Beware of unsolicited publication offers!

The name of the SNSF is used - sometimes fraudulently - to trick researchers into publishing their articles at a high cost.

Several researchers have contacted the SNSF in the last few months saying they had been approached by agencies offering to publish an article on their research. These agencies made vague, inaccurate and even fraudulent references to the SNSF. By creating the impression of a partnership, they were hoping to trick researchers into publishing in their journal.

These unsolicited offers generally share the same pattern: researchers are contacted by telephone by a caller pretending to be supported or mandated by the SNSF. The researchers are invited to publish an article on their research. Sometimes the callers claim that they are going to publish a contribution by a representative of the SNSF in one of the next editions. Such callers are typically pushy, aggressive and reluctant to confirm their offer and prices in an e-mail. Their prices are very high. In addition, the researchers are urged to make a very quick decision.

Recommendation: think before acting

The SNSF recommends that you treat such offers with great caution. You should not enter into any negotiations without verifying who contacted you. We would also like to ask you to get in touch if the SNSF was mentioned in any publication offers ( If you are unsure about an offer you have received, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Spamming in academia

It is not uncommon for researchers to receive offers to publish in scientific journals or to participate in conferences of dubious quality (without any mention of the SNSF). Such offers are generally spam. For verification, you can consult lists of untrustworthy journals and editors (see links below)).

Share your experience!

The research magazine Horizons, published by the SNSF and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, is investigating spam in academia for its December 2016 edition. Would you be prepared to tell us about your experience (anonymously, if you wish)? If yes, please send your stories and examples to until 16 September 2016 and have a look at our survey on Twitter.