Checking my emails this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find an email from a group known as David Publishing that expressed an interest in a paper that I recently presented at UCL's "Monstrous Antiquities" conference for a new journal that they were starting up, History Research. Naturally I was quite excited, thinking that this journal –– claiming to be based in California –– had taken an interest in my recent talk and would like to publish it. But something just didn't sit right with me. The email had clearly been written by someone for whom English was not their first language, and the journal claimed to cover *everything* that fell within the remit of history. The whole email was indeed a bit of a mess, and it was clear that they had simply copy-and-pasted the name of my paper into a pre-existing text, not even bothering to ensure that the two fonts were the same. If this was indeed an academic press, I thought, then it was certainly a sloppy and amateurish operation.
|The dubious email which I received.|
Being an academic, my first instinct is to research, and like all good Westerners are now trained to do, I went straight to Google. What I found confirmed my suspicions. David Publishing is no legitimate academic press. It is a Chinese-based company that send out these phishing emails in order to attract gullible or over-eager academics, particularly graduate students who might not have any experience with legitimate academic publications. Their peer review system is a joke, and it seems apparent that their only interest is to extort money from the academics whose work they publish. After giving you the results of your peer review, which will typically be glowing with praise no matter the quality of your work, they let you know that they would simply love to publish your paper.... for a fee. And it's no small fee either, with the company charging around $20 per page. So let me make this perfectly clear for everyone else in academia; if you come across any of these phishing emails, do not be fooled, just send it straight to the spam box. You can learn more about this contemptible, predatory company over at the Leiter Reports Blog, and the Scholarly Open Access blog.