The spam technology ecosystem expands

« previous post | next post »

Wikipedia describes as a for-profit "social networking site for academics", whose misleading .edu domain name "was registered in 1999, prior to the regulations requiring .edu domain names to be held solely by accredited post-secondary institutions". For my part, I'd describe as "a source of large volumes of annoying unsolicited email".

Yes, I know that I should unsubscribe — but this is harder to do than you might think, since they have registered me under a number of different email addresses, and add new ones when I tell them to unsubscribe the old ones. Anyhow, seems recently to have achieved a level of transcendent fakery that almost makes me glad that that they're still spamming me.

Today's email brought another message from Academia listing the "TOP PAPERS FROM YOUR NEWSFEED", of which the first one has the title "PERFORMANCE COMPARISON OF ROBUST SPEECH RECOGNITION USING DIFFERENT FEATURE EXTRACTION TECHNIQUES". The half-abstract teaser in the email was weird enough that I clicked on the "DOWNLOAD" link to see rest of it:

The principal target of talk affirmation zone is to make techniques and structures for talk commitment to machine. Talk is the basic techniques for correspondence between individuals. For reasons going from inventive enthusiasm about the segments for mechanical affirmation of human talk abilities to longing to robotize fundamental errands which require human machine associations and research in modified talk affirmation by machines has pulled in a ton of thought for quite a while. In light of genuine advances in authentic exhibiting of talk, customized talk affirmation structures today find expansive application in assignments that require human machine interface, for instance, modified call taking care of in telephone frameworks, and request based information systems that give invigorated travel information, stock esteem references, atmosphere reports, Data section, voice correspondence, access to information: travel, keeping cash, Commands, Avoinics, Automobile passage, talk elucidation, Handicapped people (amaze people) general store, railroad reservations.

This article appeared in the so-called International Journal of Computer Science and Mobile Computing.

If the rest of the articles in this journal are like this one, it should be a useful source of raw material for a certain genre of science fiction and fantasy writing. But I leave it to commenters to investigate further.




  1. Victor Mair said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 8:01 am

    Well, what I get from many times a day are notices like these:

    "You were mentioned in 852 papers today."

    "25 famous authors cited you today."

    "58 top journals referred to you…."

    I delete them as fast as I can. I wish they would go away.

  2. CNH said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 8:01 am

    That looks as though it was written in a language other than English, and then run through google translate.

    [(myl) It doesn't at all have the flavor that I associated with Google Translate — the English word sequences are not at all what an English-trained language model would prefer. I think this was written by someone who didn't trust their knowledge of English, looked words up in a bilingual dictionary, and chose without considering context or word sense.]

  3. Alexander Browne said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 8:49 am


    If they all come from an address, and you don't want *any* of them, you should be able to create a rule that deletes them all automatically as soon as they arrive. Do you use Gmail?

  4. Jamie said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 9:12 am

    My only exposure to has been crackpots on science forums using it to host their crackpot "papers" – presumably thinking it gives their nonsense a veneer of respectability.

  5. Victor Mair said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 10:02 am

    @Alexander Browne

    No, I don't use Gmail.

  6. Orin K Hargraves said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 11:43 am

    This reminds me of papers I get from a Chinese student in my class. They always show up as about 30% plagiarized via Turnitin, and when I look at individual passages I find that he is somehow (ingeniously?) incorporating passages from a database of papers on topics related to the one he's supposed to writing on. I suspect he has some program that is "writing" his papers and he does not seem at all deterred from the practice by my continuing to give him failing marks on every paper.

  7. MattF said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 12:19 pm

    Worth noting that has some unspecified link to Facebook. I've chatted with my cousin (a neuroscientist) on Facebook, and recently I've received a copy of a paper she co-authored via The -only- way could have found a connection between us is from Facebook data.

  8. Dan Riley said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 12:42 pm

    Rogeting: "the act of modifying a published source by substituting synonyms for sufficient words to fool plagiarism detection software" [wp].

    One possible source is , but the text seems to be widely plagiarized. From that paper:

    "The main goal of speech recognition area is to develop techniques and systems for speech input to machine. Speech is the primary means of communication between humans. For reasons ranging from technological curiosity about the mechanisms for mechanical realization of human speech capabilities to desire to automate simple tasks which necessitates human machine interactions and research in automatic speech recognition by machines has attracted a great deal of attention for sixty years[76]. Based on major advances in statistical modeling of speech, automatic speech recognition systems today find widespread application in tasks that require human machine interface, such as automatic call processing in telephone networks, and query based information systems that provide updated travel information, stock price quotations, weather reports, Data entry, voice dictation, access to information: travel, banking, Commands, Avoinics, Automobile portal, speech transcription, Handicapped people (blind people) supermarket, railway reservations etc."

    The mispelt "avoinics" is relatively distinctive. The substitutions are so extensive in this sample I suspect the process was automated. The substitution of "amaze people" for "blind people" is somehow amusing.

    [(myl) You've obviously nailed it! I wonder what proportion of the other papers published in that same "journal" are also rogeted…]

  9. Alexander Browne said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 12:48 pm

    @Victor OK, just guessing since a lot of schools use Google Apps. You should still be able to create a rule/filter to delete them automatically. How to do it just depends on which service and client you use.

  10. Matthew L Juge said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 3:06 pm

    I do occasionally find legitimate and even helpful papers there, so it's tempting to stay.

  11. Annie Gottlieb said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 3:54 pm

    I think this is how AI talks, and that we'll be hearing/reading more and more of it. Comforting that it's so hard to mistake for a real human.

    Will there be CAPTCHA in the future that says "I am a robot," but in some language humans can't read?

  12. AntC said,

    March 16, 2019 @ 4:38 pm

    At some point in the 'arms race' of turnitin against cheatturnitin [see wp on Rogeting], it's going to be less effort to actually learn the subject and write an authentic assignment or paper.

  13. mark dowson said,

    March 17, 2019 @ 6:29 am

    Outlook (if that is your email client) supports easy creation of a rule that will delete email from a given sender, or email with a given string in the subject line. Just click "rules" in the top bar. I assume that most other email clients apart from gmail have a similar feature if you can find it.

  14. Rick Rubenstein said,

    March 17, 2019 @ 11:47 pm

    I, for one, am quite pleased to learn that talk is the basic techniques (sic) for correspondence between individuals.

  15. Smut Clyde said,

    March 18, 2019 @ 6:37 am

    If the rest of the articles in this journal are like this one, it should be a useful source of raw material for a certain genre of science fiction and fantasy writing. But I leave it to commenters to investigate further.

    FWIW, the grifter behind this particular parasitical journal is one Mohammad Zainuddin, of Secunderabad.

  16. amy said,

    March 18, 2019 @ 9:57 pm

    That is an example of , also could be called "thesaurising".

  17. Bathrobe said,

    March 23, 2019 @ 7:35 am

    I keep subscribing to Academia, because despite the spammy stuff, there is at times interesting stuff. For instance, today I was recommended an article by Imre Galambos, which I duly downloaded. It can be hard to get good material if you are not affiliated with a university or other institution.

  18. Philip Taylor said,

    March 23, 2019 @ 10:37 am

    Always happy to help a non-affiliated colleague, Bathrobe, so long as I can legitimately use my university credentials to download and forward an article/paper/etc. without breaching any Ts and/or Cs.

  19. Bathrobe said,

    March 23, 2019 @ 5:37 pm

    Thanks! I'll keep that in mind!

  20. Bathrobe said,

    March 23, 2019 @ 5:41 pm

    Incidentally, there is a thread going at that I keep thinking you might have something to contribute to…

  21. Philip Taylor said,

    March 24, 2019 @ 3:38 am

    A fascinating thread, Bathrobe, and many thanks for drawing it to my attention. I'm not convinced, tho', that I have anything useful to add, with the possible exception of the true story of being unable to understand a privately-educated girlfriend who asked "Is it reening outside ?". It took many many attempts on both our parts before I finally understood that she was asking "is it raining ?".

RSS feed for comments on this post