I woke up this morning to an interesting email:
Dear Benjamin Allen Mielke,
I came to know about your academic paper entitled "Dance training as mechanism for overcoming the technologization of the body", while I was performing research at the University of Utah's repository.
We are currently planning publications in this subject field and therefore we would be glad to know whether you would be interested in publishing the above mentioned work with us.
LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing is a member of an international group having nearly 10 years of experience in the publication of high-quality research works from well-known institutions worldwide.
In addition to producing printed scientific books, we also market them worldwide through more than 80,000 booksellers.
Kindly let know if you would be interested in receiving more detailed information in this regard.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing is a trademark of:
OmniScriptum GmbH & Co. KG
66121, Saarbrücken, Germany
l.dean (at) lap-publishing. com / www. lap-publishing. com
Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRA 10356
Identification Number (Verkehrsnummer): 13955
Partner with unlimited liability: VDM Management GmbH
Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRB 18918
Managing director: Thorsten Ohm (CEO)
Interesting. Someone had combed through all the recent graduate thesis works, found my thesis, and had decided it would be worth publishing for mass consumption. My first thought? "Really?"
Now, I'm not saying at all that my thesis isn't worth reading, or that I didn't spend months researching my topic, or that my thesis committee and I didn't spend hours and hours revising and rewriting it. I'm not saying that at all...but what I am saying is that I thought it was interesting enough to google. You know, that thing where you can copy and paste some specific text, hit ENTER and read more than you ever needed to know about most topics? You see, when I receive an awkwardly written email from a complete stranger, perhaps it's just my personality as a Scorpio, I get curious. Maybe it's the fact that I've received about 500 emails from Nigerian princes, or about 50 billion unsolicited emails from people wanting me to "Hook up now with local girls in your area!" or "Make your **** bigger - FREE trial!" I want to know what I'm actually reading. And luckily, I can find out more information on a topic with about 5 seconds of very light physical labor.
So I did.
Well, it turns out that LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing might indeed be a "publishing company", in the way that I am a "freelance journalist" for writing this blog entry. But, based on other people's experiences, it seems like this is a summary of their MO:
*Use computer bots to scour recent graduates' thesis works and Wikipedia articles
*Use computer bots to solicit and secure publishing rights for these works, regardless of their content or quality
*Package unedited thesis works and Wikipedia articles as published books
*Request your banking information
*Sell your thesis or Wikipedia article in book form on Amazon as a print-on-demand book
*Send you a FREE COPY of your work!
Anyone seeing any red flags here yet?
Okay, so it may be unfair of me to judge a company based on reading about 20 overwhelmingly negative reviews of their practices. So I won't. I'll let YOU google them and read for yourself. But since I have friends who are recent graduates, who may be receiving similar emails to the one I received this morning, I thought it might be fair to ask (because warning implies judgement) that they do a bit of reading before jumping into something like this.
I have to admit, I had about a 5 second window where I was thinking, "Oh, they want to publish MY work? It must be a good read!" But then, I was just waking up...and I thought, "Wait...it's not long enough for a real book..." And logic brought me to this current place of "Mona Lisa-style slight amusement."