Fake Academe: Fined $ 50.1 Million

News Brief by Kip Hansen


News Flash: “U.S. judge rules deceptive publisher should pay $50 million in damages”.

Appearing yesterday in Science magazine online is the news that “A U.S. federal judge has ordered the OMICS International publishing group to pay $50.1 million in damages for deceiving thousands of authors who published in its journals and attended its conferences. It’s one of the first rulings of its kind against one of the largest publishers accused of so-called predatory tactics.” [source: all italicized quoted text from Science mag ]

The OMICS group featured large in Jeffery Beall’s original list of “predatory open access publishing” in 2008.

“Judge Gloria Navarro of the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, granted summary judgment without a trial, accepting as uncontroverted a set of allegations made in 2016 by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in Washington, D.C., in its capacity as a consumer watchdog. The ruling also bars OMICS from similar future conduct.”

OMICS and the many sub-groups of its 700 or so online journals, was found guilty of:

  • FAKE PEER REVIEW: “OMICS, which publishes about 700 journals in scientific and other fields, advertised deceptively that it provided authors with rigorous peer review overseen by editorial boards. Instead, its journals approved many articles for publication in a matter of days with no substantive feedback to authors, FTC alleged. The judge relied in part on the findings of an investigation published by Science in 2013; its author, journalist John Bohannon, submitted a deposition to the court. Of 69,000 manuscripts published by OMICS from 2011 to 2017, the publisher provided evidence that only half had been sent out for peer review.”
  • PAY TO PUBLISH: “Despite this lack of actual peer review, OMICS’s solicitations to authors didn’t make it clear enough that it would charge them to publish articles in its open-access journals. Some authors complained and asked OMICS to withdraw their articles, but OMICS refused, preventing authors from submitting them to other publications.”
  • FAKE LIST OF REVIEWERS: “OMICS advertised its 50,000 reviewers as experts, but some never agreed to serve, and OMICS continued to publicly list some scientists as reviewers even after they asked to be removed.”
  • FALSIFIED IT OWN IMPACT: “The publisher advertised that its journals had high impact factors, a measure of their editorial quality. But it didn’t sufficiently reveal that OMICS itself generated its own “unofficial impact factor” for some of its journals based on citations in Google Scholar. OMICS also incorrectly stated that its journals are indexed in the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Medline and PubMedCentral.”
  • HELD FAKED CONFERENCES: “OMICS organized scholarly conferences and advertised that prominent academics would attend. But a sampling of 100 conferences indicated that 60% named organizers or participants who had not agreed to serve in that capacity.”

[source: all italicized quoted text from Science mag ]

The depth of this fake journal problem is hard to convey — but the amount of the fine ought to give you some idea.

This ought to be Good News for the BerkeleyEarth project, best known for its BEST surface temperature products and its now famous first paper “A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011” which was published as the first ever paper in the first ever edition of the fake OMICS / SCITECHNOL e-journal Geoinformatics & Geostatistics: An Overview.

“FTC has a database of authors who submitted manuscripts to journal articles whom it will contact if it recovers funds to share”, Ashe said [Gregory Ashe, FTC staff attorney on the case]. “Scholars who want to ensure that FTC knows of their claims can file a complaint through the agency’s website. Anyone worldwide can submit a claim.”

[It has been reported to this author, in blog comments long since buried, that OMICS/Scitechnol did not charge BerkeleyEarth for publishing their paper. Too bad, maybe they could have gotten their money back. I’m not a lawyer, but I think they might still be able to apply for monetary damages, it does say that “Anyone worldwide can submit a claim.”.]

# # # # #

Author’s Comment Policy:

I really dug into this topic back in 2013, following on to Jeff Beall’s work and an article in Science. The “pay-to-publish” scam is very successful in that it fills the need of so many scientists and academics that must Publish or Perish. Paying a predatory journal to publish one’s work, with little or no real peer-review, can jump-start a career. Most of these journals offer opportunities to deliver their “important work in the field” at conferences that just happen to focus on the topic of one’s paper — attending conferences is a career boosting activity as well.

If I had the extra money to waste, I bet even I could get a paper published in Geoinformatics & Geostatistics: An Overview . Problem is, I’d know it was a fake.

I’d like to read any experiences readers have had with these types of journals — if your story is too embarrassing, you could use a new, one-time screen name like “FakeJournalVictim”. (You do have to use a real email address — your email will not be visible to the public.)

# # # # #

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April 4, 2019 7:16 pm

Ah, so the truth is coming to light. Who will believe it?

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  markl
April 5, 2019 4:19 am


michael hart
April 4, 2019 7:21 pm

So it seems this story is not so much about science publishing, as about a company lying in its product advertising. While the outcome strikes me as a good thing, the further courts (and Michael Mann) are kept away from real science, the better.

Reply to  michael hart
April 4, 2019 8:05 pm

Seems to me it is also about the publishing of junk science without any meaningful peer review. No wonder there is a replication crisis in science today. How much of that replication crisis can we lay at the fingers of OMICS vs other publishers?

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
April 5, 2019 12:02 am

I think it was either The Lancet itself, or a paper published in The Lancet that claimed 50% of peer reviewed papers were not replicable. I believe it was Bayer who claimed it to be as high as 75%.

I wonder what 75% of peer reviewed climate science the alarmists want to dump in the bin.

Reply to  HotScot
April 5, 2019 9:51 am

Horton, R., 2015. Offline: what is medicine’s 5 sigma?. The Lancet, 385 (9976), p.1380.


Jeff Alberts
Reply to  michael hart
April 5, 2019 6:22 am

The vast majority of product advertising is false.

Reply to  michael hart
April 5, 2019 6:26 am

michael, stephen, HotScot ==> The Problem (capital P) is really in the downstream effects created by Fake Publishing. Truly awful papers enter the published literature, get cited and re-cited, taken as true findings, used as the basis for further experimentation — all on the basis of “published literature: when they don’t even meant the scientific criteria for a good blog post.

Of course, being published in a fsake journal doesn’t mean, necessarily, that the science is poor — it may be very very good but the authors young and without clout thus in practice barred from the better journals. Of course today, even Science and Nature and Lancet occasionally publish nonsense as well.

What it means to me is that publication is not even an indication of sound science. ANYTHING can get published in these types of journals.

It is John P. A. Ioannidis that has been bring the Reproducibility Crisis to public attention.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 5, 2019 9:53 am

I think we need to look further upstream. Kip you said “If I had the extra money to waste, I bet even I could get a paper published.” Well of course you could if you had grant money that was laundered through our higher education/indoctrination system. I think this is truly part of the government flim flam.

When the authors of this scam first sat down to strategize they realized that to pull off this CAGW hoax they needed more than an officious Government agency like the IPCC. They needed to have the authority of the educational and scientific communities backing them. They also realized that authority could be purchase when you had Billions of dollars to throw around. This court case exposes one of their short cuts to peer review authority.

nearly 20 years ago I began to run into 2 highly repetitive arguments from the alarmists, 1st) consensus and 2nd) peer review. No facts, no arguments just “oh yeah, we have peer reviewed consensus on our side” drop the mike, problem validated now lets move on to talk about the need for government solutions (like that ever happens – government solving problems) and nonsense like cap & trade. which is a way for the wealthy to get rich in an exchange market by driving up the cost of living on the middle class and driving down the quality of life on the poor.

This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a massive world wide government grift and the seeds of the idea were planted right here by us in the fertile albeit corrupt fields of the UN back in the 80’s.

Reply to  Bill Powers
April 5, 2019 12:58 pm

Bill Powers ==> The UNFCCC created a research field called “human-caused climate change” , the IPCC (another UN creature) demanded “science” to fill its reports, national governments stepped up to fund almost any research that could be claimed to apply to global-warming/climate change (somehow, anyhow). Funding Bias (calls for papers proving/supporting the AGW hypothesis) produced Publication Bias (assisted by carefully vicious gatekeeping by the Climate Team).

CliSci is not the only field so affected — many fields of science are under the thrall of gatekeepers of a particular scientific viewpoint — aided and abetted by national and international associations with interests in particular outcomes (think the American Heart Association’s support of “low salt diet for everyone” despite very careful detailed findings that
the “salt is bad for everyone” idea has been categorically proven wrong and proven to be harmful if enforced on those not requiring a low salt diet. )

Whenever there is an effort to suppress science that contradicts the generally held view you can bet the bank that there is something rotten going on. Normal science wants to know how Kip et al, arrived at their contrary conclusions….and if they find no errors in Kip’s research, then they begin to look at their own to see how there can be a difference. That’s how Science advances. Science goes backwards — into the dark age — when suppression of good research takes place.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 14, 2019 9:26 am

I’m not sure I understand this ruling. The court says the Journal is bogus, which seems to be taken as the articles are worthless. And, because the Journal articles are worthless, the authors of those articles now are awarded $50 Million.

So, my question is, if the articles are worthless, then why are the authors being compensated? Conversely, if the articles are not worthless, then why is the Journal being fined $50 for publishing them?

Further, these authors thought highly enough of these Journals to submit articles to them. How did the authors acquire their high opinions of the Journal? Did the authors just want to be published so badly that they didn’t care what Journal it was – no Due Diligence?

As for peer review, the publisher showed that half of the articles indeed were sent for peer review. Who showed that the other half were not sent for peer review, or were within the expertise of the board to determine the articles either were not acceptable or acceptable without further review?

There is not enough information presented above for me to know whether a fine makes sense. On the other hand, I’ve heard the name of judge Navarro before (in the Bundy / BLM case, where she ruled that the 2nd Amendment could not be brought up during the trial – she said the Constitution was irrelevant). I question when the last time she’s read the US Constitution was, let alone applicable law.

Reply to  Bob Shapiro
April 14, 2019 2:51 pm

Bob ==> You don’t seem to have understood what the case was about — why the FTC filed charges against OMICS.

You seem to have some understanding about the law, so to clear this all up, I suggest you read through the actual ruling itself.

It is my personal opinion that authors have the responsibility to know about the journal to which they submit their papers…..but the major harm, which OMICS could not repair with restitution is the huge number of non-science science papers that OMICS allowed to enter into the totality of the scientific literature which are not worth the bytes that are printed in.

Pop Piasa
April 4, 2019 7:43 pm

Is this the tip of a melting iceberg in the scientific community (commune, if you prefer) ❓

Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 5, 2019 6:28 am

Pop ==> It means that “the published literature” of a science field may be just as dubious as “The Internet” . And that’s a big deal.

Javert Chip
April 4, 2019 7:56 pm

So we got fake (or at least not very good) “scientists” publishing in a fake “scientific” journal.

Hard to believe real scientists & consumers of these “scientific journals” didn’t really know what was going on.

Reply to  Javert Chip
April 5, 2019 6:35 am

Javert ==> It’s complicated….assume you are a graduate student, a post-grad, and trying to make a name for yourself and get ahead in your chosen field…you’ve written a solid paper based on good research, but it is limited because you are only a post-grad and all, but if you don’t publish, then you are out. Paying to get your paper published in a specialist journal, like “Geoinformatics & Geostatistics: An Overview.”, will do the trick — you are now a published author. The fact that your paper has been reviewed by a second year student at some fifth-rate college doesn’t matter to you — they reviewed, found two spelling errors, which you corrected, and you’re good to go. [That the review missed that the paper was a circular argument, self verifying, and means absolutely nothing will continue to go unnoticed…]

Javert Chip
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 5, 2019 8:40 am


I’m not an “academic” so I your insight was appreciated.

It’s laughable that apparently everybody knows the system/process is fradulent, but academics still have to jump thru the flaming hoop, even if they have to pay to fake it. I assume this is because “academics” can’t really understand or evaluate each other, so they defer to a “peer reviewed” paper as a token of value (this sounds an awful lot like “participation medals”).

I was a CFO in real life (now retired) and faking it wasn’t an option.

Reply to  Javert Chip
April 5, 2019 11:36 am

Javert ==> Peer review is done without pay and is very time consuming. So getting top flight peer review done is hard.

Peer review even at SCIENCE magazine can (and did) fails to notice the there was not enough data in a study of fish eating microplastics (a hot environmental topic with a predetermined outcome –“We all know that fish eat microplastic and that is harms them”) to show that the experiments were actually carried out. SCIENCE published the paper — hot topic, assumed findings, another blow to those world-destroying-humans — and it stood until other researchers at the same lab read the paper and realized that Oona Lönnstedt had not been in the lab enough time to have possibly carried out the experiments claimed. [source: RetractionWatch ]

I mention this to point out that peer-review, even when done, does not do what the discipline of science thinks it does.

Reply to  Javert Chip
April 9, 2019 11:39 pm

“faking it wasn’t an option” in engineering either (now retired too); it blows up in your face.

Peer review? Trail blazers have no Peers. Worse; ‘it is easier to deceive some than to convince some that they have been deceived’. So it goes on; a religion.

Donald Kasper
April 4, 2019 8:21 pm

Cost of the regular journals is too high, and if you don’t have a checkbook, they won’t publish your paper.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
April 5, 2019 6:36 am

Donald Kasper ==> There is a lot to not like about the current Scientific Publishing world….what you say is correct, but for the Big Boys, their grants often include cost of publishing.

Boulder Skeptic
April 4, 2019 8:21 pm

And with a number of the other journals viewed as legitimate, we have a small cabal of reviewers (the hockey team?) who are really gate keepers ensuring no dissenting science, which would be contrary to the world view pounded home daily by a compliant and largely science-illiterate media, gets to see the light of day.

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
April 5, 2019 6:43 am

Boulder Skeptic ==> I would guess that every scientific field has its Gatekeepers — and Gatekeepers most often corral the field into certain “consensus” scientific views, mostly preventing the publishing of anything that runs counter to the consensus.

John Ioannidis says “that for many scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be just measures of the prevailing bias of the field.” — and that’s for mainstream publishing (Science, JAMA, Nature, Lancet, Cell, etc).

Geoff Sherrington
April 4, 2019 8:31 pm

What is the problem with OMICS? Anyone can discover it, no see.

Gary Pearse
April 4, 2019 8:44 pm

Kip, I have commented a few times on threads related to the 97% consensus global warming science, that the thing about it that blew me away was not so much the 97% part. Rather, it was that Cook had parsed abstracts of 12,000(!!) climate papers published during the course of one decade. That’s 1200 papers a year. In an 8 month academic year, that’s 150 papers a month!! That’s 8 papers per work day that have to be submitted, peer reviewed, and published!!! And no one was suspicious that this was a paper laundering service?

With the illustrious historical scientists everyone knows about who worked from the 16th Century to the early 20th, it was possible for an individual to read the entire scientific literature. And here we have a ‘science’ with 10s of thousands of practitioners who have spent billions and caused trillions more spent to save the planet and who havent increased knowlege of climate above what Tyndall, Arhenius and Guy Calandar (in the 1930s) laid down (ECS of CO2 is even less constrained). Calandar’s simple model is still superior to that of today’s state of the art forecasts of the temperature effect and he did this for nothing. This bunging up of science is the real crisis that we have to face and institutions, universities that need serious intervention and defunding.

High Treason
Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 4, 2019 9:07 pm

Like the science for hire scam of cAGW, this will cast a dark shadow over science itself. How can it ever be trusted again. In my own field, I do not use materials that come up number one in the tests- I buy what consistently comes second best. Kept me out of trouble in terms of materials used for decades.
When I asked my dad years ago (veteran academic and involved in academic funding for many years)- cAGW sounds like a load of leftie BS and science is settled-that’s BS, debate over-I don’t remember any debate, but why does the science support it? The answer-Ah, its the funding-if you don’t come to the conclusion those that funded the study want, you don’t get any more funding. As I was aware of the science for hire in my own field for many years, the penny dropped immediately. As I looked further in to it, the utter fraud became ever more obvious.

High Treason
Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 4, 2019 9:14 pm

I thought Cook et al went over 21 years. What should be the most telling thing about that “study” is that out of the 41(they claimed 64) papers that came to a quantified conclusion that human CO2 was the dominant cause of global warming/ “climate change”, not a single one stated it was dangerous. ZERO. With ZERO evidence, why on earth are we taking “climate measures”- they are all totally unwarranted. Note-the Cook et al was comprehensive. If such a comprehensive review shows no supporting evidence, there is no supporting evidence. Without supporting evidence, there is no argument whatsoever, let alone claims the science is settled. My conclusion is that cAGW must be a massive scientific fraud if it swears blind there is ample evidence when there is none.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 5, 2019 6:52 am

Gary and Treason ==> The published literature of climate change is driven by Funding Bias which drives Publication Bias — we end up with the broad landscape of published climate science being little more than
just measures of the prevailing bias of the field.“.

Bill in Oz
April 4, 2019 9:03 pm

I wonder how many Australian ‘scientists’ were caught up in this scam ?

Reply to  Bill in Oz
April 5, 2019 3:54 am

The science was settled, all they had to do was bury the corpse and they were home free …

“Lazarus come forth!”

But Lord! Surely he stinketh!

Reply to  WXcycles
April 5, 2019 1:48 pm


The stinketh truth;

You can bury the corpses,or manage to bury the corpses successfully, or tightly and safely cupboard the skeletons;
but you can not destroy or erase the corpses or the skeletons…
that is impossible.


Reply to  Bill in Oz
April 5, 2019 7:04 am

Bill ==> In Australia, we see the effect of funding and publication bias operating in science about the Great Barrier Reef, the reins of which are arguably held by CSIRO and the reef group at James Cook Uni.

The story of Peter Ridd is an example of what happens when one bucks the system there.

High Atop Trail Creek
April 4, 2019 9:14 pm

So, does this put the “Journal of Irreproducible Results”, which was at least humorous satire of us (by us), on a higher plane of reference material? Extended footnotes re: Impure Mathematics? Bovinity and the Sidehill Gouger?

Asking for a friend…..

Reply to  High Atop Trail Creek
April 4, 2019 11:35 pm

I think JIR is on-line, only. Haven’t checked in a few years.

April 4, 2019 9:32 pm

I get about one email a day on average from a predatory journal asking me to publish in and/or edit a special issue or organise a special symposium. Often the email has some fawning comment about one of my publications, which, as often as not, isn’t even relevant to the topic of the special issue. I assume they just scan Current Contents and the like, apply a coarse topic filter, and robomail anyone who has recently published. Doesn’t seem to matter how many I block from my uni address, others just keep rolling in.

I know people who have been fooled – some of the emails are better written than others, but mostly it is people who are languishing in relative obscurity and are seduced by the thought that someone finally appreciates their research.

Reply to  DaveW
April 5, 2019 3:43 am

I’ve had similar emails and I’m not even an academic – anyone who wants to publish a paper by me is not someone I’d want to be published by!

Reply to  Susan
April 5, 2019 7:07 am

Dave and Susan ==> Thanks for the personal experiences. I will admit that even I have been asked to participate, as a headline speaker, at dubious conferences….

Boulder Skeptic
Reply to  Susan
April 5, 2019 8:40 pm

Nice Groucho reference Susan. Well played. +1

Michael S. Kelly, LS BSA, Ret.
April 4, 2019 10:11 pm

Let me see if I have this right. Someone would submit a paper to this outfit, not realizing that he/she would have to pay to have it published. The paper would be “accepted.” But when the bill was presented to the author, he/she would balk, and say “no, I’ll go elsewhere.” But the “journal” would be able to say “No, you can’t publish this elsewhere, we’ve ‘accepted’ it.”

How on earth does that work? The journal has given no consideration to the author, and in fact demands consideration from the author, and on top of that asserts property rights over the paper! That is lunacy. There’s no way on earth such a scam would survive legal scrutiny. Good for the courts!

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly, LS BSA, Ret.
April 4, 2019 11:53 pm

It’s not quite like that. You must pay most journals to publish. The phony journals charge less than the “legitimate” ones. The former’s contracts include, just like the others, a clause that they own the rights to the paper. Once they are paid and the paper is published, they won’t release it. The problem is there are hundreds of academics who MUST publish to hold their jobs, and only so many good journals, with only so many pages, and not enough decent peer reviewers. OMICS seemed like the answer.

Another option is to upload a preprint of your paper to ResearchGate. They don’t charge you, and they give you some world-wide exposure. You can set your Creative Commons category. I’ve found it’s hard to get readers and harder yet to get readers to engage, but my paper is in a very narrow new field. I have no complaints, but some have groused about how the papers are handled and promoted. Some say, “You get what you pay for.” The truth is, you get no more than you pay for, and often you get a lot less.

David A
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
April 5, 2019 1:50 am

So we would need the details on thus assertion…” OMICS’s solicitations to authors didn’t make it clear enough that it would charge them to publish articles in its open-access journals. “

Reply to  David A
April 5, 2019 7:14 am

David ==> That simple fact was not even contested in the court case — to test the matter, go to the OMICS main site, click down to any fake journal you think would sound cool in your resumé, and inquire. I did this a few years ago and they informed me they would be happy to publish my paper (sight unseen) and followed up with an annoying number of emails.

Rod Evans
April 5, 2019 12:47 am

This fake scientific publication didn’t have a hockey team by any chance?….

April 5, 2019 1:29 am

A fool is the peer of another fool.

April 5, 2019 3:42 am

If I had the extra money to waste, I bet even I could get a paper published in …

You can get your paper published in some predatory journals even if you don’t pay them. Publishing in internet has an extremely low cost and the policy of many of these predatory journals is to publish as much as possible, so once they get hold of your article they’ll ask for money. If you pay they publish it, if you don’t pay they publish it. Anyway you have lost your article for good as nobody will ever cite it.

I’ve had a discussion with a couple of people that had wacky climate theories and were citing their own published papers, one here at WUWT and the other at Judith Curry’s site. I told them they were victims of predatory journals and that their articles would be ignored just for that. Obviously they didn’t accept what I said.

Now if you want to know how low these journals can go in terms of accepting papers for publication, you need to check this article:


David Mazières and Eddie Kohler wrote it in response to a spam email from the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology requesting an article. They expected it to be rejected, but to their surprise the paper was accepted for publication. They received a letter of acceptance and a peer-review report. They decided not to pay the 150$ fee for the joke, but made public the paper, letter of acceptance and peer review report.

Full story here:

Reply to  Javier
April 5, 2019 4:40 am

I would have to say that the authors did an excellent job in supporting their views with regards to their submission of the paper. I could not find any contradictory statements in their submission and it was also well supported in their graphics. That said, I support the publication!

Reply to  eyesonu
April 5, 2019 4:45 am

Sorry but I forgot to include the link to the paper relating to my comment above.


Reply to  Javier
April 5, 2019 7:22 am

Javier ==> Yes (and a good joke). My experience was that the people at a particular fake journal first told me, only when I asked explicitly, that there would be a fee to publish, then several times lowered the price with “Let me check if you qualify for one of our special considerations”… and eventually agreed to publish without change as a “first time author”. They has accepted my paper without ever seeing it.

Tom Abbott
April 5, 2019 5:12 am

“It has been reported to this author, in blog comments long since buried, that OMICS/Scitechnol did not charge BerkeleyEarth for publishing their paper.”

So, the methods of this company calls into question what kind of peer review the BerkelyEarth paper recieved, doesn’t it? Or does it? I would bet some the regulars here actually know who reviewed their paper, so ease my mind and tell me it was properly reviewed. Not that I really care since I don’t believe in Hockey Sticks like BEST, I believe in old school temperature charts which put the lie to Hockey Sticks.

One other thought: 700 Journals! I guess they wanted to cover all the bases. They’ll publish on any subject matter you can dream up, as long as they get paid.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 5, 2019 7:30 am

Tom ==> The BEST paper story was aired in public in comments here at WUWT and over at Climate Etc. BEST was not charged because the “journal” Geoinformatics & Geostatistics: An Overview at the time they submitted their paper consisted of absolutely NOTHING other than a one-page placeholder web page and a name on the list of Scitechnol (a branch of OMICS) ” journals. It had never before had a paper to e-print. The “journals” editor was thrilled to have something, anything, to publish. BEST claimed that a peer review process took place, and the paper was published 2 months after submission — “Received: September 24, 2012 Accepted: December 02, 2012 Published:
December 07, 2012”.

Note that it was submitted to the fake journal because it HAD TO BE PUBLISHED in 2012 to to consider in the next IPCC report. Publishing before the end of the year was part of the deal.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 5, 2019 4:44 pm

As long as they get hold of your paper and your other paper. ;|

April 5, 2019 5:53 am

Where is the Mosher driveby now.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  LdB
April 5, 2019 6:30 am

Trying to turn on his phone.

Tom S
April 5, 2019 6:01 am

The judge did not order the Defendants to pay money (Journalists almost always get this wrong) but instead issued a judgement against the Defendants. The Plaintiff(s) can then file collection actions in jurisdictions where the Defendants own assets. If the Defendants have no assets, or those jurisdictions refuse to recognize the judgments, or just sit on them (India is notorious for this), then the Plaintiff(s) victory is merely symbolic.
Below is language copied directly from the Judge’s order:

A. Judgment in the amount of FIFTY MILLION, ONE HUNDRED THIRTY
THOUSAND, EIGHT HUNDRED AND TEN DOLLARS ($50,130,810) is entered in
favor of the FTC against Defendants, jointly and severally, with post-judgment interest
at the legal rate, as equitable monetary relief.

Reply to  Tom S
April 5, 2019 7:35 am

Tom S ==> Thanks for the legal opinion — journalists tend to use simplistic language to smooth over the legalese used on court orders. Maybe you could help the BEST Team to collect some damages based on the supposition that publishing their first paper in a fake journal has embarrassed them and harmed their reputation.

Alan Tomalty
April 5, 2019 7:03 am

There is no such thing as independent adversarial peer review for any paper that takes the establishment view on any topic in science.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
April 5, 2019 7:39 am

Alan ==> Is it your opinion that peer-review should be “adversarial”? (as in “involving or characterized by conflict or opposition.”)

John Endicott
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 5, 2019 10:44 am

In a way, yes. The peer review process should “aim is to try to find something wrong with it” (to borrow a phrase). If it’s not trying to find something wrong, it’s not doing it’s job.

Reply to  John Endicott
April 5, 2019 11:14 am

John ==> Certainly peer review requires a critical eye – for both the writing (is it clear, does it communicate) and for the ideas (hypothesis), the study design, the methods of the research, the methods of data analysis, and the conclusions, does the data support the conclusion?

So, I might use the word “critical review” (as in critical thinking) — rather than adversarial. However, I might mean the same thing.

ferd berple
April 5, 2019 8:34 am

Peer review is useless to uncover cheating. If I say my data was selected at random, but instead was filtered from a larger set to deliver a desired result, no peer review can detect this if I delete the larger set.

This is such an easy way to game the system. The whole process of “calibration” in tree ring studies is a variant of this technique, where the science rationalise hiding the superset.

ferd berple
April 5, 2019 8:37 am

If I’m an academic subject to publish or perish why would I hesitate to pay to have my work published?

It would simply be a good business decision.

Reply to  ferd berple
April 5, 2019 8:52 am

Ferd ==> That’s the rub, bub. If you must publish, but the Big Boys won’t publish you (because you are a nobody and don’t have funding to publish) and there are 400 people better known in your field all publishing this month — then you have to go with some other route. Pay-to-Publish is one of the other routes.

Try to think through the process and effects on Science as a whole. “Published” is taken as reliable, sound science. But publishing in the 700+ OMICS fake journals doesn’t mean reliable or sound science. It means you were able to pay or qualify for payment-free publication — and peer-review may just be a spell-check.

It is complicated.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 7, 2019 8:13 pm

Last week was typical, I received invitations to participate in two conferences. Both referred to their knowledge of my expertise in the area of the conference, trouble is neither are areas I research in!

April 5, 2019 1:52 pm


Particular thanks to those who have shared their stories of being hounded by predatory journal publishers. I has contact with one of the OMICS journals back in 2013 when investigating this issue — and I still get emails from them — the latest offered me a chance to be a Featured speaker at some conference in Poland.

The whole topic of Scientific Research Publishing is complicated and needs to be addressed — there are too many fake publishers, too many journals publishing “any old thing”, lack of real peer-review in the top journals (leading to lots citations to papers that are later retracted), far too much “going along to get along” (Pal Review).

I don’t have any suggestions not already made by the forerunners in the attempts to solve the Replication (or Reproducibility) Crisis — these include but are not limited to 1) Pre-registration and peer-review of Study Designs, including how data will be analised) before any data is collected, 2) Transparent availability of ALL data collected (used or not) at an open public web location, in forms that are ubiquitous and users friendly, 3) Publicly availability of code used to process and analyze all of the data used in the study (including R-routines, info files on data structure, etc), 4) Complete copies of the study paper itself, including all supplemental materials, open access online, 5) Open access to peer-review comments and authors responses.

Oh, and trying to stamp out any more research that can be classified as “‘taxonomy’, i.e. research that is neither useful nor contributes to fundamental understanding.” [ Judith Curry ]

Thanks for reading!

April 5, 2019 4:11 pm

So … is Global Warming real … or not.

Just kidding, I know it’s not.

Reply to  Duke
April 6, 2019 7:20 am

Quite possibly real, a little exacerbated by Man, unlikely a significant problem nor catastrophic, could flip to cooling at any time, and Man can do f-all about any of it.
The rule since the creation of life on earth: warmer is good, cooler is bad, and one or the other is happening at any given time.

April 8, 2019 2:09 pm

But but the science fiction is settled isn’t it ? This is a drop in the bucket compared to the damage these criminals have inflicted on the world economy and they are without a doubt not the only ones .
“Science magazine is a comic book of fabricated bullshit and the people knowingly pushing this con should go to jail . Mail fraud , deceptive practices , and theft through extortion at the minimum . How many contrary articles did they barr from publication at the risk of keeping their criminal syndicate going ?
How many of these authors knew full well their papers were not pear reviewed and kept their mouths shut ?
Aiding and abetting a criminal racket to deceive the public , policy makers and to feed the biggest con game in history . Name names and charge the lying bastards .

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