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ISSN: 2637-6636

Interventions in Pediatric Dentistry: Open Access Journal

Short Communication(ISSN: 2637-6636)

Identification and Characterisation of Periodicum Pradatorius: An Emerging Pathogen of Physicus Novicius and Litterae Scientific Volume 3 - Issue 5

Rasher Dan*, Thomas Thug and Peter Throb

  • Department of Dentistry, The Percy Plop School for the Gifted, United Kingdom

Received: February 19, 2020;   Published: February 26, 2020

*Corresponding author: Rasher Dan, Department of Dentistry, The Percy Plop School for the Gifted, United Kingdom

DOI: 10.32474/IPDOAJ.2020.03.000175

Abstract PDF

Short Communication

“The way to reason with a predator is to make it aware that it can live in a cage, or it can die, but it can no longer prey upon us”. Litterae scientific has, over the last decade in particular, been the subject of escalating insult from a number of rogue elements; none more insidious than Periodicum pradatorius [1]. Coinciding with the growth of the internet [2], this opportunistic infectious agent gains access to its intermediary host (Physicus novicius) primarily via Email, though social media platforms have also been implicated [3]. Once established in the hosts’ inbox, the virus either remains dormant until activated by the unwitting host or neutralized by the hosts’ immune defenses (i.e. antispam software). Several subspecies of P Pradatorius exist, each exhibiting varying degrees of sophistication in terms of the infection process: ranging from the rather simplistic subspecies generalist (which lacks any discernible host specificity; including the target’s name, correct salutation or area of specialization), to the more targeted variant, P. pradatorius certis. While P. pradatorius generalist usually addresses the host in general terms, including “Dear Doctor”, “Dear Professor” or in some less evolved strains, “Respected Sir” (presumably suggesting a sex specific tropism), P. pradatorius certis, by contrast, exhibits some degree of specificity. Indeed, subspecies certis not only uses the host’s full name, but often refers to one of the host’s previous publications. The cited paper (usually the source of the P. novicius contact details used by the pathogen to initiate the infection in the first instance) often bares little or no relevance to the P. pradatorius subject matter. A typical line from a P. pradatorius letter of invitation will read “We have read with interest your work on Acne vulgaris and feel that it would make an excellent addition to our journal Life on Mars”. To illustrate the absurdity of such an association: our team’s Prof Throb, a noted expert in acne (particularly of the rhino variety), has never as much as set a foot on Mars!

Another characteristic of P. pradatorius is an innate sense of urgency in the nature of the initial contact; P. novicius is often informed that a single submission is needed to close a planned future issue, which is usually due for publication in as little as two weeks. This demand is usually followed by the reassurance that “if your research is not ready” … “review articles, case reports, short communications, perspectives, editorials, letters to the editor, etc.” are all welcome (in essence, anything will do!). Peer review is rarely mentioned (and, with such rapid turn-around times, is hardly likely). Furthermore, analogous to prion-like spread, P. pradatorius will endeavor to sequester P. novicius itself as part of the infectious process; forwarding the request to others, encouraging them to contribute their “important research”. Indeed, some strains of P. pradatorius go even further; inviting P Novicius onto the journal Editorial Board; thereby endeavouring to actively assimilate the host in true Borg-like fashion [4]. The overall effect of P. pradatorius infection of P. novicius varies from the relatively minor inconvenience of a cluttered inbox [5] to the much more serious reputational damage associated with publishing in a journal which lacks credibility, is not appropriately indexed and as such is unlikely to be extensively cited [6,7]. Indeed, the long-term effects are likely to, at best, retard and at worst completely prevent the normal evolution of P. novicius to Physicus statutum; the most evolved of the genus Physicus. Furthermore, and perhaps more detrimental in global terms is the combined effect on the primary host, L. scientific. If sufficient P. novicius numbers succumb to P. pradatorius, then the entire L. scientific complex will be compromised [8]; the key symptoms being a lack of public trust in the scientific process which ultimately risks the integrity of the Academy as a whole [9].
A separate, yet related, species within the genus Periodicum (P Colloquium), has also begun to emerge in recent years [10]. While this variant has only a minor impact on P. novicius (who have limited access to research budgets), it can exist in a symbiotic relationship with certain strains of P Statutum. In exchange for exorbitant registration fees, P Statutum can enjoy grant funded trips to exotic climes (no talk or poster presentation required!). In conclusion then, P. pradatorius, and related species, are on the rise and continue to pose a real and present threat to both P. novicius and L. scientific [11]. While vigilance is key in the battle against these insidious imposters [12], humor is also an important ally - Castigat ridendo mores!

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Dr Croc for expert editorial assistance.

References

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  2. Abad García MF (2019) Plagiarism and predatory journals: A threat to scientific integrity. Anales de Pediatría 90(1): 57.e1-57.e8.
  3. Delgado López PD, Corrales García EM (2018) Influence of Internet and social media in the promotion of alternative oncology, cancer quackery, and the predatory publishing phenomenon. Cureus 10(5): e2617.
  4. Ruiter Lopez L, Lopez Leon S, Forero DA (2019) Predatory journals: do not judge journals by their editorial board members. Medical teacher 41(6): 691-696.
  5. Wood KE, Krasowski MD (2020) Academic E-Mail Overload and the Burden of “Academic Spam”. Academic Pathology 7: 2374289519898858.
  6. Brainard J (2020) Articles in ‘predatory’ journals receive few or no citations. American Association for the Advancement of Science 367(6474): 129.
  7. Duliamy MJA (2019) Publications in Fake and Predatory Journals Harm Academic Reputation of Higher Education Institutions. Iraqi Dental Journal pp. 41.
  8. Wallace WA (2019) Publish and be damned: the damage being created by predatory publishing. The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery London 101-B(5): 500-501.
  9. Choudhary M, Kurien N (2019) Predatory journals: A threat to evidence-based science. Indian Journal of Health Sciences and Biomedical Research (KLEU) 12: 12.
  10. Heasman P (2019) Unravelling the mysteries of predatory conferences. British dental journal 226: 228.
  11. Bowman JD (2014) Predatory publishing, questionable peer review, and fraudulent conferences. American journal of pharmaceutical education 78(10): 176.
  12. Strong G (2019) Understanding Quality in Research: Avoiding Predatory Journals. Journal of Human Lactation 35(4): 661-664.
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