An online predatory journal “Current Science“, which is a clone of the Current Science journal published by the Current Science Association, Bengaluru in collaboration with the Indian Academy of Sciences, has sprung up and is soliciting manuscripts from gullible researchers. “This journal has not published any issues” is what one gets to read on clicking ‘Current’ issue on the predatory journal website.
A scroll in the original journal website warns readers of the predatory journal trying to dupe researchers. It says: “We have learned that an entity http://www.currentscience.org is operating from an IP address located in Turkey. It has copied content from the Current Science journal website and promotes itself as the publisher of Current Science.”
Another clone of Current Science can be found at http://www.currentscience.co.in and is operating from an IP address located in Ukraine. The front page of the cloned predatory journal website is nearly identical to the original. Even the links to all the articles take the readers to the original content. Only discerning readers can spot the differences. While the URL of the original journal is http://www.currentscience.ac.in, the cloned version has a different URL (www.currentscience.co.in).
“This is a typical predatory journal behaviour and is a fraud,” says the predatory journal alert put out by Current Science.
The journal warns its readers saying: “Emails originating from firstname.lastname@example.org are fraudulent. These emails are from a fake website that could include a request to submit articles and promise to publish approximately two weeks after the submission. If you receive such an email, forward the message to email@example.com and delete the message.”
Besides publishing journals with fancy titles, there are several predatory journals that are clones of respected journals. The predatory version of Current Science is one such instance of a clone.
“Prof. S. C. Lakhotia, Department of Zoology at the Banaras Hindu University received an email from the predatory journal (firstname.lastname@example.org) on July 1, and he in turn alerted Prof. R. Srinivasan, the Editor of Current Science,” says G. Madhavan, Executive Secretary at the Current Science Association.
In an email sent to Prof Lakhotia, the predatory journal has invited him to contribute to the next issue of Current Science. Like all predatory journals, it lists out the impact factor, the acceptance rate of papers, which is 38%, and a promise to publish papers within two weeks of submission.
The mail is signed by Prof. R. Srinevasan, Editor-in-Chief, Current Science. It is only a discerning reader who will know that the journal does not send out such emails and that the original journal has only an Editor and not an Editor-in-Chief, as mentioned in the email. Also, Prof. Srinivasan’s name is wrongly spelt in the email.
On further scrutiny one can find that the post box number (6001) of Current Science listed in the signature of the email is wrong (the correct number is 8001) and so is the pin code. However, the contact details listed in the journal website is correct and identical to the original journal’s, including the email address.
“We are trying to get in touch with the Indian Computer Emergency Response team. Otherwise, there is little that we can do. So we are immediately informing people about the predatory journals in the name of Current Science. These are small steps that we are taking,” says N.A. Prakash, formerly with the Indian Academy of Sciences.