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Critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing

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    Pattern Recognition in Physics-2

    Getting sloppy?

    Copernicus Publications is an open-access publisher based in Göttingen, Germany. It is not on my list of predatory publishers. However, I do have some serious concerns with Copernicus Publications.

    Specifically, there are some problems with Copernicus Publications’ journal Pattern Recognition in Physics. The problems are these:

    The journal’s editor-in-chief, Sid-Ali Ouadfeul, who works for the Algerian Petroleum Institute, started publishing his research in journal articles around 2010, but he’s only been cited a couple times, not counting his many self-citations.

    Co-editor-in-chief Nils-Axel Morner is a noted climate “skeptic” who believes in dowsing (water divining) and believes he has found the “Hong Kong of the [ancient] Greeks” in Sweden, among other things. These beliefs are documented in Wikipedia and The Guardian. Morner has over 125 publications, but pattern recognition does not appear to be among his specialties.

    Moreover, speaking of “pattern recognition,” my analysis revealed some self-plagiarism by editor Ouadfeul in the very first paper the journal published, an article he himself co-authored.

    The following passage appears on page 6 of S.-A. Ouadfeul and L. Aliouane’s 2013 article, “Pattern recognition of structural boundaries from aeromagnetic data using the 2-D continuous wavelet transform and the 3-D analytic signal.”

    Pattern Recognition in Physics-3

    This was published second, in 2013, in Pattern Recognition in Physics.

    The highlighted text first appeared in the following chapter of an online book entitled Wavelet Transforms and Their Recent Applications in Biology and Geoscience, edited by Dumitru Baleanu, ISBN 978-953-51-0212-0, and published on March 2, 2012.

    Pattern Recognition in Physics-4

    Pattern Recognition in Physics-5

    This was published first, in 2012.

    (from p. 259). The authors of the 2013 piece do not attribute the verbatim passage to the authors of the 2012 work, nor do they even cite the pirated text in their bibliography. Also, the article contains additional instances of self-plagiarism. Is this the kind of “pattern recognition” the journal is talking about?

    In summary, the journal so far contains only five articles: two articles by a co-editor (Ouadfeul), two by climate skeptics whose views align with the other editor (Monrer), and one article bearing a significant amount of self-plagiarism. This is not a good start for a journal, and the publisher ought to be concerned and take action.

    The journal's cover page.

    The journal’s cover page.



    denverjeffreyPattern Recognition in Physics-2Pattern Recognition in Physics-3Pattern Recognition in Physics-4Pattern Recognition in Physics-5The journal's cover page.denverjeffreyPattern Recognition in Physics-2Pattern Recognition in Physics-3Pattern Recognition in Physics-4Pattern Recognition in Physics-5The journal's cover page.

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    OMICS Pseudo-science

    Pseudo-science

    OMICS Publishing Group has once again provided evidence that it is merely a scholarly vanity press. OMICS just published a paper entitled,

    “Prevalence of Autism is Positively Associated with the Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes, but Negatively Associated with the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes, Implication for the Etiology of the Autism Epidemic”

    The paper is available here [PDF] and is published in volume 2, number 3 of the OMICS journal Open Access Scientific Reports.

    The article is reviewed in the blog SkewedDistribution, whose anonymous author claims to be a university epidemiologist. A recent post in the blog completely trashes the article.

    The blog post is entitled, “More ‘proof’ that vaccines cause autism? Seriously. This paper sucks.”

    The blogger begins by saying:

    Today I would like to walk you through the latest steaming turd of a “study” being bandied about by the anti-vaxxers, which they tout as the holy grail: an allegedly peer-reviewed article showing that vaccines unquestionably cause autism. The paper is written by one John B. Classen, and is such a horrific pile of non-science that it is hard to know where to begin a critique.

    The author goes on to tear apart the paper’s methodology and finds that the paper’s conclusions are not supported by the data the paper presents.

    In concluding, the blogger states,

    Thus, we have a gentleman [the paper's author] who potentially stands to profit directly from sowing fear of vaccinations. This type of person generally stimulates cries of “Pharma Shill!” from the anti-vaxxers, yet for some reason he has been accepted into the warm, yet stupid, embrace of the anti-vax community.

    It’s likely that no honest, quality, peer-reviewed journal would ever publish such an article, so that’s why the author probably chose OMICS as the publisher.

    In my opinion, honest and conscientious scholars should not submit their work to any of OMICS’ many journals. No scholar wants his work to appear in the same journal that publishes pseudo-science. Publishing such rubbish devalues all the other papers in the journal.



    denverjeffreyOMICS Pseudo-sciencedenverjeffreyOMICS Pseudo-science

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    Purple Journals

    Another silly name in a serious business.

    It’s not uncommon for new open-access publishers in Nigeria to assign attention-grabbing names to their operations. Purple Journals is the latest of these. It joins the ranks of Wudpecker Journals and Wyno Academic Journals.

    Nigeria is also home to Greener Journals, so I fully expect all other colors to be claimed by future, questionable scholarly OA publishers. I guess the business strategy is that researchers will find it easy to remember your company name, even though some will be turned off by it.

    The publisher now has ten journals, each of which has a broad coverage, a strategy that makes more articles fall in the journal’s scope and brings in more author fees. The article processing charge is currently $100 per article, but the publisher claims to grant waivers for people in low-income countries.

    Not surprisingly, the motif of the website is purple.

    Will biotechnologists find this appealing?

    Will biotechnologists find this appealing?

    The publisher is new, and few articles have been published among its journals. Each journal has a publication ethics page, but the content on each is lifted from other websites without attribution.

    This is a one-man operation. Each of the journal’s webpages was set up using a template. The entire site is spare, with content lifted from other publishers. I’d wager that this was all set up in a single day. The journal covers are unimaginative, simply bearing the title, a (likely) pirated picture, and a purple background.

    Verdict: Don’t submit any papers to this publisher. Don’t agree to serve on its editorial boards. Do delete any spam emails it sends you.

     Hat tip: J. Brady

    Appendix: List of Purple Journals journals as of July 16, 2013:

    1. Comprehensive Journal of Education and Arts (CJEA)
    2. Global Journal of Mathematics and Computer Science Research (GJMCSR)
    3. Journal of Economics and Business Management (JEBM)
    4. Journal of Medicine and Medical Research (JMMR)
    5. Purple Journal of Agricultural Research (PJAR)
    6. Purple Journal of Biotechnology (PJB)
    7. Purple Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Research (PJEEER)
    8. Purple Journal of Engineering, Oil and Gas Research (PJEOGR)
    9. Purple Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology ( PJPP)
    10. Purple Journal of Physical Sciences (PJPS)


    denverjeffreyPurple JournalsWill biotechnologists find this appealing?denverjeffreyPurple JournalsWill biotechnologists find this appealing?

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    altmetrics

    Except twelve of the tweets were bought and paid for.

    Many are excited about innovative measures that purport to quantify scholarly impact at a more granular level. Called article-level metrics or ALMs, these measures depart from time-honored computations of scholarly influence such as the journal impact factor. Instead, they rely on data generated from popular sources such as social media and other generally non-scientific and meager venues.

    As someone who studies predatory open-access scholarly publishers, I can promise you that any system designed to measure impact at the article level will be gamed, rendering the metrics useless and invalid. For instance, there are already companies that sell Facebook likes — an example is the firm called Get Likes. Predatory publishers are partly successful because of complicit authors, and these same authors will pollute popular metrics just like predatory publishers have poisoned scholarly publishing.

    Numerical values like page views will be shamelessly gamed. Workers distributed among low-wage countries will be hired to reload web pages thousands of times, deceitfully increasing the page views of a particular article. Previously-unknown researchers will suddenly boast more Twitter followers than Neil deGrasse Tyson because they will pay companies to add bogus followers to their social media accounts, and these bogus followers will like and share their articles, actions that will be counted as part of the metrics.

    The general public lacks the credentials needed to judge or influence the impact of scientific work, and any metric that relies even a little bit on public input will prove invalid. Article-level metrics will likely grant high scores to works on climate change skepticism and intelligent design, groundlessly raising pseudo-science to the level of science, at least in terms of measured impact. There are already numerous questionable publishers willing to publish articles on such topics. Web-based polls are sometimes gamed in this way, with people emailing all their friends asking them to vote a certain way on a web-based poll.

    Moreover, popularizing article-level metrics means articles about Bigfoot and about astrology will likely register a greater impact than articles about curing cancer and discovering the nature of dark matter, for there are many more people interested in popular topics than there are interested in scientific ones.

    In late 2012, a group of publishers organized an attack on me and my work. They effectively used various internet tricks, such as email spoofing. They created hundreds of bogus blogs to falsely accuse me of fraud. The high number of fake blogs they created multiplied the impact of their attacks, and many believed the lies they spread. Article-level metrics will be ruined by this same type of abuse. Indeed, I envision articles in predatory journals miraculously getting very high altmetrics values.

    Jason Priem

    Nice idea, but please be realistic.

    As a way to measure the impact of scientific work, the journal impact factor still has great value. Indeed, the true impact of science is measured by its influence on subsequent scholarship, not on how many times it gets mentioned on Entertainment Tonight or how many Facebook likes it gets in the Maldives.

    It’s quite possible that some are supporting article-level metrics just because they want to undermine Thomson Reuters, the publisher of Journal Citation Reports, the product that includes impact factor information. Many also blindly support anything that’s new, regardless of how legitimate or enduring it may or may not be.

    Many new bogus impact factors have been introduced lately, including the Global Impact Factor (GIF) and the Journal Impact Factor (JIF). More will likely appear. Bogus article-level metric products will certainly arise as well. Without rigorous vetting and quality control, no new scientific impact measure will be successful or valid.

    Recently, I have noted the appearance of what I call “article promotion companies.” These are discipline-specific websites that spam the authors of scholarly articles with offers to promote their articles through the promotion companies’ websites. An example is the company Educational Researches. They generally charge $35 to promote a single article. Many email me asking about the ethics of these services. Certainly many more such services will appear if article-level metrics catch on.

    Article-level metrics reflect a naïve view of the scholarly publishing world. The gold open-access model has introduced much corruption into the process of scholarly communication, so we should learn from this and avoid any system that is prone to gaming, corruption, and lack of transparency, such as article-level metrics.



    denverjeffreyaltmetricsJason PriemdenverjeffreyaltmetricsJason Priem

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    The proliferation of predatory open-access publishers has created several new and expanding markets. One of these is the market for journal rankings. Because few predatory publishers are able to earn legitimate journal rankings, companies have emerged that — for a fee — award bogus impact factors to low-quality journals.

    Predatory publishers compete intensely among themselves for the article processing charges that authors pay. Authors are their customers, and they want to get as much money from them as possible. In this competitive market, publishers want to stand out from the crowd and attract the author fees. One way to effectively earn these fees is to boast high journal rankings. Many predatory publishers lie about having an impact factor, but this tactic is easily confirmed as fraudulent. These new companies will, for a fee, bestow a high and “official” impact factor on their clients’ journals. Here are three of the companies:

    Journal Impact Factor

    No impact.

    1. Journal Impact Factor (Global Institute for Scientific Information)

     This bogus organization is an obvious appropriation of the former Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), which no longer exists. (Its journal impact factor was taken over by Thomson Reuters). I think this operation is based in India, but they provide no location information on their website, and their domain name information is blocked. This site uses a web form for submissions. It says, “At least 1 or 2 article [sic] must have been published in the first issue before you submit the journal in online or print.” It also warns, “We are charging nominal fee for processing your journal to get Journal Impact Factor.” This policy shows a clear conflict of interest.

    Global impact factor

    Not really global.

    2. Global Impact Factor (Institute for Information Resources)

     This company provides an address in Australia, but I think it is really from India. It uses experts to make qualitative judgments about each journal, and that’s how the score is calculated. The website says the process takes 4-6 months, but a journal can pay $100 for a priority processing that takes 1-2 weeks. The services judges journals on things such as layout and technical editing, so it’s really not a measure of impact at all.

    Universal Impact Factor

    Whose universe ?

    3. Universal Impact Factor

    This website is new and enigmatic. It does not reveal its headquarters location and I cannot figure out where it’s based. The company claims that it does not charge for journal consideration. Its criteria are based on publishing quality, manuscript quality, presentation quality, and editorial quality — things that don’t relate to impact at all. I don’t understand the business model being employed here. Some parts of the webpage don’t work — including access to the “journal master lists,” which renders the site worthless.

    Index Copernicus

    From Poland

    4. IndexCopernicus

    This Poland-based service lists the  ”IC values” of many of 8,000 journals it tracks. I find it very suspicious. Indian publishers love to tout the IC values their journals have received. For the 2012 list, it appears that the journal “Archives of Budo” received the second highest score of any journal with an IC value of 19.58. Not surprisingly, this journal is from Poland.

    Conclusion

    I have noticed that among predatory journals that their bogus impact factors magically increase every year. The increasing popularity of ALMs — article level metrics — means that companies like the ones above will certainly be creating and selling bogus versions of these metrics as well. But because ALMs are measured at the article level, these will be marketed directly to authors, so they can increase the values for their published articles. The amount of corruption in scholarly publishing is increasing.



    denverjeffreyJournal Impact FactorGlobal impact factorUniversal Impact FactorIndex CopernicusdenverjeffreyJournal Impact FactorGlobal impact factorUniversal Impact FactorIndex Copernicus

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    Jokull

    The most-recent issue of the authentic journal, volume 62, 2012.

    The old print journal Jökull, published in Iceland since 1951, has been hijacked. The hijackers set up two bogus web sites for the journal and are accepting article submissions.

    In earlier blog posts, I reported the identity thefts of two print journals, namely, Archives des Sciences and Wulfenia. In a journal hijacking, the culprits target a respected print journal that does not have a prominent website. Then they create a new website, stealing the identity of the legitimate journal.

    Their goal is to steal the reputation and brand value of the journal and then invite submissions to the counterfeit online journal, charging authors fees to publish their articles there.

    There are two impostor websites for this journal:

    http://www.Jokuljournall.com
    http://jkljournal.org/en/

    Jökull means glacier. Some issues of the original journal have the subtitle “Iceland journal of earth sciences.” The journal is published by the Icelandic Glaciology Society (Jöklarannsóknafélag Íslands) and has a minimal web presence here. The society has been trying to get the offending websites closed down, but without success. It is not able to afford an attorney to assist with this. On Friday, August 9, I learned that the legitimate journal has this brand-new website.

    The scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated. For instance, the “whois” or domain name registration data for the bogus Jökull website looks legitimate, with a registration address in Reykjavik.

    I was told about this hijacking by Mihai Musteata, who left a comment here on this blog. I confirmed that the impostor websites are indeed bogus by contacting the National and University Library of Iceland.

    Jokull

    Part of the impostor website.

     The impostor website shows a mountain that may not even be in Iceland and prominently displays the impact factor, an enticement to get article submissions and their accompanying fees.

    Traditional print journals that lack websites should consider creating journal websites to help prevent future journal hijackings such as this one.

    Hat tip: Mihai Musteata.
    Thank you to: National and University Library of Iceland.



    denverjeffreyJokullJokulldenverjeffreyJokullJokull

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    Predatory publishers often use fake names. For example, I documented that Ashry Aly, the sole-proprietor of Ashdin Publishing, used the name “John Costa” in his spam advertising. I think he used the fake name because he knew a Western name would more likely attract article submissions — and therefore more article processing fees — than his Egyptian name would. He claims he no longer uses the false name.  However, some predatory publishers are using a new twist on the fake name strategy.

    Lately, I have observed a new trend with fake names: the use of contrived or made-up female names in spam email solicitations. Here are some examples:

    captio n 1

    Ms. Karla, and Lucy Mckim?

    female names 2

    Cheryl Harvey and Penny Han?

    Generally, the fake names include a common first name and a common surname, a strategy that makes it hard to Google the names for conclusive information on the persons’ backgrounds.

    An Indian teacher and editor of scientific writing shared an excellent analysis of this practice with me. He believes the use of female Western names in spam is a “tactic … to draw readers into at least opening the email.” Given that most researchers, especially in Asia and Africa, are men, I think he has a point. They may be more likely to open an email from a Penny than from a Cornelius. ­

    Also, I think that spam sent to researchers by “editorial assistants” is impertinent. In higher quality journals, the editor in chief and editorial board members themselves personally seek quality submissions from among others in their fields; they don’t delegate article recruiting to editorial assistants.

    The use of fake names is just another way that predatory publishers use deceit to get the attention of and exploit scholarly authors.

    Hat tip: http://odanta.net



    denverjeffreycaptio n 1female names 2denverjeffreycaptio n 1female names 2

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    Elyns Publishing Group

    Exploit the authors and readers?

    We recently added Elyns Publishing Group to our list of questionable journals. This journal has a curious and perhaps revealing slogan.

    Its slogan is “Explore and Exploit.” The word “exploit” in English can often mean to take advantage of something in an abusive way. Will Elyns Publishing Group exploit its authors and readers?

    The publisher is based in an apartment in a lower-middle-class neighborhood in Clifton, New Jersey. It currently has 30 journals, but the number seems to increase every time I examine the site. The journals are chiefly in the area of bio-medical sciences.

    The publisher clearly tries to connect itself with the open-access movement, offering itself as the solution to the weaknesses of the subscription model. It states, “The central idea of ELYNS is to make the scholarly literature and scientific wisdom free and open to the scientific as well as the common world.” The site is full of such hackneyed statements. There is no explanation about what “ELYNS” actually means.

    I think the central idea of Elyns Publishing Group is to make an easy profit for its owner. This appears to be a one-man operation, and a Google search indicated that the man is Narasimharao Sadam.

    Only a few of the journals has any editorial board members, yet all are accepting manuscripts at this time. The site boasts, “ELYNS follows fast track 14 days peer review process.” This fast review comes at a price, a high one. The site lists these article processing charges:

    Elyns Publishing Group

    High prices, false information.

    These are high prices for an upstart publisher, especially given that its website is full of errors and dead links. Also, the publisher seems to indicate that it has been accepted in PubMed Central, but this isn’t true.

    So, don’t let Elyns Publishing Group “exploit” you. Don’t agree to serve on its editorial boards and don’t submit any papers to them. This is a vanity press that is looking to make some easy money.

    Appendix: List of Elyns Publishing Group journals as of August 25, 2013

    1. Archives of Microbiology and Biotechnology
    2. Case Reports in Clinical Medicine
    3. Journal of Addiction and Preventive Medicine
    4. Journal of AIDS and Immune Research
    5. Journal of Alternative Medical Research
    6. Journal of Bioinformatics, Computational and Systems Biology
    7. Journal of Biomedical Technology and Research
    8. Journal of Blood Disorders and Therapy
    9. Journal of Diabetes and Related Disorders
    10. Journal of Drug Development and Clinical Trails
    11. Journal of Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care
    12. Journal of Enzymology and Metabolism
    13. Journal of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
    14. Journal of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
    15. Journal of Forensic Medicine and Legal Affairs
    16. Journal of Genomes and Proteomes
    17. Journal of Heart and Circulation
    18. Journal of Immunology and Vaccination
    19. Journal of Molecular Biology and Techniques
    20. Journal of Molecular Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine
    21. Journal of Neurology and Neurosurgery
    22. Journal of Oncology and Biomarker Research
    23. Journal of Ophthalmic Diseases
    24. Journal of Pediatrics and Mother Care
    25. Journal of Plant Health
    26. Journal of Psychology and Brain Disorders
    27. Journal of Respiratory Disorders
    28. Journal of Stem Cell and Transplantation Biology
    29. Journal of Syndromes and Gene Repair
    30. Womens Health International [sic]


    denverjeffreyElyns Publishing GroupElyns Publishing GroupdenverjeffreyElyns Publishing GroupElyns Publishing Group

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    This blog post reports on four brief items related to predatory publishers.

    1. Journal Influence Factor

    We all know about the journal impact factor, but now there is a brand-new measure called the Journal Influence Factor. This factor is published by a mysterious company called “Journals Metrics.” It purports to be based in Okemos, Michigan, specifically at this address:

    Journals Metrics, PMB 149, 3520 Okemos Rd. Ste 6, Okemos MI 48864, USA

    ddd

    Predatory Publisher Headquarters

    That address is in a small shopping center, at a business called PostNet, which is a shipping company that also rents mailboxes. “PMB” means private mail box. There are many predatory publishers (and predatory metrics, like this one) that use rented mailboxes as their headquarters addresses. They can then be based anywhere, including overseas. For a fee, the mailbox companies will forward any mail received.

    Journals Metrics also publishes a “Publisher Influence Factor” and offers manuscript editing services. We recommend that its products be ignored.

    2. OMICS Publishing Group Attacks PubMed Central

    OMICS Publishing Group recently released a comical press release entitled Open Access Journals and Healthcare Information: Indexing and Archiving that attacks PubMed Central (PMC). Over the summer, PMC announced that it would no longer include articles from any of OMICS over 300 questionable journals. The press release, published on PR Newswire, is incoherent, poorly written, and signed with a contrived name (John Benson).

    The release says, “However, PMC has never been out of controversy regarding the discrimination and its co-operation with eLife.” The press release tries to make the case that PMC is no good and that Google Scholar is “the finest and foremost trusted indexing platform.” This is clearly a case of sour grapes on OMICS’ part, and we applaud PMC’s decision to de-list OMICS’ pretend journals.

    3. Predatory Journal Publishes Solution to Global Warming

    Bulgaria-based publisher Hikari has published a five-paragraph article that offers a solution to global warming.

    xxx

    Chilling

    Published in the Hikari Journal Environmental Sciences, the article is titled “Combating Climate Change with Neutrinos.” [PDF]

    The publication of this article exemplifies what I have been saying for several years now, that predatory publishers don’t carry out an honest peer review and are mere vanity presses. They want the author fees and don’t care about the content they publish.  

    4. More Journal Hijackings

    I regret I have another journal hijacking to report. You’ll recall that journal hijackings occur when a respected print journal is “hijacked” by someone creating an online presence for it and accepting articles for the bogus online version. They essentially steal the journal’s identity.

    ddd

    Don’t go here

    Many have been spammed with offers to publish here. As far as I know, the authentic journal does not have an online presence. I recommend deleting the spam and NOT submitting papers to this counterfeit journal.

    I also recently received a spam email inviting me to publish in a counterfeit version of the journal Pensée, but the bogus journal’s site was quickly shut down.

    That’s all the predatory publishing news; thanks for reading.



    denverjeffreydddxxxddddenverjeffreydddxxxddd

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    A 2006 article published in the Elsevier journal Geoderma has been plagiarized at least three times, a co-author reports.

    ddd

    The original article

    The article, Mechanistic soil–landscape modelling as an approach to developing pedogenetic classifications, was originally written by University of Sydney researchers Budiman Minasny and Alex McBratney. Portions of the article are copied without attribution in the following three articles published in predatory journals:

    Alaeibakhsh, S., Esfandiari, M., Pazira, E. & Yasori, E. (2011). A rudimentary mechanistic model for soil production and landscape development in Qazvin area, northwest of Iran. World Applied Sciences Journal 15, 199-204.

    Rad, N., Esfandiari, M., Pirestani, M. & Yasori, E.M. (2012). Simulation of mechanistic model for soil development in Masuleh west of Alborz-Iran. World Applied Sciences Journal 18, 479-485.

    Meyari, A., Esfandiari, M., Babazadeh, H., Pirestani, M. & Yasori, E. (2012). Application of mechanistic model for soil production and landscape development in Jajrood area, North-east Iran. African Journal of Agricultural Research 7, 3320-3328.

    The World Applied Sciences Journal is published by IDOSI, the so-called International Digital Organization for Scientific Information, based in Dubai. The African Journal of Agricultural Research is published by Academic Journals, one of the first publishers to appear on my list in 2010.

    The authors of the plagiarized papers are from Islamic Azad University, a world center of plagiarism. News and blog reports documenting plagiarism by Islamic Azad University faculty can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

    In plagiarizing the original paper, the later authors not only lifted the wording, they also lifted the actual data. And because the data were supposed to correspond to a specific geographical area, they are completely meaningless in the context of the plagiarized works.

    The original co-author, Dr. Minasny, has prepared three tables documenting the plagiarism for each of the three articles here, and here, and here.

    In many cases, predatory journals are mere vanity presses that cater to complicit authors seeking an easy way to earn academic credit they use towards tenure and promotion.

    If your work appears alongside such counterfeit articles, it will be stigmatized and devalued because of its association or juxtaposition with the plagiarized work. To avoid this risk, submit your work to only the highest quality journals.



    denverjeffreyddddenverjeffreyddd

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    Today’s post consists of two emails. One is from OMICS Publishing Group to a scientist who attended an OMICS conference, and the second is the scientist’s reply to OMICS. 

    Email from OMICS Publishing Group

    Dear Dr. Jim,

    Greetings for the day!! We are really thankful to you for your consistent support towards the conference Genetic Engineering 2013 and for efficiently managing the conference.

    We would like to know your experience during the conference days. Also I would like to have your feedback for Genetic Engineering 2013 and Suggestions for the upcoming Genetic Engineering 2014.

    Your Suggestion and feedback value a lot for us for further proceedings. Thank for your cooperation. Awaiting for your early response

    Regards

    Lincy Mathew
    Genetic Engineering 2013

    Email to OMICS Publishing Group

    Hello! I am happy to provide you my honest feedback about Genetic Engineering 2013. I hope you take my comments/suggestions to heart. If not, I will certainly never attend another OMICS meeting. Frankly, it was by far the worst, most unorganized meeting I have ever attended in my nearly 30 years as a scientist. It was a total sham of a meeting. In no particular order, here are my complaints:

    1) The meeting was shortened to 2 days from 3 with no notice. We were not notified of this change in any way other than when the final program was available online, it covered only 2 days instead of 3. People came from all over the world for this meeting. They need time to make flight changes etc. Personally I drove so it wasn’t a problem, however, I did end up paying for an extra night for a room that I did not need. In these tight budget times, as a Government scientist we can only attend at most one meeting per year. To waste money on a room we did not need is inexcusable. We should be all notified in advance before the length of a meeting is changed.

    2) I was asked to be on the “Organizing Committee” and was never asked my opinion on anything. The meeting was “organized” without any input from any organizing member, at least anyone that I talked to. Only 2 out of 19 listed organizing members were actually at the meeting. I even emailed one member that was not at the meeting and she told me that she never had any input on the meeting either. Why have an organizing committee if they cannot do anything? It appears you wanted us on a “committee” to look good, to make the meeting look legit.

    3) The meeting is billed as a major event but it is far from it. At the “height” of the meeting, 19 people were in the room. By the second day, there were perhaps half as many. If all the supposed organizing committee members were present, we would have had twice as many attendees!

    4) On the first day we had 13 scheduled talks. Of these, we ended up having only 8. The other speakers never arrived. Having nearly 40% of the speakers never arrive indicates a HUGE organizational problem. Do attendees think this is the fault of the organizing committee that never had a say in these maters? Is that why there is an organizing committee, to take the blame? I certainly fielded plenty of complaints while at the meeting. I finally found myself saying, I am not associated with OMICS. I have never seen a meeting where more than a few percent of the scheduled talks were missing. The other keynote speaker and I each gave 2 talks, so between us we gave a full 50% of the talks on the first day!

    The second day was worse. Of the 10 scheduled talks, only 3 were given. A whopping 70% of no shows! Thus, the meeting actually ended at lunchtime on the second day. So a meeting that was supposed to run 3 days, was actually at most 1.5 days and that is being generous. Did we get 50% of our registration fee back? In a word, no.

    5) There was no acknowledgement/apology from the OMICS organization about the poor turnout for the meeting even though the founder was there.

    6) There was no real guidance from the OMICS organizers on how to run the meeting. I was tapped to moderate the meeting, which I did. However, that quickly turned into running it from start to finish with no guidance. It was only after many emails and in person questions that I figured out what was wanted. How the actual meeting proceeded seemed to be of little importance to OMICS. I feel very used.

    7) What seemed more important to OMICS was presenting awards. When I arrived I had to sign a huge stack of awards. Anything from being a chairperson, to presenting a talk, to attending the meeting was grounds for an award. This seems very much like being in elementary school. A large amount of time was taken up on the first day by handing each other awards and having our pictures taken doing so. Why? I strongly suspect these photos will be used for promotion of further OMICS meetings. See all the smiling scientists! I did not attend this meeting to promote OMICS, but I strongly suspect that is what I will be doing. Why else have me sign these “awards”? OMICS wanted to have my name and affiliation associated with everything that happened at the meeting.

    8) OMICS is not fully honest. Not only was this meeting much smaller than billed, shortened without notice etc, it is being advertised as a bigger success than it was. There is a report page that can be found here: http://www.omicsgroup.com/conferences/past-conference-reports/genetic-engineering-2013-past/

    On this page, it shows twelve different scientists that gave “expert presentations” at “Genetic Engineering 2013″. The problem is, 3 of those scientists were not even there! This will be discussed further below but I request my picture and name be removed from that page. I do not endorse Genetic Engineering 2014 in any way. I do not want people to think that I do.

    9) As one of my duties, I was asked to judge the poster presentations which I was happy to do. Near the end of lunch on the second day, Dr. Oshimura, the chair for the day stood up and announced that he had just been told that the rest of the meeting had been cancelled. Everyone still in attendance was shocked. This cancellation was because none of the afternoon speakers were present. Furthermore, he announced that the poster presentation would start immediately. There were a couple problems with this, neither of which were his fault. I know of at least two attendees that had already left the lunch room and thus did not get his announcement. They came back at the assigned poster time, 4:10, to put up their posters and found out then that the meeting was over. Thus, their posters were never judged through no fault of their own. They came all the way from Mexico to present their posters which were never viewed by anyone but a few of us that felt badly for them. When the announcement was made at lunch, I went and asked the OMICS representative, Monalisa, what I needed to do as far as judging the posters; did she have a form for it or what the procedure was. She informed me that Dr. Srinubabu Gedela already judged them! I don’t know when this happened (must have happened before lunch as we and they were in the same room and I didn’t see him.) but he 1) for certain did not see all of the posters as at least two were not up yet and 2) likely is not qualified to judge posters on genetic engineering. Again, science comes second in these “meetings”. The attendees that traveled great distances at significant cost deserve better.

    I could go on and on but this is probably more time than I should waste on this already. In summary, this meeting was far too expensive for far too little meeting. It was “organized” (and I use that term loosely) with no help by an organizing committee, yet we take the blame. Many appearances are made to make it look like a fantastic meeting, but it is not. I do not wish to be a part of this meeting in the foreseeable future. Thus, please remove my picture(s) and name from this website: http://www.omicsgroup.com/conferences/past-conference-reports/genetic-engineering-2013-past/ I do not want anyone to be confused into thinking that I endorse your product. I also do not want my name and/or picture to appear on any other promotional material for any upcoming OMICS meeting. I respectfully ask that you follow my wishes. I wish to cut all ties with OMICS group.

    Also, I am currently writing my resignation letter to resign from the editorial board of OMICS’ Advancements in Genetic Engineering for all of these and other reasons.

    Sincerely,

    James Sawitzke Ph.D.
    Center for Cancer Research
    National Cancer Institute
    Frederick, MD 21702

    Note: Dr. Sawitzke has sent several additional emails to OMICS repeating his requests but they have not responded, and his requested action has not been taken.



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    Bell Press logo

    Not from Europe

    Bell Press is a newly-launched scholarly open-access publisher that uses deception to make itself look like a legitimate, European, scholarly publisher. It is none of these things, however. Bell Press uses three strategies of deception to lure authors into thinking it’s an authentic scholarly publisher. First, the publisher claims to be based in Europe, but I cannot find any credible evidence to back this up. It lists offices in the U.K. and Germany, and all its journals titles begin with the phrase “European Journal of … “.  However, the domain name registration data is blocked, suggestion the publisher wants to hide its true, likely non-European location.

    Bell Press

    Based in European …

    Bell press is trying to be more European than most European publishers are, a strong suggestion that it is really from outside Europe. It’s trying to be “more Catholic than the Pope.” Also, typos on the site strongly suggest a non-European origin. The site claims the publisher is “Based in European” [sic], and I think any publisher honestly headquartered in Europe would know the correct way to say that. Other prominent grammatical errors on the website also indicate a non-European location.

    Third, the publisher is brand new, but it uses deception to make it look like the publisher has been operating for a while. Statements on the site say, “Copyright ® [sic] 2009 – 2013,” but I think the site began only a few months ago.

    Bell Press Volumes

    Volume deception

    Each of the publisher’s 27 journals is currently up to volume 11, but this is completely bogus. For each journal, the publisher has manufactured earlier volumes by taking titles and abstracts off the open internet and by making them up. Only the recent volumes have full PDFs; the earlier ones only have the titles and abstracts. Also, this publisher’s journals publish several (fake) volumes per year, making the journals look more established than they really are.

    The owners of Bell Press must be dumb or naïve to believe that people are actually going to fall for their deceit. I strongly recommend against serving on any editorial boards this publisher establishes and against submitting any papers to its journals. Publishing with Bell Press will hurt your career more than help it.

    Appendix: Bell Press Journals as of September 6, 2013

    1. European Journal of Agricultural Sciences
    2. European Journal of Applied Engineering
    3. European Journal of Applied Physics
    4. European Journal of Banking and Finance
    5. European Journal of Biomedical Technology
    6. European Journal of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
    7. European Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
    8. European Journal of Climate Change
    9. European Journal of Computer Science and Engineering
    10. European Journal of Developing Country Studies
    11. European Journal of Earth and Environment
    12. European Journal of Economics and Development
    13. European Journal of Education and Learning
    14. European Journal of Electrical Technology
    15. European Journal of Engineering and Innovation
    16. European Journal of Geoengineering
    17. European Journal of Industrial and System Engineering
    18. European Journal of Innovation and Business
    19. European Journal of Language and Culture
    20. European Journal of Life Science and Technology
    21. European Journal of Management Sciences
    22. European Journal of Material Engineering
    23. European Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing
    24. European Journal of Natural Sciences
    25. European Journal of Ocean and Marine
    26. European Journal of Science and Public Policy
    27. European Journal of Technology and Development


    denverjeffreyBell Press logoBell PressBell Press VolumesdenverjeffreyBell Press logoBell PressBell Press Volumes

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    We recently learned that an open-access publisher will publish submitted papers in one of its journals and include a “Best Paper Award” to authors for an additional fee.

    The publisher’ journals, both already on my list, are these:

    The publisher loosely refers to itself by several names including Maria Publications in Hamilton, Ontario Eatonia, Saskatchewan, Zoom Webs in Grandville, Michigan, and ST Informatics, no location given.

    Best Paper Award for Sale

    Standard corruption, or deluxe?

    The publisher also offers a resume writing service and will even add an author to the journal’s editorial board if he or she opts for the “deluxe package,” which costs $300.

    This is a true vanity press masquerading as a scholarly publisher. The best paper award offer does not appear on the publisher’s website, but it is mentioned in the spam email they send out:

    From: “Dr.John keets” <marketing@zoomwebs.org>
    To: [redacted]
    Sent: Friday, September 6, 2013 2:45:03 AM
    Subject: Perfect Offer for Author’s

    Dear Author/Author’s

    [redacted]

    We are very happy to read your Research

    [redacted]

    ST Informatics now first time launching a great service for Author’s. We are operating many journals and other printing press for Author’s. Here we are offering a combo and complete package for all Author’s including Online Resume Creation. Here are details given. http://www.zoomwebs.org

    Standard Package 200$

    • Online Professional Resume Creations.
    • Two Paper’s Published Within this cost.
    • “Publication Letter”, “Review Copy” and “Best Paper Award” also provided.
    • Free Domain Name .net .com and .org

    Standard Package 300$

    • Online Professional Resume Creations.
    • Two Paper’s Published Within this cost.
    • “Publication Letter”,“Review Copy” and “Best Paper Award” also provided.
    • Free Domain Name .net .com and .org
    • Printed Copy Also shipped free in this cost.

    We will publish your papers in given journals having top indexing. http://www.casestudiesjournal.com
    http://www.ijobio.com
    For Further inquiry please contact with Our Head of Department.Dr.Larry at
    marketing@zoomwebs.org .

    Best Of Luck
    Dr. Larry James
    marketing@zoomwebs.org

    The spam email is full of mistakes and is sent by one person (John Keets) and signed by another (Larry James). Both names are surely fake. Based on this, it appears that all positions on these journals’ editorial boards are bought and paid for, as are any best paper awards.

    So for one price, authors can get two papers published, have their names added to a scholarly journal editorial board, and win the best paper award for each paper. And because the journals are open access, the whole world will be able to “benefit” from the authors’ scholarship.

    Appendix: PDF version of the above spam email.



    denverjeffreyBest Paper Award for SaledenverjeffreyBest Paper Award for Sale

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    Ayurvedic medicine

    “Vithoba Dant Manjan gives the best natural care to your teeth because good health means strong and healthy teeth. An Ayurvedic product, this gives you strong teeth and healthy gums” [1].

    The internet and the open-access movement are enabling the publishing and proliferation of numerous pseudo-science journals. Ayurvedic medicine is an example of a bogus science that boasts an increasing number of pretend scholarly journals.

    Ayurvedic medicine (Ayurveda) is a “Traditional Hindu alternative medicine, involving balancing three bodily humours of wind, bile, and phlegm” [2]. In other words, it is medicine based on superstition and not science.

    I realize some are applying scientific methods to the study of Ayurveda, but it is still quackery.

    One of the motives of the open-access movement is to make scientific research available to everyone, including the lay public. But because the lay public lacks the credentials to distinguish authentic science from pseudo-science, this open-access availability will lead to the ignorant hurting themselves and others.

    If my doctor were to read and apply the articles in the journals below, I would dump him and get a new primary care physician. Political correctness prevents many in the West from speaking out against superstition-based pseudo-science for fear they might offend someone.

    Selected list of questionable Ayurvedic journals:

    1. Ayurvedic Medicine
    2. Ayupharm: International Journal of Ayurveda and Allied Sciences
    3. Homeopathy & Ayurvedic Medicine Open Access
    4. International Ayurvedic Medical Journal
    5. International Journal of Advanced Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy
    6. International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research
    7. International Journal of Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine
    8. International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy (ISSN 2229-3566)
    9. International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy (ISSN 2277-4343)
    10. Journal of AYUSH:-Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy

    I am not the only one to question the authenticity of Ayurvedic medicine. Here is some of what others have said:

    “Meditation is also a significant therapy in Ayurveda. But except for the benefits of relaxation, there is no scientific evidence to support any of the many astounding claims made on behalf of Ayurvedic medicine” [3].

    “At worst, Ayurveda is a multibillion-dollar business of sham cures based on astrology, gem healing, psychic healing, mantras, and the faulty science of bodily humors, spun through either fraud or naiveté” [4].

    “Nevertheless we can be fooled when a set of ideas is presented in a scientific way, even though it does not bear scrutiny. These pseudoscientific theories may be based upon authority rather than empirical observation, … concern the unobservable, … confuse metaphysical with empirical claims (e.g. acupuncture, cellular memory, reiki, therapeutic touch, Ayurvedic medicine), or even maintain views that contradict known scientific laws (e.g. homeopathy)” [5].

    Ayurvedic pharmacy

    Pseudo-science for sale [6].

    Open-access is blurring the demarcation between pseudo-science and authentic science.

    Endnotes

    [1]. Picture by Wikimedia Commons user Vithobanagpur and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

    [2]. Wictionary.

    [3]. Carroll, Robert (2003). The skeptic’s dictionary: A collection of strange beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. (p. 47).

    [4]. Wanjek, Christopher. (2003). Bad medicine: misconceptions and misuses revealed, from distance healing to vitamin O. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. (p. 168).

    [5]. Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry. (2013). 3rd ed. David Semple, Roger Smyth (Eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. (p. 20).

    [6]. Picture by Ken Wieland and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

    आयुर्वॆद = Ayurveda



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    Science

    Stung!

    In its issue being released tomorrow (October 4, 2013, volume 342, p. 60-65), Science magazine is publishing a six-page article detailing a sting operation it conducted on scholarly open-access publishers.

    The article is entitled “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?” It reports on a research project conducted by Science‘s John Bohannon, who wrote several versions of a bogus science article about the cancer-fighting abilities of a compound extracted from lichen.

    Over a year’s time, he submitted the bogus paper to various open-access journals and recorded how many accepted it. The article found, “By the time Science went to press, 157 of the journals had accepted the paper and 98 had rejected it.” The author classifies the journals he submitted to as being on Beall’s List, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), or both.

    The ones on my list had a higher rate of acceptance, and the article says, “The results show that Beall is good at spotting publishers with poor quality control.” Unfortunately, for journals on DOAJ but not on my list, the study found that 45% of them accepted the bogus paper, a poor indicator for scholarly open-access publishing overall.

    When a publisher offered to accept and publish the paper, the author immediately withdrew it. Remarkably, several journals published the papers anyway. I was able to find four of them and I make them available here:

    1. Arthogalin inhibits the growth of murine malignant prostate sarcoma cells in vitro
    2. Nephrosterinic acid inhibits the growth of murine malignant pleural sarcoma cells in vitro
    3. 7-Chloronorlichexanthone Inhibits the Growth of Murine SV40 Transformed Lymphoid Sarcoma Cells in vitro
    4. Schizopeltic Acid Inhibits the Growth of Murine Polyploid Pulmonary Blastoma Cells in vitro

    The first one is published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacological Research, published by Global Research Journals, which is on my list.

    The second one was published in the Scientific Journal of Medical Science, published by SJournals, which is on my list. This article appears to have been removed by the publisher.

    The third one was published in OMICS Publishing Group’s journal Medicinal Chemistry, but the article has been removed from the OMICS website. I am not surprised to see that OMICS fell for the sting operation. OMICS usually publishes most of the articles submitted to it and then demands payment from the surprised authors.

    The fourth one was published in the Journal of Biochemical and Pharmacological Research, published by Research Publisher, which is on my list.

    The Science researcher used made up names and made up institutes, some of which are quite amusing.

    I’ve known for a long time that predatory publishers are corrupting open access, that they are accepting papers unworthy of bearing the imprimatur of science, and that they are hurting researchers, science, and science communication. I am delighted that the research reported in the Science article confirms this.



    denverjeffreySciencedenverjeffreyScience

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    Congress Press

    We can all agree on this congress.

    Congress Press is a brand-new scholarly open-access publisher that has launched with thirty journals. Its logo is a stylized rendering of the United States Capitol dome.

    The journal titles each reflect a broad coverage and all begin with the phrase “American Journal of …”. We know that when a new publisher goes out of its way to appear to be based in particular country, it is usually not based in that country.

    I found this information in the domain name registration:

    Eduventure International Limited
    WJ Shen
    Pen Street 2020 -39132
    Washington
    DC
    20020
    US
    Phone: +1.239183183
    Email Address: wjshen1@gmail.com

    I think that “Pen Street 2020″ is really 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue — the address of a UPS store, a mail-forwarding service. The phone number is too long to be a North American one.

    Each of the journals lists a Mr. Bill Barton as the contact person, but I think the name is fake. The journals have published articles but no editorial boards. If you do peer review, how can you publish articles with no editorial boards?

    Actually, the articles all appear to be lifted from other publishers. Here’s an example:

    Congress Press

    Not original.

    This was apparently lifted from here:

    Congress Press

    Where the article first appeared.

    Notice how the author’s name was cleverly changed. Congress Press is using articles from other publishers to make itself look more established; it’s really a brand-new publisher. This is a common predatory publisher scheme. Nice try, Congress Press.

    Verdict: I recommend against submitting papers to Congress Press and against serving on its editorial boards.

    Appendix: Congress Press journals as of October 1, 2013:

    1. American Journal of Agricultural Sciences
    2. American Journal of Animal Research
    3. American Journal of Applied Systems
    4. American Journal of Behavioural Science and Psychology
    5. American Journal of Biomedical Technology
    6. American Journal of Business and Finance
    7. American Journal of Chemical Sciences
    8. American Journal of Civil Engineering and Environment
    9. American Journal of Computing and Computation
    10. American Journal of Culture and Philosophy
    11. American Journal of Economics and Development
    12. American Journal of Education Sciences
    13. American Journal of Electrical Systems
    14. American Journal of Energy and Policy
    15. American Journal of Geology and Ecology
    16. American Journal of Governance and Politics
    17. American Journal of Greenhouse Gas
    18. American Journal of Health and Diseases
    19. American Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences
    20. American Journal of Information Sciences
    21. American Journal of Langauge [sic] and Lingustics [sic]
    22. American Journal of Law and Public Policy
    23. American Journal of Marine and Ocean
    24. American Journal of Materials
    25. American Journal of Mathematical Modeling
    26. American Journal of Mechanical Systems
    27. American Journal of Medicine and Health
    28. American Journal of Natural Sciences
    29. American Journal of Resources Engineering
    30. American Journal of Soil and Water


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    Global Science and Technology Forum

    Cease and desist.

    The publisher Global Science and Technology Forum (GSTF) has been sending out some very revealing spam recently. The spam emails solicit new articles and state that only 20% of the content has to be original.

    Global Science and Technology Forum is based in Singapore. My university — perhaps wisely — will not let me view the site on my office computer, warning “An unacceptable security risk is posed by this site.”

    ddd

    Here’s what I get when I try to access their site.

    GSTF is risky in other ways as well.

    In early 2012, GSTF was successful in a legal action against me. I had included the publisher on my list, and they got a lawyer here in Denver to pressure me to remove the publisher from my list.

    It turns out the wife of GSTF’s owner is Mala Ravindran, a lawyer with the Singaporean law firm of Low Yeap Toh & Goon. The firm has reciprocal agreements with firms here in the U.S. The lawyer that successfully pressured me here in Denver was actually a friend of a friend of mine.

    Spam Email

    GSTF recently started up some new journals, and it is now spamming heavily, seeking article submissions from researchers. Several people have forwarded me copies of the spam email, and each one has this passage:

    If your paper has been published in any other platform, a new version of your paper for JAE must reflect at least 20% difference in content from the one published in the Conference Proceedings or any other journal.

    In my opinion, no legitimate publisher would ever make such a statement or allow so much unoriginal content to be published as if it were new in their journals. The policy may have serious copyright implications. It does have serious ethical implications.

    Also, the spam emails were sent out in the name of Dr. Stephen Martin, a member of GSTF’s “Board of Governors.” He’s a former speaker of the Australian Parliament, and I wonder if he’s aware his name is being used to solicit scholarly manuscripts that only have to have at least “20% difference in content.”

    I emailed the editors of three GSTF journals alerting them to this email. One was appalled to learn of it and immediately emailed the company. Another already knew about it and reported that she has already asked to be removed from the masthead. A third has not responded.

    Yesterday morning I received a barely literate email from GSTF — apparently one of the editors told them I was making inquiries. Here’s part of what they said:

    The EDM you had received was an inadvertent one (we have hope you would genuine mistake by a staff handling it) mail sent by one of the staff and steps have been taken to remove this message.

    I don’t know what “EDM” means; it must be a euphemism for spam. I think the company’s statement is not truthful because I found the same clause about requiring papers to be only 20% original in three different spam emails for three different GSTF journals. Copies of the spam emails also appear all over the Internet.

    There is a good chance that this blog post will attract another cease-and-desist order from Low Yeap Toh & Goon. So, please enjoy this while it lasts. If you run a predatory publishing operation, it helps to have a wife who works in a law firm and who will attack anyone who dares to question your practices.

    Appendix: Copies of two of the GSTF spam emails, and a copy of the email they sent me yesterday morning.

    GSTF spam

    GSTF response



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    Cosmotherm

    The suspect article.

    The COSMO-RS method is an advanced method for the quantitative calculation of solvation mixture thermodynamics based on quantum chemistry. It was developed by Andreas Klamt and is distributed as the software COSMOtherm by his company COSMOlogic (as well as in the form of several remakes by others).

    Some Nigerian researchers have used the software (without a license) and report a tremendously and completely unbelievably good correlation (r²=0.992) between the predicted results and experimental data for the logKow (octanol water partition coefficient) of ionic liquids.

    A closer look to the data reveals that the experimental data in the plot have nothing to do with the data reported in the PhD thesis referenced as the experimental data source. Hence we need to conclude that the entire paper is complete fake.

    The unrealistic results are published in the Journal of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, a journal published in Faisalabad, Pakistan by AcademicJournals, one of the very first publishers included on my list of predatory publishers back in 2010.

    I received an email from Prof. Dr. Andreas Klamt in Leverkusen, Germany who explained the case to me. He’s the CEO of COSMOlogic. Dr. Klamt writes:

    I had been told there about a case, where some Nigerian people reported unbelievably good results with my COSMO-RS method. They report an r² of 0.992, completely out of the realistic expectations. Checking in more detail I found that the experimental data have nothing to do with the experimental data reported in the PhD thesis which is given as source of the experimental data. Not even the number of experimental data is in agreement with the source, nor the sign of the logarithm. The data are complete fake.

    A second published article written by the same authors and appearing in the same issue of the same journal is “Improvement of carbon dioxide absorption technology using conductor-like screening model for real solvents (COSMO-RS) method.

    Improvement of carbon dioxide absorption technology

    A second article in the same issue.

    For both articles, all the authors show their affiliation as the Department of Chemical Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria.  The two articles have two authors in common: S.I. Mustapha and S.M. (Saidu Mohammad) Waziri. Mustapha’s name does not appear on the department’s faculty list.

    It’s not uncommon to see more than one paper by the same author or authors in the same issue of a predatory journal. Predatory journals sometimes grant volume discounts to authors.

    acetaldehyde

    acetaldehyde

    Dr. Klamt has tried in vain to contact the authors, the journal’s editors, and the publisher, with one exception. He reports that one editorial board member responded saying he has been trying to get his name removed from the journal’s website for a long time, but without success.

    Predatory publishers accept papers regardless of their scientific rigor just to earn the article processing charges. Junk science like these articles is polluting and corrupting the scholarly record.



    denverjeffreyCosmothermImprovement of carbon dioxide absorption technologyacetaldehydedenverjeffreyCosmothermImprovement of carbon dioxide absorption technologyacetaldehyde

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  • 10/31/13--08:00: Anger in Albania
  • Academicus:  International Scientific Journal

    Neither scientific nor international

    Academicus (subtitle: International Scientific Journal) is a scholarly journal based in Albania. I recently added it to my list of questionable standalone journals, an action that has outraged the journal’s editor, Arta Musaraj.

    She called me from Albania and told me my actions were criminal. She now has others calling me pressuring me to remove the journal from my list of questionable standalone journals.

    Here are the reasons I added Academicus to my list:

    1. The editor, Arta Musaraj, sent me this letter asking me to add the journal to my list. (That’s how I became aware of it). On the telephone, she denied sending me the letter.
    2. There are prominent grammatical errors throughout the site.
    3. The copyediting in the articles is extremely poor, including in this suspect article supposedly written by US Ambassador Thomas Patrick Melady, one of the journal’s listed editorial board members.
    4. The “copy” function is turned off for all PDFs, making it difficult to check for plagiarism and preventing search engines from indexing the content, a disadvantage to authors, whose work is less discoverable.
    5. The site provides no information about the article processing charges.
    6. The site gives no information about its digital preservation practices.
    7. Some of the published articles contain plagiarism.
    8. The email I received from the editor contained false statements: “…  Academicus International Acientific [sic] Journal actually the most outstanding scientific journal in Balkan area and Mediterranian [sic] as well.”
    9. On its Facebook page, the journal brags “Universal Impact Factor evaluates with 1.0257 the Impact Factor for year 2012 of Academicus International Scientific Journal.” I believe that the so-called Universal Impact Factor is a bogus metric that has no value.
    10. The journal purports to be an international scientific journal, but a good proportion of the articles are about the political economy and social conditions of Albania

    The following two screenshots document a case of duplicate publication in the journal. In issue number 7, Published in 2013 Academicus published the article “Attractiveness of foreign investments in Albania: A focused analysis of factors, constraints, and policy assessment” by Blerta Dragusha and Elez Osmani.

    Two years earlier, in 2011, the same article was published under a different title, “Foreign Direct Investments in Albania,” by Blerta Dragusha and Aurora Pulti.  This earlier article was published in European Scientific Journal, vol. 24 (October, 2011). This is a very serious case of duplicate publication / self-plagiarism.

    Academicus:  International Scientific Journal

    The recycled article

    The article above was published in Academicus, nr. 7, 2013

    http://www.academicus.edu.al/nr7/Academicus-MMXIII-7-072-083.pdf

    Academicus:  International Scientific Journal

    The original article

    The article above was published in European Scientific Journal, vol. 24 (October, 2011)

    http://www.eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/view/32/32

    Conclusion

    Editor Arta Musaraj herself has five articles published in the journal. Most of them are jingoistic and rambling discussions of Albania’s social and economic policies. Two of these lack any references at all.

    I stand by my assessment of Academicus. It is a very low quality and even predatory journal that is an insult to honest scholarship.



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    A paper published in the BioMed Central Journal Nutrition & Metabolism is a near exact match of a paper published earlier in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

    The 2008 paper, “Role of cytochrome P450 in drug interactions,” is a review article purportedly written by Zakia Bibi. The article’s text matches almost exactly that of the 1998 article “Clinically important pharmacokinetic drug–drug interactions: role of cytochrome P450 enzymes” by E. Tanaka of the University of Tsukuba in Japan. The text string in the Bibi article is almost entirely replicated from Tanaka, including each section of the article (e.g. Introduction, Discussion, etc), most punctuation, and the references.

    Zakia Bibi.

    The suspect article.

    Clinically important pharmacokinetic drug–drug interactions: role of cytochrome P450 enzymes

    The original article.

    The allegedly plagiarized article has been cited 37 times according to Google Scholar and 14 times according to Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science database. These citations really belong to the author of the 1998 paper, which was not published online until 2002.

    BioMed Central Journal Nutrition & Metabolism

    Will retracting the article lower the journal’s impact factor?

    Since 2010, concerned scholars have reported the plagiarism numerous times to Nutrition & Metabolism. The journal lists M. Mahmood Hussain, a professor at the Dept. of Cell Biology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York as its Editor-in-Chief, yet he does not include his editorship on his C.V.

    M. Mahmood Hussain

    The journal’s Editor-in-Chief.

    He has not returned any emails regarding the alleged plagiarism. Responding to one email reporting the plagiarism, a February 13, 2013 email sent from BioMed Central’s journal development editor, Lucy Abel, says, “I am contacting you on behalf of BioMed Central, the publisher of Nutrition & Metabolism. Thank you for alerting us to this claim of plagiarism, which we are taking extremely seriously. We are investigating as a matter of urgency, and would appreciate if you could send us a copy of the original article.” Yet the issue still remains unresolved.

    BioMed Central has failed miserably in this case. The publisher needs to take immediate action on the suspect paper and should apologize to Dr. E. Tanaka, the author of the original paper. BMC should also apologize to all scholars in this field and especially to those who have been attempting to set the record straight since 2010.

    Hat tip: Dr. Terrence P. Delaney, University of Vermont



    denverjeffreyZakia Bibi. Clinically important pharmacokinetic drug–drug interactions: role of cytochrome P450 enzymesBioMed Central Journal Nutrition & MetabolismM. Mahmood HussaindenverjeffreyZakia Bibi. Clinically important pharmacokinetic drug–drug interactions: role of cytochrome P450 enzymesBioMed Central Journal Nutrition & MetabolismM. Mahmood Hussain

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