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Academic spam and open access publishing

Judging by how much spam I get nowadays it seems academic open access publishing is lucrative.

I keep getting targeted spam from Bentham, Hindawi, InTech, and others. The strategy seems to be to mine reputable conference and journal papers for email addresses and then use them for targeted spam.

I have now received five emails from open access publisher InTech about a book chapter based on a previously published paper. These guys never give up! This is an excerpt from the last one:

Dear Dr. Kristensson,

We apologize for contacting you again on the matter of your nomination to contribute to the book named in the title of this email, but since we haven’t received an answer from you, we are taking the liberty of contacting you again (you may have been busy or our previous emails may have ended up in your email filters). However, this is the last email you will receive from us. If you can find time, please reply to our previous email which is below:

My name is MSc Iva Lipovic and I am contacting you regarding a new InTech book project under the working title “Speech Technologies”, ISBN: 978-953-307-152-7.

This book will be published by InTech – an Open Access publisher covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine.

You are invited to participate in this book project based on your paper “Automatic Selection of Recognition Errors by Respeaking the Intended Text”, your publishing history and the quality of your research. However, we are not asking you to republish your work, but we would like you to prepare a new paper on one of the topics this book project covers.

Why on earth would I spend time and effort to write a book chapter for a random individual I have never heard of and who doesn’t seem to have any credentials whatsoever in the field? And who reads these book chapters? And what exactly is the point of an open access “book chapter”? Sounds like a web page to me. With the exception I have to pay InTech plenty of money to put it up. I might as well just make the text available on the web myself.

Another open access publisher that likes to send spam is Hindawi. However, news to me was that Hindawi now spams on behalf of EURASIP, an organization I thought was reputable (until now):

Dear Dr. Kristensson,

I am writing to invite you to submit an article to “EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing,” which provides a rapid forum for the dissemination of original research articles as well as review articles related to the theory and applications of audio, speech, and music processing.

EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing is published using an open access publication model, meaning that all interested readers are able to freely access the journal online at without the need for a subscription.

Another example is Bentham who wants me to write a review on random patents based on keyword searches (the weirdest concept I have heard of so far for a journal):

Dear Dr. Kristensson,

Bentham Science Publishers has launched a series of innovative
journals publishing review articles on recent patents in major
therapeutic areas of drug discovery as well as biotechnology,
nanotechnology, engineering, computer science and material science
disciplines. Please refer to Bentham Science’s website at for further details.

An exciting journal entitled “Recent Patents on Computer Science
(CSENG)” was launched in January 2008. This journal publishes review
articles written by experts on recent patents in the field of Computer
Science. Please visit the journal‘s website at for the Editorial Board, sample issue,
abstracts of recent issues and other details.

Recent Patents on Computer Science (CSENG) is indexed in Genamics
JournalSeek, Compendex,Scopus

If you would like to submit a review article to the journal on an
important patent area in Computer Science, then please provide us the
title of your proposed article and a tentative date of submission at Moreover in your reply, could you please
suggest some specific keywords, keyword phrases related to your topic,
so that detailed patents may be sent to you for the preparation of
your manuscript.

I keep wondering who is actually editing and reviewing all these journals and books. While they keep spamming me for paper submissions (and lucrative fees after they have accepted the papers), I haven’t received any invitations to do any reviews.

79 Responses to “Academic spam and open access publishing”

  1. […] Blog Publications Software Other Stuff « Academic spam and open access publishing […]

  2. Andreea Dragut says:

    Join the club :((

    I am a very modest researcher and I am working at a French University. For a long time spammers avoided us, but now they must be thinking either that our English improved:)), or that we need to enroll in the “publish or perish” army of wannabees.

    They are stupid … but some of their e-mails make me laugh. It is funny that they seem to consider more trustable the vaguely Russian, vaguely Jewish names of people located in Western Europe:)). Also countries like Germany, Austria seem more trustable as business locations. One may write an article about modern “cliches” in science by investigating the patterns of the academic spam:))
    I also enjoyed these words “covering the fields of Science Technology and Medicine” . It is reassuring that the spammers are people with at most undergrad studies.

    That’s what I received …:(( as a second mail.

    Dear Dr. ….,

    I contacted you by email last week, and since we have not as yet received a response from you, I am taking the liberty of resending as we are aware that you may be engaged in other activities or my message may not have successfully reached you. If you are interested in participating, may I respectfully ask that you respond at your convenience in order to secure your participation in this project.

    My name is Ms Alenka Urbancic and I am contacting you regarding a new InTech book project under the working title “Lithography”, ISBN: 978-953-307-356-9.

    This book will be published by InTech – an Open Access publisher covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine.

    You are invited to participate in this book project based on your paper ………………, your publishing history and the quality of your research. However, we are not asking you to republish your work, but we would like you to prepare a new paper on one of the topics this book project covers.

    Publication of the book is scheduled for 12 July, 2011. It will be abstracted and indexed in major online repositories and search engines. The book will also be available online and you will receive a hard copy via express delivery service.

    Why should you participate?
    – “Lithography” covers your area of research
    – Free online availability increases your paper’s impact
    – Each InTech book chapter is downloaded approximately 1000 times per month
    – More citations of your work (research findings indicate that papers published under the Open Access model are likely to enjoy increased citation rates)
    – You keep the copyright to your work

    NEXT STEP: For further details about this book project please visit
    / … e-mail…
    On this page you can find a detailed description of the book project, its scope and topics, details of the publishing process and a registration form.

    For further details about InTech and Open Access please visit:
    – About InTech:
    – About Open Access:

    If you need more information about this book project, InTech or Open Access, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    On behalf of InTech President, Dr. Aleksandar Lazinica,

    Ms Alenka Urbancic
    Publishing Process Manager

    Open Access Publisher
    Phone: +385 (51) 686 165
    Fax: +385 (51) 686 166

    Vienna Office
    Corporate Address
    Zieglergasse 14
    1070 Vienna
    Austria, European Union

  3. NEU Hermansen says:

    Thank you for the information. These spammers are pretty good at SEO, “too”. They also planted their own wiki answer. So I conclude that their scam is one of the many shibboleths to distinguish real scientists (the ones who smell the hoax) from the innocent novices and the desperate wannabes.
    Regards, Emil

  4. Dan Jagger says:

    Thanks for this piece. I just received an invitation to a new book called “Hearing Loss” by InTech, and thought it smelled a little fishy. Your info confirms what I suspected.

  5. Mahbub Murshed says:

    I received an email like that few minutes back from InTech. Thanks for your info!

  6. Rory says:

    I’ve also received an invitation and follow up from InTech to contribute to a forthcoming Open Access book, “Climate Models”. I was sceptical, so googled InTech – Open Access found this blog. Confirmed my suspicions. Similar to those “you’ve been selected for inclusion in a “who’s who” volume” I often receive. Playing to the ego.

  7. Serge says:

    Frankly speaking, I am confused.
    Is there a sure way, except costs, to differ between a vanity publishing and honest Open Access?
    I checked the company on LinkedIn, it doesn’t look like a scam to me. There are pictures, connections, recommendations, 50 people staff, real phone numbers, addresses. There is a list of reviewers at their web site, and about 800 books are published, I downloaded a couple to browse… looks real thing. Maybe InTech guys are trying to do something good? For example, scientists in poor countries cannot afford modern books, and InTech is spreading the knowledge, of course it has costs… what’s bad with it??? From my experience, when a lab sends an article to a magazine, they get billed even more.
    My wife had received an invitation from InTech last year, she spend a month working on the chapter, now it’s time to pay, and today we stumbled across your blog.
    Can anyone advise how to check the value of this publisher? Any specific questions to ask them?

  8. Emile says:

    Thank you for rising this topic. I also wondered what this was about and now see that we should not waste time or money on these stuff.

  9. Serge says:


    After having spent many hours in research, I still do not have certain answer.
    It seems that the matter of Open Access Publishing by itself is controversial. They receive criticism mainly for a relaxed peer review process (if any), but at the same time peer review is known to be often biased and serving the purpose of protecting interests of some group of scientists from newcomers.

    From another hand, a quick Googling on “InTech + book + spam|scam” pops a good dozen of blogs which I suggest you to look though, if you haven’t yet. Though, have to admit, after I read first five articles + all comments, the situation did not become more clear: when the arguments look consistent, the credibility of source is questionable, and vice versa. Looks like, even though 590 Euro is pretty much a chunk of money for us, “publish or perish” is our case, so we have to take a risk.

    It seems, when scarcity of fundings brought competition for resources in science, it started to show all ugly features of “normal business”. Sad to see that…

  10. Vic says:

    We received such an invitation. We prepared a book chapter and submitted it. The submission had several flaws, so we emailed the InTech company that our initial draft is only for evaluation, and a revised chapter is on the way. We also hadn’t submit the figures, because we were busy taking high-quality photographs.

    They told us after 2 – 4 weeks, they will tell us whether it is appropriate for publication or not?

    But within 24 hours, they reached us, accepting the chapter. The reviewer had judged the paper with 3 short sentences:
    “Good chapter. Good background. Review language mistakes.”

    A signature of InTech “CEO” (with his name printed) was under the review note. However, I searched for his scientific background and found out he is an expert in Robotics. Then how a robotics expert can judge the goodness of a chapter in medical sciences totally irrelevant to his field of research? Besides, the CEO was not the editor of that book. The editor was a professional in the field and i don’t know if they have abused his name, or is he really involved? However the emails from InTech said that according to the “editor”, our chapter was good.

    Another thing was the pace of their publications. Just in a couple of hours, 4 new book titles (with some ISBN numbers) were added to their “to-be-published list”… So with this fast publication rate, who and ho

    The acceptance letter seemed to be stamped and scanned. But it was created using a PDF creator, one of those which can produce stamp marks. Also the signature was scanned previously, and was added to the PDF text.

    Based on their communications and several articles I read about them, I think they are real persons (not bots) who are involved in publishing open access books, but their books are really easily accepted (to get the money).

    I read all posts/comments. I think publishing in a not-peer-reviewed book is not bad in nature, it may be considered a personal essay.

    But there are two problems:
    1. for writing a personal essay, I can upload my book chapter in my blog or website, so why paying 600 euro?

    2. InTech CANNOT claim its books are “scientific”. They are all “good” “PERSONAL” books. But they are not scientific at all (because of the lack of peer review procedures). So the company (InTech) is not telling the truth.

    3. If I were very rich, I would personally pay them to put my name on the book chapter. Because similar to myself who couldn’t understand it is not a real book, many others can’t! It may help to my promotion (based on people’s lack of knowledge). The frame of book chapter among similar chapters pretended to be edited looks much more professional (although fake). The problem is I am not that rich, so I have start up my own open access book by uploading the content into a server 😉

  11. Vic says:

    About my previous post, I found the email of the editor from his published articles and from his facebook account. I emailed him and asked about the book. He told me he has read it and for now, it is OK (although there were no figures 😉 ). I don’t know whether he was the real editor, or have they hacked into his email account?

    Based on his conversations in Facebook I am sure someone with his name and identity really exists and the email is valid. He was very active on Facebook and had posted lots of photos, confirming this is him. I also checked his photos in conferences. They were identical.

    If so, the response was valid too. The only remaining thing is that they have hacked his email; which I don’t think they can hack lots of popular people’s emails. It seems that it is a real book, however with minimal or no peer review procedure.

  12. daniel says:

    I have recently seen such an invitation, and they main concern I had is that there was no named editor for the book they were proposing to produce. In any worthwhile academic book I would expect the editor to have an (if not the) say in who is invited to contribute to the book, and the lack of any clear reputable scientist as an editor rings loud warning bells to me.

  13. Matti says:


    they are everywhere. Sometimes more believable than other times. For open access journals it’s easy to judge if they are good or not (International Journal of Design is a prime example of a good open access journal), but book publishers are more difficult. What you then can do is to see if they are listed in the Norwegian ranking system:

    In this case if we search for InTech we find that it is not regarded to be a scientific book publisher. EURASIP actually have several journals listed. Hindawi (that publish the EURASIP-journals) has been debated a lot as I understand it, but seems to be gaining acceptance. Bentham is not regarded as scientific.

  14. Alessandro says:

    Hi all,

    I’ve also received an invitation and follow up from InTech to contribute to a forthcoming Open Access book, “Meteorology”. I don’t want to take part to the book but the editor seems a very good researcher. I received also the names of some colleagues which have already accepted…

  15. Marc says:

    Just got one of these from InTech for Medical Physics. They have broad interests 🙂

    This is not how reputable books are put together.

  16. Irina says:

    The best way is to accept invitations from well-known Publishers and do not waste time preparing chapter which will be published by such a strange Publisher.
    P.S. Few minutes ago I also received invitation to prepare a chapter for InTech book.

  17. Abdo says:

    I really wonder about the quality of InTech’s spam (and their intelligence in general) when addressing me as Dr. when I’m still in the process of become one!

    Also beware of Lambert-Academic-Publishing and VDM publishing in general.

  18. Mehmet says:


    I am really glad that you shared your opinions. Just 3 hours before i have recieved such a this e-mail. i thought, it is fine but after reading and searching about InTech, this is really spam for the science but how can they already publish 400 books? I could belieave this, and i downloaded around 100 books and looked the auothers. Are they so stupid the publish such a this publisher.
    Science will live forever:)

  19. Mehmet says:

    I could not belieave. amendmend for preavious comment

  20. Francesc says:

    Thanks for blogging about this. I also received an email from InTech a couple of days ago and I was wondering whether that was a real chance to publish some of my work or a way to make money easily (for them).
    I am glad that all of you shared your opinions; it was easier to see what was going on and take a decision. What made we hesitate is the web of InTech with so many publications. I even downloaded some book chapters to see if they were real or not.
    It is a shame that such an institution exists: they are just snatching money from our research projects (which is not easy to get) and wasting our time and efforts.

  21. Terry Anderson says:

    Thanks VERY much for bringing this scam to my attention. I am perhaps not famous enough to be contacted by these spammers, (yet), but I did want to add a comment about an Open Access Press that I am associated with.

    I am the editor for a series on Distance Education for Athabasca University Press. We bill ourselves as Canada’s first Open Access scholarly press. All of our books are peer reviewed and normally in individual chapters in edited collections are peer reviewed and of course edited by the book editor.
    We receive support from Athabasca University and various Canadian research councils. All books we publish are available in print format – on Amazon and from our website (see We pay royalties on paper copies sold and on ebook formats sold.

    We NEVER charge authors for publishing, so author fees are one warning sign of a scam.

    As an aside, we find that sales of paper copies, though of course MUCH lower than number of free downloads, are not influenced by giving away the PDF versions. In fact, though data is hard to collect we think downloads stimulate hard copy sales.

    Obviously these scam ‘publishers’ are giving Open Access presses a bad name, but please check the legitimacy of the publisher, before ignoring opportunities to publish this way. It really does help to disseminate scholarly works, while preserving (and perhaps restoring) academic values that we have let slide to commercial, for profit publishing companies.

    Terry Anderson
    Professor and Canada Research Chair in Distance Education
    Athabasca University

  22. Ksen says:

    Thank you to the guy who posted this. I nearly almost fall prey to this scam. Had I not stumbled upon this post/blog while googling it today, I could have been paying the so called ‘article processing charge’ of 590 Euro by tomorrow. Thank you guys for the help and keep posting!

  23. Jongsun says:

    I also got the similar email from Intech.
    I can decide my mind with your opinion above.

    Conclusion is that if you have spare money then accept it and publish it with Intech, which nobody will read it.

    thanks for your help.

    Dear Dr. Park,

    As a specialist in your field of research, we are pleased to invite you to contribute to our forthcoming Open Access book, “Protein Kinases”, ISBN 979-953-307-575-3.

    The book will be published by InTech, Open Access publisher of books and journals in the fields of science, technology and medicine.

    InTech is a pioneer in the publication of Open Access books, with a collection currently comprising over 400 books written by more than 25,000 renowned authors. The complete collection is available for free full-text download on our reading platform,

    This will be a reviewed book that will cover the latest research in the field, and will serve as a free, open access resource for scientists and researchers around the world. The book will be edited by an experienced scientist in the field and written by a team of international experts.

  24. Mathieu Arcand says:

    1- I just performed a search for kinases in their reprtoire to assess credibility of book chapter writer. Didn’t find it.
    2-If InTech has been in business since 2004, have their book chapters ever been cited? (not to metion lack of manifested reviewers)

  25. Anonymous says:

    Just three comments:
    1. Intechweb is real, not scam
    2. It has low quality (only 1 referee).
    3. How can you say it is scam, if you actually can download the open-access books? (go to the publisher’s website)

    My experience:
    I was contacted to write a chapter of something barely related to my work. I said I had not the money but I was open to options, and I was invited to be editor of the book!
    I said I was not an expert (although on the web they say the editor is an expert on the field), but they said it was OK.
    They have a submission website and everything, and they run smooth.

    1. Given I was editor and I know myself, I tred to do my best to have a quality book. However, the fact that I am not an expert, recognized it, and was accepted anyway… concerns me about the rest of the books from the publisher.
    2. I saw good chapters, and others rather rubbish.
    3. There was no review process but the editor’s, as far as I was concerned. Bad thing. The chapters were supposed to pass a filter, but I had to reject some because they were ridiculously bad (no results whatsoever, really messy writing, etc…). Therefore, my guess is that there are no reviewers but the editor, who’s in charge (sort of) of the contents.
    4. My suggestion about the publishing process were just dismissed… which is bad. The book has not a TOC beforehand. The chapters are received, and the TOC is built afterwards. Therefore the consistency and coverage of the book is low or defective, and it’s likely to have overlappings.

    My problem was that I was job hunting. I rather be doing something that just staring… so I took the chance to practice my skills and get higher at some point in publishing. And to learn what to do and what not…
    About the chapter quality, my guess is that some chapters were rejected from journals because of their low quality, so the authors decide to pay to have them published. Others were very good, to be honest.

    Maybe with time and good management they will raise themselves and get citations. They have the advantage of open access (PLoS is open access too, and look at their impact factor!). It’s just a matter of quality. If you are in a modest lab with average research, sometimes you can only publish in modest journals which don’t have impact factor. If you are in a great lab, lucky you, get the best out of it and go to Nature and Science!

    So it’s your decision. Intechweb are real people, but obviously you cannot compare them to well-know publishers such as Elsevier, Oxford, Humana Press, etc. I hope I have been objective enough.

  26. Anonymous says:

    About Bentham Publishers.

    They publish things related to patents, and I have to say that they are serious enough. I have published one review with them, and submitted my second one. The reviewing process is tough… I had *6 reviewers*! First time in my life I have so many. And they really knew what they were talking about.
    I published on Recent Patents on DNA, and it’s in the 3rd quartile of Scopus (no impact factor yet though, because it’s a new journal).
    Actually, I received 4 emails within the month from people asking me for the article, which means cites, and therefore impact factor.


  27. Maurizio Sudano says:

    I’d like to give my contribution about “Intech Affair”. I’m a specialist in endocrinology working in a little Hospital in Italy, so I can define myself as a “marginal researcher”. I’ve received just one day ago a proposal about submitting a chapter for the forthcoming “Archaeology – Theory and Techniques”, based on my paper “The archaeology of nutrition” published one year ago on the Italian Journal of Diabetology. That was a review debating the role of archaic nutrition on the development of modern degenerative diseases. After a short time of self-satisfaction, I had my doubts:
    First, my previous paper was published in Italian, only the abstract was in English. Hence, how can they define me as a “specialist in your field of research”? Should I suppose their editorial board knows the detestable and difficult Italian language for scientific purposes?
    Second, I think they use a search engine seeking all around the web the keywords just remotely linked to the subject in press. My paper contained the word “archaeology”, but the title was just a way to catch the reader’s attention: it deals with metabolism and nutrition aptitudes of the prehistoric men, yet they asked me to publish a chapter in a book whose goal is “to present research articles that will educate readers about the past, present and future of this time-honoured yet vital science”, so I think they did not read my paper at all!

    Thank you for your attention

  28. Steve says:

    I am embarrassed that I spent several hours researching my invitation from InTech before deciding to ignore it. I write this with hopes that I can save others from wasting time as I have. (But once one has found this blog, one can get the story from the other posts – I guess it is just therapeutic for me to type out my own conclusions.) My conclusions are:

    1) There is nothing inherently wrong with the open access publishing model and article processing charges.

    2) InTech creates a fairly convincing invitation that appears targeted to my research area, has a decent website, and does publish books (online at least). The book chapters that I examined were generally of rather low quality in terms of both content and presentation.

    3) It seems there is no peer review and no copy editing at InTech. The editor of the book that I was invited to write for is a complete unknown in my field. My attempts learn more about him yielded almost nothing. It seems he does exist, but that is all.

    4) I would not expect publishing with InTech to facilitate dissemination of my research in any significant way. I would not expect publishing with InTech to enhance my CV.

    5) Other researchers in my field (a large fraction of them are in China) have apparently decided that publishing with InTech is advantageous for them, thus the stack of virtual books published (online at least) by InTech in my field.

  29. Peter Pennington says:

    Oh come on guys – it is very clear that InTech is a real publisher, just not a very good one. There are thousands of crappy journals out there that even good scientists publish in just to get there work out there. I have recieved huge bills from PNAS, JBC, JMB – that a company charges doesn’t mean they are they are a scam. The review system does seem poor – but even the big journals aren’t perfect – reviewers comments are almost always completely poles apart. If you have some crap data that you want published, InTech is fine.

  30. Anonymous says:


    I totally agree with “Anonymous May 26, 2011 at 11.51am” about Intech. I have similar experience as an editor.

    Intech allows the editor to seek help from any one to review chapters. In such case, those chapters are peer reviewed.

    I had an experience with ISI rated international journal. They claim that they are peer reviewed journal. But my manuscript has been sent to only one reviewer (Confirmed from editor of the journal). Editor took decision with only one review comments. But people accept that journal as peer reviewed, why not Intech?

    Now a days, academics & researchers are under high pressure to publish, rarely take up reviewing job. In my opinion, open access publishers are good. Some open access publishers have online open peer review process.

  31. PVT says:

    Well, I got drawn into inTech via their invitations and did elect to participate as contributor and an editor for one of the series. I think the quality of what has been published and available depends on participating authors and editors. do not brash off all what inTech publishes. some of the editors and contributed books are put together with a serious intent and peer review. It is not all spam as it seems. however OA publishing is yet to win everyone because it is to easy to publish and the quality standard is hard to maintain. however, the model is interesting and if it is done honestly has a promise. I think.

  32. Interesting debate, (some)pros and more cons. Publishing is changing and there are few “best sellers” in academic world. Guess InTech does “books online” but seems concensus is “vanity publishing” and not science.

  33. […] to a previous post on academic spam it seems the spammers from inTech now have competition in the open access “book […]

  34. Tobias Kieser says:

    I have just read a review article about sulfur modification of bacterial DNA in the INTECH book “DNA Replication – Current Advances”.
    This is a topic which I have researched myself resulting in several publications in accepted peer reviewed science journals.
    This outstanding review article was written by three outstanding Chinese scientist who are now leading this field.
    The book also contains other very useful articles about topics I am less familiar with.
    We must recognize that even the leading scientific journals and many academic textbooks contain articles of varying quality.
    I love the concept of open access, and I trust that interested readers will be able to recognize quality and discard the rest.

  35. farhad says:


    i have recived such an email few months ago and i wrote a chapter proposal spending 2 or 3 days. now they ask me to send my chapter but i didnt write it yet. because i believe it’s a spam. 590 euro is too much money for me and i cant make a risk based on an ordinary email which could be sent by everyone. we should fine some way to sue these people.

  36. Quality of Books in Open Access largely depends on the Editor, he/she is also is the reviewer of the Chapter proposals and Chapters per se. So, don’t blame receipy or kitchen if a Chef is bad, incompetent, or lazy! My Book at InTech – Cryobiology, have been thoroughly reviewed by me, all 60+ Chapter proposals (real junk was rejected on that stage outright), 48 Chapters, some were returned to the others for revision 2-3 times. It wil be no “vanity publications” in my Book, all my authors are either established scientists (Book 1, I personally solicitaed leaders in the field to write a review in their fields of expertize) or other, younger authors have some publications sufficient enough to recognize their contribution in experimental report part (Book 2), [prportion is ~50/50.

    Yes, In Tech charges the Authors, that’s th emodel, but so do many so called “subscribed” journals: they charge for color photos can go as high as 1,000 US dollars!

    Guys, you are missing a revolution in publication of science here, an “Opean Access spring”! I have dealt with some “established journals”, theier reviwers are usually a close-nit pack of mafia wise-men, you scratch my back, I will scratch yours, there is no chances to get fast publication if you are submitting something really new, controversial, contradicting standard beilievs of those “wise men”, and especially, if you are not a native English speaker but a researcher from Eastren Europe, FSU, Middle East, Africa or latin America (somehow those journals love Chinese and Indian authors much more, don’t know why, not that qualiuty is better, but that is a peculiar observation).

    Anyway, the Opean Acess is a fresh wind. Of course, as any new thing, it has own extremes such as agressive marketing and, as the result, “spam”. Many of you are from Europe and don’t know what the real spam is, I am living in California, I know spam!

    Igor Katkov, Ph.D.


    And that ladie Dragut is racistic pig: if she can’t distinguish between Russian, Jewish and Croatian names, she’d better shut up and don’t touch nationality. BTW, Croatia is IN Western Europe and soon be a member of EU! A Croatian team is operating in its traditinal cultural neighbour Austria, what the hell wrong with that??

  37. Andrea says:

    Have any of you ever heard of Academy Publish? I’ve just received an email from them, they would like me to write a chapter based on my previous research on sensor networks. Being an invited author, my fee is $280 instead of $800. When I saw that I had to pay (and also considering that I had never heard of them), I immediately thought that it was scam, but then I remembered of a recent work I published with Springer, and they required an optional (much higher) fee if I wanted the paper to be open access. So I felt like I could be judging these guys too early… on the other hand, if I pay to be published, who can guarantee that I was published because of the quality of my research? Note that the Springer option was offered after the reviewal phase, so acceptance can’t be influenced by it.
    The topic seems too much controversial, I think that for the moment I’ll stay away from these “unconventional” journals, as I don’t want my name to be associated to scam publishers or vanity press.

  38. Fabrice says:

    Hindawi is another publisher that spams researchers.

    Here’s an issue to be considered:
    If you have quality research you will be published in ISI journals, even if it takes some time and effort on your part. If your data is “crap”, as has been suggested, and you could only publish it with InTech or Hindawi, then the best course of action may be not to publish it at all.
    As for the bias of reviewers, research is not only about getting new results, but also about convincing people that they are valid.

  39. Lelya says:


    I have received a similar e-mail, like those which have been cited above, suggesting to publish in the field of energy based on my previous works. I have read all threads and decided to control the point of citations raised and website of Norwegian ranking system suggested by Matti. First of all, on the request of several Norwegian researchers, the Intech publisher has been re-evaluated and was given a level 1 (scientific) publisher grade. Second on the search engine of elsevier (for those who have access to full versions I suppose), I searched for any citations of the books from Intech on any thematics, and on the first try it came up with 941 articles and 49 books from 20 different research topics. Due to the fact that Intech is not cross-referenced with Elsevier, its is difficult to track it in Scopus. Just a food for thought…

  40. Michele says:

    Thank you so much for this blog!!!
    You saved me probably 3 months’ work.
    I got two emails today, first one from “””bentham””” itself, then from intech, neither requiring any payment, it looked completely legit at first hand. I think these guys will make you work your **** off first, then tell you about the publication fee, which is then some review that you couldn’t publish anywhere else anyway.The only reason I googled is that I have received other invites to conferences in Canada as “most experienced speaker and wonderful expert in my field, but that one required an outright fee, so I was more suspicious, hence vowed to ALWAYS ask Dr Google first.
    I would be happy to have a pdf of those two letters published on your blog, if it could help someone else as well.Bottom line, only publish where you have to ask THEM!

  41. Marc says:


    I’m a researcher who recently received a request from InTech to write a book chapter. I do not work for InTech or support them in any way.
    I gave a lot of thought to how I would respond. The research topic I have to offer is somewhat off of the mainstream, but has been published repeatedly in peer-reviewed literature. After giving it due consideration, I decided to write the chapter. Here’s why.
    There is one major advantage to writing a chapter for these folks – ANYONE can download it and read it. Yes, the peer review is not as stringent as for more conventional journals, but if you take it for what it is, there’s a real opportunity here. I will write my chapter for a general audience, and then pass word around on a couple of email listservs with a wide distribution (beyond just scientists). This is a route that allows public outreach to let the taxpayers read about my work, with very minimal effort on my part. Those same taxpayers pay for my research via gov’t grants, but in the end they can’t access the expensive peer-reviewed papers to actually read about what they’re paying for. Publishing in open-access journals fixes a real problem, at least partially.
    No, its not a “serious” peer-reviewed journal. But that’s what I submit this work to “serious” peer-reviewed journals for. I think that if you look at these chapters for what they are, they’re worth doing. Just don’t go around trying to tell your fellow scientists that you’ve published “serious” peer-reviewed work with your chapter.

  42. dina says:

    I get lots of invitations like this, and it would be useful to have an online list of spam academic publishers. Would you care to maintain such a list?
    You can allow people to submit possible entries, and then check to see whether they are indeed legitimate.
    The latest one I got is from: CCSE Journals Online (Canadian Center of Science and Education.)

  43. John says:

    Why would you pay such a high fee, like 590 euro to have your scientific article published? Do traditional publishers with good peer review require such a fee? If not, than you’re paying for what exactly?

  44. Leonard Druyan says:

    Of course open access publishing is a business trying to make money. I would consider it a scam if their on-line repository of publications suddenly ceased to function. However, as long as their server makes the material available in open access, then they deliver what they claim. The method of collecting fees from authors may prejudice the peer review, but there could still be many worthwhile papers hosted by these publishers. Some reviewers and editors will be more conscientious and produce a better product. Today we read most journals on-line anyway, so why not open access? Most journals charge authors, so why not Intech or Bentham?

  45. RF Gillum says:

    My criteria for assessing whether Hindawi or other journals are bona fide is whether they are indexed in Pub Med by NLM. If so, it means that the articles will be accessible to serious researchers. Some Hindawi journals are so indexed and others are not. However, well-known print journals, of course, are to be preferred.

  46. Eyal Shahar says:

    Just wondering: has anyone here ever seen a lousy article in a “peer-reviewed” journal (I mean real junk that dress up like science)?

    And another question: has anyone ever seen a good-quality article elsewhere?

    I have seen many of both. But let’s keep worshiping the peer-review idol “because there is nothing better”–or is there?

  47. Peter Jones says:

    Science is an Editorial business (Elsevier, Springer, IEEE Congress proceedings, INTECH or the International Journal of Pay me $ 300).
    They just have different price 🙁

  48. Filippo says:

    I work at the University of California in electrical engineering.
    I have received a letter from a “Journal developer” for the Hindawi Publishing Corporation saying “..We are in the process of launching a new peer-reviewed, open access journal titled Dataset Papers in Oncology, which will publish Dataset Papers in all areas of oncology research, and I am writing to invite you to join the Editorial Board of this new journal.”

    The interesting thing is that I have nothing to do with oncology. Of course I am going to decline the offer but this seems a clear indication of the randomness of the process. But I am curios, I am going to ask why the invited me.

  49. Raymond says:

    Open Access publishing and traditional print publishing will always be attract conflicting opinions – just think Apple and Microsoft. Between those two computer corporations, which is “better”? Apple likes to think its products result from high quality efforts, whereas Microsoft products are the de facto standard in most parts of the world even as many argue that Microsoft products are lower quality. Its the old conundrum: mass appeal versus quality.

    Many opinions in this blog reflect the same divide: quality versus mass appeal. One assumption seems safe enough to make: the first open access publishers “out of the blocks” will eventually corner the mass appeal market. At that point the debate might continue but it may very well become a moot point.

    All researchers have to make choices: work as best as one can at getting difficult-to-obtain funding for research ideas, compete with other researchers at trying to get the results of such work into “acceptably high ranking journals”, and hope to get into the club of researchers who always get funded, get published, and who as reviewers tend to control what gets published. This dynamic looks like it is being challenged by the option of open access publishing but I predict that the outcome will be no different. Big open access publishers will eventually have to be ranked because we all subscribe to the idea of rankings, quality will rise (as improbable as it presently seems) and thus control of what “good science” gets published will again fall to the big publishers.

    The current issues of cost, payment, quality of peer review, track record, methods of solicitation are in my opinion “start-up” considerations. If and when a critical mass of submissions and publishing is reached, those issues will settle and become refined – and of course, just like Japanese cars in the 60s, no one will remember the initial debates.

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