Pushy is the new predatory when it comes to scientific publishing

I have to admire how the full, semi- or quasi-predatory publishers never run out of new ideas to lure the needing (stuck in the single-blind peer review), unwitting (younglings who don't know better) or cheating (pseudo-scientists and those on the payroll of e.g. the pharmaceutical or medicinal industry) to their allegedly scientific and peer-reviewed publication platforms.
Here's a mail from a new one (that my Thunderbird flagged as potential phishing attempt) trying a fresh approach – appealing on the scientists' good heart.

Dear Dr. Guido W Grimm ,

If you are willing to give me 10-15 minutes of your time, it would mean a lot to me [if it means so much to you]

Myself Annie Brown, manager of Journal “Peer Research Nest” [I try to picture how a nest for research peers would look like], I know that this is the first time I am contacting you [how cute]. Building a trustful relationship with the eminent like you [that's why I dropped out of professional science 870 days ago, the counter can be found on my homepage's start page] is not an easy task for me [ooooohhhhh! Poor science puppy!]. By the first week of June I am planning to release a special issue namely “Authors Pick” for which I am in requisite of one article [well, it's June 7th, and I just got the mail – ambitious time schedule, my dear Annie]. And you’ll get to be a big part of helping us make this issue the best it can possibly be.

Could you please help by supporting me with your unpublished contribution? May I expect it on or before 14th of June? [ahem, no.]

Please acknowledge this email with in 24hrs [posted it right away]

Best Regards,

Annie Brown

Website: [My Antivirus gave me a mild warning from opening this address, warns that it may contain unwanted programmes. Being pretty well protected, I gave it a glimpse, details below]

*Ps: if you would like to be on our Editorial board please revert with your CV.

If you'd like to unsubscribe and stop receiving these emails click here. [The 'click here' link went to the same odd URL,, than the one associated with the website. It's a characteristic of fraudulent publishers that the actual links don't match the link-texts.]

Curiosity kills the cat, so I checked out the "Peernest" homepage for sheer fun of it (I don't need to publish anymore).

"Peer Nest" 's start page.
There is a certain resemblance to homepages of proper open access publishers such as PeerJ and BioMedCentral (note, e.g. the use of blue as dominant colour). The only difference is that there's a lot of pictures and meaningless text, but no links to published research. Peernest seems to be a very new scam-seedling, so far the page only advertises two "special issues":
  • "Cervical Cancer – Types, Symptoms", to be published Dec, 22th, 2019
  • "Oral & Dental Research", to be published Feb, 2nd, 2020
A new journal/publisher dedicated to medicine and mouth hygieny is a predatory classic. Medicine and pharma is probably the most industry-affine and -biased research complex. Custom-made studies are by far not an exception; and you can always find a researcher to provide the results you asked for. And thanks to predatory publishers, you can also publish everything in allegedly peer-reviewed journals. For a modest fee. In case of Peer Research Nest between 400 and 1200 US$ (depending on the number of words).

When I was a student, then Ph.D., then post-doc in Tübingen, which boosts a quite well-known research clinic (including high-profile cancer research) and a large pharmaceutical institute of substantial reputation, I realised that there's is not only a lot of industry-friendly research going on (sometimes tricky to differentiate from the proper and critical research) but also that many people carrying a M.D. have not the tiniest clue about what we other natural scientists call the scientific method (I always suspected this, but my colleagues in the medicine-pharma sections could give you interesting details).
And if you are too lazy or too stupid to finish your medicine studies, you change to the dentist branch.

(That does not mean that all other natural scientists apply the scientific method and are not stupid. It's just less common to ignore it entirely. And a moderate level of stupidity, or ignorance, can be generally helpful for any scientific career. For instance, when we palaeontologists tweak our data and conclusions, it's just to please our own selfish vanity, but we are not getting paid for it, or punished, if we don't do it.)

The combination of money and neglect of scientific vigor makes medicine and pharma such a nice prey for the pushy, predatory publishers. Hence, even palaeontologists/ geneticists get a lot of invitations to publish in or register as peer of pseudo science journals very active in fields such as, e.g., "Medicinal Chemistry". Or, are invited as keynote speaker to medicinal conferences.

PS While checking out the odd URL, I found these two nice blogs by D. H. Kaye [Blogger-profile], where he posts all the annoying scam mails and keeps up Beall's legacy calling out the many predatory publishers.
In April, he posted on Who lives in the Biomed Nest, which (regarding the links embedded in the mail I got) is also behind the new Peer Research Nest scam. At least, "Annie Brown" is a chick in both nests.

Addon 21/6/2019: Apparently the Nest struggles to find somebody who wants to place eggs in it. The APC is down to 50 bucks, special summer (June) offer, "Prompt response" needed. You can touch a great reward: just 500 for next ten paper or those one submits till December. Time to get some pseudo-science out, folks!
Dear Dr. Guido W Grimm,


As the introductory offer, APC for the all articles that we receive in June is $50. Also, authors who submit the manuscript in this month will be provided the same offer for this next 10 articles or till December 31st, 2019 (which ever the earlier) ["which ever the earlier"? 10 papers in 6 months is quite a challenge unless you have 10 Ph.D. or master students; or a lot of science-pals, but then you can do much better anyways than publishing in a cheap pushy journal]. Hope this is a good chance for you [sorry, no; never been that kind of scientist].

Await your reply.

Regards, Annie Brown

9/7/2019: "Annie Brown" has still to fill some empty spots, for the June issue. Rapid acceptance guaranteed.
Dear Dr. Guido W Grimm,

I would appreciate if you can spare 2 minutes of your valuable time. [Sure]

We fortunately inform you that, when I am surfing online we have explored novel articles from eminent researchers like you. So, I am approaching you by this email to request for your contribution of manuscripts i.e. Research/Reviews/Mini review/short communication etc towards upcoming issue of our Journal.

In fact, we require only couple of articles to accomplish the issue which is scheduled by the end of June [bit behind schedule then, aren't we]. Hence, I modestly request [how cute] you to submit your well-known works so that we will release the issue in time. Your precious article will enhance my Journal growth & reputation. I hope you understand my words and foresee to receive your manuscript at the earliest.

Best regards, Annie Brown

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enter your comment ...