Predatory Publishers Thriving on LinkedIn

Toxic journal.

Toxic journal.

Predatory publishers are taking over LinkedIn. They are using it to spam for article submissions to their low-quality journals and to make themselves look like legitimate businesses. They are abusing the social network, but little or nothing is being done to stop them.

LinkedIn is supposed to be a social networking site for professionals, especially those offering or seeking employment. However, it’s being taken over by marketers, especially those for predatory open-access journals.

Many individual journals create LinkedIn profiles intended only for people, sending “invitations” to connect on LinkedIn. They use LinkedIn as a free spam platform, luring researchers to submit manuscripts to their pay-to-publish journals.

Look out for anything that starts with "Frontiers."

Look out for anything that starts with “Frontiers.”

Moreover, the editors of many predatory journals have set up personal profiles and use them to offer quick and easy publishing in the open-access journals they are associated with.

Previously, I have written about predatory publishers creating fake personae to market their quick and easy scholarly publishing, pirating pictures of attractive people to illustrate their profiles and then sending messages to researchers also on the site.

Now, predatory journals are creating accounts for the journals themselves, accounts that are supposed to be for people, not business entities.

Tropical disease.

Tropical disease.

I’ve used the “Report” feature on LinkedIn to alert the website administrators to these predatory publishers masquerading as people, but I’ve seen no evidence that this has had any effect. LinkedIn doesn’t police its accounts, apparently.

Some predatory publishers set up profiles as businesses on LinkedIn, using the network to make themselves look legitimate and boost their SEO. The result is that many LinkedIn business accounts are mere scammers and international mafia.

LinkedIn is enabling corrupt business practices, the pollution of science communication, and predatory publishers. Its value as a social networking site for professionals is decreasing.

Worst of the worst.

Worst of the worst.

Appendix: Key to the images.

The World Journal of Biotechnology is one of three journals from a predatory publisher called Open Journal Systems.

Frontiers in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology is published by Open Access Text, a predatory publisher based in Hyderabad, India.

Tropical Plant Research is on my standalone journal list.

Science Publishing Group publishes 280 predatory journals.


9 Responses to Predatory Publishers Thriving on LinkedIn

  1. Keith says:

    I’m not surprised, given the state of scientific communication on LinkedIn – science-related groups are riddled with cranks and/or con artists peddling ridiculous pseudoscience, free-energy type inventions and “miracle cures”, often going unchallenged because genuine scientists avoid such groups or have better things to do with their time. I used to use it to try to find interesting science stuff as well as job-related material (about the only thing it’s vaguely useful for, as far as I can see), but now hardly ever go there after wasting way too much time arguing with these self-styled scientists and inventors.

    Among other things, I got into long arguments with a woman who claimed she could cure autism via “Infinite Intent Energy Healing”, a guy who claimed he had an artificial intelligence and a scheme for building “stellar cells”, various other free-energy and all-of-modern-physics-is-wrong cranks, and a supposed “alternative medicine” institute in India who turned out to be using a picture of a newspaper office in the UK as an image of their headquarters. In fact, I think it was the discovery that some of these people were publishing their “research” in dodgy journals that led me to this blog.

    (Then there’s all the self-styled business gurus posting endless clickbait articles about “3 Ways To Win At Job Interviews” or “Millennials: How To Sell Stuff To These Strange Aliens” or “Believe In Yourself And You Can Be Rich Like Me” and the legions of fawning, incoherent sycophants metaphorically licking the boots of contributors.)

  2. The Iron Chemist says:

    LinkedIn is absolutely useless.

  3. Robert Kalina says:

    LinkedIn is NOT a publishing venue. You don’t look for science on daily news, do you? I go to LinkedIn if I search for a person.

  4. Kunal Joe says:

    Have you noticed the following website?

    They offer Thomson Reuters within 60 days, if the journal pay 45,000 INR.

    SCOPUS indexing within 60 days, if the journal pay 48,000 INR.

    Is it true?

    • Herr Doktor Bimler says:

      That’s hilarious. The “Journal Help Board” stole the text for their self-aggrandising website straight from the media group’s site, without even bothering to alter the text where it claims that they are the “Puget Sound Business Journal”. Somehow the resulting grandiose depiction is supposed to convince potential customers of their honesty and competence.

      They seem to offer an e-mail spamming service to advertise your journal as well as promising to gain prestigious and totally authentic Index entries and Impact Factors for it.

      Oddly enough, the contact phone number is shared with “Edwin Soft” website designers (who did such a good job with this one); the “Jabalpur Management Association” — someone’s attempt to break into the Academic Conference scam ; the accompanying “Edwintourandtravel” Destination Management scam (which no longer exists on account of failing to pay the domain registration fee); Faculty Development Program Training Courses from no less an authority than Mr Anil Mehra…

      In fact the whole JHB and its associated scams and con-jobs are all activities of the “Global Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies” journal / publisher, which extrudes umpteen other Global Journals, and will also publish your book for you, and even write it for you if necessary. Featured here at ScholarlyOA not so long ago. Mr Anil Mehra is evidently determined to fill every other niche in the mockademic ecosystem as well.

  5. Sara Joe says:

    Jeffrey, thank you for continuing to to be a scholarly open access watchdog, of sorts. I received unsolicited messages on LinkedIn from OMICS months ago. Frankly, initially I felt honored to be asked to submit an abstract to be published. The thought of being published was right in line with my goals and objectives, especially after having recently been exposed to the ugliness of ageism and job saturation in my profession (pharmacist) of over 30 years. I happily accepted the task and amazed even myself with a review of iantophoretic migraine headache patch delivery system, ZECUITY. A cursory google search, however, on OMICS revealed several disreputable comments about OMICS. I reported my findings to LinkedIn, asking for a response; however, as of today-almost 6 months later, I have heard nothing back from LinkedIn. On the other hand, I have heard from OMICS repeatedly. Their (OMICS) promises have ranged from making me moderator of a seminar where I would also present my research to requesting $1000 to register at the hotel for 3 days during the seminar (cost of flight not included.) A short time later, I shared with OMICS that I had joined Scholarly Open Access and also requested an invoice detailing each line item’s cost. Needless to say, I have not heard back from OMICS and would advise anyone to steer completely clear of this organization. While OMICS gives Open Access a bad name, I am sure that there are reputable open access sites out there-we just need to find them.

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