Digital forensics expose telltale signs of predatory journal network

Forensic open-data analysis shows how predatory journal giant OMICS churns out hundreds of online journals, potentially fooling hundreds of thousands of serious academics.

Image credit: Dreamstime
Predatory journals defined by a group of researchers in the field of biomedicine (link)
Various red flags in the predatory journal paper with incorrect metadata. The address ‘Saskatoon SK S7N2z4’ in yellow, leads to the ‘The Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture’ and the University campus of Saskatchewan, not to the entirely fictional ‘University of Canadian province’.
The legitimate journal publication featuring the authors (link). Siler says ‘there are a lot of spelling mistakes in predatory journals, there are a lot of typos, I’ll say it’s a sign that they don’t have copy editing and a possible sign they may just publish anything’

OMICS and its subbrands

Example of a predatory journal stealing the identity of a renowned researcher and associate professor and placing his name on their fake publication, a journal calling itself ‘Journal of Blood Disorder & Transfusion’. In red: the email is incorrect, the domain ‘nb.ca’ doesn't exist. The reviewal date, acceptance date and publishing date, very tightly organised. Also a possible error in the abbreviation.
Checking the author’s email domain name
Website in 2016 (left) and now an OMICS journal website in 2019 (right)
Poor writing, an indication something is up (left the spellcheck)
OMICS and its executives' big ambitions (in 2015).
OMICS: Sharing an office building with IBM and other big international companies
Google reviews by disgruntled ex-employees
Almost fooled: Above: A chemist points out severe errors in one publication, Tweeting at the journal directly: “@GlycobiologyJ , this is NOT heparan sulfate, one CH2 is missing on the glucosamine residue”.(link)

Exposing networks

omicsonline.org/ subdomains — shady journals
Domain check of LongDom.org
Screenshot of webtool SecurityTrails
link to data repo

OMICS: 6.7 per cent of authors published in more than one journal (source)

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