Tuesday, 12 November 2013

There's a new scam targeting academics, and it calls itself David Publishing...

Checking my emails this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find an email from a group known as David Publishing that expressed an interest in a paper that I recently presented at UCL's "Monstrous Antiquities" conference for a new journal that they were starting up, History Research. Naturally I was quite excited, thinking that this journal –– claiming to be based in California –– had taken an interest in my recent talk and would like to publish it. But something just didn't sit right with me. The email had clearly been written by someone for whom English was not their first language, and the journal claimed to cover *everything* that fell within the remit of history. The whole email was indeed a bit of a mess, and it was clear that they had simply copy-and-pasted the name of my paper into a pre-existing text, not even bothering to ensure that the two fonts were the same. If this was indeed an academic press, I thought, then it was certainly a sloppy and amateurish operation. 

The dubious email which I received.

Being an academic, my first instinct is to research, and like all good Westerners are now trained to do, I went straight to Google. What I found confirmed my suspicions. David Publishing is no legitimate academic press. It is a Chinese-based company that send out these phishing emails in order to attract gullible or over-eager academics, particularly graduate students who might not have any experience with legitimate academic publications. Their peer review system is a joke, and it seems apparent that their only interest is to extort money from the academics whose work they publish. After giving you the results of your peer review, which will typically be glowing with praise no matter the quality of your work, they let you know that they would simply love to publish your paper.... for a fee. And it's no small fee either, with the company charging around $20 per page. So let me make this perfectly clear for everyone else in academia; if you come across any of these phishing emails, do not be fooled, just send it straight to the spam box. You can learn more about this contemptible, predatory company over at the Leiter Reports Blog, and the Scholarly Open Access blog.


  1. Hah, yes I thought as much, but since my presentation appeared to be well received I hoped that perhaps the highly reputable academic in the audience might have recommended me to a reputable publisher.

    This is a bit like the Nigerian 419 scam. Tell people that they have made it big and then let them know that there are administration fees. Our egos are big enough to make us believe it:-)

  2. Ethel, I have had an identical experience to yours and my response was similar to yours as well. I had presented at an international conference in the UK and was given the same spiel with an invitation to join the editorial board! I realized that I was being taken for a ride and am glad that people are becoming aware of this fraud of a company. They need to be blacklisted.
    Sabina Pillai

  3. Many of these shysters and charlatans with open access "journals" or pompous sounding "CONferences" from China,etc....hustlers and hucksters looking for click bait and charging hundreds to "publish." As Barnum says, a sucker born every minute.

  4. Glad to have encountered this resource via our University librarian as they are still scamming away in 2017. Like you the initial contact was a nice surprise from a recently present peice of work but their fishy reply made me go looking a bit harder again!