14 August 2008

Fradulent call for manuscripts in the name of Elsevier

For the second time within the last month or so I have received a peculiar e-mail purporting to be from the publisher Elsevier and calling for the submission of manuscripts in all “Fields of human Endeavour. [sic].”

Several pieces of evidence make it obvious that these e-mails are not from Elsevier:

1. The e-mail I received today came from [elsevierpublishers@gmail.com] and asked that the manuscripts be sent to [elsevierpublishers@live.com]. The e-mail addresses of large companies like Elsevier don’t end with extensions of free e-mail services such as "gmail.com".

2. The text of the message was poorly composed and written with each line of the 1st paragraph capitalized. Elsewhere within the message, odd words were capitalized as, for example, in the sentence, “The paper Length [sic] should not exceed...”

3. The e-mail indicated that “Papers submitted will Be [sic] sorted out and published in any of our numerous journals that best Fits [sic].” You don’t just send a manuscript to a publisher and expect them to pick a journal for it. The author picks an appropriate journal and sends it to the editor of that journal. Besides, each journal usually has different requirements for how the manuscripts should be prepared. There is no generic manuscript format (unfortunately) that would be suitable for all journals. Therefore, a publisher wouldn’t call for manuscripts without also directing the prospective authors to where a set of “instructions for authors” may be found.

4. The e-mail was signed as “Rex Hammond(Prof.) [sic]”. This is an unusual format for stating the name and title of someone who is supposedly in charge of a journal. A more normal format would be something like “Rex Hammond, Ph.D., Editor in Chief, name of the journal”.

5. Finally, Elsevier is aware of these e-mails (here) and indicating that they are fradulent.

I suspect this is either a joke or a crude ploy of some sort perhaps to steal unpublished manuscripts. The warning from Elsevier also mentions a request for payment, although the e-mails I received didn't say that the authors would be asked to pay a fee.

3 comments:

John said...

That's weird. Usually phishing scams pretend to be banks, credit card companies, or African heir(esse)s.

Anonymous said...

Things are changing - we have had fake conferences on human rights, child soldiers, all sorts. Always check and verify - never go for things with gmail addresses, as a basic principle. Also, just because it's on a bona fide site, still check - some sites don't have time to verify whether conference announcements etc. are genuine. With google earth etc. always check whether the hotel exists, whether the NGO exists - there are sites where you can find the recent registration of fake NGOs, with dates etc. A google search is usually enough to cover you, and confirm your suspicions.

Universities are being targeted - be clear on this, and naive students in subjects that imply good faith, like children, peace etc.

NURDAN AKINER said...

Cok onemli bir uyarida bulunmussunuz, tesekkurler, bilimsel yayina uygun periyodik arayan bizim gibi ogretim uyeleri icin bir tuzak. Bes dakika once ayni emaili ben de aldim ancak google'dan arastirinca sizin uyariniza rastladim. Arkadaslarima da haber verecegim.