A Russia-based article broker has appeared that offers various services to researchers, including writing research papers and also arranging the publication of researchers’ manuscripts in impact factor and Scopus-indexed journals.
On its “Prices” page, the company lists the costs of its services. One of these services, seen below as translated by Google, is “Writing articles to order.”
Emails now being circulated under the name Nikolay Taranov and sent to the editors of some respected journals seek collaborations between Big Time Publ. and the journals. Article brokers such as this one always try to find Scopus or Web of Science indexed journals that they can collaborate with.
For some of the independent journals, the offers of thousands of dollars to publish a few manuscripts are impossible to resist. Here’s an example of one such offer sent to a scholarly journal editor:
From: Taranov Nikolay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 2015-09-20 10:09 GMT+02:00
Subject: Proposition for cooperation.
Russian-Ukrainian publishing company Big Time Publ. is willing to perform a favour for you in representing your interests, promotion of the journal, increasing citations, as well as assistance in the modernization of research activities on the territory of Russia and Ukraine and other CIS countries.
The [redacted journal title] is becoming very well known and revered in the Russian scientific community, for which reason there is a large number of contemporary authors of scientific papers wanting to become a part of the global information society and that we are ready to provide you for consideration and publication of manuscripts in the journal on a regular basis.
We would like to inquire if you are interested in this proposition of cooperation?
If the answer is yes, let us formulate our interaction mechanism that we could take as a basis for joint cooperation.
Any information which you may give us will be gratefully appreciated and treated strictly confidentially.
Looking forward to your reply,
CEO, Big Time Publ.
The company has a Facebook page called Big Time WoS-Scopus.com.
The system of payments from authors, popularized by the gold open-access model, is leading to a profusion of scams such as this one. The services this company offers constitute research misconduct and violate publishing ethics.
Researchers using the services of companies like Big Time Publ. risk having their published articles retracted when the scam is exposed. Also, even if the articles are not withdrawn, the journals risk being removed from Web of Science and Scopus when their collaborations with article brokers are exposed.
The best strategy — and the safest route — is to write research articles yourself and submit them to high quality subscription journals.