Academic SPAM or vanity publishing?

I received an email from an associate from LAP Lambert Academic Publishing some time back, stating that they found my thesis entitled “Application of GIS in the study of land cover distribution, geomorphometry, terrain and water quality in Asi Khola Subwatershed” in the library at Kathmandu University and wanted to publish it in the form of a book. Furthermore, they would do all this for free!

I do have a few friends and colleagues who were quite elated to have been approached by an genuine European publisher. One of my friend’s book is now  available on Amazon for a whopping $70. Back then, I said good for you and shelved the idea. However, this time around when I was approached with a similar proposition, I did find it rather odd. I immediately Googled the publisher in question, and came up with quite a number of chilling references in different forums and blogs that indicated that this was a very sophisticated scam. After I updated my close knit circle of friends of the same, one even made a joke that this was probably done by a Nigerian stationed in Germany.

This is the email as it appeared exactly in my inbox.

Dear Mr. Maden Utsav,

I am writing on behalf of an international publishing house, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.

In the course of a research on the Kathmandu University, I came across a reference to your thesis on “Application of GIS in the study of land cover distribution, geomorphometry, terrain and water quality in Asi Khola Subwatershed”.

We are an international publisher whose aim is to make academic research available to a wider audience.

LAP would be especially interested in publishing your dissertation in the form of a printed book.

Your reply including an e-mail address to which I can send an e-mail with further information in an attachment

will be greatly appreciated.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Tatiana Costandachi

Acquisition Editor

LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG

Dudweiler Landstraße 99

66123 Saarbrücken


Fon +49 681 3720-310

Fax +49 681 3720-3109

t.costandachi(at) /

Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRA 10752

General unlimited partner:

VDM Management GmbH

Geschäftsführung: Dr. Wolfgang Müller, Christoph Schulligen, Esther von Krosigk

Some sleuthing on my end and loads of help from google, I ended up with the following information.

LAP Lambert Academic Publishing is  a subsidiary of  VDM_Publishing who seem to have been catering to the needs of desperate academics when published articles is a requirement for graduation graduate schools across Europe. Some even indicate that this is a case of vanity publishing (although, there are no incidental costs for the author) and academic spamming. This publisher supposedly prints the manuscript as is, on-demand after it posts it on Amazon and a number of other websites. Some have even posted about their experiences with VDM publishing.

Some bloggers mention that the company asks for bank details once you reply to it. Others however, mention that this is clearly a case of academic theft, where the publisher preys on unsuspecting grad students and doctorates.

In conclusion, I don’t want to publish my dissertation as a print on demand book (available for $70 or less) of which I skim 3% of each sale (if any) through Lambert publishing. I’d rather have it available for free for people to refer to :). The thing is I have lost the only digital copy of my thesis (all 70 pages of it) and have to scan the copy to make it available online :(. I should find my abstract and will post it online occasionally. 😀

Other references to VDM Publishing and  LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.

Publishing with Verlag Dr. Mueller? (VDM)

Lambert Academic Publishing Continues to Spam

Investigating “Lambert Academic Publishing” with Google Square


Many thanks to  Amahager for providing additional references on Lambert.

Many American and Australian universities warn students and staff against publishing with them (in Australia, Lambert publications are explicitly exluded from submission to the HERDC):

I wouldn’t go near them..

Listed below are quotes off university websites that have written about Lambert Academic Publishing.


I just got a letter from a publisher who wants to publish my thesis or dissertation as a book. What should I do?

We recommend you use caution when dealing with potential publishers, particularly ones that have sent you solicitations. Before accepting any publishing offer, students should carefully read the copyright transfer agreement or publishing contract. An agreement like this is required before your work is published in any form, because a publisher cannot reprint your words without your permission. The Graduate School cannot provide legal advice about contracts, but a good “rule of thumb” is that you should focus instead on peer reviewed, high quality journal publications at this stage in your career rather than contracting with a “vanity press.” Many Purdue candidates in the past have received thesis publishing solicitations, for example, from VDM Verlag. All indications are that VDM Verlag is a legitimate publisher. For more information about this firm, see or The Graduate School neither endorses nor discourages publishing with VDM Verlag and its counterparts. However, we do strongly encourage you to carefully investigate such publishing firms before making a decision to publish with them.


e) Commercial publishers – books and chapters:

Note that in order to be considered a commercial publisher for these purposes, companies must generally demonstrate a degree of editorial responsibility and financial risk in choosing to publish, as well as be responsible for the entire publishing process (including printing and distribution). For this reason, ‘vanity presses’, as well as companies specialising primarily in the publication of theses (such as VDM Verlag, and Lambert Academic Publishing – LAP) are NOT considered to meet the ‘commercial publisher’ criteria.……

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  • Ramesh Marikhu

    Once upon a time, when I was doing my Master’s Thesis, I got emails that asked for my thesis to be published for free. I was quite thrilled, but going through the reviews about the publishing company, I realized that it is quite a genuine thing just that these publishers make money by printing your thesis with low quality, too small fonts and stuff like that; some mentioned that finally its mostly the family members of the author who end up buying those books. Its more like a vanity publishing and when I asked my advisor, he said that it is better not to published through those publishers coz later, when referred to, it would not have a good impression upon the academic society.

    • I read the same across many blogs and forums as well. I just heard from a
      friend that they’ve started marketting through Facebook as well. they send
      you the same message and also a friend request. LoL

      Thanks for passing by Marikhu. 🙂

  • Watchful

    I will be wary if I were you about this offer to publish your work of any kind, academic or non-academic. No university in good standing will accept such publications for any purpose whether for grad admission or for faculty appointment.


    • Utsav Maden

      thanks watchful,
      my point exactly. 😀 I am considering posting about how Lambert approaches students and academics alike with their proposal soon enough 😀

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  • Rakesh

    This is not spam message. In Fact one of my friend publish his Ph.D.  with publisher (lamb)

    • Thank you Rakesh for your comment. A few of my friends did get their dissertation published through Lambert and are quite happy about it as well. But the thing is Lambert publishes it verbatim (as it is written) without an editor validating it as happens with most peer reviewed journals. I am just worried how much clout it would have in an academic setting. Do refer to anonymous’s comment on the same.

      Thank you again for stopping by. 🙂

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  • Anonymous

    They are Vanity Press and also a ‘real’ company, but they charge exhorbitant ammounts for unedited print-on-demand books that they advertise as ‘academic’ in Amazon.

    Many American and Australian universities warn students and staff against publishing with them (in Australia, Lambert publications are explicitly exluded from submission to the HERDC):

    I wouldn’t go near them…

    • thank you for your comments. Your comments do add more substance to my post. Will be updating the post sometime soon with your links incorporated.

  • Umesh Dahal

    2 days ago I got same like email from 
    Tatiana Costandachi (
     Acquisition Editor. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing) , for publishing my final year project on 
    ” Automatic Power Factor Correction by TSC and its Monitoring “. I now decide not to take any step further and mark the email as spam. I will now make my work free on web. 

    • It does take a lot of thoughtful consideration to give up on a printed copy of your publication. Try portals which will host your academic publication for free. You would find them aplenty. 

      thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • aryacenter
  • DafnaSunflower .

    Ohh, I wish I had seen this blog two and a half years ago when one of
    LAP Publication “headhunters” contacted me and expressed interest in
    publishing my MA thesis.

    At the point, I had no major plans for my future academic career, so
    I thought “either my work will sit in my computer and eventually get
    forgotten or it can get published and reach some of its target
    audience”. I opted for the second, unfortunately, without a thorough
    survey of who they really are. I mean, I knew they had to make profit of
    it, no doubt about it, but what I was about to experience is, in my
    terms, outrageous.

    During the process of “book making”, the specific officer was all
    kind and there for me for anything I (or better to say, they) needed.
    Once the book went published, the only thing I received from them are
    different offers, which were totally unappealing and overpriced.

    They ignored my emails regarding the sales feedback, when I wanted
    to call them, i never noticed there was no phone number in the officer´s
    signature. I wrote an angry email, mentioning even my preparedness to
    take some legal measures. THEN I DID receive email, explaining that they
    do the payroll on a yearly basis, asking for a bit of patience. It´s
    been year and a half, NOTHING.

    What I want to ask you is the following:

    How can I release myself and my work from this publisher? When I
    mentioned legal measures, I definitely meant it, yet I think it would be
    better if a number of us joined in this effort. Any ideas?