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Beware of a bogus ChemRxiv

Phony version of ACS preprint server is online

by Andrea Widener
November 17, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 46

A fraudulent version of a chemistry preprint server proposed by the American Chemical Society is causing confusion in the chemistry community.

Don’t be Fooled




A fake version of ACS’s chemistry preprint server ChemRxiv is attempting to draw in chemists. The real ChemRxiv is still under development.

Websites for ACS-endorsed preprint server (not operational yet):


Website for its imitator:


The website is just one letter off from ACS’s proposed name for its preprint server—the real ChemRxiv vs. the imposter ChemArxiv. E-mails urging people to deposit papers into the preprint server were circulating earlier this month. Preprint servers allow researchers to share draft papers.

ChemArxiv appears to be related to Open Academic Press, which is on a list of likely predatory publishers maintained by Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver. Open Academic Press publishes two predatory journals—fake journals designed to steal money from authors—on polar research and molecular electronics, Beall says.

“The site launched by Open Academic Press has absolutely no association with ACS’s plans announced in August to organize ChemRxiv as a chemistry preprint server,” says Kevin Davies, a vice president in the publications division of ACS, which publishes C&EN.

Most scam publishers are motivated by money, Beall says. But he’s not sure what might motivate someone to create a free preprint server, except to draw people into predatory journals.

E-mails from the account of an Ulf Edvinsson at Open Academic Press claim that ChemArxiv is related to ACS and mimics, a well-established physics and computer science preprint server. Attempts to reach Edvinsson by e-mail were unsuccessful.

However, Edvinsson might not be a real name, Beall says, explaining that people who run such sites often use fraudulent names. The preprint website is registered to someone else and appears to originate in France. The Open Academic Press site, which claims to be in Germany, has yet another name associated with it.

ACS announced in August that it would create the ChemRxiv preprint server. ACS purchased the and domains. This slight variation seems to have been purchased in September.

The real ChemRxiv has not yet launched, Davies says, but he expects a landing page will be up soon. ACS is in negotiations with several organizations about making ChemRxiv a repository for international chemistry research.



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