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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ FTC hits a predatory science publisher with a fine of $ 50 million

FTC hits a predatory science publisher with a fine of $ 50 million



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Before publishing a scientific journal was an important undertaking requiring peer-review, printing and distribution infrastructures, and costs are often borne by authors for publishing. Now it's possible to simply convert queries into PDFs and discard them online. By removing these barriers, science was quickly tormented by predatory publishers who also decided to remove the peer review. Instead, they just posted something from people who have money to pay for the posting fees.

The profits of these "predatory publishers" come from a mixture of real scholars who are inconsiderate, people who want to put their publishing records, and scientists who just want to see their ideas in literature, despite the lack of merit . All of them can lead to misinformation in the scientific record and confuse the society, which in general does not even know about the existence of predatory publishers.

Now the Federal Trade Commission has won a generalized decision that can just cause some predatory publishers to give up their business model. A predatory publisher based in India has been hit with a $ 50 million dollar decision for fraudulent business practices along with constant orders against most of the money-making activities.

Factual Practices

FTC filed this action in 201

6 under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which covers unfair or deceptive practices. The Commission drew attention to two companies – OMICS Group, publisher and iMedPub LLC, which organized scientific conferences – together with an individual, Shrinubabu Gidela, who manages the two companies. Part of the case shows that this is actually a whole that shares business addresses in both the United States and India.

The practices of the companies, as documented by FTC, are quite unheard of. While the OMICS group claims that its publications are being viewed on an equal footing, two different journalists have made nonsense papers in their publications and accepted them without review. Scientists who have submitted articles show that they have returned from the review for a few days; the court acknowledged that peer review usually takes months. In some cases the manuscript was simply posted without warning after filing. they were included as editors. In a number of cases, scientists have asked for their names to be removed from the magazine's website, but requests have been disregarded.

Still getting worse

The problems documented by FTC have not stopped here. The quality of magazines is often measured by a metric called impact factor calculated by Thomson Reuters. This company does not include the OMICS Group's magazines, so OMICS has responded by creating its own rating system based on Google Scholar searches and calling this impact factor, then advertising the impact factors of its magazines. Similarly, he puts the PubMed Central logo of the National Institutes of Health and Medline on the pages of his journals, although none of his journals are indexed by these systems. In fact, the National Library of Medicine asked OMICS to stop these fraudulent practices.

Similar things continued with the scientific meetings organized by iMedPub, which will identify prominent scientists in the relevant fields and state that the scientists attend the conference. In most cases, scientists did not have the idea that the conference was even happening – and again, some they asked unsuccessfully that their names would be removed. At the same time, the people who enrolled were disappointed by the real speakers at the conference.

The frosting of the cake here is that the people who have encountered these practices have led to the revenues of Gidela and his companies. Magazine websites have often failed to list publishing fees and allowed scientists to submit their publications without ever being informed of the cost. The committee then requested that the judgment be reconsidered in its favor in order to avoid the time and cost of the trial. To avoid this, a company lawyer will have to point out that either some of the facts submitted by the Federal Trade Commission have been challenged or something legally unfounded in relation to the charges he faces

lawyers do not they did. Instead, they submitted a document describing 74 complaints about the voluntary business practices of the OMICS Group. However, lawyers have not provided the court with any evidence that these issues have been resolved. In addition, the defendants argue that peer reviews do not have to take several months; the judge noted that this does not explain why some of the editors of the OMICS Group have never received a review document.

"Since the accused did not raise real questions of crucial importance," the judge concluded the FTC's ruling. "

This decision comes at a considerable cost. Everyone involved in the company has received permanent prescriptions that penalize them to engage in any of these practices in the future. FTC calculates the company's total revenue while documenting the violations, subtracts all customer refunds and fines for the rest. This final ended with over $ 50 million.

Many of the predators are small and foreign-based, so it is unclear how well FTC will be able to pursue them. And while these magazines are ready to deliver wonderful ideas with faceted scientific legitimacy, it will be hard to turn them off completely. However, it is good to know that there is a legal appeal if predatory publishers become a big problem.


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