Monday, June 7, 2010

Lambert Academic Publishing Continues to Spam

I was contacted today by a representative of Lambert Academic Publishing requesting that I change the title of my blog post "Academic Spam", in which I criticize their marketing tactics as consisting of sending poorly written spam enticing vanity publishing. That's right: Lambert Academic Publishing and VDM Verlag send poorly written academic spam.  Parse that and put it on the search results, Google.

In their latest message, Michael Davis, a Customer Service Executive, insists they are not a vanity publishing house.  The two central premises of his argument are that they don't charge the authors, and the publications are available on Amazon.com and in physical bookstores.  Anyone can post products on Amazon.com, and removing the pay aspect doesn't make it less vain to essentially self-publish.  Oh, and they offer a dedicated "Acquisition Editor" -- someone who apparently can't even write an email without English errors.

As I understand vanity publishing, it basically means you get a publisher to print up your thesis and sell it without proper editing or peer review.  This seems to be exactly Lambert's model but they don't charge you (in cash).  Instead, they charge you in terms of removing your rights to your own work (you can re-publish only up to 80% of your work).  In response to my original post, several people have argued that no harm is done in publishing with them -- it gives you something nice for your bookshelf and CV.  I suggest these authors find a local print shop and bindery and do it themselves.  Having a self-published on-demand book from LAP is likely to be a negative, not a positive, on an academic CV.  Experienced researchers will see right through this in a second.  It doesn't bring with it any weight in terms of peer review, it just shows your own vanity and your inability to make your thesis available freely online. 

LAP is essentially an on-demand publishing house.  I would like to know how many of the submitted theses actually go into the physical bookstores?  I would wager that the vast majority exist only as cover shots in Amazon.com listings and in print form on the bookshelf of the author and his or her proud parents.  They spam all of us in the hopes that someday someone with a gem of a thesis will fall for it and actually make them some money.

The letter I received today was obviously carefully written -- if they had taken similar care in their initial message, it may not have raised my suspicions.  Their spam emails read like shady Nigerian 419 messages.

Well, I decline to change the title of my post, and instead I will link to several others who also consider LAP's emails to be academic spam.  Steer clear of this company.

See also:

http://sandcountyfrank.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/academic-spam/

http://littlecomputerscientist.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/investigating-lambert-academic-publishing-with-google-square/

http://hjhop.blogspot.com/2008/12/shady-academic-publishing.html

51 comments:

bev said...

I absolutely believe that Lambert Academic Publishing is a fradulant attempt to access/misuse academic work. Delete!
Bev

Frank said...

It's interesting how I haven't heard back from Mr. Michael Davis yet...

Nice blog.
-Frank (sandcountyfrank)

Mercredi said...

(Found this post through google, after getting my first journal spam from LAP.)

The funniest thing to me is that I got their spam two days _after_ getting the acceptance letter from a legitimate journal for publishing my thesis work.

Hilary said...

The upside of leaving in spam/scam - people all over the world (Australia) receiving an LAP email will find your blog high up a google search for 'LAMBERT Academic Publishing scam'! Thanks for the info.

I liked the complaints about Outlook- I changed institutions and this one uses Outlook and it drives me nuts. My pet hate with the web interface is when it's over the storage limit (uni has small allocations), and you hit send on an email, then that email will be lost with no warning.

FM said...

Thanks for the information on Lambert Academic Publishing. I got the same spam mails from them. However, be careful on how you point accusing fingers....especially with this kind of statement "like Nigerian 419". It doesnt speak well of a well educated person. It might be sending the wrong signal to other people and could be damaging to the image of the country. There is scam from every part of the world, which is not coming from just Nigerians but from other sources too. I won't mention any country. Cheers.

Gaminuniverse said...

I've just been offered from them. Thanks for the information and suggestion. I agree with you. This place is not a good place for academic publishing.

Pablo said...

I've received the same (esentially) email, but in a spanish version (my thesis is in spanish, since I graduated from Universidad de Buenos Aires).

I paste the mail I received here, so it may point other who receive it to this place :). Sorry about the length of the comment, though.

---
Estimado [Nombre/Name]:

Me dirijo a Usted en representación del grupo editorial internacional de textos científicos, Editorial Académica Española.

Consultando la base de datos de la Biblioteca de Universidad de Buenos Aires, encontramos una referencia a su trabajo científico sobre "[título de tesis/thesis title]".

Nuestra editorial está interesada en colocar su trabajo a disposición de un público más extenso. Por consiguiente, me comunico con Usted para conocer su interés en publicarlo en forma de libro impreso.

Agradeceré que incluya en su respuesta una dirección de correo electrónico mediante la cual pueda enviarle información adicional en un archivo adjunto.

Esperando su respuesta, me despido de Usted muy cordialmente.
--
Atentamente,
Damian Omar Petoletti

Departamento de Adquisiciones

Editorial Académica Española es una marca comercial de:
LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG

Dudweiler Landstr. 99
D – 66123 Saarbrücken
Teléfono: 068137208364 - *0*
Fax: 068137208364 - *9*
Email: d.petoletti[at]eae-publishing.com
Web: www.eae-publishing.com

Registro de corte/número: Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRA 10752
Número de identificación (Verkehrsnummer): 12917
Socio con responsabilidad ilimitada/Persönlich haftende Gesellschafterin: VDM Management GmbH
Registro de corte/número: Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRB 18918
Los directores generales/Geschäftsführer: Dr. Wolfgang Philipp Müller, Christoph Schulligen, Esther von Krosigk

Xuan said...

Thank you for writing this post. It kept me (and I am sure many other people) from making a terrible mistake.

Amahagger said...

I received one recently too. I checked on COPAC and I was surprised to see that many UK libraries actually hold some of their books. I reckon that that is how they make their money: a poorly informed academic or librarian orders the books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble after having seen a vaguely interesting title and the university buys a book that has the price tag of an academic monograph but is really a print-on-demand item with no quality control that should only cost a small fraction of that money and should not be taken seriously as a reference by anyone. To me, that is a fraud.

Henrik said...

Good post. I got these emails too. Funny thing; they say they need to evaluate the work before deciding on publication. Well, apparently 150 pages of mathematics takes less than a day to evaluate! And, guess what, they want to publish! ;)

Good thing I thought a little more about this: if someone would actually buy my work from them in printed form they would be terribly overcharged AND it would probably be a mistake as anyone genuinly interested in my work (if such a person exists!) would find it anyway; it available online at no cost at all.

But, as this blogpost also points out; it is probably detrimental to publish your work with Lambert as it is so obviously a fraud of sorts.

naijangel said...

I do agree that there might, in fact be something shady about LAP. However, i find the author of this blog really shallow-minded and offensive. How else does one describe someone who claims to be educated but says things like "Nigerian 419 scam" when in fact, he means internet fraud? I'm Nigerian and I find your hasty generalisations highly offensive.

Ricardo said...

I have just received the Spanish version of the mail quoted by Pablo (3:12 PM, July 14, 2011 post), but this time signed by Augusto Rodríguez, from Departamento de Adquisiciones, Departamento de Print Management. All I can do is hope that inexperienced junior researchers realize that publishing with this company will surely be a mistake.

kami said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kami said...

They send email to my supervisor and asked my supervisor to contact me. My supervisor forwarded the email to me and I thought my supervisor knew them, and now I have sent my thesis for them to review!
What can I do?

Amahagger said...

Kami: Just tell them that a different publisher has agreed to publish your work and that you have already signed the contract...

Zach Kassebaum said...

I went along with it to see where it lead and received a free published book and free marketing. I didn't pay a sent, worked with an editor and receive royalty on sold books.... not that many will sell, but it is a start.

kami said...

Amahagger:
Thank you very much for your advice!

Dubai said...

Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. I really impressed by your blog.
Vee Eee Technologies

Nisheeth said...

I searched for lambert academic publishing on google scholar and found out that 617 book details are available with 450 citations. I am confused...

Amahagger said...

The fact that they are a shady print-on-demand service of self-publishing rather than a real academic publisher is becoming more notorious. A Venezuelan university has recently advised not to use their services (those of Editorial Academica Espanola, the name under which VDM operate in teh Spanish-speaking world) due to their dubious practices and the fact they do not uphold regular editorial practices:

http://www.usb.ve/home/node/272

I don't need to point out how extraordinary is for the council of a University to produce this kind of advice, but it's probably due to the fact that many people are falling for it and reputations are therefore being ruined (although if you had the misfortune of publishing with them, you could simply not mention that item in your cv).

Marta said...

I received the same offer to publish in Spanish, but I didn´t trust the source and thought it was scam. However, I found this book in Amazon published by Lambert and it seems to be interesting and well done (I know the author and his work).

http://www.amazon.com/Reshaping-Natures-impacts-environmental-communities/dp/3845416793/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320269322&sr=1-6

SK said...

I had been contacted by Lambert Academic Publishing after my masters thesis long before. then I raised some queries to which answers look legimate. But after reading such blogs and googling, I refrain from sending my work as I would loose the right on my work. Two years have passed out now.
Suddenly same kind of mail has been sent on my institute id (where I am doing PhD) telling exactly my name, my department name and topic of my research. So these guys are really using some smart services to send these automated mails or handcrafting them.

Plz stop bugging LAP as we know what u r.....

Unknown said...

Why is it supposed to be a scam? They publish your work (put it on Amazon, make a website, etc.), and pay you some royalties. They tell you exactly what they do, and then do it.

It's not Oxford University Press, but they don't claim to be it.

Amahagger said...

Have you read the comments above? There are a print-on-demand service in anything but the name, but also with the added disadvantages that 1) they publish ANYTHING you send them, 2) they keep some publishing rights from your work 3) they sell at exorbitant prices, way above the prices of books by any other print-on-demand service and 4) they are increasingly looked at with suspicion by the academic community, and some universities have published warnings against them. A Lambert tile in your cv is likely to be detrimental more than anything, but if you don't care about things like that go for it, is free.

kirti tripathi said...

Thnx for the details frnds i have received 3 to 4 mails from LAP but i didnt gave any rply as it is very suspectable and surprising.

Nice Blog
-Kirti(swtkudikirti)

perrik said...

Two years later, still a relevant and valuable post! I just received an email from LAP offering to publish my master's thesis.

I was a little suspicious as their introduction: "While performing some research on the [university's name] electronic library I became aware of the work you submitted for your degree." It immediately reminded me of the representatives from window replacement and vinyl siding companies who knock on my door and say that they just happen to be performing work in my neighborhood...

Paddy5 said...

Does the author of this blog have an axe to grind? I've published with LAP in 2010 and everything they say is proven accurate. I'm afraid the readers of this blog will turn down or have turned down an opportunity based on no more than what the angry author says. Am I parading on Vanity Stage thanks to LAP? Perhaps. Yet my title is good, the cover is great, the subject does stir passions. And the book IS ON THE SHELVES.

Amahagger said...

Oh, and by the way, most of those "acquisiton editors" are bogus: false names and Facebook pictures taken from image banks:

http://journalology.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/lambert-academic-publishing-or-how-not.html

kwok kuen tsang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kwok kuen tsang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kwok kuen tsang said...

I've just reveiced the email today. It's interesting that LAP wants to publish my 5 pages article that already published in a journal. When I read that email, I was very happy. And reply them I'm interested, because I guessed they wanted to edit a book including my article as one chatper. However, I think it may be unwise to publish through them. So, I replyed that I did not plan to publish now after discussing with my supervisor

i-ring said...

I recently received an email from a person named Olga. He indicated his interest in publishing my work when he has not yet read any of my work was suspicious enough to say they're a fraud.

HolySaint said...

Nice post, and thanks for the warning.
However, as FM, naijangel and others have pointed out, I would suggest that the author of this blog edit and remove statements that portray countries (like Nigeria) in negative light. I mean, you're an Associate Professor but this is really un-educated and very shallow.
Good job on the post anyway.

Aaron von Conta said...

Ah guys - are you serious about bashing the use of "Nigerian 419"? I mean its in that context just a pars pro toto for that kind of spam. A picture if you so wish.

And on topic:
My work is available online for everybody who is interested - as free pdf. And i assume being a scientist - that the target group of my work knows how to use google.

iaia said...

Oh Gosh! I am very worried from your posts!!! i have just submitted my ph.d. thesis with Scholars' Press which is linked to VDM Publishing... I didn't suspect anything of this! what do you suggest? is it really that bad to publish with them? so scary...

ian postuma said...

Thanks, just reported them as SPAM :D

stranger said...

A friend of mine published his thesis with LAP so I decided to check it out before doing anything with my thesis. I think its a good one and though there might be some work to be done id like to publish it somewhere decent. the issue with all these posts against LAP is that they leave me ( and people like me coz im hoping in not the only one) confused as to what other publisher I could seek out that would not be expensive for me. Does anyone have any suggestions?

colleen said...

I published my M.A. thesis with LAP (Scholars' Press) in August 2013. If you're serious about making a career out of academia, then I would agree that it's not wise to publish w/ LAP. They have zero credibility in academic circles. But if you're someone like me, who is no longer in academia, but has a different career path now, and if you are someone who can freely admit that you are publishing it for vanity purposes (I put a copy on my bookshelf & I gave a copy to my Mom), then I see no problem with publishing through LAP. For the seriously academic-minded, having LAP on the CV might hurt more than help them with their career prospects - but not everyone is that serious about their dissertations/theses and many will never publish anywhere else.

Mahi Seo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aththaar M. Nazim said...

I found very similar website, please find out https://www.lap-publishing.com/catalog/index and https://www.dictus-publishing.eu/catalog/index. Specially in distributor page.

IratePirate said...

I finished my PhD and got an email from LAP right after. Looked and sounded like a scam. Also, seriously? You read my PhD thesis? And didn't fall asleep?
If you want a bound copy of your thesis, most universities have printing services that include printing even single copies of hard-bound theses. Often, you don't even need to be at the institution (you'll have to pay shipping though).

birgitstoeckl said...

Newer Name of the same story:
OmniScriptum GmbH & Co. KG
Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8,
66121, Saarbrücken, Germany

registerd: VDM Managemanet

Dr. Satbir Grover said...

Received the same.. and still receiving. Thanks for the info. Here whats added at the end..

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

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

m.hunter (at) lap-publishing. com / www. lap-publishing. com

Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRA 10356
Identification Number (Verkehrsnummer): 13955
Partner with unlimited liability: VDM Management GmbH
Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRB 18918
Managing director: Thorsten Ohm (CEO)

therealOG said...

Been reading comments here for the last 20mins as Ive just received an email from Olga(acquisition editor)of LAP Lambert Publishing and I can say my initial excitement abruptly died..

Well they look like and are I guess a real publishing house but it being non-peer-reviewed makes it irrelevant for academic purposes.. I mean what are you gonna do with a book if your institution wont acknowledge it..

Must say im rather impressed by their research capability to reach peoples' email addresses, titles, topics etc..

tb said...

I too was just approached by a certain Kevin Woodmann from Lambert Publishing, who named the title of my thesis and then said: "Since we are planning publications in this subject area, our editorial team would be glad to know whether you would be keen on publishing the above mentioned work with us." Thankfully, a week ago, a fact-checked, edited version went online. But if I had still been looking for a publisher, I might have considered them. So THANK YOU for this most helpful cautionary note!

merenda said...

Hello! Thank you for your useful posts about LAP/VDM. VDM operates on the Italian market too, under the name of EAI (Edizioni Accademiche Italiane). For those reading Italian, an exaustive post and discussion about EAI/VDM can be found here: http://lanzaimer.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/editoria-predatoria/

Supply Chain Management said...

I just received an email from them about my very early draft! I was suspicious because I myself do not like to read it now as I am in my third year! So, I thought there must be a problem with this!

Thanx a lot for sharing this with us!

JMatthews said...

I received an email from them and was curious enough to look them up, thanks for the article. I was curious because I wanted to publish, mind, more curious as to how good this company, which had decided I was the author of an academic paper despite working in IT, was considered to be. It is possible that their mistake in attributing authorship is not their only one.

hulya said...

I have been talking to LAP for the last few days. It is really useful to hear all those things that everyone here said. I was trying to understand how they reached my study which I only presented a week ago in a Conference at Near East University of Northern Cyprus. I would like to thank everyone.

Cold Spaghetti said...

I received a total of 6 emails from an "Acquisitions Editor" about my dissertation over a 2-week period while I was traveling. The pushiness along was a red flag. Your post and links were a huge help as I crafted my response. Thank you!

Unknown said...

I received an email too from them too, they want to publish my thesis and I don't want to loose my dissertations rights, but they already have access to the University database. So how we can prevent them to publish an altered version ?