one of these publications–some call them “predatory journals”– has been caught accepting a bogus paper. Last month the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology accepted for publication a paper with the dubious title “Get Me Off Your F***ing Mailing List,” The Guardian reported. The paper consisted of the seven words of the title repeated over and over again. As for Smolyanitsky, he’s hoping even more embarrassments lie in store for the journals (which didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment). He said in the email, “I encourage every researcher receiving spam from such journals to take a moment and do what I did” and use SCIGen to create a dummy paper and submit it. It only takes about 10 minutes, he said. In other words, it’s so easy that Maggie’s dad could do it. D’oh.

  6. […] your article processing charges waived? No problem, just cite our journals’ studies in your other papers, says […]

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