Dear Frontiers Journals – I am sick of your SPAM and I want nothing to do with you

Dear Frontiers Journals

Repeated unsolicited emails with no means to unsubscribe oneself (such as the one excerpted below) are SPAM. I like some aspects of the Frontiers journals but your email system has to be changed. I will not submit to or review for your journals until you make some commitment to stopping SPAMMING scientists.

Dear Dr Eisen, The article submission deadline for the Frontiers Research Topic, for which you received a call for participation, is approaching. If you are planning to submit a manuscript and you anticipate any delay beyond the deadline, please inform the Topic Editors and the Frontiers Editorial Office so they can manage the delay. If you have not yet responded to the call for participation or have not yet committed to a submission and you are planning to submit a manuscript, please let us know by responding to this message.

PS – the article alerts also have to stop. For F#*$@( sake clean up your act.

Not sure what to make of this new "Datasets.Com" effort from Hindawi

Just got this email and I thought I would share.  Not sure what to make of this effort.  I do support the sharing of data sets but I am think we probably do not need a whole new cadre of data journals to handle this data.

But there is a spread of what some have called “Predatory” open access publishers (see for example).  Hindawi, who is behind this, seems to have a mix of good and predatory tendencies and this seems like it may fit into the more predatory categorization.  And I just thought it would be good to bring this a bit more into the open to discuss it.

Dear Dr. Eisen,

My name is Safa Tahoon and I am a Journal Developer for the Hindawi Publishing Corporation. We are in the process of launching a new peer-reviewed, open access journal titled Dataset Papers in Genetics, which will publish Dataset Papers in all areas of genetics research, and I am writing to invite you to join the Editorial Board of this new journal.

Dataset Papers in Genetics is part of a new journal platform that Hindawi is developing called Datasets International ( The main objective of Datasets International is to help researchers in all academic disciplines archive, document, and distribute the datasets produced in their research to the entire academic community. In addition to publishing a series of journals devoted to the dissemination of Dataset Papers, Datasets International hosts the underlying data behind these Dataset Papers and makes it accessible to all researchers worldwide.

The journal will be run using a collaborative editorial model which is designed to provide a fast peer review process for all submitted manuscripts. The journal will be edited by a distributed Editorial Board, and it aims for an average review time of 4 weeks from submission until a final decision has been reached.

Manuscripts that are submitted to the journal will be sent to a number of Editorial Board Members (typically each manuscript will be sent to at least 5 Editors), who will have two weeks to provide either a recommendation for the publication of the manuscript, along with a written commentary detailing any improvements that the authors should make to their manuscript, or a written critique of why the manuscript should not be published.

After the two-week period has elapsed, if the majority of the editorial evaluations recommend the manuscript be rejected, the manuscript will be rejected. If all the editorial evaluations that are received recommend that the manuscript be accepted for publication, the manuscript will be accepted. Otherwise, the editorial evaluations will be anonymously communicated to all of the Editors who participated in the peer review process. Each Editor will be given an additional week to review the feedback of the other Editors and to either confirm or revise their earlier editorial recommendations. If the majority of the editorial evaluations that are received by the end of this second round of review recommend the manuscript be accepted for publication, the manuscript will be accepted. Otherwise, the manuscript will be rejected. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the names of the Editors who recommended the publication of the manuscript will be published alongside the ma!
nuscript. More information on the journal is available on the following web pages: (Datasets International Home Page) (Journal Home Page) (Editorial Workflow) (Editorial Board)

The journal will be published using an open access model, which allows disseminating scholarly articles by removing the access barriers imposed by the subscription model, in order to make the full-text of all published articles freely available for any interested reader. In this model the publication costs of an article are covered in the form of Article Processing Charges, which are publication fees paid from the research budget of accepted authors. In this model authors retain the copyright of their work, and we make every possible effort to ensure that the full-text of every published article is both visible and accessible to all potential readers.

Manuscripts that are submitted by the members of the Editorial Board of Dataset Papers in Genetics to the journal will automatically receive a 50% reduction in their Article Processing Charges.

Please do visit the web pages above and let me know if you have any questions or comments. We hope you will accept to join the Editorial Board of the journal and I will be looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

Safa Tahoon

Safa Tahoon
Journal Developer
Hindawi Publishing Corporation

And now Spam from Elsevier – thanks – but no thanks

Just got an email from Elsevier for something called “Reviewers’ Update” which starts off:

Dear Dr Eisen,

As a valued contributor to Elsevier’s journals we thought you may be interested in receiving the Reviewers’ Update – our free quarterly e-update for reviewers – which contains advice for reviewers, updates on how Elsevier supports the peer review process as well as information which we hope proves useful to you when reviewing manuscripts.

Click on the headings below for access to a selection of articles in Issues 8 and 9, or browse through the full archive on the Reviewers’ Update homepage.

Would you like to receive the next issue of Reviewers’ Update as well as future reviewer updates?

If so, please register here.

Kind regards,

Andrea Hoogenkamp-O’Brien, PhD
Communications Manager, Elsevier

That leads me to wonder – just what did I do to become a valued contributor?  I cannot for the life of me remember the last time I reviewed for any Elsevier journal.   And the last time I was an author on a paper in an Elsevier journal was 2006 and that was only because I did not really realize that is where collaborators were submitting a paper.  Thanks Elsevier, but I will skip registering for this service.

Here we go again: discouraging PR #SPAM by posting them pre-embargo: Here’s one about smokeless tobacco #AAASMtg

Just received this in my email.  As I have said before (The Tree of Life: How to stop press release spam? Post embargoed press releases) I am sick of getting unsolicited press releases that are embargoed and do not have any relevance to my work.  They are SPAM.   And to discourage this practice I am posting them to my blog when I receive them in order to break their embargo which I did not agree to.  Please – all of you out there sending out unsolicited PR SPAM – stop it.  Stop it.  Stop it.

(3 P.M. PST, SATURDAY, FEB. 18, 2012)
Contact: Jill Scoggins, 502-475-2428,

Presentation at AAAS shows scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction efforts

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Substituting smokeless tobacco products can save smokers’ lives, and there is a scientific foundation that proves it.

That is the message Brad Rodu, D.D.S., professor of medicine at the University of Louisville (UofL) School of Medicine and the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction at UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Feb. 18. Rodu spoke at the session, “Harm Reduction: Policy Change to Reduce the Global Toll of Smoking-Related Disease.”

“Quit or die: That’s been the brutal message delivered to 45 million American smokers, and it has helped contribute to 443,000 deaths per year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Rodu said. “The truth, however, is that total nicotine and tobacco abstinence is unattainable and unnecessary for many smokers.”

Rodu’s presentation, “Transforming Tobacco Use: The Potential of Tobacco Harm Reduction,” was based on his almost 20 years of research. His work shows that smokers can greatly reduce their risk of disease and death by replacing smoking products with e-cigarettes or modern, spit-free smokeless tobacco. These products provide a much safer alternative for those smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking because they continue to deliver nicotine without the harmful effect of smoking.

“Nicotine is addictive, but it is not the cause of any smoking-related disease. Like caffeine, nicotine can be used safely by consumers,” Rodu said.

Decades of epidemiologic research bear out Rodu’s findings. While no tobacco product is completely safe, smokeless products have been shown to be 98 percent safer than cigarettes. In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Physicians reported in 2002 that smokeless tobacco is up to 1,000 times less hazardous than smoking, and in 2007, further urged world governments to seriously consider instituting tobacco harm reduction strategies as a means to save lives.

To see the proof of what tobacco harm reduction can do, look to Sweden, Rodu said. “Over the past 50 years, Swedish men have had Europe’s highest per capita consumption of smokeless tobacco as well as Europe’s lowest cigarette use. During the same time, they also have the lowest rate of lung cancer than men in any other European country.”

In the United States, steps have been made to document the value of tobacco harm reduction. In 2006, a National Cancer Institute-funded study estimated that if tobacco harm reduction was “responsibly communicated” to smokers, 4 million would switch to smokeless tobacco. The American Council on Science and Health – which organized Rodu’s session at the AAAS Annual Meeting – concluded in the same year that tobacco harm reduction “shows great potential as a public health strategy to help millions of smokers.”

Rodu is well aware of the controversy his research findings generate. Opponents of any use of nicotine delivery products maintain that smokeless tobacco puts the user at great risk for oral cancer, a position not supported by research.

“The risk of mouth cancer among smokeless tobacco users is extremely low – certainly lower than the risk of smoking-related diseases among smokers,” he said. “The annual mortality rate among long-term dry snuff users is 12 deaths per 100,000 and the rate among users of more popular snus, moist snuff and chewing tobacco is much lower.  For perspective, the death rate among automobile users is 11 per 100,000 according to a 2009 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Compare those to the rate among smokers: more than 600 deaths per 100,000 every year”

“The data clearly show that smokeless tobacco users have, at most, about the same risk of dying from mouth cancer as automobile users have of dying in a car wreck.”

About Brad Rodu

Rodu earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University. After an oral pathology residency program at Emory University, he completed fellowships at the University of Alabama at Birmingham sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. He was on the UAB faculty from 1981 to 2005 with appointments in several departments in the schools of Medicine, Public Health and Dentistry. He joined the UofL faculty in 2005. His research is supported by unrestricted grants from tobacco manufacturers to the University of Louisville and by the Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund.

Hard to tell if this is a SPAM conference or not "4th Intntl. Science in Society Conference"

Hard to tell if this is email I just got is about a SPAM Conference or not.

Dear Colleague,

On behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee, I would like to inform you of the:

University of California, Berkeley, USA
17 – 19 November 2012

This conference addresses the social impacts, values, pedagogies, politics and economics of science. It is an inclusive forum that welcomes a breadth of perspectives on science from practitioners, teachers and researchers representing a wide range of academic disciplines.

The Science in Society Conference is held annually in different locations around the world. The Inaugural Science in Society Conference was held at the University of Cambridge United Kingdom, in 2009. The Conference was held at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, Spain in 2010; and the Catholic University of America, Washington DC, USA in 2011.

In addition to Plenary Presentations from leading speakers in the field, the Science in Society Conference includes parallel presentations by practitioners, teachers and researchers. We invite you to respond to the conference Call-for-Papers. Presenters submit their written papers for publication in the peer refereed “International Journal of Science in Society”. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in the journal as well as the option of uploading a video presentation to our YouTube channel.

The deadline for the next round in the call for papers (a title and short abstract) is 21 February 2012. Future deadlines will be announced on the conference website after this date. Proposals are reviewed within two weeks of submission. Full details of the conference, including an online proposal submission form, may be found at the conference website: .

We look forward to receiving your proposal and hope you will be able to join us in Berkeley, USA in August.

New York Times "Insight Panel" – SPAM? SCAM? or just LAME? cc: @nytimes

Just got this email below regarding the “New York Times Insight Panel.” Seems like a scam to me. If it is real, then it seems pretty, well, lame. Anyone know anything about this?

Dear New York Times Subscriber,

We would like to invite you to become a member of our community of engaged New York Times readers by joining The New York Times Insight Panel and sharing your opinions with us.

This important panel is made up of readers like you who are interested in giving us feedback on a variety of topics, including their involvement with The Times. Here’s a quick overview of the benefits of being a member:

Help guide research at The Times by offering your opinions on a variety of topics related to your lifestyle and interests

Earn points that can be redeemed for New York Times premiums and other rewards

Learn about new features as they become available to Times subscribers

If you have any questions, take a look at the FAQ’s section on our Web site or contact . Please be assured that your privacy will be respected and kept strictly confidential. No one will try to sell you anything. For more information please review our privacy policy: The New York Times privacy policy .

To get started with your Panel registration, you will need to complete a membership survey. Please click on the URL below or copy and paste it into your browser:————

Your personal password (PIN) is: ———

Please add your voice to our Insight Panel today!


Ben Sider

Customer Research Manager

The New York Times

If you have any questions or comments regarding delivery of your newspaper, please contact The New York Times Customer Care Service by clicking on to send an e-mail.

Note: You are receiving this e-mail because you are part of an opt-in list provided by the survey’s sponsor. If you wish to not receive e-mails like this in the future, please reply to this e-mail with “unsubscribe ——–” in the subject line or click on the following URL to send an unsubscribe message (please include your PIN in the message):

For more information, please visit .

Scary and funny: fake researcher Peter Uhnemann on OMICS group Editorial Board #JournalSPAM

OMG.  This is both hilarious and terrifying.

Many out there know there are journals out there that border on SPAM.  I have written about this often before (e.g., see For $&%# sake, Bentham Open Journals, leave me alone and Yet another SPAMMY Science publisher: Scientific and Academic Publishing and The Tree of Life: Really sick of Bentham Open Spam) as have many others (e.g., Open and Shut?: The Open Access Interviews: Matthew Honan and Academic spam and open access publishing – Per Ola Kristensson). UPDATE: forgot to include this link: Science SPAMMER of the month: OMICS publishing group

But this one takes the cake.  There is a journal called “Molecular Biology” from the OMICS Publishing Group (for more on this publisher see Open and Shut?: The Open Access Interviews: OMICS Publishing …).  It seems new – as I cannot find any publications – but you never know – maybe they have been around a while and just have not gotten any submissions.

But I recommend everyone check out their Editorial Board.  In addition to listing Peter Deusberg (the controversial HIV denialist) there is an amazing person on their Board – Peter Uhnemann. He is listed as being from the “Department of Oximology at Daniel-Duesentrieb Institute, Germany”.  Sounds a bit strange right?  Well check out his Bio

And check out his research interests

It is pretty wacky right?  Well it turns out, as some might have guessed – it is made up.  The reason I know this is – is that Burkhard Morgenstern from the University of Goettingen let me know (in fact he is the one who alerted me to the whole story).

He sent me something he wrote on Facebook which I am posting here:


I’m delighted to inform you that Peter Uhnemann from the
 Daniel-Duesentrieb Institute in Germany was just appointed
 editor of the OMICS journal “Molecular Biology”:

For those of you who don’t know Peter Uhnemann: he is a fake
 person invented by the German satirical magazine Titanic.
 They created an FB account for him to make fun of social
 networks (he soon befriended on FB with various German


For those of you who don’t know Daniel Duesentrieb: this is
 the German name of the Walt Disney comic figure Gyro Gearloose.


For those of you who don’t know the OMICS journals: these
 are junk journals spamming around invitations to join their
 editorial boards. 

On their web page they say that

 “election of the “right” editor for a journal is one of the
 most important decisions made by OMICS Publishing Group …
 Editors, Executive Editors & Editor-in- Chief of journals
 must be senior researchers, e.g. chaired professors.”

 As it looks, Peter Uhnemann from the Daniel-Duesentrieb
 Institute meets these criteria.

It is both hilarious and a bit terrifying.  Now – mind you – it is possible that this journal could end up with some papers worth looking at.  But clearly, the Editorial process at this journal is probably going to be a bit, well, circumspect.

UPDATE: finally – as of 2/16/12 he is no longer listed on the editorial board …

UCDavis IT and GMail think this "Open Journal of Genetics" journal announcement is SPAM, I do too #EndScienceSpam

Just got this email which both Gmail and UC Davis systems think is SPAM (see below). It is from yet another new journal and the journal certainly seems a bit, well, off to me. I am posting such emails from journals like this in the hope that in Google search results people at least see some comments on the web at least asking questions about the quality of these journals. I do not know any details about this journal but I note I could not find any actual description of their licensing/copyright policies and all the papers list the copyright as belonging to the journal.  This seems to me to be unlikely to fit the standard definition of “open access” though it is very hard to tell from their website. 

Please circulate this CFP among your colleagues and students. 


Open Journal of Genetics
ISSN Online: 2162-4461 

Dear Jonathan A Eisen

Open Journal of Genetics (OJGEN) is an international journal (Open Access) dedicated to the latest advancement of Genetics. The goal of this journal is to provide a platform for scientists and academicians all over the world to promote, share, and discuss various new issues and developments in different areas of Genetics. 

+ Behavioural genetics
+ Classical genetics
+ Developmental genetics
+ Conservation genetics
+ Ecological genetics
+ Evolutionary genetics
+ Genetic engineering
+ Genetics of intelligence
+ Genomics
+ Human genetics
+ Medical genetics
+ Microbial genetics
+ Molecular genetics
+ Population genetics
+ Psychiatric genetics
+ Quantitative genetics

Editorial Board: 
Editor in Chief
Prof. Benoît Chénais, Université du Maine, France
Editorial Board
Prof. Jinsong Bao, Zhejiang University, China
DR.   Gonzalo Blanco, University of York, UK
Prof. Yurov Yuri Boris, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Russia
Prof. Hassen Chaabani, University of Monastir, Tunisia
DR.   Craig E. Coleman, Brigham Young University, USA
DR.   Ming-Shun Chen, Kansas State University, USA
DR.   Philip D. Cotter, American College of Medical Genetics, USA
DR.   Clark Ford, Iowa State University, USA
DR.   Andreas Futschik, University of Vienna, Austria
DR.   Cenci Giovanni, University of L’Aquila, Italy
DR.   Tomonobu Hasegawa, Keio University School of Medicine, Japan
DR.   Karen Elise Heath, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Spain
Prof. Gregg E. Homanics, University of Pittsburgh, USA
DR.   Nilüfer Karadeniz, Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Germany
Prof. Presa Martínez, Universidad de Vigo, Spain
DR.   James Michael Mason, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA
Prof. Pratibha Nallari, Osmania University, India
DR.   Georges Nemer, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Prof. Ettore Olmo, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy
DR.   Drewell A. Robert, Harvey Mudd College, Canada
DR.   Surasak Sangkhathat, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
Prof. Bernd Schierwater, Yale University, USA
Prof. Genlou Sun, Saint Mary’s University, Canada
DR.   Reshma Taneja, National University of Singapore, Singapore 

Authors’ Guidelines: 
+ All manuscripts must be prepared in English.
+ Review paper is warmly welcome.
+ Submit your paper via online submission system papersubmission. 
+ To expedite the review process, please format your reference as the guideline,
+ Please visit journal homepage for more information.

Best Regards, 

Joyce Y.
Editorial Office of OJGEN
Scientific Research Publishing, USA

YASSP (Yet another SPAMMY science publisher)

Just got an email from YAP (yet another publisher) recruiting articles for new journals.  These ones seem just about as SPAMMY as some of the other recent ones to come out.  Uggh.  Double uggh.  Email is posted below:

Introducing ‘Research Journal of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Dear Colleague,
The Research Journal of Earth and Planetary Sciences (RJEPS) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that will be published monthly by Global Research Journals    (                                    RJEPS is dedicated to increasing the depth of the subject across disciplines with the ultimate aim of expanding knowledge of the subject.
Editors and reviewers
RJEPS is seeking energetic, qualified and high profile researchers to join its editorial team as editors, subeditors or reviewers. Kindly send your resume to:
Call for Research Articles
RJEPS will cover all areas of the subject. The journal welcomes the submission of manuscripts that meet the general criteria of significance and scientific excellence, and will publish:
·  Original articles in basic and applied research
·  Case studies
·  Critical reviews, surveys, opinions, commentaries and essays
We invite you to submit your manuscript(s) to:
 for publication. Our objective is to inform authors of the decision on their manuscript(s) within four weeks of submission. Following acceptance, a paper will normally be published in the next issue. Guide to authors and other details are available on our website;     
 RJEPS is an Open Access Journal
One key request of researchers across the world is unrestricted access to research publications. Open access gives a worldwide audience larger than that of any subscription-based journal and thus increases the visibility and impact of published works. It also enhances indexing, retrieval power and eliminates the need for permissions to reproduce and distribute content. RJEPS is fully committed to the Open Access Initiative and will provide free access to all articles as soon as they are published.
Best regards,
Otu Richard
Editorial Assistant
Research Journal of Earth and Planetary Sciences (RJEPS)

Draft post cleanup #19: Spam and biased spam at that

Yet another post in my “draft blog post cleanup” series.  Here is #19 from September 2011:

I am sure many others out there who blog have gotten this kind of message:

We at recently came across your blog and were excited to share with you an article “15 Fictional Professors We Wish Were Real” was recently published on our blog and we hoped that you would be interested in featuring or mentioning it in one of your posts.


Either way, I hope you continue putting out great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read.

Thanks for your time,
Liz Nutt

I assume that these posts that are written for this, and various other sites, are all about driving up Google Search ranking somehow.  So I normally avoid writing about them.  But I thought I would in this case because, well, their post annoyed me because of the 15 functional professors they wrote about, only one is female.  Really, that is the best they could do?  In three minutes of web surfing (e.g., browsing this site and this one) I have come up with a list of fictional female professors who certainly could have been included in their list.  And many are much more interesting than some they wrote about.  Here are some examples:

  • Eleanor Arroway – Jodie Foster’s character in Contact
  • Susan Calvin – character in Isaac Asimov’s I Robot series
But then I stopped because I was disappointed I could not find more functional female professors to add to my list.  I do think the list posted by the OnlinePhD site could certainly have had more women on it … but I never posted the post because I had a hard time coming up with a lot of examples … but now that I am trying to revive draft posts … well … I will put this out there even if it is an incomplete thought