LAS VEGAS (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged OMICS Group Inc. and two affiliated companies with deceiving academics and researchers about the nature of its publications and hiding fees that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
OMICS is an online academic journal. The company, affiliated groups and president Srinubabu Gedela alleged the journal follows rigorous peer review practices. Additionally, they say they have editorial boards made up of prominent academics. The FTC believes these claims are false, that many articles are published without peer review and many individuals supposedly acting as editors have not agreed to be affiliated with the journals.
According to the FTC, OMICS also deceives researchers by not telling them of publishing fees until after accepting an article for publication. It then does not allow the researchers to withdraw articles, which means the researchers cannot publish elsewhere. Academic ethics standards usually forbid them from submitting research to more than one journal.
“The defendants in this case used false promises to convince researchers to submit articles presenting work that may have taken months or years to complete, and then held that work hostage over undisclosed publication fees ranging into the thousands of dollars,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “It is vital that we stop scammers who seek to take advantage of the changing landscape of academic publishing.”