Saturday, July 26, 2008

Strange Solicitation

Today I received an odd solicitation to join the editorial board of a journal I've never heard of, the Journal of Advanced Researches on Computer Science. It is published by an institute I've never heard of, the "Institute of Advanced Scientific Researches".

The solicitation was strange for a number of reasons. First, this "Institute" seems to publish (or want to publish) 16 different journals; yet as I write this, many of them seem to have no editorial board listed. Second, the name of the Institute itself is odd; no native English speaker would be likely refer to "researches", as "research" is typically a mass noun, like "information". Also, the solicitation letter was filled with grammatical errors. Third, I can find no information about this "Institute" online, nor any of the people associated with it, except for the person who wrote the solicitation letter, "Kavin Kalfi".

So, does anyone else know about this "Institute"?

22 comments:

RBH said...

That organization's name rings a very faint bell in my head, though I can't track down why. Here's the Whois info on the site. I can't find anything on the principals listed. The signer of the email does not appear in the info there. At least it's apparently in Irvine, as the web site claims. :)

``````````````````` said...

Dear professor
I know about this institute and following answers are about your concern:

1-it is start up institute and they are recognize by government
2-Regarding “researchers” word, it is not wrong. It is using rare.
3-In addition, I am one of the new editors. I believe we have to support and encourage people who working on humanity maturity.

Sincerely yours

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Dear anonymous:

I don't know why you would refuse to use your real name.

I don't know what it means to be "recognized" by the government. Recognized in what sense? And by which government?

As for "researches", I am a native English speaker, and you are clearly not.

Gary said...

There is a journal called "Marine Geophysical Researches", published by Springer: http://www.springerlink.com/content/100311/, with an Editor-in-Chief from UK.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Very bizarre, Gary. I can't imagine why anyone would use such a bizarre title.

This.is.Sophie said...

Hi,
Please Click on the following link to see "Researches"

http://www.amazon.ca/Researches-Magnetism-Electricty-Crystallization-Attraction/dp/1856521613


http://www.springerlink.com/content/108383/

http://www.amazon.com/Researches-Magnetism-Electricity-Crystallization-Attraction/dp/0766130991

http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-Bio03Tuat03-t1-body-d3.html

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/login.jsp?url=/iel5/10008/32125/01496070.pdf?temp=x

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/5397

http://fair-use.org/mind/1876/01/critical-notices/clinical-and-physiological-researches-on-the-nervous-system

http://www.gisdevelopment.net/technology/lbs/ma04194.htm

and so on ...

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I don't deny that you can find instances of "researches". Type "informations" into a search engine and you can find lots of hits for that, too, but I've never heard a native English speaker say "informations". Similarly, I've never heard a native English speaker say "researches", but I don't doubt that it occasionally occurs. My point was that it is a very unusual and atypical usage.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Oh, and Sophie? Be a little more careful with your citations. At least one of them refers to

Researches on Model of Navigation in CVE

Zhang Jing, Liu Jianzhong, Wan Gang, Guo Yanbin
Institute of Surveying and Mapping,
Information Engineering University, Zhengzhou 450052, China
Email: gybzj@163.com

which is unlikely to be by native English speakers.

This.is.Sophie said...

How about these?

http://www.amazon.com/Experimental-Researches-Electricity-Michael-Faraday/dp/0486435059

And Michael Faraday is an English chemist and physicist.
Born: September 22, 1791(1791-09-22),South London, England.
Died: August 25, 1867 (aged 75)
Hampton Court, London, England.
Residence: England
Nationality: British.

http://www.amazon.de/Voyage-Beagle-Charles-Researches-Classics/dp/014043268X

And Charles Darwin is an English naturalist, too.

This.is.Sophie said...

Hi,

There is an easy way!!

Please write "researches" and "informations" in MS-Word and then press F7!
You will see "researches" is a correct word! and "informations" is an incorrect word.

please try!!

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Well, Sophie, my guess is that either "researches" was formerly more common than it is today, or perhaps it is more common in British English than American English.

As for your suggested method to verify that "researches" is "correct", I can only say (1) I don't use Microsoft products and (2) If you think the correctness of a usage can be determined by consulting a computer program, I fear I do not have enough time to disabuse you of that notion.

I am not a prescriptivist. I don't believe there is one correct form of usage, dictated by dictionaries or lexicographers. Language evolves, and languages have variants. I can only say, again, that I have never heard a native speaker say "researches", but I freely concede it is possible. If you look at what I said in my original posting, "research" is typically used a mass noun. I didn't say "always".

11011110 said...

Researches is a perfectly valid word: Sophie researches past word usages. But that's a verb form. I agree with Jeff that "researches" as a noun is a tip-off of a non-native speaker. In my experience, "research" is a mass noun and is not nowadays usually used in the plural.

Alex said...

Is it an "online journal"?

I'm not in any scientific field myself, but from what I understand there is an abundance of "journals" online which are ... well, "fraudulent" is a good word, although I suppose it wouldn't do in the legal sense. Anyway, they seem to make a business out of soliciting random individuals to either publish or "peer review" articles, and charge them hundreds of dollars for the privilege.

These types of journals are the only reason why members of the 9/11 "truth" movement were finally able to get a "peer reviewed paper" published in an engineering "journal". More on that here if you're interested. Basically, though, the journal in question had no academic standards whatsoever, no circulation, and a grand total of 3 published articles at the time.

I have a feeling that the individuals who've approached you run a similar "journal".

Reginald Selkirk said...

Second, the name of the Institute itself is odd; no native English speaker would be likely refer to "researches", as "research" is typically a mass noun, like "information".

I am reminded of this: Spyware Fail

bard said...

Hi Jeffrey:

I've received two solicitations both for the differential equations sector of the institute. The fact that their site has a .org address would confer some sort of taxfree status, I would guess, but maybe this is easy to fake. I completely agree with you that "researches" is no longer in common use in American English. I have seen it used numerous times and always by non-native speakers.

regards

bard ermentrout

Josiah Carlson said...

Anyone can get a .org, it is the same as a .net or a .com .

Steve Weis said...

I don't know about this case, but I've received a few unsolicited invitations from phony-sounding conferences and journals. Their common thread is that they have ridiculously high fees and seem to have no review process.

Sometimes I've been surprised to see people I knew on the PCs. I followed up with them and they had no idea their name was being used.

Tread carefully.

Omid said...

Hi,

Dear !!!,
Please see:
"LONGMAN, HANDY LEARNER'S DICTIONARY", Page 335,
research /n [Countable; Uncountable], also researches formal...

jyby said...

In my mail today, an invitation to join the editorial board of the "new open access journal ALGORITHMS": recognition at last ;)

I like the concept of open access journals (Transaction on Algorithms for instance), but indeed this kind of "author supported" publications can be abused.

The site hosting them is a collective database for molecular and biomolecular samples. I like the idea also, but then I wonder if this one is fake as well?

Jeremy

---------------------------------
Dear Dr. XXX,

We are launching a new Open Access journal ALGORITHMS (ISSN 1999-4893)
at the website
http://www.mdpi.org/algorithms/. We would like to invite
you to submit a paper (either a research article or a review) for
consideration and publication in the first issues which will be widely
advertised. The first two issues will be released on 30 September 2008
and on 20 December 2008. Your paper will be published free of charge in
Open Access form. We also would like to invite you to join the Editorial
Board of this journal or to recommend a top and active scientist to join
the Editorial Board.

MDPI publishes several Open Access journals listed at http://www.mdpi.org. There are 7 Nobel Prize winners
on the editorial
boards of these scientific journals. All these journals maintain a
rigorous peer-review and rapid editorial procedure. Open Access is
supported by authors, see the website http://www.mdpi.org/oaj-supports.htm
for details.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Dear Omid:

I don't think you can necessarily determine current usage by consulting a dictionary. Case in point: look up the word "nubile" in your dictionary and see if it gives a definition that matches today's usage of the word.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I also should clarify that in all my comments, I am referring to "researches" as a noun. As a verb I do not contest that it is in use, although even there "does research" is probably much more common.

Based on the comments so far, I would suspect that the meaning of "research" has been evolving over the past 200 years from a count noun to a mass noun. I wonder if any linguists might comment.

Akilan said...

The website of the institute lists its name as "Institute of Advanced Scientific Research" only... They changed it recently, i think.

Weird...