OMICS in Hot Water

HHS tells an open-access publisher to stop using the NIH, the names of its employees, and its scientific literature databases in a “misleading manner.”

May 14, 2013
Bob Grant

WIKIMEDIA, GrindtXXOMICS Publishing Group, publisher of a suite of open-access journals, is feeling the heat from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and individuals listed as editors of some if its titles. OMICS “uses the name of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), its Institutes, PubMed Central, or the names of NIH employees in an erroneous and/or misleading manner,” according to a letter from HHS senior attorney Dean Landis to OMICSonline Managing Editor Venkatesh Yanamadala. In the letter, obtained by ScienceInsider, Landis alleges that OMICS’s website, www.omicsonline.org, has violated HHS trademarks by falsely claiming that papers published in OMICS are indexed in PubMed Central, NIH’s full text papers archive, and to PubMed, the agency’s abstracts database. In fact, those databases do not accept papers that were published in OMICS journals due to concerns raised by the National Library of Medicine, which manages the databases.

Landis also highlights an instance where an OMICS journal listed researcher Raymond Dionne as editor-in-chief and gives his affiliation as director of the NIH’s National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). Dionne is not at NINR and was unaware that he was listed as editor of the journal, according to ScienceInsider.

In the letter, Landis demands that OMICS "cease and desist from employing [HHS's] name or the name of any of our agencies institutes or employees on your website for other than true factual statements." In response, OMICS removed a PubMed Central logo from the site and nixed a section of its FAQ that mentioned PubMed.