American John McCool is the owner of a scientific editorial company and has already written essays criticizing predatory journals, the ones that agree to publish papers only in exchange for payment, without evaluating their quality. But that did not mean he could escape harassment by those same journals. Although not a physician, he was invited to submit articles to Urology & Nephrology Open Access Journal. McCool wrote a case study about a disease called “uromycitisis” whose victims would be obliged to urinate whenever they felt the urge, even in public places, otherwise they might die.
The article, signed by a certain Dr. Martin van Norstrand, was accepted for publication in return for a fee of $799. Uromycitisis belongs to the world of fiction. It was created by American comedian Jerry Seinfeld in a 1991 episode of his TV series in which he needed to invent an excuse to tell the police officer who caught him urinating in a garage. And Martin van Nostrand was a pseudonym adopted by another character in the series who pretends to be a doctor in some of the episodes. “A Google search of the disease and the name of the physician would yield thousands of references to the series,” McCool told the journal The Scientist.