Edie Brous
Nurse Attorney
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If you do any public speaking or publishing you have probably received email invitations to participate in conferences or submit journal articles.  Confirm that the offer has come from a legitimate source before accepting the invitation.  Many such offers are scams and can be costly.
Advances in internet communications have permitted instant international access to scientific and technical information.  Traditional print journals have expanded their readerships by providing electronic versions of their editions and podcasts to accompany articles. Traditional in-person conferences have expanded to include webinars or electronic versions of live sessions.  Subscriptions to journals or registration for conferences may include these electronic options.  And these electronic options may be available without charge in what is referred to as “open access.”  Open-access allows readers to access materials without having to navigate a paywall.
With any new technology, there are those who would exploit its users and a professional’s interest in publishing or speaking provides such an opportunity. While much open access material may be legitimate, a new con has emerged which is referred to as predatory open access. Phony offers to publish or speak have proliferated and need to be distinguished from legitimate offers.  They may look very similar to offers from respectable and established journals or conferences but counterfeit journals and fake conferences can lead to unexpected fees, the loss of copyright protections, plagiarism, reputation damage, compromise of the peer-review process, corruption of academic standards or fraud.
Before accepting a proposal to publish or speak, conduct some research on the source of the offer. Before citing an open access publication as a reference, confirm the legitimacy of the source to avoid referencing a bogus publication. Jeffrey Beall has provided a list of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers:
For further information on this disturbing practice, see the following articles:
Jeffrey Beall, 9/12/12
Predatory Publishers Are Corrupting Open Access
Declan Butler, 3/27/13
Investigating Journals: The Dark Side of Publishing
Declan Butler, 3/27/14
Sham Journals Scam Authors: Con Artists Are Stealing the Identities of Real Journals To Cheat Scientists Out of Publishing Fees
Kyle Crocco, 3/12/14
Welcome To The Dark Side Of Academia:  Fake Conferences And Faux Journals
Carl Elliott, 6/5/12 
On Predatory Publishers: A Q&A With Jeffrey Beall
Martha Harbison, 4/9/13
Bogus Academic Conferences Lure Scientists
Gina Kolata, 4/7/13
Scientific Articles Accepted (Personal Checks, Too)
Amy Novotney, APA 2014
Watch Out For Faux Journals and Fake Conferences

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This newsletter is intended to provide general information for educational purposes only.  It does not serve as a substitute for legal advice.  If you need legal assistance engage the services of an attorney in your state.  Subscription to this newsletter does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Copyright © 2014, Edie Brous, RN, Esq.