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US Federal Trade Commission charges academic publisher over “deceptive” practices

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4917 (Published 09 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4917
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged OMICS Group, publisher of over 700 online open access medical and scientific journals, with unfair or deceptive practices affecting commerce.

OMICS Group, its associated companies iMedPub and Conference Series, and their mutual director Srinubabu Gedela “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.”

Because researchers must pay to be published in open access journals, the FTC considers them consumers, eligible for protection under the FTC Act, the law it …

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