Looks like a “Scholar Scam” to me! Caveat Emptor

Caveat emptor2Caveat Emptor! (“let the buyer beware”)   I got a string of emails that I suspect are phishing to get me to send $$$.  Does the emailer assume that I am in some sort of “publish or perish” greed mode?

The likely phisher got in touch with me via ResearchGate.  I love ResearchGate.  Seriously. It’s a great place to notify interested scholars of peer-reviewed work OR to post your work as ‘grey literature’ (i.e., “usually unpublished [work, including]… research reports, …evaluations, theses, dissertations, webcasts, poster sessions, presentations, conference proceedings, PowerPoint Presentations, etc..” per CSU/LB)

I christened the emails a “scholar scam.”  (Please disabuse me of this notion if you know better.)  First,I got an email asking if one of my ResearchGate-posted papers had been published. When I Scamanswered ‘no,’ I got a string of gmails  (not “.edu”) attempting to get me to add as author someone who is not an author, then with other requests.  Supposedly the advantage for me is to get help publishing.  Frankly, I don’t need the help. (If you do, please pick your own reputable scholar friends to assist.)

I suspect that the phisher wants to convince me to PAY with promises  of publication. The paying part would be real and the publication part likely imaginary.  (BTW: Anyone can pay to publish anytime without anyone else’s help.)  I was not yet asked for $$$, but if the emails continue, I expect that to come.

ummm….no thank you….Caveat Emptor!    

What do you think? Anyone else receive similar emails?-Dr.H

p.s. the article in question that is fulltext at ResearchGate – Highfield, MEF, Osterhues, DJ, & Chu, L. (2008) Religious & spiritual content in physical therapy curricula: A survey of U.S. program directors. Published on ResearchGate.


One thought on “Looks like a “Scholar Scam” to me! Caveat Emptor”

  1. [note from Dr. Highfield: Found this on ResearchGate, too]
    Fateh Mebarek-Oudina
    Dear all,
    Fake scientific publishers
    This has already happened to many academics, particularly the young and struggling ones. You get an email. A representative of a publisher with a serious-sounding name tells you that your long-forgotten PhD or even MA thesis was discovered by them and deemed worthy of publication. Would you kindly agree? Flattered, you say yes.
    The company that contacted you is called, for example, VDM Verlag, VDM Publishing, LAP Lambert. These are currently the most notorious spammers, and they are all part of one group operating out of Mauritius. But they are certainly not the only names in the game.
    It’s usually a small operation. A handful of people scour university databases for theses and other publications. They send out masses of personalized-sounding emails to authors. In what appears to be the most widespread version of this trick, the company does not even want a “publication fee”, as used to be the case with this kind of academic vanity operations. Instead, the firm publishes the piece. The happy author will buy at least one overpriced copy and contact the library of his or her home institution asking it to buy some more. It’s a simple trick and it often works. Ultimately, the smooth operator does not sell much, but the printing costs of those few copies are a few cents, so the markup is high.


    Liked by 1 person

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