Wednesday, February 11, 2015

If You Pay, OMICS will Play. All Abstracts Accepted to Predatory Publisher Organised Conferences.

Many of my colleagues are aware of my thoughts about predatory journals and their associated conferences.  They often update me with articles they have seen on the subject or interesting spamming emails that they have received. 

Of particular note at this present point in time is the OMICS run conference called UROLOGY 2015.  I have already mentioned on Twitter several times on how they relentlessly spam me about this conference. 

In one of their emails, it almost sounds like they are getting a bit short with me for not getting on with accepting their invitation to pay high registration fees for the privilege of presenting at their meeting. “With due respect we had asked you…….” 

Hmmm, I am so sorry

Its associated journal, Medical and Surgical Urology has recently changed it’s Editor in Chief. The outgoing Editor in Chief claims that he did not even know that he was holding that position and has never seen or read a manuscript associated with the journal. Once alerted to the fact that his image and bio was up on the journal website (appears to have been taken from his university website), he immediately requested that it be removed.  They have since installed a new Editor in Chief.  I hope that the real guy knows he is there. 

Now back to this conference.  A colleague (I presume this to be the case) has anonymously sent me some correspondence between him or herself with the UROLOGY 2015 conference organisers.  They have taken the abstract from an article that I published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery (Yes, this is a real journal which is indexed on Medline/Pubmed). Some additional text has been added and I think it is hilarious.  

Firstly, the authors names sound a bit dodgy, especially the last name. What’s haemorrhoids got to do with prostate biopsy apart from the fact that they might make the procedure a little more uncomfortable.  

Now for the additional sentences:- The last sentence of the Background is “We're sure this conference is BS”.   Under Objectives is “This abstract was especially plagiarized from original author who is known to be critical of predatory publishers and conference organisers.” I guess that they are talking about me.
Under Conclusion, the last sentence now reads “No idea how this got accepted”.

Not sure how to feel about having my work taken and modified and then submitted to an OMICS conference. Rather than feel outraged, I guess it is an honour that my unknown colleague chose my work above others to copy.  Clearly, nobody has really read the abstract.  It is clearly case of submit and if you are prepared to pay, your abstract will be accepted. I suspect that the urologists of the organising committee have nothing to do with the abstracts but the quality of the meeting is associated with their names. 

I think this exercise confirms what we expect from an OMICS run conference.

Related blog posts on Predatory Publishing

Predatory Journals. Academics Are as Much a Part of the Problem
Photon Journal is a clear nominee for the worst predatory journal
OMICS Publishing - pseudo-academia? predatory?

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