Saturday, May 10, 2008

Elsevier spam

I received this email calling for manuscript submissions "in all fields of human endeavor" (!):
Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 09:34:35 +0100
From: "Elsevier Journals" <>
Subject: Call for Manuscripts!
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
On behalf of all the Editors-in-chief of Elsevier Journals, we wish to communicate to you that we are currently accepting manuscripts in allfields of human Endeavor. Authors are invited to submit manuscripts reporting recent developments in their fields. Papers submitted will be sorted out and published in any of our numerous journals that best fits. This is a special publication procedure which published works will be discussed at seminars (organized by Elsevier) at strategic cities all over the world. Please maximize this opportunity to showcase your research work to the world.
The submitted papers must be written in English and describe original research not published nor currently under review by other journals.

Parallel submissions will not be accepted. Our goal is to inform authors about their paper(s) within one week of receipt.
All submitted papers, if relevant to the theme and objectives of the journal, will go through an external peer-review process. Submissions should include an abstract, 5-10 key words, the e-mail address of the corresponding author. The paper Length should not exceed 30 double-spaced pages including figures and references on 8.5 by 11 inch paper using at least 11 point font. Authors should select a category designation for their manuscripts (article, short communication, review, etc.).
Papers should be submitted electronically via email in Microsoft Word or PDF attachments & include a cover sheet containing corresponding author's name, Paper Title, affiliation, mailing address, phone, fax number, email address etc.
Would-be authors should send their manuscript to:
Kind Regards,
James Moore (Prof.)
PS: Pls show interest by mailing if your manuscript is not ready but will be ready soon

I was about to send a note to get my spot reserved but then I felt the need to check who was sending the email. The gmail address it was sent from ( and the hotmail account ( they were asking the manuscripts to were very suspicious.

Why would an eminent publishing house like Elsevier would send an email from free email services?

And also why would they bother to sort out the topic of the manuscript for a proper publication (knowing that they have pretty wide coverage of sciences they would solicit direct submissions instead of spending precious editorial review time for sorting out stuff)?

And why cannot they have a form for proper submission (it is a heck lot easier for the journals to get indexed data rather than a soup of information about the author)?

How about the "PS: Pls show interest by mailing if your manuscript is not ready but will be ready soon"?

Also, the personal information font is made specifically bold so that nobody forgets all the details of their private self. Strange enough, James Moore was "Prof." instead of Dr. James Moore.

It sounded very fishy.

UPDATE: Elsevier responded to my inquiry about this email as follows:
Dear Cafer,
Thank you for your e-mail.
Please disregard the below email which you have received.
It has come to our attention that two fraudulent emails are being distributed widely in the scientific community. These spam emails use fake publisher email addresses and attempt to appear as official communications from the publisher. The title of the spam emails are 'Call for Papers', which attempts to lead the responder to make a payment, and 'Manuscript Submissions'. If you receive such an email claiming to be from Elsevier, please be advised that it is not. Elsevier is in no way involved with or related to these emails or their senders, nor are the email addresses official Elsevier addresses.
Elsevier is currently investigating this matter and is working with law enforcement to counter the spread and effectiveness of the spam.
If you come across the spam emails 'Call for Papers' or 'Manuscript submission' please do not respond to them. We kindly request that you forward the email to
Thank you for your patience with this matter.
If responding to this e-mail, please ensure that the reference number remains in the subject line.
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions or concerns at the e-mail address or telephone numbers shown below.
Yours sincerely,
Nobilie F. Niz
Elsevier Customer Support
Helping you get published:
Global telephone support is available 24/7:
For The Americas: +1 888 834 7287 (toll-free for US & Canadian customers) For Asia & Pacific: +81 3 5561 5032 For Europe & rest of the world: +353 61 709 190
We value your feedback! Please help us to provide the best possible service by completing a short questionnaire (approximately 5 minutes) via this link You can also provide feedback directly at
To ensure delivery of our e-mails to your inbox (not bulk or junk folders), please add to your address book or safe senders list.
Copyright 2005 Elsevier Limited. All rights reserved.

UPDATE: The prestigious magazine, Times Higher Education did a story on this issue:

E-mail fraudsters target academics
24 July 2008
Most e-mail frauds are concerned with selling fake Viagra or persuading people to send their bank details to a beleaguered, fictional politician on the other side of the world.
But, in a new development, the fraudsters now want your research papers.
Click here to read the rest


  1. I received one of these too. I wonder if they made the effort to target only academics, and what the spammer's motive would be?

  2. I warn the general pubic about other spamming/ spoofing in the course of my work, but it took receiving half a dozen of these before the ball dropped and I realized the spoofing occurring here.

    Why do they do it?

    1) Causing havoc for Elsevier?
    2) Theft of intellectual property?
    3) Use for university students papers to sell?

    2 and 3 seem the most likely.