Tuesday, 12 November 2013

There's a new scam targeting academics, and it calls itself David Publishing...

Checking my emails this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find an email from a group known as David Publishing that expressed an interest in a paper that I recently presented at UCL's "Monstrous Antiquities" conference for a new journal that they were starting up, History Research. Naturally I was quite excited, thinking that this journal –– claiming to be based in California –– had taken an interest in my recent talk and would like to publish it. But something just didn't sit right with me. The email had clearly been written by someone for whom English was not their first language, and the journal claimed to cover *everything* that fell within the remit of history. The whole email was indeed a bit of a mess, and it was clear that they had simply copy-and-pasted the name of my paper into a pre-existing text, not even bothering to ensure that the two fonts were the same. If this was indeed an academic press, I thought, then it was certainly a sloppy and amateurish operation. 

The dubious email which I received.

















Being an academic, my first instinct is to research, and like all good Westerners are now trained to do, I went straight to Google. What I found confirmed my suspicions. David Publishing is no legitimate academic press. It is a Chinese-based company that send out these phishing emails in order to attract gullible or over-eager academics, particularly graduate students who might not have any experience with legitimate academic publications. Their peer review system is a joke, and it seems apparent that their only interest is to extort money from the academics whose work they publish. After giving you the results of your peer review, which will typically be glowing with praise no matter the quality of your work, they let you know that they would simply love to publish your paper.... for a fee. And it's no small fee either, with the company charging around $20 per page. So let me make this perfectly clear for everyone else in academia; if you come across any of these phishing emails, do not be fooled, just send it straight to the spam box. You can learn more about this contemptible, predatory company over at the Leiter Reports Blog, and the Scholarly Open Access blog.

16 comments:

  1. Hah, yes I thought as much, but since my presentation appeared to be well received I hoped that perhaps the highly reputable academic in the audience might have recommended me to a reputable publisher.

    This is a bit like the Nigerian 419 scam. Tell people that they have made it big and then let them know that there are administration fees. Our egos are big enough to make us believe it:-)

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  2. Ethel, I have had an identical experience to yours and my response was similar to yours as well. I had presented at an international conference in the UK and was given the same spiel with an invitation to join the editorial board! I realized that I was being taken for a ride and am glad that people are becoming aware of this fraud of a company. They need to be blacklisted.
    Sabina Pillai

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  3. Many of these shysters and charlatans with open access "journals" or pompous sounding "CONferences" from China,etc....hustlers and hucksters looking for click bait and charging hundreds to "publish." As Barnum says, a sucker born every minute.

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  4. Glad to have encountered this resource via our University librarian as they are still scamming away in 2017. Like you the initial contact was a nice surprise from a recently present peice of work but their fishy reply made me go looking a bit harder again!

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  5. AW! Just received such an email this morning after presenting three conference in our University Biennial Conference last year. Apparently, i thought they published freely as they did not mentioned any cost implications even after my being inquisitive. This is an eye opener!

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  6. Scam is still happening. I just presented at a conference and received their email a week later!

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  7. While less than a bonafide academic journal, they did publish an article of mine online that has received numerous hits and kudos. They also asked for money in advance (I believe $600) but I refused and was published anyway --- perhaps because I tempted them with some additional ready-to-be-published work, a commitment I did not adhere to. As for their peer-review process - it's dubious at best.

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  8. Just got the similar e-mail, thank god I found this blog.

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  9. Thank you all. You save me 500 dollars. They wanted to charge me 60 dollars for page and I was about to send them my money.

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  10. bingo. you being suspicious. well, my case, i bother asked my lecturer of my master degree, back then. somehow that line is correct, "when somethin is too good to be true, then it must not be true"

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  11. cannot put my wordpress Blog, errr. it's in English (for I am Indonesian)

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  12. God bless you for this post. They just sent me something to publish in their Journal of Materials Science and Engineering A, which is also the name of a completely legitimate Elsevier publication. Theirs, of course, is a crock of garbage.

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  13. Thank you for your post. I have received the same email from david publishing after presenting my work just recently.

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  14. Dear Ethan! God bless you for this post! Thank God I found this blog. :)
    They sent me something to publish in their journals of China-USA Business Review (ISSN 1537-1514) and Chinese Business Review (ISSN 1537-1506). It is second e-mail from the same "publisher". The first one was from Journal of US-China Public Administration (ISSN 1548-6591 (print); ISSN 1935-9691 (online))

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  15. Seems this scam is still going. Hopefully that means they are desperate and reaching for a last breath. I received the same email (multiple times actually). The weird phrasings and overall odd tone signaled scam so I never responded to any of the attempts. Try to spread the word throughout your networks about this operation. Peace.

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  16. Thank you very much for the information. Really helpful.

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