How trash science journals operate

Just to show you how these “garbage journals” operate, I got this email while I was in New Zealand, asking me to be a “deputy editor-in-chief” (i.e., one who has to solicit articles—something unnecessary for a high-quality journal to which scientists submit articles. The telling point: I am not a biochemist or molecular biologist! These people are simply trolling everyone they can, hoping to find some suckers.

Note that 1.5 says I will get 20% of publication fees for each article I solicit, another bit of bait.

I doubt there is a scientist working out there who doesn’t get these invitations for inappropriate fields on a regular basis.

Dear Dr. Coyne,

Based on your distinguished scholarly expertise and research in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology, we have identified you as a candidate for the position of deputy editor-in-chief of the World Journal of Biological Chemistry (WJBC). We now invite you to peruse the job description and submit candidate documents for the position. We have also included information about the journal and publisher to help explain the meaningful impact you may make on the field through your work with theWJBC.


1.1 Responsibilities First and foremost, the deputy editor-in-chief should comply with all policies and principles put forth by the committee on publication ethics (COPE,; these will guide your primary duty of inviting contributions from worldwide scholars in the field to meet the requirements of readers for high quality articles, with emphasis put on the publishing of findings and achievements in emerging research disciplines, such as modern biotechnology, translational medicine, minimally invasive medicine, and medical artificial intelligence. Second, the deputy editor-in-chief will attend the first-round meeting of evaluation (first decision on manuscript acceptance or rejection). Third, the deputy editor-in-chief will attend the second-round meeting of evaluation (final decision on manuscript acceptance or rejection). Finally, the deputy editor-in-chief will attend important conferences in the field to invite contributions from conference attendees.

1.2 Goals: The first goal of the deputy editor-in-chief’s efforts is to make the WJBC become a highly influential academic journal that disseminates academic opinions and helps readers acquire knowledge. The second goal is to ensure the academic quality of articles published in the WJBC meets the basic criteria for inclusion in MEDLINE and Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE). For information on MEDLINE Journal Selection, please visit; for information on SCIE Journal Selection, please visit

1.3 Terms: The first term is 4 years, during which the goal is to achieve indexing ofWJBC in SCIE. The WJBC is a high quality, peer-reviewed, open-access journal. It is now indexed in PubMed and PubMed Central. For details, please visit:

1.4 Position: Deputy Editor-in-Chief.

1.5 Salary: Codeputy editors-in-chief will share 20% of the Article Processing Charge (APC) of the WJBC (including personal income tax). For more information about the APC, please visit our website at



2.1 Journal home page: The home page of the WJBC includes the following information: about the journal, all issues, and article processing charge, etc. For more information, please visit

2.2 Publisher page:  The home page of Baishideng Publishing Group (BPG) includes information including about the BPG, article processing charge, company registration, and contact us, etc. For more information, please visit

If you are interested in being the WJBC Deputy Editor-in-Chief, please submit your personal information according to the following steps.

How to Submit

Step 1: Submit the basic information about the candidate for Deputy Editor-in-Chief(closed as of April 28, 2017).

Step 2: To accept our invitation, please login to the F6Publishing System by clicking . Please update your personal information (including First Name, Middle Name, and Institution).


Step 3: Provide ten Key Words relevant to your field (to facilitate peer review).

Step 4:  Submit your Curriculum Vitae, Publication List, and Biography. The biography should consist of 250 words and should highlight your academic impact in the field.

Step 5:  Submit the address of your Website. This will be the link to your academic profile, research group, if any, or institution.

Step 6:  Submit your recent professional Photo. The image must be a JPG file. The photo size should be 48 mm in height and 33 mm in width.

Step 7:  The evaluation of candidates will take about 4 weeks. Once we make the decision, we will contact you as soon as possible (including salary).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to receiving your candidacy documents.


Best regards,

Lian-Sheng Ma, President and Company Editor-in-Chief

Baishideng Publishing Group Inc

8226 Regency Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94588, USA

Telephone: +1-925-223-8242

Fax: +1-925-223-8243


Help Desk:

Click to unsubscribe from this email list.


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Someone has to ask – How much is 20%?

  2. alexander
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Here is a list of predatory journals:

    Their number is astounding.

    • Posted May 4, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Shall we start a new one?!

      • Posted May 4, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Let’s start a new journal, _The Journal of Predatory Journals_, and charge for submissions, spam advertisements for editors and contributors, etc.


    • GBJames
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink


  3. Posted May 4, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    There is too much pressure on academics to publish, so that gives these ‘journals’ their market.

    • colnago80
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Universities are now taking into account publications in high impact journals in making tenure decisions. Some examples, Nature, Science, Physical Review. So it’s no longer publish or perish, it’s publish in high impact journals or perish.

  4. sgo
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    There was a news article in Nature recently about predatory journals, and how the reporters managed to put a Dr Fraud (Anna O. Szust; Oszust is Polish for fraud, they state) on the editorial board of several:

  5. Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t edit a journal that would have me as an editor.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Me too. Sounds very Grouch Marx.

  6. Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Wait! Are you saying the Journal of Astrophysics, Cell Biology, and Animal Nutrition, based in Pakistan, may not be legitimate? Dang. My career is in tatters.

  7. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Sorry if this is a thread hijack but :

    Anyone hear about “Imprimis”, the “monthly speech digest” of Hillsdale College?

    I ask because A. It sounds like the same thing for the political sphere and B. . I’m sort of dealing with it now.

  8. Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I get these too, though not in such great detail.

    The real criterion of merit that I value is being asked to review grant proposals. However, unless these are really in my very specific field, I do not accept them.

    The reason is not that I lack interest or expertise, but that I am no longer involved in active bench research. I have become a consumer of science, not a producer.

    I do produce posts in a variety of areas (not cats though).

  9. Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Did anybody else Google this prestigious journal’s street address?

  10. dargndorp
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Jerry, every link in this posting goes not to the intended place, but to, presumably the web interface to the email system at your university.

  11. Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    You get classier invites than I do. Mine appear to have come straight through Google Translate.

    “We are Proposed to join as Editor: ECV journal”

    “Have a great day ahead!”

  12. busterggi
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Looks like I may get some income from my PhD. in Medieval Metaphysics from Miskatonic U. after all.

  13. Kevin
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I get about one to three a week: India and China really really want a paper, any paper. I think: Sokal II would be appropriate.

  14. Posted May 4, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Who ever is doing these really doesn’t do much “spearing” of their targets. I got one spam (presumably because I have a few academic publications and conference talks) once that read something like:

    Dear Dr. Douglas,

    We recognize your expertise in mechanical engineering, …

    I have no doctorate, no engineering degrees, …

  15. compuholio
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I get those emails almost on a daily basis. Probably everybody who has their email address on a university website get them.

    Be it fake conferences that are looking for people to submit papers or even journals which want me as their editor because I am such a distinguished researcher (I don’t even have my PhD yet).

    My favorite reaction to these kind of emails is probably this one

  16. alexandra Moffat
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone remember the phony science item that was published some years ago that was gibberish but sounded totally real SCIENCE. It hornswaggled many, I understood, but was exposed as a prank before long. Maybe these trash journals could be fooled similarly-teach ‘em a lesson?

  17. josh
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    One of the problems in communicating science is that only experts in specific fields tend to know that there is a hierarchy of journals and which journals are actually well-respected within their field. I don’t think this is well-appreciated outside the community of practicing scientists. I suspect it contributes to the impression that science is unreliable or ‘in crisis’. After all, it’s true that almost anything can get published somewhere, it’s just that the experts ignore the obvious low-quality stuff.

  18. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Bit insulting the way they invite you based on your ‘distinguished expertise and research’ and then require you to submit a CV for consideration, don’t you think?

    Quite aside from it being – from the look of it – one of those journals that people pay to ‘publish’ in to get their publication count up. (Or so I understand from occasional comments I’ve read).


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