I'm used to being solicited by email to submit papers to spamferences like WMSCI, and (less often) I'm solicited to contribute to spam journals. But the names of these conferences and journals are generally plausible idiomatic (if somewhat abstract) imitations of the genuine article. So I was surprised yesterday to get an invitation from a new journal with the extraordinary monicker Advances in Internet of Things.
Here's how the invitation read (emphasis original):
Dear Liberman M,
Considering your research in related areas, we cordially invite you to submit a paper to Advances in Internet of Things .
Advances in Internet of Things is an international, peer-reviewed, open access, online journal, publishing original research, reports, reviews and commentaries on all areas about internet of things . [...]
Advances in Internet of Things is published by Scientific Research Publishing [...] which was established in 2007 and currently has more than 100 journals. SRP specializes in the rapid publication of quality peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology, life science and medicine.
There are a couple of indications that the author was not a native speaker of English, especially the anarthrous title of the journal. But the most striking part was the listing of the journal's "Aims & Scope":
- Classification Methods
- Computer Vision
- Digital Libraries
- Gateway between Databases and Security
- Home Networking
- Image Processing
- Information Forensics, Information Security, Biometrics and Systems Applications that Incorporate These Features
- IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)
- IPTV Platform and Standards
- Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET) and Sensor Networks
- Networking Protocols
- Neural Computing
- Online Document Processing
- P2P Networking and System
- Securing Information Technology
- Smart Grid
- Text and Graphics Recognition
- Web Services
This led me to wonder whether the spam journal industry might be hiring unemployed humanists to con engineers out of page charges, in a well-deserved if unintentional payback for the Sokal hoax. But it's probably a mistake to attribute to conscious irony what can easily be explained by incompetent greed.
For some background on the publisher in question, see Katharine Sanderson, "Two new journals copy the old", Nature News 1/13/2010.
Update — courtesy of Victor Mair, another link: Marc Abrahams, "Strange Academic Journals: Spam?", Improbable Research, 12/22/2009.