When Chris Kramer, associate professor of philosophy at Rock Valley College in Illinois, learned that a paper of his had been accepted to the International Journal of Philosophy and Theology, he was excited. And then suspicious.
For one thing, while the paper had been sent out to two referees, there were no requested revisions of it. For another, they asked for a $200 publication fee.
Then there were the comments on the paper. Here they are in their entirety:
This study focuses on a contemporary issue. The analytical section is excellent. The paper is based on sound grammatical knowledge. The presentation of thoughts in the paper is clear. It can be published with no important modification.
And the payment instructions:
They take Western Union. You know, just like Phil Studies does.
So what is going on? Isn’t the Journal of International Philosophy and Theology a legitimate journal? Yes it is. But there is also a bogus Journal of International Philosophy and Theology that is scamming authors.
The bogus one lists an editor, Christopher Trogan (John Jay College, CUNY). He disavows any connection with them and reports that they are fraudulently using his name and background.
The editor of the legitimate IJP&T, Walter Van Herck, writes, “We are well aware of the fact that there is another fake journal using the name of IJP&T. We have contacted our publisher about this and they are investigating all possible reactions.”
Who is running the fake version of the journal? Kramer’s acceptance was on letterhead from the American Research Institute for Policy Development and authored by one Mamin Ullah.
A quick look at the American Research Institute for Policy Development website suggests it is bogus—full of clip art and generic descriptions. It is unclear whether Mamin Ullah is a real person, but he or she is listed as the director of this fake research institute. Also, this is its office, according to Google Maps:
A random home in a leafy Madison neighborhood could possibly be the headquarters of a research institute, but in conjunction with the other information it doesn’t quite inspire confidence.
Oh, by the way, that address is also listed as the office for the Journal of Psychology & Behavioral Science, but it is the bogus version, also run by the ARIPD, and should not be confused with the real Journal of Psychology & Behavioral Research.
Both fake journal URLs use the same format—an acronym for the journal immediately followed by “net.com” so be on the lookout for that elsewhere.
Authors, be wary! Thanks to Professor Kramer for bringing this scam to our attention.