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The Easy Way to Become an Author

Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of your life in colleges and uiversities to get your PhD in order to become an expert in a scientific field, conduct research, and get it published? For the relatively modest fee of $300, some journals will add your name as an author on scientific papers, even if you had nothing whatsoever to do with it, reports Retraction Watch.

"This realization comes from one of the many sting experiments we've witnessed over the years, designed to expose the perils of the publishing industry, in which some journals will claim to peer review and publish any manuscript for a fee — no matter how nonsensical the content," Retraction Watch says. "Pravin Bolshete, a medical writer and researcher from India, wanted to explore a different side of predatory publishing — would journals agree to add a fictional author to a manuscript he/she didn't write?"

Bolshete presented his findings at the Eighth Peer Review Congress this week in Chicago. He sent emails to hundreds of publishers considered predatory, and says 16 percent agreed to add an author to a paper. He told Retraction Watch that not only were some journals willing to add his name to author lists, but they also invited him to become an editorial member for the journal (after asking him to pay a fee, but without asking him to provide any kind of resume of bona fides.)

"Most of the publishers were located in India (n=119, 29.8%) and the United States (n=94, 23.5%); 44.5% responded to his inquiry. Among the 117 publishers who responded to the email, 63 provided responses that Bolshete considered to be unethical," Retraction Watch says.