Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Academic "cold calls"

"Cold calls" are telephone solicitations for sales that are made "cold," without prior contacts or signs of interest from the consumer. This week I have gotten 2 cold calls soliciting academic work, which is surreal. The latest was this email:

Dear Michael E. Smith
You are invited to submit articles to the Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering (JBiSE, ISSN Print: 1937-6871, ISSN Online: 1937-688X).
JBiSE, publishes research and review articles in all important aspects of biology. medicine, engineering, and their intersection. Accepted papers will immediately appear online followed by printed hard copy, which will be sent to over 200 scientific libraries around the world.

Do the editors of this journal really think messages to people outside of their discipline will be productive? Maybe this is just another case of the "Michael Smith" confusion (I did NOT ride the winning horse at the Kentucky Derby a few years ago, I am NOT a Christian singer, I did NOT write the book "How to Teach Your Dog to Eliminate on Command," and so on.). There is a list of this and other books by Michael Smith that I did not write. Or maybe this is just a blanket email, soliciting papers for a journal with high author fees hoping to increase their revenues.

The second example was a true cold call. Someone called and said they worked for a publishing company (that I hadn't heard of) and asked if I had any book manuscripts I wanted to submit. I briefly considered assembling a big batch of old email text, giving it a clever postmodern title, and sending it off to see what would happen. But that would be too much work. Of course I thought of several clever replies as soon as I hung up. But I am amazed that someone thinks this kind of phone solicitation makes economic sense.

These events serve to confirm my confusion about some areas of the publishing business these days.

1 comment:

Michael E. Smith said...

The day after I posted this, I received this email. As an old college radio DJ in the old days, I really like the notion of "cognitive radio"

Dear Michael E. Smith,

You are invited to submit papers to the Communications and Network (CN, ISSN Print: 1949-2421, ISSN Online: 1947-3826). The topics to be covered by CN, but are not limited to:

* Applications and value-added services
* Coding, detection and modulation
* Cognitive radio
* Communication tools and services
* ocation based services
* MIMO and OFDM technologies
* Mobile computing systems
* Multimedia in wireless networks
* Network operation, maintenance and management
* Network protocol, QoS and congestion control
* Network security
* QoS and traffic analysis
* RFID and 802.1x technologies
* Sensor networks
* Wave propagation and antenna design
* WDM, HWDM and OTDM networks