It is common knowledge nowadays that the academic journal industry has largely deteriorated into what can only be termed as a racket. Thousands of journals with shoddy standards have cropped up luring unsuspecting or inept academics and students with the promise of publication. A librarian and associate professor at the University of Colorado in Denver named Jeffrey Beall has maintained a Wordpress blog named Scholarly Open Access which specifically tracks open-access journals. He also maintains a list of publishers of … questionable repute, one that unfortunately numbers quite a few India-based entries.
One such entry in Beall's list is OMICS Publishing Group, a Hyderabadi publisher which apparently publishes over 250 open-access journals. The organisation is headed by a Srinubabu Gedela and receives a lot of negative attention on Beall's blog which labels it as a "predatory publisher". OMICS, it appears, has had enough. It has roped in another Hyderbad-based organisation, IP Markets, to protect its "intellectual property" and these people have done so by sending Beall a letter threatening to sue him for USD 1 Billion in damages and up to three years in jail time if found guilty under section 66A of India's IT Act, 2000.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the letter sent by IP Markets to Jeffrey Beall is an expansive six-page read and is very generous with its charges:
The rambling, six-page letter argues that Mr. Beall's blog is "ridiculous, baseless, impertinent," and "smacks of literal unprofessionalism and arrogance." The letter also accuses Mr. Beall of racial discrimination and attempting to "strangle the culture of open access publications."
"All the allegation that you have mentioned in your blog are nothing more than fantastic figment of your imagination by you and the purpose of writing this blog seems to be a deliberate attempt to defame our client," the letter reads. "Our client perceive the blog as mindless rattle of a incoherent person and please be assured that our client has taken a very serious note of the language, tone, and tenure adopted by you as well as the criminal acts of putting the same on the Internet."
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