Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Institute of Advanced Scientific Researches" Changes Name, Threatens Me

I previously commented on the odd solicitation I received from the "Institute of Advanced Scientific Researches". I observed in passing that the name was odd, as most North Americans would be more likely to use "research" instead of "researches".

Over the past couple of days, the Institute has apparently changed its name to the "Institute of Advanced Scientific Research". But instead of thanking me for correcting their English, they are now threatening me.

I have now received several incoherent e-mail messages from "Zahra K. Khalafi" who claims to be the "Director of Institute of Advanced Scientific Research" and accuses me of writing "fake" and "counterfeit" messages. He states he will "take action by the law and we will see you in court in USA or CANAD" [sic] and asks if I am a "Canadian government agent". Really, I have no idea what he is complaining about. I found his institute's solicitation odd, and I said so. I found his Institute's name odd, and he apparently changed it. It seems to me he should be grateful.

If Mr. Khalafi wants to encourage other researchers to join his efforts, inviting people to join editorial boards and then threatening to sue them is probably not the optimal way to go about it.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Under "strategy" you can find the priceless:
'Beside, we follow USA government policy regarding fighting with countries who support state of terror.'
Beware rendition!

S said...

Ah but look at their "journal" titles - hilarious!

Gary said...

As an experiment, I filled the form on the website of one of their journals. My name immediately appeared in the Editorial Board. Seems that I am a journal editor now! :) Anyway, many of the other editors are well-known, acknowledged professors.

This.is.Sophie said...

Dear Gary

I didn't see ur name! ;)

I wannabe an editor too.
It's fuuny!

Anonymous said...

You could have just ignored them. Why make a big deal out of an organization that you don't think is any good?

Generally speaking, the existence of poor journals/conferences is an indication that there are too many academics in the field who should not be there at all.

Maybe academics should encourage fewer students to pursue PhDs.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Why make a big deal out of an organization that you don't think is any good?

This blog is devoted to what interests me. Perhaps the concept of "critic" and "public intellectual" are unfamiliar to you.

Anonymous said...

You could have just ignored them. Why make a big deal out of an organization that you don't think is any good?

One good reason is to keep beginners or non-academics from being fooled. I've seen some really silly things, like an undergraduate who submitted a paper to a WSEAS conference in the belief that it was a respected academic conference.

A second reason is that this is more than a matter of publishing low-quality journals. The method of selecting editors appears to be truly ludicrous (soliciting volunteers via mass e-mails and web pages). This is a matter of academic integrity.

Generally speaking, the existence of poor journals/conferences is an indication that there are too many academics in the field who should not be there at all.

Maybe, but it's not clear. There are big incentives to be a journal editor, and many academics would rather edit a lousy journal than none at all. There are also big incentives to publish a journal (profit) and to submit mediocre papers (publish or perish). The net effect is that regardless of whether there are too many academics in the field, there will always be too many journals.

Anonymous said...

The link to their LaTeX style files is a .exe.

Gary said...

They removed the names in the editorial boards from the website. Now I don't know I am still an editor or not.

Canadian Government Agent said...

At first I thought it was an elaborate scam to separate cranks from their money with the $20/page charge for their submissions. How much revenue can one get that way I wonder. But now on "Instructions for Authors" page for each "journal" there are two lines on the bottom in boldface.

Page charges are mandatory.
NOTE: Page charges will be omitted, if it has been recommended by Editors-in-Chief.

Utterly weird...

RBH said...

Gary wrote

They removed the names in the editorial boards from the website. Now I don't know I am still an editor or not.

What can one say but Sic transit gloria mundi? :)

Daniele A. Gewurz said...

Apparently, the "strategy" page does not include fighting anymore, be it with, against, for or near USA. However, several bits betray the fact that their "researches" into English language are not very thorough: "Our believed humanity, science and knowledge it has no political boundary and geography border." And so on.

apthorpe said...

WHOIS is your friend:

Domain Name:I-ASR.ORG
Created On:14-Jan-2008 21:45:06 UTC
Last Updated On:15-Mar-2008 03:47:51 UTC
Registrant Name:Roghieh Vahaab poor
Registrant Organization:Roghieh Vahaab poor
Registrant Street1:65 Palatine, Apt #232
Registrant City:Irvine
Registrant State/Province:CA
Registrant Postal Code:92612
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.9492519436
Email:h_kadkhodaei@gmail.com

Odd that a respectable science journal should have its domain registered from an apartment in Irvine, CA.

apthorpe said...

Maybe academics should encourage fewer students to pursue PhDs.

Maybe bloggers should encourage fewer readers to comment.

Seriously, the academy's role is to foster discovery through research and teaching. One would expect that environment encourages people to pursue a lifetime of teaching and research. Or is the academy only there to churn out office workers and professional athletes?

The point in tweaking i-asr.org is because it appears to be a scam rather than an actual academic journal - compare it to the American Meteorological Society, for example. Abusing grifters is always topical.