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Testing the limits of an unsolicited invitation

NBC

By Adam Marcus Retraction Watch 

John McCool, a freelance medical editor and big “Seinfeld” fan, knew the unsolicited invitation from Urology & Nephrology Open Access Journal to submit a paper was unscrupulous. The journal has been labeled “predatory,” meaning it trolls researchers for articles then demands high fees to publish the papers they submit, without actually doing any quality control. So McCool decided to troll right back.

He sent in a bogus paper relating the plight of a 37-year-old man with “uromycitisis” — the phony syndrome Jerry Seinfeld invents — as a way to dodge a citation for urinating in public. The authors of the report included Dr. Martin van Nostrand, Kramer’s physician alter ego. McCool also threw in a reference to one G.L. Costanza and the Arthur Vandelay Urological Research Institute.

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None of which seemed to faze the journal, which requested revisions and accepted the paper, then asked McCool for $799 plus tax to publish the article.

The rest is, well, yadda, yadda, yadda.