Yun (2017) as it appeared on the Journal of Zoological and Bioscience Research website. Screenshot from the latest archive, dated January 25, 2020.
Back in July 2017, a paper by amateur paleontologist Chan-gyu Yun1 proposed the replacement name “Teihivenator” for Cope’s old “Laelaps” macropus. This paper immediately proved to be controversial due to glaring issues with the text. Firstly is that a significant portion was plagiarized from the online Theropod Database (Mortimer, 2017). Secondly is that the holotype was already being described by another author and turned out to be a chimaera of tyrannosauroid and ornithomimosaurian bones (Brownstein, 2017). It is evident that Yun did not examine the material firsthand and instead relied on uncredited information from the Theropod Database. This in itself is ethical grounds for rejecting “Teihivenator” as a valid name.
The oddly long list of subjects published in JZBR. Screenshot from the latest archive, dated December 4, 2019.
However, there is a third issue which is even more concerning. The journal where Yun (2017) was published, the Journal of Zoological and Bioscience Research (JZBR), recently removed their entire website. All links are dead, all papers gone except for archived versions. I found no evidence that JZBR ever produced a print edition. This is confirmation of something I suspected for almost 3 years – that JZBR was a fake, predatory journal. Predatory journals are a scam where authors pay to have their papers published with limited to no editing or peer review. Although they take on the appearance of a legitimate journal, their only goal is to profit from submissions.
Before their website disappeared, there were other warning signs that JZBR was predatory. It was only published for a short period of time between 2014 and 2017, with a mere total of 14 issues. It had a suspiciously broad scope for being an obscure, low-impact journal (see list above). Despite having an editorial team of members from Turkey, Spain, Croatia, and Iran, the mailing address for the journal was given as “12012, 102C, 162 Avenue NW Edmonton T5X 4W9 Alberta, Canada”. Searching this address reveals that it is in fact a unit in the Warwick Apartments complex! This is registered as the “headquarters” for Medlife Scientific Press, which publishes other fake-looking journals like Entomology and Applied Science Letters.
The “headquarters” of JZBR and Medlife Scientific Press. Screenshots from Google Earth.
Given this evidence, it is almost certain that JZBR originated from a journal mill and was never intended to be a legitimate scientific journal. The deletion of their website is a violation of ICZN Article 8.1.1, which states that scientific publications “must be issued for the purpose of providing a public and permanent scientific record” (ICZN, 1999). As such I do not consider Yun (2017) to be a published work nor “Teihivenator” to be an available name. I would recommend that other researchers do the same; the best way to combat predatory journals is to not cite their papers.
1The “Vertebrate Paleontological Institute of Incheon” that Yun claims to be affiliated with appears to be fictitious. I can find no record of it outside of the author information given in his papers.
- Brownstein, C.D. (2017). Theropod specimens from the Navesink Formation and their implications for the diversity and biogeography of ornithomimosaurs and tyrannosauroids on Appalachia. PeerJ Preprints, 5: e3105v1. https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.3105v1
- ICZN. (1999). International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (4th ed.). International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, c/o The Natural History Museum, London.
- Mortimer, M. (2017, July 24). Theropod Database pilfered again? Teihivenator edition. The Theropod Database Blog. http://theropoddatabase.blogspot.com/2017/07/theropod-database-pilfered-again.html
- Yun, C. (2017). Teihivenator gen. nov., a new generic name for the tyrannosauroid dinosaur “Laelaps” macropus (Cope, 1868; preoccupied by Koch, 1836). Journal of Zoological and Bioscience Research, 4(2), 7-13. [pdf] [archived webpage]