Self-referential promotion letter

19 Sep 2006 // science

Recently (as in the last two years) I published papers in the journals, BMC Structural Biology and Protein Science. It appears that BMC Structural Biology trawls through the authors of Protein Science, and spams these authors to get them interested in their journal, BMC Structural Biology. I got one of those emails:

Dear Dr Ho,

We noticed that you recently published an article in Protein Science. As an active researcher publishing in the field of structural biology, have you considered publishing in BMC Structural Biology?...

Who is BMC Structural Biology?

BMC Structural Biology boasts a wide, international readership. More than 4,900 users have signed up to receive email alerts, and last month alone articles in BMC Structural Biology were accessed over 3,500 times from our website, and many times via the PubMed Central website.

Seems a reputable journal. But it's open-source. It's too new. To assuage my worries and fears, BMC Structural Biology sent me a worthy example of one of their popular recent articles:

For example, this article by Ho and Brasseur has been accessed 205 times in the past 30 days:

Research article
The Ramachandran plots of glycine and pre-proline
Bosco K Ho, Robert Brasseur
BMC Structural Biology 2005, 5:14 (16 August 2005)

This article looked vaguely familiar. That author Bosco K Ho, he looks like ...

Why, that's me!

They were trying to entice me into submitting an article to them by showing me an article that I had already written, for them.

...Why not submit your next research article to BMC Structural Biology?...

Why not indeed.. oh, I already have.