Sunday, June 21, 2009

Academic Spam

I received this message today, from what seem to be a somewhat sophisticated spammer. I receive academic spam regularly, usually from conferences in Florida that accept computer-written papers. I usually just delete them but this one was interesting. They managed to grab my name, my thesis title, and my institution and fill them into what is certainly a form letter. Note the extra spaces before the commas and the two periods after my thesis title (and the odd use of two closing statements).
"Dear Christopher Collins ,

I am writing on behalf of the International academic publisher, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing AG & Co. KG.

In the course of a research at the Library ofUniversity of Toronto , We came across a reference to your thesis on Head-driven probabilistic parsing for word lattices. .

As we would like to make your work available to a larger audience, I am wondering if you may be interested in publishing your thesis in the form of a printed book.

Your reply including an e-mail address to which I can send an e-mail with further information in an attachment will be greatly appreciated.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely yours,
Kind Regards,

Toolasee Marooodamoothoo
Acquisition Editor"
A quick internet search for "LAP Lambert Academic Publishing" leads to some interesting blog hits of other people challenging this shady practice. Apparently if you follow through with their invitation, the first thing they ask for is your banking information, ostensibly to deposit funds from all those sales. To be fair, from their Amazon.com listings (which I won't link to, they don't deserve the hits), and from many experience reports on blogs, they do actually turn your PDF into a 'book' and send you 5 copies. So, if you want five free copies of your thesis, maybe this is a good scheme.

However, since my thesis is available freely on my website [pdf] in full format. I can't imagine why I would want to sell it on Amazon for an hugely inflated price. It won't be a bestseller. I won't make money. It would just be a rip-off for a couple (at most) of people. I guess now that we have print-on-demand publishing, which is what LAP Lambert uses, anything can be a book. It ushers in a new age of vanity publishing. I can't say I have much respect for people who feel their research gains legitimacy because they put a hard cover on it and charge US$100+. In case my website ever goes offline, my thesis is also freely available forever at the Library of Canada. So, LAP Lambert, no I don't need your services to make my thesis more widely available.

"LAP Lambert Academic Publishing" is the English language division of VDM Verlag. At first I thought 'oh, that must be related to Springer-Verlag', a well-respected academic publishing house. It turns out that 'verlag' means 'publishing house' and they are not affiliated.

[Edit 2015 - an earlier version of this post called out the Acquisition Editor's name as being funny.  This was insensitive and offensive, and I apologize.  Please everyone stop talking about the names of the editors - it is irrelevant to the issue.]

289 comments:

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Subhash Parihar said...

Thanks.

caminati said...

Meeto, today.
Thanks for the useful thread.

Ronald Ravinesh Kumar said...

Thanks for the blog. I got similar email from Laura Dean. I wondered how they got access to my university repository. I almost got excited about (hooked into) publishing a book. I will not do so. I agree that I honest academic work needs wide readership at least cost possible.

Thanks once again.

Ronald R. Kumar from Fiji

Natalia said...

For your information:
"What rights do I give up to the publisher

Publishing with LAP means that you will give up the rights of duplication and dissemination of your work. However, as the author, you will retain ownership of the copyright to your work, even after entering into an contractual agreement with us. Also, you may disseminate the complete work through full text servers (e.g. of scientific libraries) at no cost."

It was in the document I received after my short reply to "Ms. Aniko Gal, Acquisition Editor".

I do not mind someone publishing my thesis, but I do mind giving up duplication rights. Then LAP might sue my university for extra copies of the thesis, or what?

Natalia from Sweden

Dayu Jin said...

Thank you for your information. I just received the same letter and am wondering what is that for. hehe

Carlos Albornoz said...

my editor was Yedisen Ramasamy hahahaha!

JO said...

I have just had a very similar email, and I am grateful to these posts and I was nearly taken in, this letter feeds in to all of the anxieties of an academic and offers an easy pathway to publication. Imagine if it was that easy!!!

Jodi Melbourne Australia

kalamos said...

LAP Lambert is one of the multiple offshoots of a huge but less than academic 'publishing" conglomerate [VDM] operateing in various countries under so many names that someone compared it in wikipedia to KUDZU.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDM_Publishing

When NOT operating a vanity press for scholars they assemble packages of wikipedia articles which they sell as
'books'

In my opinion a somewhat parasitical business model built on using other peoples work to generate revenue... but hey - it works - just look at Wall St or Amazon

Daniel Aréchiga said...

I received this letter today, in spanish, telling me they whant to publish a paper which has more than 10 years published here in México!! The guy's name is Nicolás Llugdar.

I'm not really interested in re-publish that paper and has all the scam face, I just google-it for curiosity

Daniel Aréchiga said...
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Daniel Aréchiga said...
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Daniel Aréchiga said...
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Javier said...

hello, this is very weird...
my flat mate have done a book and use laplambert to publish it... and it's everywhere they told her and also she received her hard copy, in very cheap paper, but in paper version... I was considering to use them to, because a publication looks good on the CV too ... I'm going to ask her about the royalties, i know she didn't receive last year, because she didn't sell that much...

Javier said...

hello, this is very weird...
my flat mate have done a book and use laplambert to publish it... and it's everywhere they told her and also she received her hard copy, in very cheap paper, but in paper version... I was considering to use them to, because a publication looks good on the CV too ... I'm going to ask her about the royalties, i know she didn't receive last year, because she didn't sell that much...

Mariela said...

Thank you for the information... mine was "Valeria Cuenca" (Departamento de Adquisiciones,Editorial Académica Española)related with LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing GmbH& Co. KG.

My thesis was in Spanish, so... my letter was in Spanish too.

Mariela

zr said...

"Elena Alexei" for me. Pan-european *and* Russian. . . .

Dan said...

Lambert are not a scam, in the sense that they seem to do what they say they will do.

The books will be "published", can be bought, and it seems you will get your own copy (at least as an electronic file - you only get a printed copy if you sell 10 copies, according to their website. You are highly unlikely to sell 10 copies).

But anyone can do what they do. I could upload my writing to amazon and have it potentially be found and bought.

They don't ask any questions about the quality of the work. They may be publishing dissertations and theses, but they don't seem to take any steps to make sure the work wasn't rejected by the University it was written for, or plagiarised.

They don't proofread or edit your work, and are happy to print books written in barely coherent English, or full of spelling and grammatical errors.

You even have to choose the cover yourself!

They just "publish" whatever you send them, regardless of the state it is in or how current it is.

One of their books dated 2012 may in fact be someone's dissertation from 1992.

Since it's a print on demand operation, not only are there no editing costs, nor are there any warehousing, distribution, or printing costs. I wouldn't be surprised if most of their stuff is actually printed by Amazon.com, when ordered.

They won't even actively market books.

So they can "publish" thousands upon thousands of low quality, unedited, dissertations. Most of them probably sell nothing, but that doesn't matter, because the associated costs are also nothing. And when they do sell, they sell for a lot of money. So it's about the scale of the operation; from a list of tens of thousands of titles, they only have to sell one or two copies of a few hundred of them to be raking in the cash.

The authors, of course, will probably see no royalties whatsoever.

You may as well self-publish through Amazon, to the same effect.

sipra said...

Mine was an impressive Ecaterina Focsa ! Thanks for this post!

pj said...

I too got a similar message on Facebook. Just googled about it came across your blog post :)

Thanks a lot!

ηihα®iκα said...

Thanks for the blogpost.....this helps....I also got this email....

salyangoz said...

and mine was Ghenadie Braghis..:)

Kat said...

The story seems endless. I received the same letter in Russian language (as well as many scientists in Russia and Ukraine). Thanks to all the company! You've made the situation clear for the people from the next part of the world freshly involved in the affair.
As for the names (except absolutely fantastic, like in the original post), most of them sound Indian, and some of them could be Russian transliterated from cyrillic letters to latin via the Italian language.

Eliza said...

Thanks for the post. I suspected academic spam but I've almost missed out on opportunities thinking they were fake, so it's nice to know for sure.

Acquisitions editor Beatrice Bessons contacted me a few times. Classy alliteration.

Deepika Sharma said...

Thanks for this thread. I also received a mail in similar format stating that they found my thesis in my universities' electronic library and now they are willing to publish it in their brochure. Finally I realized my university doesn't give access of submitted thesis and dissertations to everyone and they got this information from my resume which is available on alumni account of my university.

The mail I got is from Sophie Campbell .

Youknowme said...

Mine was Olga Rusu...i got to the stage of sending them a copy of my thesis although it was only 34 pages long and does not met there one and only guideline of it being 42 pages long. Phew! Olga will have to Ogle her way to bed empty handed.

Ingi said...

yes, they still keep trying, and it's June 2012 already... :)))

Devisri said...

hi friends, a day back I received a same mail with the name Alexandr Boubetrin and he is my assigned editor.

thanks for the warning friends.

rattus-laborus said...

It is still there. I got the message today and was so confused that I directly forwarded it to my supervisors. One of them was a bit quicker and indicated me to some forums about this.
In the Netherlands, however, this is a completely pointless exercise since A) we do have to publish chapters from our PhD theses in peer-reviewed journals. B) After the PhD thesis is approved by the committee (peer-reviewed), the thesis is printed as a book with official ISBN number anyway (on my own costs though) to be distributed to colleagues, collaborators, libraries and many more. So it's kind of amusing to receive such an offer when my thesis is already published.
Most likely I got it today because yesterday I filled in the information about thesis for university to be accessible publicly. Or that today they went through some Dutch university websites. Because when I was discussing this with my colleague who defended her thesis earlier this summer, she first thought it was indeed something special for me, but later she checked her email and got one too!

balaram said...

Ok, here she is, Tatiana Costandachi the fake Acquisition Editor. asking me to publish my thesis work which she came across in IICT Hyderabad INDIA. all of my friend got same Email.....thank you for posting buddy and keep this updating friends to keep issue alive.......

ThinkerLess said...

Elena Alexei for me

Yang Yang said...

I got the same email. Thank you very much for posting this. It seems he is still doing this in 2012.

Pooja said...

i received the same e mail with Olga Rusu as the acquisition editor..

Dr.Bahar said...

Mine was from Yasmin Watson, She had a face book account too!!!!! Academic Phishing attack. Be-aware friends.

tracey@byte-time.net said...

thanks for your post, very helpful. Yasmin Watson was my acquisition editor, not so exciting///

Kendall said...

Hey, Thanks for the post. I received an email from an acquisition edition by the name of Natraj Seetaram a while back about my dissertation. I mentioned that before publishing the work as a book I also wanted to augment it a bit further, and extract articles from it at which point I was informed that I retain "most" of the copyright to the work and that I could extract whatever I wanted to. I forgot to respond and this morning I received a reminder from the same editor about the work. My attempts at googling this editor have proven largely fruitless. I definitely want to release the work in book form but the 'dodgy element" in this is hard to ignore.

Diego said...

Mine was from Natraj Seetaram!

Hazkan said...

My new best friend is called "David Daniels".

I was wondering wether I should do it or not. I left academia and have no interest whatsoever to return to it. And they offer to publish a paper of mine which hasn't had any impact whatsoever anyway. But I think I'll just let the offer pass.

Sanjiv Sharma said...

Thanks . I had got the same letter about my very insignificant research 21 years back & have no clue as to how these people traced me. There is no link between that institute & my current job & location & the person under whom I researched is also dead long back. It sends chills down my spine as to how a common man like me could have such exposure online!

Victoria Luksha said...

Thanks for the information, I thought it sounded off, but it is always nice to find supporting evidence.

My editor was Yedisen Ramasamey, admittedly not as cool as yours.

Enjoy the Day

Ravi Shankr said...

I am the latest receiver of the mail.

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raina manmeet said...

I too recived a mail today


According to the University Uttar Pradesh's online repository you wrote a research paper in the field of Computer Science and Applications during your studies.


I am an Editor of LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, an international publisher specialized in the publication of research papers.


We would be pleased to consider integrating the above mentioned work in our catalogue of printed books.


In case you are interested in our offer please contact me at your earliest convenience. I will be pleased to send you a detailed brochure for your perusal.


I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Cristina Sevcenco
Acquisition Editor

LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing is a trademark of:
AV Akademikerverlag GmbH & Co. KG

Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8
66121, Saarbrücken, Germany

c.sevcenco@lap-publishing-house.com / www.lap-publishing-house.com

Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRA 10356
Identification Number (Verkehrsnummer): 13955
Partner with unlimited liability: VDM Management GmbH
Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRB 18918
Managing directors: Thorsten Ohm (CEO), Dr. Wolfgang Philipp Müller, Esther von Krosigk

Fervid Vervet said...

Mine was Cristina Sevcenco. Could we put together some kind of bingo card for invented LAP employee names?

famo said...

What can I do to save my copyrights right having published with Lap Lambert Publishing House before learning that there was nobody by the name D.Ghimisli?

Joshua Muchera said...

Thanks for the warning, my scammer is Dmitrii Ghimisli.

Amol G. Dikundwar said...

Thanks for the information. Why cant these stupids search a better job.

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Julián said...

Hey guys! I found this blog (like others) just after have signing the agreements with them (LAP Lambert), Fortunately I still don't put my thesis on their website, but I m scared about the penalisation. Someone can help me, what should I do?
Thanks a lot.

Julián

Frederik Aalund said...

Thanks for the information. My scammer is Dmitrii Ghimisli. Sounded fishy from the get go.

Frederik Aalund said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marko Djurakic said...

Regardless of doubts that LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing may be fake, it is likely that the publisher DO NOT PRACTICE peer review process. In such case, anybody can publish anything which is strongly against academic rules. There is no way to evaluate competence of authors (and therefore provided information within a book) except to read the book/paper in a full length and relay on self-experience. I don't want to say that EVERYTHING published with LAP is bad, but there is strong possibility that junk info can be observed in their publications.
So, I would avoid its service if someone want to go for a academic carrier.

Che G said...

Hi guys, thanks for this useful blog!! I have already received a email like it. My false "Acquisition Editor" was Natraj Seetaram.

Ramin Naderi said...

Dmitrii Ghimisli to me as well!

tb said...

I got Kevin Woodmann. Sounds like they get these from a random name generator!

Doug said...

I had Susan Clark as my acquisition editor. The funny thing was, they wanted to "print in book form" an article that I had already published in a journal.

They are tenacious though, and they email a lot. I finally got tired of stringing them along for the fun of it.

Gazzen said...

Don't get involved with Lambert! They form part of the Omniscriptum publishing houseb group, based in Saarbrücken, Germany. They have two books in their catalogue that turned out to be plagiarized texs from some of my own works "published" by a former student of mine. I live in Germany and have tried to contact them - by phone: it does not work, - by email: no answer. That's not the way a reputable business should act like. I will get these clowns by their balls and take the matter to the German court! I have also found more complaints in German forums about them! So, everyone would be well advised to stay clear of this cowboy operation and the unprofessional clowns running it!

Donatas Bagocius said...

I got the letter also. The offer was to publish a short scientific paper in a book what looked a bit strange. Firstly I did not payed an attention on a editor name which was an OLGA POMOGAYBOG which from Russian language means Olga God Help. :-).

Hikmah Muktamiroh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hikmah Muktamiroh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hikmah Muktamiroh said...

Thanks for your advice,I've just got a similar letter this night.The editor was Olga Pomogaibog.
Best regards from Jakarta, Indonesia.
Hikmah

linnea_joandi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nenad maric said...

Thanks for help! My "acquisition editor" was Olga Pomogaibog :)

Braza Kaka said...

I received one today from Braghis Ghenadie

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TanB said...

Got the same mail today from Olga Pomogaibog.

Thanks for the post!

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Arnaldinho said...

Hi, my "Acquisition Editor" was "Olga Pomogaibog". Never heard about this name either.

Ioanna iliadi said...


I have got the same letter signed by Cornelia Schidu
Acquisition Editor

Lilia Ghedabna said...

Thanks for the warning! Today, I got the same mail from Ecaterina Turcan!

alina alm said...

Thanks for the warning!
I got it too from
"Olga Pomogaibog
Acquisition Editor

LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing is a trademark of:
OmniScriptum GmbH & Co. KG

Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8,
66121, Saarbrücken, Germany" as it is written in the letter.

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NH said...

Well, I got a mail from some Gabriela Adams twice from LAP Publishing. Definitely not getting into it though!

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mary said...

I got the same letter today and my Acquisition Editor was Alina Berdos.

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Rossano Giandomenico said...

I find out LAP to be a Good way to make know my works internatinally


http://www.rossanogiandomenico.com/

Yekini Tokunbo said...

Good question!

Masum Billah said...

I am writing a book on governance in south asia. This is my first project. Where to publish it? Can anyone give some idea.

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rahul saini said...

Thank you for your post! I receive almost the same letter.

alessio scannicchio said...

Thanks for the warning! I got the mail from
Sincere regards,
Sophie Robertson
Acquisition Editor
e: s.robertson@lap-publishing.com
w: www.lap-publishing.com
p: +1 212 220 6048


Unknown said...

I have recently received a similar email, at first I was very excited then I started to wonder how this person got my details then how the whole process work. Soon after I started to research the company, I came across a number of warnings and finally this blog. Thanks for lookin' out

nathyecomp said...

I received two emails from them. The first one was asking if I would like to publish my paper as a book. Then, they sent me a new email by asking if I have considered their offer...
"
Sincere regards,
Olga Pomogaibog
Acquisition Editor
e: o.pomogaibog@lap-publishing.com
w: www.lap-publishing.com
"

Michal said...

Thanks for the warning! I received today an e-mail from Olga Pomagaibog. I googled it and your page was one of the records. There is also a Facebook page of this lady. I suppose it may be a fake one or if it is not it still is suspicious.

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