India is accumulating quite a bit of bad reputation. Their largest generic drug company made a name for selling counterfeit drugs. Freelance websites are full of stories about being scammed by fake Indian programming companies (see here and here). In the latest saga, their open access journal is getting famous, but in a wrong way.
We will get to that story in a minute after enjoying a poem.
Poets have loved this flower. For Shakespeare, it is Daises pied
(variegated like a magpie), while Tennyson makes the unfortunate
lover of Maud sing:
I know the way she went,
Home with her maiden posy;
For her feet have touched the meadows,
And have left the daisies rosy.
I turned to her and said slowly Madam, the breast in yours; note
that; not your sisters; not your physicians; not mine, but yours; and if
I were you I would keep it.
You are not reading literature (or cheap novel) in the above paragraphs, but extracts from a ‘scientific’ paper titled “Magic of Homoepathic Tinctures of Herbs in Breast Tumour” that is published in India’s ‘prestigious’ open-access journal OMICS online. How ‘prestigious’ is the Indian outlet? Here is an example. A US-based librarian called them what they really are and apparently got into trouble. To protect their ‘honor’, those jokers threatened to sue the librarian for 1 billion dollar !! The lawsuit, of course, is supposed to take place in an Indian court. To give you an ideas about how big 1 billion dollar is in the Indian context, you can use the money to fund half of Indian navy and stop their submarines from sinking (aren’t submarines supposed to sink?) !!
Many researchers complain that the journal is very quick to respond, when it seeks your money and very slow to respond, when it screws up (which is often). We will give you an example of how bad they are.
Richard Poynder, who writes a blog on open-source journals, managed to get hold of the founder/owner of the racket and posted an interview -
Since then, hapless researchers had been contacting Richard Poynder to get their troubles with the journal fixed, because contacting the journal itself had been of no use !!
The company also organizes conferences, and a commenter in Richard Poynder’s blog wrote:
hi every1, i am a student and i recently attended a meeting by OMICS. Wont mention the name but it was awefull. i came from so far, almost opposite part of the world to give my talk to jst 14 ppl in a big hall in an international (so called) conference. It was embarssing. Seems they r just concerned with making money and thats it. One more thing that is common that they announce a 3 day conference n its jst for two days as there is nobody to soeak for the third day
If any of you had good experience with them, please let us know in the comment section. We looked very hard and did not find any happy-ending story, except the one from Canada-based homeopathy doctor.