Saturday, January 10, 2015

We read the latest venereal journals
Flicked through some catalogues of fear

Here at Riddled we have long been warning our readers against the Shapeshifter Menace. The shapeshifters in question being the skinwalkers who set up more-or-less convincing website impersonations of on-line journals to skim off money from academics at the Derek Zoolander University for Researchers who Can't Write Good and Wanna Learn to do Other Good Stuff Too, who desperately need Publication Outputs but are devoid of anything worth publishing.

Sometimes the facedancers endow their nonce websites with a spurious past, scraping papers from elsewhere in the Interweave or synthesising them with software to create a purported publication history. The result is this mockademic puke-funnel which could not handle the stress of implantation with false memories; it has suffered an identity crisis, and cannot decide whether it is the Journal of Information System[s] Management, JESAM, Assessment of Economic, or Argumenta Oeconomica.
Short for JISM-op
If the stolen ISSN code is any guide, it was intended to impersonate the existing Taylor & Francis journal Information Systems Management, and to extract publication fees from credulous contributors who expect their magna dopera to appear in that slightly more prestidigitous outlet. However, its archives are a crufty shambles; the titles of the putative previous-issue articles are stolen from the real Journal of Environmental Science & Management, while their abstracts are recycled from another scam, the identity-stolen version of the journal Sylwan. As for the text on the website, most of it hails from the real Academica Oeconomica (a mildly grifty newsletter from Wrocław University of Economics). So submitting material here requires a high degree of credulity indeed (or submitters who know perfectly well but don't care that they're consigning their manuscript to a highly-priced rubbish-bin).

The recycling of material from the Sylwan scam suggests that the same grifters are involved. Perhaps the uncertainty as to the title of this venture is because focus-group tests revealed that the acronym JISM lent itself to misunderstandings. Our advice is that they drop the 'Journal' and add 'Zetetic' to the name so they can call it ISZM. That will be $450, please.
It turns out that the emails soliciting contributions for Sylwan and for several other evil-clone identity-stolen journals -- Baltica, Bothalia, Ciência e Técnica Vitivinícola, Jokull, Kasmera, Mitteilungen Klosterneuburg, Revistas Academicas, Wulfenia --  are all sent through the MailChimp spamming service. All provide the same link:

unsubscribe from this list ( 
Science · Wilmington DE 19815 · Wilmington, DE 19815 · USA

While we're being all Scooby-Doo, here's the scammers' "Arena of Sciences"... "World's Pioneer Publishing Corporation"... and an entertaining spectacle it is, a chimera of plagiarised photography and plagiarised text, stitched together and animated by electrical current in the midst of a lightning storm.
Its Archives are minimalist, containing only eight titles about lumps of green putty which some author found in their left armpits; in a commendable display of environmental awareness, they are recycled from (again) Sylwan. Little attempt is made to entice a potential audience into paying $50 each to read these concretions of bafflegab and lucubration, with no Abstracts on offer:
after you make the payment, the username and the password to access the article will be emailed to you within 2days (48 hours)
Our ambitious skinwalkers display a level of optimistic greed that is egregious even by the standards of on-line fraud, asking $400 from authors to add an article to the green-putty collection, and warning them to expect further (open-ended) charges for "Edition costs". The explanation of why potential authors need the benefit of their superior English-language editorial skill is plagiarised.

But wait, there's more! Six more scamsites from the same shapeshifting crew!
Not Jeffrey Beall
Ultimately the grifters present them as 'portals' or 'libraries'. This places them outside the purview of Jeffrey Beall (World's Toughest Milkman Librarian) who focuses on predatory or flatly fraudulent on-line journals. Thus they are fair game for Riddled. Yay team!

Science Route Online

Of the seven sites, "Leading Publishers" seems have been cobbled together with most haste and shoddiness and least competence, but it is a close call.

Knowledge Insights

The images are scraped from different sources but the copied text is the same in each incarnation. Each site offers a prestigious publishing history of eight titles from Sylwan, and is purportedly helmed by an six-member Editorial Board of optimised diversity (two Anglosaxon-ish surnames, one French, two Eastern European and one Middle Eastern).

More crucially, all seven claim to be operations of the Mellatron Limited Partnership (registered 24/10/14, company registration SL018524).

Pioneer Scientists

Another Kiwi's theory is that what we see here is an experiment in the effect of environment, in the manner of a twin study, to see how much divergence is possible across a cohort of websites with the same business model and the same HTML DNA. "Nietzsche versus nurture" was how he put it.


Trevor said...

So what's with the Ultravox? You gone off BÖC?

Smut Clyde said...


Trevor said...

It's just that I was going to use that.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Vanity ain't cheap, and neither are vanity publications.

Yastreblyansky said...

Vanity ain't cheap, and neither are vanity publications.
But these are a steal!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That's what I THOT!, B^4.

Smut Clyde said...

t's just that I was going to use that.

Should have said so earlier.
Dibs on "Hiroshima Mon Amour", by the way.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


Robin and an Oompa Loompa attend to an injured crowd member

Smut Clyde said...

What can I say, ITTDGY? Australians are like that. It is as if they feel obliged to live down to our stereotypes about them.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Even better pic, S.C.

From here.

Trevor said...

I suppose it's too late to engineer a wild reunion somewhere? I shall reserve the entire oeuvre of Van de Graaf Generator, especially but not exclusively "Chemical World" and "Cat's Eye". Oh, and I'm keeping "The Illinois Enema Bandit" in reserve.

rhwombat said...

Smut & ITTDGY:
Personally, I blame the absence of assault weapons and extended magazines (..."and they don't get magazines more extended than that") for my fellow marsupials failure to live up to expectations. That and the paucity of short-chain hydrocarbons.