I just received an email from Hindawi Publishers inviting me to submit an open access journal article for a topic I no nothing about. The email was from firstname.lastname@example.org. I've heard that Hindawi is legit but these kind of practices make them seem like scammers. Here is the email:
Dear Dr. Moore,
I am writing to invite you to submit an article to Journal of Fluids which is a peer-reviewed open access journal for original research articles as well as review articles related to all aspects of fluids.
Journal of Fluids is published using an open access publication model, meaning that all interested readers are able to freely access the journal online at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/fluids/ without the need for a subscription, and authors retain the copyright of their work. The journal does not currently require any page charges, color charges, or article processing charges.
The journal has a distinguished Editorial Board with extensive academic qualifications, ensuring that the journal maintains high scientific standards and has a broad international coverage. A current list of the journal's editors can be found at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/fluids/editors/.
Manuscripts should be submitted to the journal online at http://mts.hindawi.com/submit/journals/fluids/. Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication, it will undergo language copyediting, typesetting, and reference validation in order to provide the highest publication quality possible.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the journal.
My reply was as follows:
Please take the time to actually understand what I study before requesting articles. I do nothing related to fluids. This kind of behavior is giving Open Access a bad reputation. Hindawi may be legitimate but their practices are nefarious. Read this New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/health/for-scientists-an-exploding-world-of-pseudo-academia.html and think about whether you are helping or hurting the cause.
Jason K. Moore, Ph.D. University of California, Davis