If you’re going to solicit papers for a journal, use proper grammar. Lessons for predatory publishers.

Here’s a great solicitation from David Publishing Company, a company on Beall’s list of predatory publishers (I’ve reformatted it so you don’t have to see all the fonts they used):

Dear Goring, Simon J ,

 This is Earth Science and Engineering (ISSN 2159-581X), a new professional journal published across the United States by David Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, USA. We have learned your paper“RELIABLE GRIDDED ESTIMATES OF PRE-SETTLEMENT VEGETATION FOR THE UPPER MIDWEST FROM PUBLIC LANDS SURVEY DATA in the AMQUA 2012 . We are very interested  in your paper . If the paper  has  not  published  in other  journal ,we would like to publish your paper in our journal Earth Science and Engineering.  All your original and  unpublished paper are welcome (although  the paper  has  already  been  published  in  the conference,  it can  also  publish in  our  journal,  becauce there  is  no  ISSN or  ISBN  for the conference). If you have the idea of making  our journal a vehicle for your research  interests, please send electronic version of your papers or books to us through email attachment in MS word format.

Sounds great, but if you can’t reliably edit your own email solicitations then I’m not interested.  Then there’s this at the end:

As an American academic publishing group, we wish to become your friends if we may.

I’m not really sure what that’s about.  Are they friendly because they’re American?  Because we’re both American?  Do they know I’m Canadian, and if they don’t, will that hurt my chances of being their friend?  How do you become friends with a publishing group anyway?  So many questions. . .

Their website leads to more questions.  From the “For Authors” page (blank), to the Survey on the front page (what’s it even about?).  At least they provide me with the option to list myself as an “Academician” when I submit my paper.  That’s the number one reason I’ve never submitted to Nature or Science, no opportunity to list my title as “Academician”.


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Assistant scientist in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Studying paleoecology and the challenges of large data synthesis.

4 thoughts on “If you’re going to solicit papers for a journal, use proper grammar. Lessons for predatory publishers.”

  1. Do you know what these people are after? So they’re predatory–what do they get out of predation. I found an article they published, and it IS weird, but what is the point?

    1. I think it’s just a matter of getting money. They do little proof-reading or editing, so you’re just paying to get your paper “published”, which means they’re raking in money from people desperate to get a paper on their CV.

      1. Ah. A vanity press. But why would they publish something without the author’s permission? They have published some of my mother’s papers–without her knowledge. Legally speaking, the author is the Government agency she was working for at the time, but I have a hard time imagining that agency would go to a vanity press!

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