Another predatory journal in “deadly need” of a paper

I doubt that there’s a scientist alive who doesn’t get one of these predatory journal pleas on a regular basis. They’re never in my field (this one is in agriculture and soil science!), and they are in deadly need of a 2-page opinion piece for the next issue of their sub-sub-substandard journal.

I’d be tempted to submit something humorous, but a. it’s work and b. it would debase the scientific enterprise. Instead, I’ll show you the email for your delectation.

If you look up the location of the journal’s “offices” in San Francisco, you’ll find they are virtual offices, providing only the appearance of an office with a mailing address and someone to answer the telephone.

In other words, although the journal is real, it’s a predatory journal that exploits scientists who need papers on their c.v.s, making money by charging exorbitant publication fees. I suspect the real offices are overseas given the fractured English in the email (“deadly need”, “please tack the below link”, probably meaning “tick”), which of course means the email is lying.

Perhaps an enterprising reader would want to call up “Emma Megan” at the number and see what transpires.

World Journal of Agriculture and Soil Science <>
Wed 6/17/2020 5:38 AM
To: Jerry Coyne

Dear Dr. Jerry A Coyne,


Hope you are doing very well!

Well, we are in deadly need of only one article to release Volume 5 Issue 2 before End of this Month. Is it possible for you to support us with your 2-page Opinion or Mini Review for this issue?

Please tack the below link to visit on our journal website

Please acknowledge this email to submit your manuscript.

Emma Megan | Managing Editor
World Journal of Agriculture and Soil Science (WJASS) | [ISSN: 2641-6379]
Iris Publishers LLC,315 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA.
Web:| Email Id: |Tel no: +1-628-201-9788


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    What was the subject line?

    I like to think I’ve read so much spam by now that I could explain how it works. One part, I think, is a writing style that is not exactly like a conversation, but like a busy office, where a supervisor comes over and immediately starts making you (the email recipient) do something, in this case, the “Well, we are …”.

    I have lots of examples of this. It’s sickeningly laughable – and of course, trains my own writing.

  2. DrBrydon
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    You could submit a two-page opinion piece on predatory journals to test their editorial processes. It would be amusing if it got published.

    • Monika
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      You! You are evil!

      I like that in a person!

      It still would be work, though.

      • sugould
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        And, c. Someone might take it seriously.

  3. Simon Hayward
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    These things are a bloody nuisance. Requests deleted this morning:

    Japanese J. of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
    J. Integrative Cardiology
    Frontiers in Energy
    Surgery and Clinical Care Reports
    Nephrology Open Access open journal (twice – perhaps they are just too open!)
    Annals of Case Reports
    Environmental Pollution
    Austin J Obstetrics and Gyne
    Archives of Clinical Case Reports
    Cancer Research and Therapy J

    Every morning I wake up and delete a dozen or so of these things. Usually before my eyes are open and as a result I occasionally lose something (in going through the trash folder to compile this list I found a message from a friend in Japan that had somehow ended up in a spam folder). I’m not sure what, if anything, can be done to stem the flow. They seem to regularly change addresses and servers so blocking tends to be ineffective.

  4. Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I haven’t gotten such letters from predatory journals but many from fake radio shows that wanted to interview me. Authenticity is getting harder and harder to come by these days.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Fake radio shows that wanted to interview you?! What’s that all about?

      1. Any interviews of you by legit radio shows that you’d like to share?

      2. What the heck are fake radio shows? I can’t imagine why someone would go to the trouble of soliciting interviews for a nonexistent radio show.

      • Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        They attempt to grab you by making you think you are important enough to be interviewed. They give the show a somewhat reasonable title, like “Southern California Tech News”, and then claim they are interviewing local CEOs. There seems to be some sort of “publicity fee” involved.

        I suppose one could regard it as a legitimate form of advertising but I can’t imagine that anyone actually listens to such a radio show.

  5. GBJames
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I’ve enrolled as a senior auditor at UW-Milwaukee the last few semesters. As a student I now get a remarkable number of scam job offers… work at home “jobs” for faculty who just happen to be unavailable to meet with, but if I can do the work at my convenience as long as I give them my bank information so they can pay me. HAHAHAHA.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I’m just a benighted coastal elitist these days, but as a kid we had kinfolk with a spread down in Kentucky. They used to spread somethin’ on the soil there that, we’d go for a visit, whew, you could smell the place miles before catching sight of it.

    You think that might be the kinda keen insight into soil science the World Journal of Agriculture is lookin’ for?

  7. Terry Sheldon
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    In doing some research on Iris Publishers, I note that they are the ones who published the “What’s the Deal With Birds” paper that was featured on WEIT a couple months back.

  8. Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I receive a fair number of these, and I don’t even have a doctorate, never mind an academic appointment. (I have published sometimes in journals and edited collections, though.)

    What I find amazing is how bad the market research is on the part of the scammers: I get asked to contribute to various medical fields, mechanical engineering, etc. none of which I have any qualifications in whatever.

  9. merilee
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    She/it Capitalizes like Our Fearless Leader.

  10. Jacques Hausser
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Luckily my University has a very efficient spam filter. Relatively few of these journals succeed to go through (maybe 1-2 per week). The bad side is that periodically I have to insist that WEIT e-mails are NOT spams…

  11. jezgrove
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Iris Publishers were responsible for the brilliant “What’s the Deal with Birds” paper that you delighted us with a while ago!

    • jezgrove
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Oops, Terry had already pointed that out above – I must remember to refresh the page before posting!

    • jezgrove
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      The reason I remembered about Iris was that in light of the “What’s the Deal with Birds” paper I contacted one of the people they list as an “Editor-in-Chief”. He replied to say his involvement with them was limited to half a dozen peer reviews he had conducted. He had found “several” of the papers to be “excellent” – a couple were “terrible” and he recommended against publishing them. He was surprised to be named as an editor-in-chief and said he would be contacting Iris about that, although I’ve just checked and they are still listing him as one a few months later.

  12. Bilby
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I had two only this morning. One thing I have noticed is that name of the editor on the email is (nearly) always two names that could be first names – Emma Megan in your case, Peter Nicholas and Lucy Helen in mine this morning. I wonder if they send out so many they just have a random name mixer and generator.

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