A Russian website has listed 344 papers accepted for publication by journals from different countries where authorship is available for a fee. There are 73 papers listed from journals based in India, which is the highest. Web of Science Group, Clarivate Analytics is investigating to identify the journals. There are many things that remain unclear.
An “online marketplace” for researchers to sell and buy authorship in scientific papers that have been accepted for publication in scientific journals has been brought to light by the Web of Science, a Clarivate Analytics company based in London. An investigation by the company revealed that a Russian website International Publisher facilitates the scam. Retraction Watch blog was the first to report this.
According to Google translation, the website states: “We sell publications of finished articles in Scopus and Web of Science journals (articles written and accepted in journals; sold in parts or in whole).” It assures researchers of sure publication and indexing if they are willing to part with hundreds of dollars to become authors of a study that they never worked for or wrote.
The website lists 344 articles for which first, second, third or more authorship is for sale. Of the 344, 73 papers where authorship is for sale are from journals based in India. With 54, Venezuela has the second highest number of papers listed followed by U.S (38), Russia (33) and Pakistan (28). Though there a few dozen papers listed from these countries, it is not clear how many journals from each country are engaged in this unethical practice.
“The articles have been accepted for publication in journals that are allegedly indexed. We do not know the identity of the authors or journals… We are investigating and trying to identify the journals. We will take appropriate action,” Amy Bourke-Waite, External Communications Director —Web of Science Group, Clarivate Analytics, says in an email.
Many things unclear
Though the site claims that the journals are indexed in Scopus or Web of Science, it is not clear if these are predatory or standard journals. Where the site claims that certain authorship has already been sold, it is not known if people had actually paid. It is also unclear if any papers have actually been published in any journal through this route.
The cost of first authorship is highest and reduces for the successive authors for any paper listed on the website. The cost of first authorship varies from $285-$1,222. Papers with five authors have been listed, though the normal number is three or four.
The website does not mention the name of the journals or the “topic” [title] of the 344 papers. It says that the names of the journals and titles will be “available only to customers who have paid”. But it does provide information about journal disciplines, country from where the journal is published, the number of authors per paper, whether the author positions have been already sold or available for purchase, short description of the article and if the journal is indexed in Scopus and/or Web of Science.
Who pays, who gains
“The primary transaction appears to be author-to-author (with the owners of the service presumably taking a cut) but beyond allowing post-acceptance changes in the author lists, it’s not clear to what extent journal editors or publishers are aware of, or involved in, this enterprise,” Dr. Nandita Quaderi Editor-in-Chief of Web of Science says in a July 17, 2019 letter to Natalie Ridgeway, Executive Officer of Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
She then adds: “I wanted to bring this to your attention early as you may want to warn COPE members of this activity as soon as possible and perhaps take this opportunity to share best practice guidelines regarding post-acceptance changes to author lists.”
Adding an author for a fee is real
A news item published in November 2013 in Science reported how its investigation revealed that for a fee of $14,800 a company added a co-first author to a paper that has been accepted for publication in the journal
International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. While the corresponding author feigned ignorance and blamed the first author, the actual first author told Science: “The co-ﬁrst author’s name was added after discussion among the other authors. It was not my decision alone.”
Brief description about the 73 papers
1) Development of bio-compatible coatings for dental implants based on transition metal nitrides
2) Etiopathogenetic and clinical-morphological features of chronic gastritis at different ages
3) Hypertension and diabetes mellitus: modeling of interconnection, approaches to diagnosis and complex therapy
4) Technology for producing abrasion-resistant elastic coatings for dental implants
5) Unstable forms of arterial hypertension as a risk factor for its progression
6) Correction of negative effects of therapy with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients with osteochondrosis
7) Tetanus in children under 1 year of age. A case report
8) The problem of evaluating the investment attractiveness of the development of artificial intelligence projects
9) Contractile function vein under venotoniki and anticoagulants
10) The impact of human resource management on the activities of non-profit government organizations
11) Targeted systems in cancer therapy
12) Sorption properties and pharmacological activity of non-starch polysaccharides
13) Clinical and medical and social aspects of Parkinson’s disease
14) The article deals with questions such as: quality of life in patients on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis
15) Principles of non-drug treatment spondylogenic CERVICAL compression syndrome
16) Deep vein thrombosis: diagnosis and treatment
17) Navier-Stokes equations and their finite-difference analogues, the study of the behavior of higher-order roots
18) Attractors of the Navier-Stokes equations – Search physical sense attached to the problem of modeling ship contours
19) Cerebroprotective properties compositions Phenibut with certain organic acids at infringement brain circulation.
20) Comparativebiochemical characteristics of the different metabolic properties Hepatoprotectors under liver toxicity
21) Algorithm calculation of the paths of movement of the working body of a milling machine with CNC with optimization and minimization of time spent on the process
22) Formation of a hierarchical system of urban planning supervision, experience in automation of architectural work
23) Algorithm for creating texture patterns for gadget cases – tactile characteristics as consumer quality
24) Calculation of spatial orientation of the camera by analyzing the video stream latching
25) Recognition of images as the basis for the new navigation technology UAV
26) Development of algorithms and optimized implementation of the system user to customize control of household appliances in a “smart home” type systems
27) The process of technology transfer and the problem of evaluating intellectual property objects of neural network elements of artificial intelligence
28) Optimized metamaterial models for a loop antenna attached to the Internet of Things
29) Publication of the client’s article
30) Massive pulmonary embolism: Diagnostic and therapeutic tactics
31) Attractors of the Schrödinger equation and finite-difference analog for ideal and real objects
32) Clinical and Experimental evaluation of a pharmacologically active modern antidepressants
33) Factors influencing the pleasure customer online shopping
34) Modern methods of human resource management in a business system
35) The role of entrepreneurial orientation in achieving organizational performance
36) The influence of family and society on the formation of personality
37) Features of the quality of life of patients. Cataract and glaucoma before and after surgery
38) Plasma cutting base
39) Siemens reactor, workhorse or dead-end
40) Mechatronic drive module printheads 3D printer, speed optimization
41) Turbine Gorlov – optimization for application in maritime transport
42) Surface microstructure and mechanical properties of working surfaces study interdependencies
43) Optimization of doping profiles and fabrication technology for woodworking tools
44) Synthesis of a fluidized bed apparatus – Study productivity increment tract
45) Continuous process in the production of pure metals
46) Modeling fluid flow in a multi-cell heat exchanger
47) Supersonic flow of rarefied gas – whether mathematical model from first principles
48) Hybrid tracked chassis-based suspension-type rocker-bogie, the study of the prospects and benefits
49) Electric transmission as a promising basis for the organization of small ships Energy
50) Non-standard forms for aircraft – is there an optimal solution?
51) Modeling and optimization of shapes lander differentiated by the type of tasks
52) Efficacy and safety of indirect anticoagulant warfarin when dosing based on pharmacogenetic testing results
53) Clinical and pharmacological approaches to optimization of outpatient treatment of asthma
54) Dry extract antidiabetic activity Gimnemy timber
55) Pharmacoepidemiology antiepileptic drugs in children
56) Secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in patients, myocardial infarction: pharmacoepidemiological study
57) Experimental and clinical aspects of the hawthorn extract in the treatment of patients with chronic heart failure
58) Integral assessment of the usefulness of crops in synergistic agriculture on the example of a garden bean (Vícia fába)
59) Use of legumes in permaculture: features and prospects
60) Influence agrotechnology on azotfiksirujushchej Ability of pulses culture
61) Model biocenosis multicultural farming for continental Eurasia compiled with regard to the human diet
62) Cellular tissue culture of vegetables – raw materials for the food industry of the future
63) Permacultural practices in the cultivation of legumes, the assessment of nitrogen-fixing ability in interdependence with the human diet
64) Hydroponics and vertical farms, full-fledged plant growing or vegetable growing identical to natural, research of organoleptic indicators of hydroponic products
65) Cereal monocultures, the problem of cultivation in the context of global climate change
66) Biofotoreaktor for microalgae as a more industrial acceptable analogue of hydroponics
67) A new approach to the organization of forest-protective plantings taking into account local weather statistics modelling
68) Research on the influence of plant pathogens on example isolates and correlations in artificially infected landings
69) Gene-modified microorganisms as a replacement for agrochemicals
70) Hybrid approach to the land use calendar allowing to combine the advantages of permaculture and monocultural farming, farm experience
71) Phosphate pit and ways to overcome without support on fossil resources
72) The article addresses such questions: Carbon-fixing activity of agricultural plants and soil isolates of actinomycetes
73) No brief description has been provided for one paper.