06 January 2010

As Nigeria is to banking, India is to science publishing

I recently received this in my inbox. And I was all, like, “Whoa.” It was like I’d traveled back in time to the early 1990s and landed on an old GeoCities page. The explosion of typefaces and random colours, the spelling mistakes, the random religious element... slap on a page counter and some blinking text, and it would be indistinguishable.

But no, this is supposed to be from a serious scientific journal. Excuse me, “Joournal” (see third paragraph). I was definitely reminded of Bentham Publishers spam emails, but I think this surpasses Bentham’s standards.

Let’s start with the completely random assertion, first line, that “God is.” Is... is what? Even if you don’t make me reach for the delete key by mistaking this for some attempt at religious conversion, you’re just pissing me off with a sentence fragment! And how is a statement about God relevant to a scientific journal on biotechnology?

Putting titles in quotation marks can be okay, but here, it makes it look like a nominee for the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks.

Then we get into the random typography. Text turns from black to blue, goes smaller, then normal, then larger, in crazed attempts at emphasis.

Then, the attempt to boost my ego. “As you are well known expert in these fields...” Please. I have some knowledge of my own science, and my own standing in the field. I’m not a biotechnology researcher, I’m not well known, and I’m not falling for it.

Then, a few paragraphs down, we get to the chase. They want me to be a fellow, for the low, low price of $1,000 (presumably U.S. dollars). OoooOOOoooh, and I get to use the “FISBT” acronym after my name! That will impress exactly... nobody. I can get the same effect by making any old random acronym. “Associate Professor Doctor Zen Faulkes, B.Sc., Ph.D., NSFREUPI, UTPABMSGPC.”

“You can also be prestigious and Hon'ble member of our editorial board.” Now how much would you pay?

Pretty much everything about this email screams at me not to submit, not to join, and not to take seriously. These guys may well be doing good science, but this isn’t helping.

1 comment:

Stas Sajin said...

Thanks for the feedback. I will correct all the grammar errors, lower the membership fee to something like $100 so that it would not look that suspicious, write a few fake research articles on my website because it is kinda odd that only my name appears there....,and so on.

Dude, you're giving secrets to terrorists:)