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Mind

Strange "PIE", Part 2: The Case of the Missing Publisher

Neuroskeptic iconNeuroskepticBy NeuroskepticNovember 28, 2013 4:21 PM

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In the last post, I examined Publication Integrity and Ethics (PIE), a new organization who wrote the rules on plagiarism... or at least borrowed them. The director of PIE, Waseem Jerjes, is also an Editor-in-Chief of a journal published by Open Access Publishing London (OAPL). Another Jerjes, a relative of Waseem, is a director of OAPL. OAPL publish a full 50 peer reviewed journals. But where exactly are they based? On their Contact Us page, OAPL give their address as

Second floor 10-12 Maclise Road London W14 0PR

Curiously, shortly after I put up my post yesterday, this text vanished. By this morning it was back, but with a new addition

We are currently refurbishing our offices

This is new as Google Cache confirms. What gives? Well, one of the things I revealed in my post yesterday is that in June 2011, 10-12 Maclise Road was listed as a vacant property owned by an estate company, which is in turn directed by Jerjes family members. This estates company, incidentally, predates OAPL by several years. But surely 10-12 Maclise Road can't still be vacant, now that OAPL are based there? Last Friday, I went down to West London to check out this property. I couldn't verify whether the building was vacant - I saw no doorbell, and a padlocked shutter prevented me from knocking on the door. I also found no signs, notices or plaques indicating that it was home to OAPL (or anyone else), but I did find this:

no_fly_tipping_maclise.jpg

It was not what I expected to see when I visited the HQ of an international scientific publishing house. I saw no evidence that it wasn't vacant. But then again, it is being refurbished. While Maclise Road is the address on OAPL's website, the company OAPL (UK) Ltd. is, according to company listings, registered at 145-157 St John Street in London. A website called companiesmadesimple.com offer a service:

Your registered office at a prestigious London EC1 address 145-157 St John Street... just£45 plus VAT per year (with no charge for postage). Keep your residential address private, avoid junk mail, no hidden extras.

Can it be that - while "refurbishment" continues - this "independent open-access medical and scientific London-based publishing house" responsible for fifty scholarly journals, has no physical office in London? When they boast that

Our 'in-house' team consists of prominent scientists, physicians, librarians and economists...

Do they literally mean 'in' someone's 'house'?

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