Sunday, January 3, 2016

No matter where you go... there you are

"Send me a sign, oh nameless gods of the Interlattice!" I beseeched, albeit in a subdued voice, for the Frau Doktorin is unsympathetic whenever she overhears a seech, which she ascribes to my reckless consumption of past-the-use-date seafood. "What should be the topic of the first blogpost of 2016?"

And lo, there were portents and prodigies aplenty. Also omens both good and bad, and a rare sighting of the Lesser Crested Harbinger. Frozen poultry walked backwards across the ceiling, and zucchinis spoke in the voices of Hungarians, and unstrained mercy dripped from heaven, I hope that's mercy. Along with the usual lizard / trebuchet accidents, and the goat-eating lice,

and beach closures due to whales and their engorgement,
and miraculous deluges of multicoloured but unfashionable hats from battles in the clouds,
and the feline fungi, and the naff paint-by-numbers sunset. Same old same old.

And more to the point, we received spam-mail. In this case, soliciting contributions and publication payments for yet another undiscriminatingly all-absorbent jizzmop of a vanity website. From Assistant Editor Kavya M., who affects an initial letter rather than a surname... perhaps in India this form of pseudonymity conveys a sense of rectity and integritude; perhaps surnames are taxed by the letter; perhaps Kavya M. has escaped from the pages of an unpublished Kafka novel. Clearly it was the message.

We are glad to find you here...
We are delighted to introduce our Journal: Clinical Psychology
That is nice. I also am glad to find myself here, though I would be even gladder if spamming skeezy shitweasels stayed someplace else, preferably involving a fire.

Further inquiry reveals that so little effort has gone into customising the spam to the suckers that the 'Clinical Psychology' link leads to a completely nother jizzmop-journal from "Insight Medical Publishing". It is aspirational in nature, and is assembled from plagiarised material apart from the Recommended Conferences section:

Oddly enough, all the recommendable meetings are held under the auspices -- or as it may be, the aegis -- of the OMICS empire of fraud. Or even under the ausgisces. It is almost as if iMedPub is simply a branch or a metastasis of the primary OMICS tumour (and who can blame them for hiding from their egregious reputation for low-rent skeeviness, or Kavya M.* for pseudonymising her surname?).

OMICS used to have a prominent though parasitical niche in the ecology of scholarly malfeasance, allowing crap academics to meet productivity targets by providing journal-shaped dumping-grounds for their exudations, but universities are catching onto the scam. So now all the cool kids are selling attendance at phoney-baloney conferences as the new way for crapademics to meet their targets and pad their CVs, with work-paid tourism on the side, while siphoning funds from their employers' bank accounts to those of the grifters.
Another Kiwi and I recruit a
prestigious Keynote Speaker
Naturally our first thought at the Riddled Research Institute was to ask, "How can we get a turn on the moneyteat?" Clearly it is time to leverage the synergies and extend our International Journal of Open-Access Predatory-Publishing Inquiries, sending out invitations to attend the First International Meeting on Open-Access Predatory-Publishing Inquiries.
The social program includes
an afternoon harbour cruise
Notable players in the racket include WASET -- the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (in fact a family business, registered in Azerbaijan, based in Turkey, centred on one Cemal Ardil). The company name is clearly designed to violate the useful rule against "Not ever antagonising the Horn". They hijack the names of legitimate conferences, advertise each meeting under multiple titles and disciplines (minimising the risk that an attendee will meet other people from the same discipline), and rotate the same titles (and indeed the same presentations) around multiple sightseeing destinations:
For Sydney is actually at least the 15th 17th International Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational and Systems Biology (ICBCSB 2015)
We can also learn tips from the “International Journal of Arts & Sciences”, which focuses on 'Multidisciplinary conferences in a "study abroad" format', and makes little attempt to mask the recreational non-educational purpose of its products. There is more to be said about IJAS, and its prime mover Professor Joseph Bonnici... but must rush, the 12th Biweekly International Congress on Dicalcic Phosphate Fertilisers is on tonight at the Old Entomologist.

I want to leave plenty of time to get there in case the traffic is delayed by weird rainbows again.
* Must give OMICS conference organiser Sophia Loren full credit for being so honest about her real name!


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Must give OMICS conference organiser Sophia Loren full credit for being so honest about her real name!

I believe she and Professor Jayne Mansfield will be heading up a conference.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Promise plenty of wormwood beer and your conferences shall be overflowing.

H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

They ought to sponsor your journey back to the putative fourth council of Carthage to correct their edict Clericus non comam nutriat nec barbam to the more authentic Clericus non comam nutriat nec barbam radat.