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I think they use witchcraft

The following came in the email today:

On Jul 7, 2018, at 12:58 PM, Submissions <submissions@**.co.in> wrote:

Hello Dr. Andrew Gelman,

I am Dr. ** [American-sounding name], Research Assistant for the ** Publishing Company contacting you with reference from our Editorial Board.

Are you tired of publishing your Manuscript in useless journals and get no impact for your hard work?

This is the problem being faced by many researches around the globe today. Many journals charge huge money as a publication fee, but do you think you are getting enough impact for your hard worked research and money?

We at AND Media Analytics came up with a solution which helps researchers and students to properly feature their manuscript. We can bring high impact for your submissions and can offer guaranteed citations from major news outlets like Google News, Yahoo News, Harvard University, Stanford University, Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Times and other local news websites & prestigious universities.

This can help your articles get more exposure which is one of the key issues you are struggling with, This past year we helped numerous researches and students to publish their submissions, resulting in (High Impact Factor, Maximum Exposure, Money Saved, and Productivity Increases).

If this is something you are challenged with too, we request you to Submit Manuscript under your area of interest by given deadline of submission; we are looking your acceptance by 24-48 hours.

All the best

** [American-sounding name], | Research Assistant,
** Publishers
Salem, Massachusetts
01970, USA

Most of that sounds good, but I’d prefer not to be published by Harvard University, as that’s the place where the press agents think “The replication rate in psychology is quite high—indeed, it is statistically indistinguishable from 100%.” Publishing a statement like that could be bad for my reputation. Stanford, though, that would be ok. They did some cool experiment in a prison, right?

4 Comments

  1. jrkrideau says:

    I really do not see how you could turn down such an offer though I see they did not assure you of publication in the Daily Mail.

  2. Anoneuoid says:

    I’ve seen something like this in action I think. There was that story not too long ago about how Bajau Nomads evolved large spleens, which explains their extreme diving abilities.[1] If you search it you could see every single stupid news site carrying the same story. And pretty much every aspect of this “news” was false.

    The spleens in question were actually smaller than usual, and much smaller than those of professional divers, and they only measured the spleens once even though they can vary by a factor of 10x in a day due to stuff like stress/exercise/disease, and there was no actual data collected about their diving ability, but what was said about their diving practice was something most people can do after a few months of training.

    [1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-diving-genetics/large-spleen-helps-explain-deep-diving-skills-of-southeast-asian-sea-nomads-idUSKBN1HQ2G9

  3. Martha (Smith) says:

    Sad to hear, but I guess at least not harmful, like the misleading research on systemic exercise intolerance.

  4. Alex C. says:

    Incidentally, there’s some doubt about the validity of Zimbardo’s famous prison experiment at Stanford.

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