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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-10

Unsolicited academic invitation to young Indian authors and a way to limit it: A prospective cohort study

1 Department of Physiology, Kalna SD Hospital, Kalna, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Physiology, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore, Odisha, India
3 Freelance Medical Writer, ORCID: 0000-0001-5039-9919, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Himel Mondal
Department of Physiology, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore - 756 019, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_126_18

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Background: E-mail addresses of the corresponding author can be accessed from open-access online articles. These addresses are commonly collected by journal promoters and used to send invitations to authors with attractive publication offer to allure young authors. Aim: The aim of this study was to ascertain the quantity and type of unsolicited academic invitations and to find the effect of an intervention on the reduction of quantity of invitations. Materials and Methods: A total of seven young authors had participated in the study. In preintervention phase, each Sunday, the authors counted their unsolicited e-mails and reported it for consecutive 6 months. A list of commonly used words/phrases in those e-mails was made. That list was used to make e-mail filters to divert unsolicited e-mails to a different label (SPAM STUDY). In postintervention phase, the participants reported the number of unsolicited e-mails received in different labels for consecutive 3 months. Results: The authors received average 5.27 ± 0.93 (2.04 ± 0.28 in inbox and 3.23 ± 0.89 in spam label) academic invitations per day in the preintervention phase. Majority of the e-mails (98.97%) requested for submission of the manuscript. Postintervention total unsolicited academic e-mails (5.43 ± 1.25) remain unchanged (P = 0.67); however, e-mails to inbox (0.08 ± 0.02/day) were significantly (P < 0.0001) decreased. Conclusion: Young authors receive lots of unsolicited academic invitations; most of them request to submit manuscript. These unsolicited e-mails can be diverted to a different e-mail label by creating e-mail filters. This would help authors to reduce the burden of unsolicited mails in inbox.

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