OMICS Group Aims to Trick Researchers with Copycat Journal Titles

Aiming to trick honest researchers.

Aiming to trick honest researchers.

OMICS Group continues to launch and publish scholarly journals whose titles closely match those of established and respected journals, including journals published by scholarly societies. OMICS Group’s goal is to trick researchers into thinking the OMICS journals are actually the legitimate journals, so they can get the author fees from the authors.

Here are two examples. The first one is pictured above.

Journal of Depression & Anxiety (OMICS Group)
Depression and Anxiety (Wiley-LISS)

The OMICS Group journal launched in 2012; the Wiley journal has been published since 1996.

Deceptive spam from OMICS Group.

Deceptive spam from OMICS Group.

As shown above, in its spam email, OMICS Group bolds the portion of the journal title that matches the legitimate journal’s title, perhaps intending to fool readers into thinking the spam is for the good journal. Here is a link to the full spam email.

Here’s another pair:

Mutiple sclerosis

OMICS Group knows no boundaries.

Journal of Multiple Sclerosis (OMICS Group)
Multiple Sclerosis Journal (SAGE)

The OMICS Group journal launched in July, 2014. The SAGE journal has been published since 1995. This is a clear attempt, I think, by OMICS Group to steal the legitimacy, brand value, and respect that the SAGE journal has built up and earned over the years.

OMICS Group publishes journals under many brands or imprints (shown below). In its spam, it frequently does not state the publisher’s name and instead only uses the journal’s title, making it harder to identify the journal as one published by OMICS.

These imprints likely also belong to OMICS Group:

OMICS Group uses addresses in California and Nevada, but all its operations take place in Hyderabad, India. Please avoid OMICS Group like the plague that it is.

25 Responses to OMICS Group Aims to Trick Researchers with Copycat Journal Titles

  1. OMICS has been soliciting manuscripts using ASM’s Journal of Clinical Microbiology title. Our IP attorney has sent cease-and-desist letters to no avail. We are getting many emails from JCM authors and editors who are confused by this, as well as angry.

    • Alex SL says:

      This is annoying, sure, but what I will never understand is why authors and editors are confused by this. I have yet to see a spam message that would successfully trick a concussed chicken into believing that it came from a serious journal, not least because serious journals don’t need to spam in the first place. And surely every competent scientist knows the relevant journals in their field well enough to not fall prey to these guys?

      • Ed Rigdon says:

        “Oops.. . What was the email address again? I’ll search in my inbox for ‘Journal of . . . ‘ Ah, there it is!” Publication mills and diploma mills serve similar purposes–if you just need a chit, any chit, they’ll do just fine. And for the struggling academic, who really *needs* a quality publication, how hard is it to fool yourself into believing that your big break has arrived?

      • Alex SL says:

        And for the struggling academic, who really *needs* a quality publication, how hard is it to fool yourself into believing that your big break has arrived?

        Well yes, that is how I interpret the business model: predatory journals leech money off the people who aren’t able to get into real journals, fooling them into thinking that this will help their career. I have seen several CVs like that. But they wouldn’t fool me, because I know the journals in my field, and because the names of the predatory ones usually give them away (American Journal of Botany = serious, American Research Journal of Botany = alarm bells). A bit of googling does the rest.

        Surely it isn’t too much to ask to be careful about where one submits a paper, and to be careful when examining somebody’s CV? Isn’t that what doing one’s job properly means?

  2. Ken Witwer says:

    OMICS, I fear, will never cease and desist. They will just incorporate under new names, hide behind scores of fake employees, and all the while dupe unusupecting junior or failed academics into volunteering the minimal work needed to keep the thing going…

  3. Yc says:

    This practice is rather wide-spread though. THose of us who were in the field for some time probably remember those waves of new journals. First they started to add locations “European” versus “American” and sometimes “British” (that was long time ago), than there was a wave of “International” journals; after this “world” and “open” journals became common,

    Now? I see a lot of “publishers” simply adding their name in front of an existing title. Just recently while looking for a “journal of gastroenterology” I bumped into this “Edorium Journal of Gastroenterology” and it is an isolated example.

    • Many journal names sound similar. They are copycat naming, but all the good names are taken. I reviewed a manuscript for one of their journals. It doesn’t seem like a scam, but more of a startup. People are afraid of change, so if it bothers you, don’t go for it. They have a long way to go to catch up to the lancet, but they will likely moving up in quantity and quality as well as getting more journals in PubMed. Their open access fee is cheaper than an Elsevier journal.

  4. Wim Crusio says:

    Funny that OMICS can’t even get the capitalization of their journal names right: “Journal of Multiple sclerosis”….

  5. RamK says:

    may be it (lower case ‘s’) makes the difference from the ORIGINAL journal!!!!! @ Wim Crusio

  6. I feel for the newly graduated if their advisors haven’t warned them of the growing threat posed by these parasites. But, then again, here’s the invitation I got from OMICS this morning. Of course, this is also how legitimate journals invite me to submit manuscripts (within three days).

    Hope you are doing well.

    We are truly obliged to introduce our Journal of Neuroinfectious Diseases which has been successfully running and publishing quality research and are looking forward to frame up an eminent, outstanding issue with best quality research articles for Open Access Readers:

    We have chosen selective scientists who have contributed excellent work, to help us release best quality articles for the upcoming issue. Thus I kindly request you to contribute any kind of article (Research, Review, Short Commentaries, Case reports, Mini Review, etc.) on or before 28th February, 2015 for regular issues of the Journal.

  7. ChingYingTikTau says:

    Just received a spam email from OMICS. Strange that they don’t even border to hide behind some less notorious names:
    I thought they would use some less known names introduced by Jeff earlier -_- Or they just happen to have unfortunately spammed a reader. Either way, I was disappointed that they got my name wrong.
    The address for Roger Waters, the so-called editorial assistant, is 731 Gull Ave, Foster City CA 94404. Have a guess whether it is an apartment or a store, and check Google Maps for the answer ;-)

  8. Ethan Fisher says:

    I have a problem about the post, where can i e-mail the creator?

  9. Hank Roberts says:

    > I have a problem about the post, where can i e-mail the creator?

    That’s a spambot posting with an advertising link behind the “name”

  10. Alex says:

    I am a Phd student. last month I have submit my paper to journal of tourism and hospitality of OMICS group. I received some comments from 2 reviewers. One reviewer said: well written paper. The other said:The study requires considerable attention with respect to writing style, grammar and punctuation.
    4 days later they ask me to submit the revision immediately. I did so. Then they quickly accepted my paper. Today they sent me the final pdf and the invoice indicting the publication fee is 3619usd. However, in their website, the publication fee of this journal is only 600USD. I am a student I don’t have much money to pay.

    Any advise? what should I do?

    • wimcrusio says:

      Withdraw the article, tell them you don’t want to publish in their journal, and then re-submit it to a decent journal… Good luck!

    • Alex,
      OMICS victimizes many people in this way. I agree with the advice already given: tell them clearly that you want to withdraw the article. Is the article published on their website? If so, be careful about submitting it to another journal. Don’t do a double publication. OMICS will likely hold the paper as a “hostage.” They cannot force you to pay; they are based in India. They will continue to play games and pressure you to pay.

      • Alex says:

        Mr. Jeffrey Beall,

        Thank you for your advise. The article has not been published on their website yet. I have not sent the final correction to them yet. Do you think it is OK if I drastically revise the article and submit it elsewhere?

        However, yesterday they said that the system made a mistake, so the invoice was 3619$. Now they sent an internet payment link for me to pay 619$ for article publication fee. However in the first invoice, 3619$ is for both article publication and handling fee. I think this may be a kind of trick. Suppose if I paid 619$, they would possibly request me to pay 3000$ more for article handling fee.

        I already ask them to withdraw my article. They replied that the article could not be withdraw…and I must pay at least 519$.

      • They are using tricks and playing games to get money from you. Make sure you save copies of the emails you sent them asking to withdraw the article. They will continue to use your paper as a “hostage.” Keep telling them that you insist on withdrawing the article.

  11. Alex says:

    Wimcrusio, thank you for your reply. I am afraid that they won’t let me withdraw. And they may even charge me higher for withdrawal. And if I can’t pay, they may take legal actiaction against me.

    If they don’t let me withdraw my article. Do you think I can still submit my article to other journals?

    • wimcrusio says:

      Just don’t pay anything. They did not tell you the huge price in advance, they simply cannot take legal action against you as they have no basis for that, even though they may threaten to do so. However, as long as the article is not withdrawn, you cannot submit it to another journal. Perhaps other readers here have more advice for you.

    • Alex, we had a recent problem like this with an author. Luckily she had kept all the emails so there was a chain of requests for OMICS to withdraw. OMICS did withdraw the paper after I, the publisher sent a couple of emails. Maybe you could try this if you have a reputable target journal in mind?

  12. Hi. I run a relatively new journal – the Journal of Health and Pollution. . We were begun by a parent not for profit – Blacksmith Institute. I believe we are ethical and discerning, and yet have a hard time competing with the likes of OMICS. What can we do to stand out and increase submissions? We need more submissions in order to be indexed.

  13. herr doktor bimler says:

    You’ve probably seen the comment over at Retraction Watch

    — calling attention to the fact that OMICS are doing the same thing with their spurious conferences: using the names of legitimate, long-established conferences in their spam.

  14. Assoc Prof raymond J. RITCHIE says:

    Avoid OMICS like the plague. If you mistakenly submit a paper to OMICS when you try to withdraw it they immediately accept the paper and then demand payment (about $1000). After months of arguing I finally got rid of them by offering to pay a withdrawl “fee” of about $300. I had to to do so I could publish the paper in a respectable journal. I could not submit it anywhere else until I had gotten rid of them. Check all journals on Beall’s List and be careful about stolen journal names. Do not submit papers to them and of course refuse to act as a editorial board member or a referee.

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