‘Publication Laundering’


  • Hold a conference, fake or real or somewhere in between. Assert a topic, a location (virtual would make this even easier), prepare a shell website, assign guest editors, etc.
  • Write to a Proceedings journal and request they publish your conference submissions. Shove your tongue firmly in your cheek, and tick all the boxes that promise you’ll follow the process, peer review the submissions, vet the editors etc. as above.
  • Write a series of smouldering nonsense papers.
  • Sell authorship to those papers.
  • Salt the duff papers through the real conference submissions if there are any (and presumably any real/fake admixture is possible).
  • ‘Complete’ the conference, and batch all the submissions up nicely with the right formatting, send to Proceedings journal.
  • Wait for publication.
  • Collect money from ‘authors’ upon publication.

1. A lot of content has nothing to do with materials science

Remember, this is a material science journal — ‘ the understanding and application of the properties of matter’ — and the only part of the proceedings that receive any scrutiny appear to be the titles.

The design and fulfillment of a Smart Home (SH) material powered by the IoT using the Blynk app

Removal of copper ions from the Contaminated soil by soil washing technique

An innovative hybrid technique for road extraction from noisy satellite images

Computer vision-based surface roughness measurement using artificial neural network

Malware analysis: Reverse engineering tools using santuko linux

Study of antibacterial effect of the hydroalchoholic extract of Teucrium polium against clinical strain of Gardnerella vaginalis in vitro

Phytochemical assay on leaves, bracts, and flowers of Bougainvillea spectabilis and isolation of phenolic materials from bracts

Labor relation in construction industry in India

These have NOTHING to do with material science. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

2. Many of the papers are obviously nonsense

Quick caveat: I would submit that clever people in non-English speaking countries are quite capable of both ascertaining what is good or bad about a scientific paper and writing one.

Overview of risk factors in the use of antihypertensive biomaterials drugs in medical prescriptions

A drug utilisation search is also packed with information about the effectiveness of drug use, as well as information about the drug itself. Prioritization is effective when it is used to facilitate the allocation of resources in a sensible manner, resources to assist you in maintaining or improving your fitness. Men and women always had a risk of hypertension. The current inquiry’s main purpose is to present an overview about the antihypertensive drug exploitation sample, threat part drug detection evidence in the manufacturing and the identification of the threat. It provides richer insights into individualised but premium pharmacological care of hypertension by examining prescription trends and use of antihypertensive medicines.

Robots and its types for industrial applications

Robots are playing a very important role in industries. The main task in the robotics, is to reach the end effector at desired position. Robots are used in every sector like hospitals, mining, domestic purpose, industries etc. The inverse kinematic robotics problem has proved to be of great significance because the solutions found provide control over the position and orientation of the robot hand. In this paper, a brief review of robots and its types has been discussed. The materials used in the robots is discussed in this paper.

Vitamin D and fertility

Vitamin D is one of the steroid hormones. Approximately 80% of vitamin D comes from skin production under the effect of sunlight. A small portion of vitamin D also comes from food and/or dietary supplements. Vitamin D is well known for its role in phosphocalcic metabolism and bone mineralization. Several studies suggest that vitamin D has reproductive effects in women and men. Indeed, vitamin D receptors (VDRs) and enzymes that control vitamin D metabolism are expressed in both female and male reproductive organs, which may suggest that vitamin D may have effects on sperm quality, fertility, and conception rate. This article presents a description of the function of vitamin D in female and male fertility.

3. Papers being sold on the open market end up in the journal

This is straightforward to understand.


This is just one example from one journal. I don’t have the time or the energy or the support to kick all the beams in this house and find out which are rotten with termites. I haven’t done any citation analysis to see if these papers come with ‘citation agreements’ (later papers which cite them as part of the ‘package’). I don’t even know how many other journals are which have similar policies.

  • Price a proceedings submission with an upfront cost.
  • Actually look at the article titles and keywords to make sure they relate to the ostensive focus of the journals. This could be automated. Or it could be very, very fast. Ten minutes per conference, tops.
  • Peer review a random subset of the submissions even briefly. Peer review has many problems, but ‘being unable to tell nonsense about diabetes from real research about material science’ isn’t one of them.
  • Return some or all of the upfront fee upon acceptance so legitimate small, regional and LDC conferences are not priced out.
  • Keep the money if more than X% of the papers are out of scope or obvious crap.



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