Publisher Uses Fake LinkedIn Identities to Attract Submissions

Fake identity

Fake identity

“Hi, Ali, I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn,” the invitation reads, accompanied by a picture of a young and pretty female named “Margaret Harold.” The picture and the identity are fake, however, and they function as bait for potential paying authors for a predatory publisher.

The publisher creating and using the fake LinkedIn profile is called E-Cronicon. I don’t know what the name means. Its ‘Contact us‘ page does not list any location, and I do not know who owns the publisher or where it is based.

The picture above is a cropped version of a picture lifted from a website called Law School Interactive. Here’s the full picture:

The source of the picture used in the fake LinkedIn account.

The source of the picture used in the fake LinkedIn account.

The publisher offers 20 open-access journals, all very broad in scope, and all whose titles are made unique by the addition of “EC” at the beginning.

The journals all have rather large “editorial panels”, as the publisher calls them, and this surprises me. Why would any serious scholar agree to serve on the editorial board of such a low quality publisher?

Blurred vision.

Blurred vision.

The first sentence of the publisher’s vision statement says,

The society of E-Cronicon is dedicated towards the promotion of open access publication of research that reduces the frontier to assess the dossier needed.

This passage is evidence that machine translation is still in its infancy.

The cover images for the journals all appear to be lifted from various websites.

In summary, E-Cronicon is a low-quality and non-transparent publisher that uses deceit to attract article submissions from researchers. I recommend against submitting your work to this publisher, wherever it is based.

Hat tip: Dr. Ali Mobasheri

Appendix: List of e-Cronicon journals as of 2015-02-06

  1. EC Addiction
  2. EC Agriculture
  3. EC Anaesthesia
  4. EC Business Management
  5. EC Cancer
  6. EC Cardiology
  7. EC Chemistry
  8. EC Computer Science
  9. EC Dental Science
  10. EC Forensic Science
  11. EC Gynaecology
  12. EC Microbiology
  13. EC Neurology
  14. EC Nutrition
  15. EC Oceanography
  16. EC Ophthalmology
  17. EC Orthopaedics
  18. EC Paediatrics
  19. EC Pharmaceutical Science
  20. EC Veterinary Science

32 Responses to Publisher Uses Fake LinkedIn Identities to Attract Submissions

  1. Ken Witwer says:

    Not unlike another predatory publisher/meeting organizer–remember http://tinyurl.com/nazyz79 –who unfortunately are still at the game of creating fake accounts on social media to peddle their wares. Just a few days ago, I saw them doing it in a molecular biology group on Facebook, using one of their typical “white male”-sounding generic names like “John Daniels” or “Michael Smith”.

  2. Ken Witwer says:

    I should note that on both LinkedIn and Facebook, fake accounts can be reported. For example, declining a LinkedIn invitation like the one above leads to a short series of questions about why you declined and whether the account is a spammer, etc. I’m not sure about LinkedIn, but on Facebook, reporting a fake or abusive account may lead to removal of the material.

  3. Thanks for the warning. I had no idea that they were on LinkedIn.

  4. John Mashey says:

    A) Did anybody report this? The LInkedIn entry is still there.

    B) Weirdly, “she” is listed as a 33rd connection, I.e.,
    4) Me
    3) About 10 people I have direct connections with know
    2) some person who knows
    1) someone who can introduce me to
    0) “her”.

    For mathematicians, that would be like having an Erdos number of 4, but this is an “imaginary Margaret Harold” number of 4.

  5. Manfred Raida says:

    Funny – even here sex-sells :-)
    From the editor lists of these journals I get the impression that every scientist works somewhere as an editor, hope they all know it

  6. P Canning says:

    Took a lot of time to search but probably based here: Seri Lingampally Mandal, Hyderabad – 500050, Telangana INDIA

  7. herr doktor bimler says:

    I could have sworn that “E-Cronicon” was the title of a Tangerine Dream bootleg recording from the mid-80s.

    • Klaus Veil says:

      … starring the all-to-soon departed Edgar Froese maybe?

      Anyway, the one good thing about these ‘Research Pirates’ is that most of their ‘Journals’ use the Open Source OJS journal system ;-)

      K

  8. herr doktor bimler says:

    Here’s a stock image of “Beautiful Pakistani girl for FB profile”:

    Imagine my surprise to find the same woman moonlighting as “Janette Brown
    Scientific Relationship Officer for EC Pharmaceutical Science at E-Cronicon
    Glosgow”.

  9. Jeena Jacobs says:

    Thank you Beall for your updates we too have received a recent fake invitation from this publisher, Its too one of the fake indian publishers from hyderabad. you can find that from https://www.zaubacorp.com/company/ALEAKHYA-E-CRONICON-LLP/AAC-7377

  10. Humanities Editor says:

    SCIRP have tried to connect with me on LinkedIn (presumably because my own profile prominently states that I’m a journal editor), but in fairness seemed to be using a real profile from one of their Chinese staff members at their home in Hubei Province. I politely ignored it. The practice of using fake profiles with photos of attractive young women is, however, rife across a range of industries, particularly with fake recruitment agencies claiming to be based in the UAE.

  11. Ali Mobasheri says:

    These fake profiles are still on LinkedIn. It looks like reporting them to LinkedIn has no effect at all!

  12. sleiman says:

    i am chocked surprised by this information , i send to pediatrics 2 articles one is already publish and the second under review what i should do please help

  13. Ali Mobasheri says:

    A few weeks ago “Margaret Harold” changed her profile picture and used a photo of a cow grazing in a green field. The poor cow’s identity has also been stolen by “Margaret Harold”…

  14. Alex says:

    Hi Jeffery, I have seen your comments about MedCrave. Thats true, I worked for Medcrave for 5 months at Madhapur, Hyderabad. Due to Unethical business related to reviewer comments, i resigned from that company. B. Sudhip Reddy owns MedCrave Publishing Group

  15. Rubi Mahato says:

    Thanks everyone, I read the comments about ECronicon and MedCrave, both of the publisher editorial officer invited me to submit the journal, and in fact I was going to do so. But now on I will careful towards these unknown journals.
    Thanks

  16. Trish Duffel says:

    In reply to your question “Why would any serious scholar agree to serve on the editorial board of such a low quality publisher?” Often they don’t agree to it, and in fact, never knew of it. I have faculty members here who discovered themselves on a similar list — imagine their chagrin (and frustration) when called about it by a colleague.

  17. Tarek says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I just received this invite (see linkedin invite, below). There is no Sarah Davis listed in the Editorial Panel for the journal EC Bacteriology and Virology Research (although Sarah lists herself as Associate Editor at Bacteriology and Virology Research). Also, check out the abstract “Isolation, Identification and Oil Resistance of Protease Producing Bacillus Subtilis from Automobile Repair Centre Soil, Nanded (India)”. They can’t spell “abstract” (Abstarct).

    https://www.linkedin.com/comm/profile/view?id=AAsAABsVEjIBcbeVkxCs7Atfq_W8ly2HNXljuV8&authType=name&authToken=bTMq&invAcpt=28769847_I6101361693974159360_500&midToken=AQGpmw37QugUuw&trk=eml-M2M_Invitation-hero-3-profile~text&trkEmail=eml-M2M_Invitation-hero-3-profile~text-null-h4myf~ik9q955a~7y

    • Anna says:

      I just received an “invite” from Sarah too – I have reported the profile. It’s amazing how many readily accept invites from someone merely stating they have a certain affiliation.

  18. mdullah82 says:

    That’s what I got just now!!! Thank you every one for early warning!!!

    “Hope you had a good start into 2016!

    I would like to take the pleasure to write to you on behalf of EC Dental Science journal that aims to publish quality articles on any topic related to Dentistry & Oral Health. After having a glance at your eminent expertise, I am delighted to welcome your valuable article submission towards the upcoming issue (Volume 3 Issue 5) of EC Dental Science journal.

    About EC Dental Science
    Current Issue: Volume 3 Issue 5

    EC Dental Science is also indexed in ICMJE & always ensures authors with Rapid, thorough double blinded peer review process (2-3 weeks) and Certificate for Best Article of the Issue.

    I warmly welcome you to submit your eminent article (Research article/Review article/Case report etc.) on/ before February 20, 2016 for publication in Volume 3 Issue 6.

    Please submit your article at
    https://www.ecronicon.com/submission.php

    I look forward to hear from you soon.

    Best Regards,
    Eliza Rosalind
    Associate Managing Editor
    EC Dental Science
    Contact: +44-141-769 0009
    E-mail: dental@ecronicon.com
    Website: http://www.ecronicon.com

  19. Shoug says:

    I got this a week a ago! Thank you all for sharing warnings messages!

    Hope you had a good start into 2016!
    I would like to take the pleasure to write to you on behalf of EC Nutrition journal that aims to publish quality articles on any topic related to Nutrition, Food & Diet.

    After having a glance at your eminent expertise, I am delighted to welcome your valuable article submission towards the upcoming issue (Volume 3 Issue 4) of EC Nutrition journal. About EC Nutrition Current Issue: Volume 3 Issue 3 EC Nutrition ensures authors with Rapid, thorough double blinded peer review process (2-3 weeks) and Certificate for Best Article of the Issue.

    I warmly welcome you to submit your eminent article (Research article/Review article/Case report etc.) on/ before February 13, 2016 for publication in Volume 3 Issue 5.

    Please submit your article at https://www.ecronicon.com/submission.php I look forward to hear from you soon.

    Best Regards,
    Andrea Krista
    Associate Managing Editor EC Nutrition
    Contact: +44-141-769 0009
    E-mail: nutrition@ecronicon.com
    Website: http://www.ecronicon.com

  20. xiao says:

    I got one today.

    ” It’s my immense pleasure to have your connection! On this occasion, I would like to take the pleasure to write to you on behalf of EC Dental Science journal that aims to publish quality articles on all the topics related to Dentistry & Oral Health. After having a glance at your eminent expertise, I am delighted to welcome your valuable article for publication in the upcoming issue (Volume 3 Issue 6) of EC Dental Science journal. Please go through the below link to view the articles published in EC Dental Science. http://www.ecronicon.com/dental-science-articles.php EC Dental Science is also indexed in ICMJE & always ensures authors with Rapid, thorough double blinded peer review process (2-3 weeks) and Certificate for Best Article of the Issue. Please Note: Three articles will be elected by the Editorial Panel of EC Dental Science as “Best Articles of the Issue”, from the articles received from February 26, 2016 to March 12, 2016 and a special “Best Paper Certificate” will be awarded to these “Best Articles of the Issue”. I warmly welcome you to submit your eminent article (Research article/Review article/Case report etc.) on/ before March 12, 2016 for publication in Volume 3 Issue 6. Please submit your article to dental@ecronicon.com I look forward to hear from you soon.
    Best Regards,
    Eliza Rosalind
    Associate Managing Editor EC Dental Science
    Contact: +44-141-769 0009
    E-mail: dental@ecronicon.com
    Website: http://www.ecronicon.com

  21. Zhou Lin says:

    I received the message from a lady from the same company. She invited me to submit to their microbiology journal while my major is computational chemistry. They do not even bother to check my skill list.

    • Abdulrahman. says:

      I received this today.

      Dear Dr. Abdulrahman Alrasheed,

      Happy to be connected with you!

      I am glad to reach you on behalf of EC Paediatrics journal, after having a view at your vast expertise and eminent contribution in the research relevant to Paediatrics and Child Health. The journal is going to release Volume 2 Issue 4 by October 07, 2016. Please go through the below link to view the latest publications in ECPE.
      http://www.ecronicon.com/paediatrics-articles.php

      I would like to kindly notify you that, ECPE has recently acquired a Global Impact Factor (GIF) of 2.124, IC value of 4.78 and is also indexed in ProQuest, Index Copernicus, ICMJE and Google Scholar based on the journal’s peer review originality, scientific quality, technical editing quality, editorial quality and regularity.

      So, I would be delighted to have your precious article for publication in the forthcoming issue of ECPE. I hope to receive your valuable article by September 30, 2016 through the below link.
      http://www.ecronicon.com/submission.php

      Hope to read from you soon!

      With Kind Regards,
      Ms. Veronica
      Managing Editor
      EC Sarah
      Contact: +44 20 3769 9658
      paediatrics@ecronicon.co.uk

  22. Marcia says:

    While it may appear that this journal is predatory it is also important to recognize that the author retains copy right of the material which means they can use again it wherever they want. You may be paying to publish your data, reviews etc. but you are not relinquishing your copy rights which is good. The materials are also peer reviewed by a real editorial board which is a great help to young investigators especially those publishing important negative data that may not be attractive to higher impact factor journals. My advise about this is to use it when appropriate and Caveat Emptor.

Leave a Reply -- All comments are subject to moderation, including removal.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: