Mystic Conferences

A dark and anonymous reception

Anonymity is not a good thing for journals and conferences, especially not when it comes to the organizations backing the journal and the journal “editorial board”.

We have described spamming journals and spamming conferences. Conferences that have found you and want you to come to their conference. Or to quote “Andy Warhol” from JPmonfort:  “You are receiving this communication because you have been identified as an Expert in you area of activity. You Are Invited To Join Us in Stockholm!”

Or his colleagues:,, and so on.

Few are as transparent as Jaime Pozuelo-Monfort, that probably wants me to buy his book “The Monfort Plan”. This kind of spam can more or less drive us insane:

“This guy won’t stop, he is the energizer bunny of spam. I have requested him to stop sending me his mindless drivel. I block his e-mails but he just changes names and domains. He has my university e-mail, and he has my consulting e-mail. Mr. Monfort, please stop.”

It is worse when predatory journals like OMICS earlier mentioned in the post Bluff conferences buy journals that are published in Pubmed. Making it harder for us to distinguish the predatory journals and conferences. They can also say that researchers are part of their editorial board. Researchers that don’t necessarily know that this journal even exists.

Another example is: “Journal of International Scientific Publications: Language, Individual & Society”. That have sent out conference invitations. So how can we say that this is a predatory journal? We can start with the fact that they spam invitations through email. But let’s check if there is any validity connected to the journal anyway.

I start by finding information about the journal in Ulrishweb. We can see that the journal is connected to an organization called “Info Invest Ltd” we should of course look this up. I also find a link towards the journal webpage. When it comes to the bibliographic databases that index the journal we find three sources all connected to Ebsco but does not seem to have any visable indexes. When it comes to the company Invest Ltd I have some problems finding an official website. When I try to look for the editorial board on the journal webpage I also find nothing.

I will stop here. It takes a lot of time to thoroughly evaluate all the spamming conferences and journals that send emails. Do we want to receive journal and conference tips this way? Is it maintainable to use time to look up every conference or journal that send us spam like advertisement and see whether we find one that is actually legitimate. Or is this time better spent looking for conferences and journals that have high or good enough quality. And simply ignore all the spamming emails? Well the risk is that we miss something intresting.

Anyway if you are suspicious of an invitation to publish or to take part in an conference, contact me or one of my colleagues so we can discuss the invitation together.


ORCID, a short text on why

We have talked about ORCID in a previous post  ORCID – an international ID for researchers. ORCID is an organization that aims to create an internationally accepted identifier connecting research with researchers.

Why is it important to get one of these ORCIDs? For one thing it is a requirement to be able to apply for research grants through the Swedish Research Councils and Formas & Fortes granting system Prisma. The ID can also make it easier to do citation searches – and analysis, since it becomes harder to confuse people having the same or similar names.

ORCID is already integrated in some of the big universities and publishers like Elsevier, Thomson Reuters, Springer and so on. You can see more of these affiliated organizations at the ORCID integration chart.

DiVA our new digital archive that is still being implemented will be able to connect the ORCID-numbers with the university publications. The meta data from the publications will also connect to the national bibliographic database Swepub that share information with Prisma. This will make it easier to apply for new grants since a publication list can be collected through the systems.

How to create an ORCID? You can start by entering the site and register.orcid_128x128

If you have any questions you can contact me at

/Thomas Nyström

Evaluation of research quality

Swedish Research Council submitted its suggestion for research quality evaluation to the Swedish government just before Christmas. Since the spring of 2013 the Swedish Research Council has had this taks. The aim has been to develop a model for resource allocation which includes peer review of the quality and relevance of research, in consultation with Forte, Formas och Vinnova

The model named FOKUS is to replace the current model based on a number of indicators. The goal is to use peer review and improve the quality of research and its contribution to the society.

The model has two parts: an evaluation part and a resource allocation calculation part which is to show how the results of evaluation are to be converted to resources. Evaluation is based on three components: scientific/artistic quality (70%), factors of quality development (15%) and impact outside of academia (15%).

The report is only in Swedish but you can find it here: Forskningskvalitetsutvärdering i Sverige – FOKUS

Pieta Eklund

“Funders punish open-access dodgers”

A number of research funders have a policy on open access publishing. They even have earmarked funds to pay for APC (article processing charge). Despite positive carrots to motivate researchers to make research publications freely available it has been quite easy to dodge from the policy without bigger problems. Now though the funders have started to follow up on what has been made open access and not.

The two big funders (NIH, US National Instituties of Health & Wellcome Trust in UK) have grown tired and started to introduce a punishment on those researchers and research groups who do not follow the open access policy. They have stopped grant payments. Last year Wellcome Trust withheld funds 63 times because articles from the projects they funded were not open access. NIH says that since 2013 they have delayed payments to projects with continuing grants if publications have not been open access.

According to these two funders the number of research publications made open access has increased and more research groups are now following the rules. Read the article Funders punish open-access dodgers from Nature.

What about Sweden? The Swedish research Council and other funders have open access policy and the Council sys that they will start controling the policy. From 2015 only open access material will be accounted for when reporting back to the Council.

Whether the Council and other Swedish research funders will be using withholding payments as a way to get researchers to abide with the open access policy will be a later question.

Pieta Eklund