Thursday 21 May 2020


Three years ago I wrote about the tsunami steady trickle of spam inviting me to support for-profit scientific publications by sending them a rehash of a paper which I had recently published. It's called predatory publishing but that implies agency and action on the part of the wannabe publishers. Parasitic  publishing would be a better description because the only over-head is to write a script that will strip Name; e-mail; title from a paper and insert these data into robot-driven solicitation for new copy. I was interested enough to gather a database collection of these letters to illustrate relative knowledge about correct forms of address. Then for 3 years, to keep my inbox reasonably trim, I deleted each mail as it came in. Just recently, as a bit of a jape, I've taken to responding to such unsolicited e-mails as if they had fired up the (permanent) vacation software in MS Outlook. It cost me little, although my four word reaction was unlikely to achieve anything useful. And then I got a response.
Dear Dr. Scientist,
I hope this message finds you well in this difficult time. 
The article you wrote recently caught my attention and wanted to get in contact with you to discuss the idea of writing a related article for the Internal Medicine Review. 
Dr Scientist is dead
Thank you for your email. I understand. Could you possibly recommend anyone who may be in a position to prepare an article?
Dr Lejárt Halott in Budapest
Prof Dispar Avant in Montpellier
Drs Papagaio Falecido at Universidade Técnica de Lisboa
You may need Google translate (as did I) to twig the full hilHAHAHArity of my riposte. I adopted a similar cunning plant to sort the robots from the real people in my pre-Blob dealings with Sunday Miscellany.

No comments:

Post a Comment