Sting Operation Nails Korean OA Publisher

The International Association for Information, Culture, Human and Industry Technology

The International Association for Information, Culture, Human and Industry Technology — please avoid

An anonymous researcher in Eastern Europe submitted a contrived and completely bogus scholarly manuscript to an open-access publisher based in Asia. The publisher quickly completed a fake peer review, accepted the submission, and invoiced the researcher for the author fees.

To start, here’s a little information about the publisher. It is apparently based in South Korea, and it goes by several names:

It appears the publisher is slowly abandoning the website that uses its original name — AICIT — and moving the content and journals to the third one named above, the Convergence Information Society, whatever that name means.

Convergence Information Society logo

Convergence? Sounds deeply intellectual.

Advanced Information Sciences and Service Sciences logo

The journal that accepted the bogus paper.

The submitted article is total scientific nonsense. Its title is “PHY-MAC Detection and Prevention from Distributed Attacks in WiMAX P2P and Infrastructure Networks.” It was submitted to, and accepted in, the journal Advanced Information Sciences and Service Sciences.

PHY-MAC Detection and Prevention from Distributed Attacks in WiMAX P2P and Infrastructure Networks

The sting article.

Franz Ko

The man behind the operation.

The Editor-in-Chief of the journal and apparent publisher is Franz I. S. Ko, Ph.D., and he appears to be the EiC or co-EiC on most of the journals his firm publishes. I would say this makes him a busy man, but because the journals likely provide the same peer review results for every article they publish, he’s likely actually not so busy.

In fact, here is a selection from the peer review report the researcher received:

Expected Publication Date: Your accepted paper will be published in 3 – 4 months (Fast-Track: 1 – 2 months) after completing the publication process (according to publication schedule)
If an author want to accelerate the publication process, please follow the submission and publication process strictly.

You can find final review result for your article below.

Title: PHY-MAC Detection and Prevention from Distributed Attacks in WiMAX P2P and Infrastructure Networks
Authors: Researcher Ramis Mlekar,
Country: The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Final Decision (Accept/Reject): Accept

== Comments ==

Information for the Contribution:
1. Writing Skill and Quality (0-10): 9
2. Quality of content (0-10): 8
3. Fitness of title (0-10): 9
4. Significance for theory or practice (0-10): 8
5. Contribution and Originality (0-10): 9
6. Level of Innovation (0-10): 8
7. Quality of presentation (0-10): 9
8. Ripple effect to other authors (0-10): 9
9. Decisive overall recommendation (0-10): 9

The paper is being reasonably well written and discussing a relevant content for journal.
I believe that this research is worth publishing.

The author(s) of the manuscript have presented an algorithm for detection the PHY-MAC from the malicious behavior. The illustration is fine and clear. It would be more useful for readers if the authors give more compared discussions with the other available methods.

These last two short paragraphs are the incompetent reports from each of the two “peer reviewers.” I think that many other authors have received similarly-worded peer review reports.

While I don’t recommend that researchers carry out sting operations with scholarly publishers (this is better left to gonzo journalists), I do acknowledge that this particular sting as reported to me provided valuable information.

And finally, I do recommend that researchers not submit any articles to the Advanced Institute of Convergence Information Technology (AICIT) under any name it uses, including the Convergence Information Society.

7 Responses to Sting Operation Nails Korean OA Publisher

  1. Keith Fraser says:

    I wonder if the sting paper was generated using SCIgen ( )?

    I was a little disappointed to learn that the publisher was only “nailed” in the sense that they published the paper. It would be nice if someone involved with one of these bogus journals got jailed or fined – it might discourage the others.

  2. billwilliams says:

    Thank you Jeffrey for posting about this operation – never submitted anything to them but I had always assumed it was genuine.

    Incidentally, its heartening to see from the submitted paper that K. Cobain is still active in the field.

  3. eelir says:

    If you read the names of the universities in the authors bio they are names of folk singers from Serbia. The name of the places are actually some vulgar words. Also, I think the picture of the author is one of those folk singers. It sounds rather funny if one knows the language.

  4. Vijay R. Raghavan says:

    What will the sting operation achieve other than forewarning the publisher to conceal the bogus nature of the operation more carefully and cleverly? There should be a follow up of some kind to bring the scamps to book. Every university must publicize Beall’s list (suitably updated) and tell their researchers that publication in those journals will fetch them negative notice among their peers.

    • MC says:

      I certainly hope (and believe) that no one at the institution where I received my undergrad or graduate degrees needs Beall’s list to tell them which journals are fake. You should narrow “every university”.

      • TB says:

        That’s a rather conceited remark. You seem to imply either that all staff are so well versed in the entire volume of science publications that they don’t need any help separating the wheat from the chaff, or that one need only search for the OA acronym to recognize a predatory journal. There are too many serious OA journals for me to hope to recognize them all, and this list is the first place I go when invited to review for a journal I’m seeing for the first time. It’s not infallible, but it can save me the need to read at least 5 papers from said journal, or at least the need to google their contents to check for instances of plagiarism.

  5. […] Neste contexto, há, inclusive, a constatação de falsa execução de revisão editorial qualificada. Recentemente, noticiou-se que  um pesquisador enviou uma pesquisa inventada para uma  editoria de acesso aberto e, em pouco tempo, recebeu um “peer review” favorável aceitando a submissão e acompanhado da solicitação de pagamento indispensável para a publicação […]

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