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Critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing

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    Guest blog post by Dr. Ali Mobasheri, University of Nottingham

    Oxford, also known as the “City of Dreaming Spires” (the term coined by poet Matthew Arnold) is a beautiful university town in the UK. It is my Alma Mater and the place that I spent four happy years in during my PhD work. Unfortunately, this beautiful city is being targeted by the notorious OMICS Group this spring. The OMICS Group is proposing to hold the 5th International Conference on Biomarkers and Clinical Research from April 15-17, 2014 at the University of Oxford. Here is the e-mail that I received from them on 26 February:

    From: Biomarkers-2014 [biomarkers2014@omicsgroup.com]
    Sent: 26 February 2014 13:46
    To: Ali Mobasheri
    Subject: Seeking participation at University of Oxford UK

    Dear Dr. Ali Mobasheri,

    Greetings from Biomarkers-2014!

    The 5th International Conference on Biomarkers and Clinical Research will be held during April 15-17, 2014 at University of Oxford, UK.

    Biomarkers-2014 intends to ground the disciplines likes biological and applied life sciences into computational analysis, genomics & proteomics, analytical & biophysical and microarray technologies.

    The conference emphasizes the areas of types & approaches for biomarker discovery, proteomic biomarkers, cytogenetic biomarkers, SNP biomarkers, molecular imaging biomarkers, microarray data analysis, clinical & non-clinical biomarkers, diagnostic biomarkers, biomarkers for disorder, clinical research & development, biomarkers of exposure, response, and susceptibility and microbial infections.

    Kindly visit the conference website at:

    http://www.omicsgroup.com/biomarkers-clinical-research-conference-2014/

    The scientific program has been updated on the website.

    http://www.omicsgroup.com/biomarkers-clinical-research-conference-2014/scientific-programme.php?day=1&sid=276&date=2014-04-15

    We would like to know about your participation interest at this conference.

    Please feel free to contact us for any further queries and concerns.

    Sincerely

    Michael Smith
    for Biomarkers-2014
    Ph: +1-650-268-9744
    Toll Free: 1-800-216-6499
    Fax: +1-650-618-1414
    E-mail:  biomarkers2014@omicsonline.net

    Although many of us are aware of the despicable tactics used by the OMICS Group, there may be a number of unsuspecting academics in the UK’s research community who may fall for this trap. If you know anyone who has fallen for this, please warn them and refer them to blogs published on this and other sites.



    denverjeffreydenverjeffrey

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    ddd

    Does it measure up?

    Summary: A reader of my blog alerted me to significant word-for-word plagiarism in an article published in Springer’s journal Scientometrics. I analyzed the article and confirmed plagiarism. I reported the plagiarism to the journal’s editor, András Schubert, but he responded with a condescending email dismissing the plagiarism as unimportant.

    The article in question is:

    Akhmat, Ghulam, Zaman, Khalie, Shukui, Tan, & Ahmed, Tauseef. (2013). Educational reforms and internationalization of universities: evidence from major regions of the world. Scientometrics 98, 2185-2205.

    The plagiarism consists of multiple paragraphs copied word-for-word from other sources and strung together. The copied paragraphs do contain a citation at the end of each paragraph, but no quotation marks are used. Here is an example — The introduction paragraph is lifted from two sources. Here is the first paragraph followed by the text as it originally appeared in the original publications:

    Scientometrics

    Reproduced in Scientometrics

    Scientometrics

    How the text originally appeared

    The first original source is here.
    The second original source is here.

    This pattern repeats itself for many paragraphs.

    Next, I wrote this email to the editor and the publisher, along with one contact from Springer I made at a meeting. I copied the authors on the email. They did not respond.

    I received this reply from András Schubert, the journal’s editor:

    Dear Dr. Beall,

    We greatly appreciate your distinguished interest in our journal, and your undoubtedly well-intentioned warning about a dubious paper published in a recent issue.

    As an Editor serving the journal for several decades, I have learned that the sins and virtues of authors span a rather colorful palette, and it is far not easy to make justice even in apparently obvious cases.

    Plagiarism is a severe accusation which, if confirmed, cannot be relativized or exculpated. Although according to the Wikipedia “the idea [of plagiarism] remains problematic with unclear definitions and unclear rules” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism), there appears to be an almost complete consensus, that the key criterion of plagiarism is that no credit is given to the source. As you correctly observed in your letter, this is not the case in the ominous paper.

    I would say that the authors of the paper used a rather unorthodox technique in the Introduction and the Conclusion sections and the Discussion part of their paper: they compiled a large stock of relevant literature, and edited a coherent flow of text from selected paragraphs (a kind of “collage technique”) honestly indicating the sources of each of them separately. The lack of quotation marks may be objectionable, but it is questionable whether their use would have improved the readability or the credibility of the text. I would certainly not encourage other authors to follow this technique, but I cannot condemn it, either.

    To be honest, using the customary way of summarizing the literature, i.e., inweaving cited text fragments (whether using quotation marks or not) into a host text, more often than not, the cited ideas are detached from their original context and serve merely as an amplifying aid to the authors’ arguments. At least, this kind of bias is avoided using full-paragraph citations.

    Between the Introduction and the Discussion, the main part of the paper contains the Methodology and the Results. This part was found by two competent referees original and useful; these opinions supported the decision of the Editor-in-Chief to accept the paper. If you would happen to find any peccability in these crucial parts, this would, of course, justly question the correctness of the decision.

    Anyway, we are grateful for calling our attention to the observed anomaly, and we promise to take marked attention to properly handle similar cases in the future.

    Let me take the opportunity to ask you whether you would be willing to review manuscripts falling in the scope of your research competence for our journal. As a referee, you would have the opportunity to make your remarks in an early stage, thereby you could help us to improve the quality of our journal.

    Sincerely yours,
    András Schubert, Editor, Scientometrics

    The letter essentially dismisses my report of plagiarism and does so in a patronizing way.  Schubert then panders to me by inviting me to serve as a reviewer to make my “remarks in an early stage”. This invitation leads me to conclude that Scientometric’s editorial board does little or no reviewing and is chiefly honorary.

    The letter also trades on ambiguity. The definition of plagiarism is not binary, a quality that Schubert exploits to justify his inaction on the plagiarism report. By failing to use quotation marks when using the wording of others the authors of the article gave the impression that the wording they were using was their own.  Failing to use quote marks is not as Schubert claims an “unorthodox technique.”

    András Schubert

    András Schubert: Soft on plagiarism?

    Scientometrics is published by Springer Science + Business Media for the Budapest-based Akadémiai Kiadó, a wannabe scholarly society better known as a publisher of cheap travel guides.

    Based on Schubert’s statements, I think it’s fair to conclude the following:

    1. If you are an author looking for an easy publication, you can copy full paragraphs from other publications (Schubert’s “collage technique”), including non-scholarly ones, without using quotation marks, as long as you put a short citation at the end of the paragraph, and submit it in an article to Scientometrics, and this won’t be a problem.

    2. You can string together as many of these cut and pasted paragraphs as you like. Although, Schubert would be impressed if all this cutting and pasting produced a “coherent flow of text”.

    3. Even if Schubert believes your paper is “dubious,” an “observed anomaly” and “would certainly not encourage other authors to follow this technique,” he will not take any action if your published work contains major portions of text that are word-for-word plagiarism.

    4. If someone reports your work as plagiarism, the editor will likely dismiss the report and ignore COPE guidelines.



    denverjeffreydddScientometricsScientometricsAndrás SchubertdenverjeffreydddScientometricsScientometricsAndrás Schubert

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    It appears that a scholarly paper was submitted and accepted before the research it reports on was actually completed. The article, published in December, 2013, is this:

    Izetbegovic, Sebija. (2013). Occurrence of ABO and RhD incompatibility with Rh negative mothers. Materia Socio Medica 25(4), 255-258.

    The article’s first page lists the dates it was received, accepted, and published.

    Avicena PUblisher

    Bench to bedside in no time.

    The information in the upper-left-hand portion of the article’s first page indicates it was received by the publisher on June 11, 2013 and accepted on September 25, 2013. However, the paper itself indicates the research it is based on continued through October, 2013, a month after it was accepted.

    In several instances, the article makes reference to research that continued through late October, 2013, a month after it was accepted.

    Avicena Publisher

    But the paper was accepted in September!

    The journal is published by Sarajevo-based Avicena Publisher, a publisher that has been on my list of questionable publishers for some time.

    The author, Sebija Izetbegovic, is affiliated with the General Hospital “Prim. Dr. Abdulah Nakas,” in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this is where she conducted the research.

    She appears to have had a burst of scholarly publications come out around the same time. For example, she also published the article “Early Amniocentesis as a Method of Choice in Diagnosing Gynecological Diseases” in Acta Informatica Medica – another Avicena journal — also in December, 2013.

    She also just co-authored this article with an ambiguous title:

    Avicena 3

    Correct.

    This article is also published in an Avicena Publisher journal. And she had this quickly-accepted review article in an Iranian journal:

    Avicena Publisher

    A pretty quick qcceptance, even for a review article.

    It’s likely that the author needed to publish a certain number of publications very quickly for purposes of tenure or promotion. The questionable publisher was happy to help in this.

    The article processing charges for Avicena Publisher’s journals are not prominently stated on the publisher’s website. APCs should be stated clearly and prominently. They are buried in a PDF file that contains a form that authors must fill out to transfer copyright to the publisher, a requirement which is also non-standard for OA publishers. The APC is 250 euros.

    A low price to pay for a promotion.



    denverjeffreyAvicena PUblisherAvicena PublisherAvicena 3Avicena PublisherdenverjeffreyAvicena PUblisherAvicena PublisherAvicena 3Avicena Publisher

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    Research India Publications

    RIP Off

    Research India Publications (also misspelled as Research India Publication) is a massive subscription publisher based in Delhi, India. It publishes over 180 journals, and you have to pay if you want to read them — or publish in them.

    That’s correct — this is a toll-access (subscription) publisher that also charges authors to publish in its journals. Worse, it even requires authors to transfer copyright of their articles to the publisher.

    Research India Publications

    The last bullet point is not true! Don’t be misled by this greedy publisher. Also, one author reported a quick, two-week peer review turnaround time to me.

    The publisher also lies to authors, telling them that their work will be open access, claiming, “All abstracts and full text available free on-line to all main Universities / institutions worldwide.” But this isn’t true. If you try to access the content, you are asked for a login and password.

    Because it’s a subscription publisher, Research India Publications is not on my list, which includes only open-access publishers. Still, in my opinion, scholars should not submit papers to commercial publishers that charge both authors for submission and readers for access, especially publishers like this one that also require copyright transfer.

    I strongly recommend that all scholars refuse to submit their work to Research India Publications.

    Appendix 1: An acceptance letter sent to an author informing him of the publishing fees and copyright transfer. The letter is anonymized.

    Appendix 2: List of Research India Publication journals as of March 12, 2014

    1. Advance in Applied Computational Mechanics [AACM] 2249-4278
    2. Advances in Aerospace Science and Applications [AASA] 2277-3223
    3. Advances in Algebra [AA] 0973-6964
    4. Advances in Applied Mathematical Analysis [AAMA] 0973-5313
    5. Advances in Applied Mathematical Biosciences [AAMB] 2248-9983
    6. Advances in Computational Sciences and Technology [ACST] 0974-4738
    7. Advances in Dynamical Systems and Applications [ADSA] 0973-5321
    8. Advances in Electronic and Electric Engineering [AEEE] 2231-1297
    9. Advances in Fuzzy Mathematics [AFM] 0973-533X
    10. Advances in Theoretical and Applied Mathematics [ATAM] 0973-4554
    11. Advances in Wireless and Mobile Communications [AWMC] 0973-6972
    12. Arab Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences [AJMMS]
    13. Communication in Applied Geometry [CAG] 2249-4286
    14. Communication in differential and Difference Equation [CDDE] 0973-6301
    15. Current Development in Artificial Intelligencee [CDAI] 0976-5832
    16. Developmental Microbiology and Molecular Biology [DMMB] 0976-5867
    17. Global Journal of Academic Librarianship [GJAL]
    18. Global Journal of Applied Agricultural Research [GJAAR] 2248-9991
    19. Global Journal of Applied Environmental Sciences [GJAES] 2248-9932
    20. Global Journal of Biotechnology and Biochemistry Research [GJBBR] 2248-9894
    21. Global Journal of Business Management and Information Technology [GJBMIT] 2278-3679
    22. Global Journal of Computational Intelligence Research [GJCIR] 2249-0000
    23. Global Journal of Computational Science and Mathematics [GJCSM] 2248-9908
    24. Global Journal of Difference Equations [GJDE] 2249-4235
    25. Global Journal of Dynamical System and Applications [GJDSA] 2249-4294
    26. Global Journal of Economics and Social Development [GJESD]
    27. Global Journal of Educational Administration and Policy Studies [GJEAPS]
    28. Global Journal of Electronic and Communication Engg. & Technology [GJECET]
    29. Global Journal of Electronic and Communication Research [GJECR] 2249-314X
    30. Global Journal of Engineering Research and Technology [GJERT] 2249-3107
    31. Global Journal of Finance and Economic Management [GJFEM] 2249-3158
    32. Global Journal of Finance and Management [GJFM] 0975-6477
    33. Global Journal of Management and Business Studies [GJMBS] 2248-9878
    34. Global Journal of Marketing Management and Research [GJMMR] 2250-3242
    35. Global Journal of Mathematical Science: Theory and Practical [GJMS] 0974-3200
    36. Global Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences [GJMMS] 0972-9836
    37. Global Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Education [GJPSE]
    38. Global Journal of Political Science [GJPS]
    39. Global Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics [GJPAM] 0973-1768
    40. Global Journal of Retail Management [GJRM] 2277-3231
    41. Global Journal of Sociology and Anthropology [GJSA]
    42. Global Journal of Theoretical and Applied Mathematics Sciences [GJTAMS] 2248-9916
    43. International Journal of Advanced Biotechnology Research [IJABR] 2249-3166
    44. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Technology [IJACST] 2249-3123
    45. International Journal of Advanced Materials Science [IJAMS] 2231-1211
    46. International Journal of Advanced Mechanical Engineering [IJAME] 2250-3234
    47. International Journal of Advanced Software Engineering [IJASE] 2249-3069
    48. International Journal of Agricultural Economics and Management [IJAEM]
    49. International Journal of Agriculture and Food Science Technology [IJAFST] 2249-3050
    50. International Journal of Applied Agricultural Research [IJAAR] 0974-4754
    51. International Journal of Applied Biotechnology and Biochemistry [IJABB] 2248-9886
    52. International Journal of Applied Chemistry [IJAC] 0973-1792
    53. International Journal of Applied Computational Science & Mathematics [IJACSM]
    54. International Journal of Applied Engineering Research [IJAER] 1087-1090
    55. International Journal of Applied Environmental Sciences [IJAES] 0973-6077
    56. International Journal of Applied Mathematical Sciences [JAMS] 0973-0176
    57. International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics [IJAMM] 0973-0184
    58. International Journal of Applied Physics [IJAP]
    59. International Journal of Biomedical and Healthcare Science [IJBHS]
    60. International Journal of Biotechnology and Bioengineering Research [IJBBR] 2231-1238
    61. International journal of Business Administration and Management [IJBAM] 2278-3660
    62. International Journal of Business and Rural Development Studies [IJBRDS] 2277-3207
    63. International Journal of Business Management and Leadership [IJBML] 2231-122X
    64. International Journal of Chemical Engineering Research [IJChER] 0975-6442
    65. International Journal of Chemistry and Applications [IJCA] 0974-3111
    66. International Journal of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering [IJCCE] 2248-9924
    67. International Journal of Childhood and Society [IJCS]
    68. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Applications [IJCEA] 2249-426X
    69. International Journal of Civil Engineering Research [IJCER] 2278-3652
    70. International Journal of Civil Mechanical Engineering [IJCME] 2250-3218
    71. International Journal of Communication Engineering and Technology [IJCET] 2277-3150
    72. International Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics [IJCAM] 1819-4966
    73. International Journal of Computational Intelligence Research [IJCIR] 0974-1259
    74. International Journal of Computational Physical Sciences [IJCPS] 0976-5875
    75. International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering [IJCSE] 2249-4251
    76. International Journal of Computational Science and Mathematics [IJCSM] 0974-3189
    77. International Journal of Computer and Internet Security [IJCIS] 0974-2247
    78. International Journal of Consumer Policy [IJCP] 2278-3644
    79. International Journal of Dental Research and Technologies [IJDRT]
    80. International Journal of Difference Equations [IJDE] 0973-6069
    81. International Journal of Digital Libraries and Knowledge Management [IJDLKM]
    82. International Journal of Dynamics of Fluids [IJDF] 0973-1784
    83. International Journal of Economic and Management Strategy [JEMS] 2278-3636
    84. International Journal of Economic Research and Networking [IJERN]
    85. International Journal of Education and Information Studies [IJEIS]
    86. International Journal of Educational Administration [IJEA] 0976-5883
    87. International Journal of Educational Planning and Administration [IJEPA] 2249-3093
    88. International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering [IJEC] 0974-2190
    89. International Journal of Electrical Engineering [IJEE] 0974-2158
    90. International Journal of Electronic and Communication Research [IJECR] 2231-1246
    91. International Journal of Electronic and Electrical Engineering [IJEEE] 0974-2174
    92. International Journal of Electronic Engineering and Technology [IJEET] 2249-3085
    93. International Journal of Electronics and Communication Engineering [IJECE] 0974-2166
    94. International Journal of Electronics Engineering Research [IJEER] 0975-6450
    95. International Journal of Electronics Networks, Devices and Field [IJENDF] 0974-2182
    96. International Journal of Engineering and Manufacturing Science [IJEMS] 2249-3115
    97. International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology [IJERT] 0974-3154
    98. International Journal of Engineering Studies [IJES] 0975-6469
    99. International Journal of Environmental Engineering and Management [IJEEM] 2231-1319
    100. International Journal of Environmental Research and Development [IJERD] 2249-3131
    101. International Journal of Environmental Sci. Development & Monitoring [IJESDM] 2231-1289
    102. International Journal of Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences [IJFAS] 2248-9975
    103. International Journal of Fluids Engineering [IJFE] 0974-3138
    104. International Journal of Fuzzy Mathematics and Systems [IJFMS] 2248-9940
    105. International Journal of Genetics Engineering and Biotechnology [IJGEB] 0974-3073
    106. International Journal of Horticultural and Crop Science Research [IJHCSR] 2249-4243
    107. International Journal of Hospitality Administration and Management [IJHAM]
    108. International Journal of Human Resource Development & Management [IJHRDM]
    109. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences [IJHSS] 2250-3226
    110. International Journal of Industrial & Production Engineering & Tech. [IJIPET] 2249-4219
    111. International Journal of Industrial Electronics and Control [IJIEC] 0974-2220
    112. International Journal of Industrial Engineering & Technology [IJIET] 0974-3146
    113. International Journal of Information and Computation Technology [IJICT] 0974-2239
    114. International Journal of Information Science and Education [IJISE] 2231-1262
    115. International Journal of Information Sciences and Application [IJISA] 0974-2255
    116. International Journal of Information Technology and Library Science [IJITLS]
    117. International Journal of Instrumentation Science and Engineering [JISE]  2278-5825
    118. International Journal of Internet and Computer Security [IJICS] 0974-2247
    119. International Journal of Knowledge Management and Information Tech. [IJKMIT]
    120. International Journal of Lakes and Rivers [IJLR] 0973-4570
    121. International Journal of Librarianship and Administration [IJLA] 2231-1300
    122. International Journal of Library Automation, Networking and Consortia [IJLANC]
    123. International Journal of Management and International Business Studies [IJMIBS] 2277-3177
    124. International Journal of Material Sciences and Technology [IJMST] 2249-3077
    125. International Journal of Materials Physics [IJMP] 0974-309X
    126. International Journal of Materials Science [IJoMS] 0973-4589
    127. International Journal of Mathematical Education [IJoME] 0973-6948
    128. International Journal of Mathematics Research [IJMR] 0976-5840
    129. International Journal of Mechanical and Material Sciences Research [IJMMSR]
    130. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Research [IJMER] 2249-0019
    131. International Journal of Mechanics and Solids [IJM&S] 0973-1881
    132. International Journal of Mechanics and Thermodynamics [IJMT] 2278-361X
    133. International Journal of Mechanics Structural [IJMS] 0974-312X
    134. International Journal of Microcircuits and Electronic [IJME] 0974-2204
    135. International Journal of Mobile Communication & Networking [IJMCN] 2231-1203
    136. International Journal of Mobile Communication Networking [IJMCN] 2231-1203
    137. International Journal of Molecular Genetics [IJMG] 2249-4227
    138. International Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology [IJNN] 0974-3081
    139. International Journal of Nanotechnology and Application [IJNA] 0973-631X
    140. International Journal of Networking & Computer Engineering [IJNCE] 0975-6485
    141. International Journal of Networks and Applications [IJN&A] 0976-5859
    142. International Journal of Nursing Sciences and Practice [IJNSP]
    143. International Journal of Oceans and Oceanography [IJOO] 0973-2667
    144. International Journal of Operations Management & Information Tech. [IJOMIT] 2278-3628
    145. International Journal of Operations Management and Services [JOMS] 2277-3193
    146. International Journal of Petroleum Science and Technology [IJPST] 0973-6328
    147. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Practice [IJPSP]
    148. International Journal of Pharmacy and Drug Research [IJPDR]
    149. International Journal of Philosophy and Social Sciences [IJPSS]
    150. International Journal of Photonics [IJP] 0974-2212
    151. International Journal of Physics and Applications [IJPA] 0974-3103
    152. International Journal of Psychology and Counseling [IJPC] 2278-5833
    153. International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematical Sciences [IJPAMS] 0972-9828
    154. International Journal of Pure and Applied Physics [IJPAP] 0973-1776
    155. International Journal of Quality Assurance and Management [IJQAM]
    156. International Journal of Semiconductor Science & Technology [IJSST] 0975-6493
    157. International Journal of Software Engineering [IJSE] 0974-3162
    158. International Journal of Statistics and Analysis [IJSA] 2248-9959
    159. International Journal of Statistics and Systems [IJSS] 0973-2675
    160. International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Computer Sciences [IJTACS]
    161. International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics [IJTAM] 0973-6085
    162. International Journal of Vocational and Technical Education [IJVTE]
    163. International Journal of Wireless Communication and Simulation [IJWCS] 2231-1254
    164. International Journal of Wireless Networks and Applications [IJWNA] 2250-3250
    165. International Journal of Wireless Networks and Communications [IJWNC] 0975-6507
    166. International Journal: Mathematical Manuscripts [IJMM] 0974-2883
    167. International Journals of Biotechnology and Biochemistry [IJBB] 0974-4762
    168. International Review of Applied Engineering Research [IRAER] 2248-9967
    169. International Review of Business and Finance [IRBF] 0976-5891
    170. International Review of Foreign Trade and Policy [IRFTP]
    171. Internatioznal Journal of Information Science and Application [IJISA] 0974-2255
    172. JK Journal of Management and Technology [JKJMT] 0975-0924
    173. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Fluid Mechanics [JAMFM] 0974-3170
    174. Journal of Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics [JCIB] 0973-385X
    175. Journal of Computer Science and Application [JCSA] 2231-1270
    176. Journal of Nonlinear Analysis and Applications [JNAA]
    177. Journal of Wavelet Theory and Applications [JWTA] 0973-6336
    178. Mathematical Modelling and Applied Computing [MMAC] 0973-6093
    179. Mathematics Applied in Science and Technology [MAST] 0973-6344


    denverjeffreyResearch India PublicationsNot true!denverjeffreyResearch India PublicationsNot true!

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    Misleading Metrics

    Another list of questionable companies.

    I have added a third list to this blog, and it is called Misleading Metrics.

    The purpose of the new list is to alert researchers to bogus metrics companies that have emerged over about the past year.

    Predatory publishers use these metrics to make their journals look legitimate. The metrics companies’ customers are the predatory publishers.

    The new page includes the criteria for inclusion. It debuts with these 11 companies:

    If you observe a journal that boasts a score given by one of these metrics companies, then I recommend that you proceed with caution.

    Here is an example of how these bogus metrics are used:

    International Journal of Research in Advent Technology

    Holy Impact Factor !

    This is from the homepage of the International Journal of Research in Advent Technology (whatever that is).

    This value was assigned to the journal by International Impact Factor Services. The journal does not have an authentic impact factor assigned by Thomson Reuters. This metric is an impostor.



    denverjeffreyMisleading MetricsInternational Journal of Research in Advent TechnologydenverjeffreyMisleading MetricsInternational Journal of Research in Advent Technology

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    Buried ethics?

    Buried ethics?

    A blog called The Equation reported recently that two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) officials used flawed models to determine the range of the American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) and then used a predatory journal to publish their findings, perhaps hoping to make the flawed models appear scientific.

    The blog, published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, indicates that the scientists used the flawed models to make the beetle’s range appear smaller so it would not be a concern for the proposed fourth phase of the Keystone Pipeline System. Apparently, seeking a quick and easy publication, the authors sought out and used a journal from a predatory publisher.

    The article, entitled “Using Spatial Models to Target Conservation Efforts for the Endangered American Burying Beetle,” was published in volume 7 (2013) of the Open Entomology Journal, published by Bentham Open, a publisher that has been on my list since 2010.

    The article has five authors, including two from the FWS and three from the University of Oklahoma’s Oklahoma Biological Survey.

    ddd

    A bug in the system.

    According to the journal’s “Instruction for Authors” page, the article processing charge (APC) for a research journal is US$800 (the information is buried at the end of a very long web page, typical of predatory publishers, who often like to bury this information, hoping to hook authors who don’t realize there is a fee). I wonder who paid the APC or whether it was waived for this article. Did the government pay? I sure hope not.

    This may be an example of people using the quick and easy publishing services of questionable open-access journals in order to promote a particular agenda. You can promote any hypothesis in predatory journals regardless of its scientific merit.

    Predatory journals are more interested in earning money from the authors than they are in presenting their readers with solid, peer-reviewed science.

    Beetle picture reproduced here under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. This is a derivitive work (cropped) of an original by Lymantria, and sourced from Wikimedia Commons.



    denverjeffreyAmerican burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus)ddddenverjeffreyAmerican burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus)ddd

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    Council for Innovative Research

    Innovative deception

    Yesterday I added one of the worst scholarly publishers ever to my list, the Council for Innovative Research.

    The only innovative thing about this dangerous publisher is the number of different ways it tries to fool people into thinking it’s a legitimate publisher. Here is a selection:

    • It uses an impressive-sounding name to trick people. It is not a council; it is just one of hundreds of new OA publishers from India that aim to rip-off researchers.
    • It launched with 36 new journals all at once. They are all broad in scope and the title of one is ungrammatical.
    • The publisher does not state its headquarters location on its ‘Contact us’ page; that is, it wants to hide its true location.
    • The publisher claims that some of its journals have impact factors. None have impact factors.
    Council for Innovative Research

    Don’t be fooled!

    • Like many predatory publishers, this one uses the Open Knowledge Project’s free Open Journal Systems software to manage its journals. The first listing on the editorial board for each is this: “Chief Editor, Council for Innovative Research http://www.cirworld.com, United States.” Thus the journal is faking an editorial presence in the US (and the editor’s name is not stated).
    • One of the main tabs at the top of the website is Payment Methods, and this is what the site is really all about — getting money from researchers.
    • Individuals and institutions can buy memberships, but there is no real benefit. The publisher states, “CIR membership enables the benefits for the CIR members. A certificate of membership will be provided to the members of CIR.”
    • To make its journals look successful, the publisher has lifted content from legitimate sources and reproduced it in its journals. One example is the article, “Can fluctuating quantum states acquire the classical behavior on large scale?”,  published in the Journal of Advances in Physics. This article is a pre-printed lifted from arXiv.
    Council for Innovative Research three

    They lifted this content from arXiv to make their journals look successful.

    Next, the source:

    arxiv

    The source of the lifted content.

    There are many additional reasons that make the so-called Council for Innovative Research a predatory publisher. The regular appearance of exploitative new publishers like this one is ongoing and perhaps accelerating.

    All researchers be forewarned: do not submit any papers to this publisher’s journals.

    Hat tip: Sandeep Singh

    Appendix: List of Council for Innovative Research journals as of March 26, 2014:

    1. International Journal of Computer & Distributed Systems
    2. International Journal of Computers & Technology
    3. International Journal of Data & Network Security
    4. International Journal of Electronics & Data Communication
    5. International Journal of Management & Information Technology
    6. International Journal of Networking & Parallel Computing
    7. International Journal of Research in Education Methodology
    8. Journal of Advances in Agriculture
    9. Journal of Advances in Anthropology
    10. Journal of Advances in Archaeology
    11. Journal of Advances in Architecture & Planning
    12. Journal of Advances in Biology
    13. Journal of Advances in Biotechnology
    14. Journal of Advances in Botany
    15. Journal of Advances in Chemistry
    16. Journal of Advances in Environmental Sciences
    17. Journal of Advances in Geography
    18. Journal of Advances in Geology
    19. Journal of Advances in History
    20. Journal of Advances in Humanities
    21. Journal of Advances in Law
    22. Journal of Advances in Linguistics
    23. Journal of Advances in Mathematics
    24. Journal of Advances in Medicine
    25. Journal of Advances in Natural Sciences
    26. Journal of Advances in Nursing
    27. Journal of Advances in Pharmacy
    28. Journal of Advances in Philosophy
    29. Journal of Advances in Physical Education
    30. Journal of Advances in Physics
    31. Journal of Advances in Political Science
    32. Journal of Advances in Psychology
    33. Journal of Advances in Sociology
    34. Journal of Advances in Veterinary
    35. Journal of Advances in Zoology
    36. Journal of Social Science Research

     



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    Turan Senguder

    Best at fooling people.

    There is a new class of scholarly journal. These journals are not open-access. You can’t purchase their articles individually. Individuals cannot subscribe to them. The only way to access their content is through a very small number of academic libraries.

    I call these Super Closed Access Journals. Their purpose is clearly not scholarly communication, for there is very little distribution of their content. Their purpose is academic credit for the authors and profit for the owner.

    Here’s is an example, the publisher called Academic Journals and Conferences. It’s a one-man operation based in Florida (though it pretends to be based in New York).

    This publisher has these journals:

    Except for the article titles and their abstracts, one cannot access the content through the publisher’s website. You have to have privileges at a subscribing library, and there are very few libraries that have licensed journal packages that include this publisher’s journals.

    I consider this a phony publisher, and I am sure you will agree with me after you have a look at its website. Here are the reasons I find it phony:

    • The journals have nothing to do with Cambridge, yet they use the term in their titles.
    • The main page proclaims, “CHAMBER of COMMERCE, Beverly Hills, California” (impressive, no?).
    • There are numerous pictures of the owner, Turan Senguder, with young women all over the website.
    • The firm’s secretary is listed as Dr. Charles Hilton, but this is a fictitious persona.
    • The journals have a box that says, “BEST Scholarly Journals 2014″ but this is just something the owner made up.
    • It is very easy to find plagiarism among the journal articles.
    • The publisher presents itself as a business academy when it’s really just a sole proprietor who organizes phony conference and journals.

    The publisher does not really “publish” the three journals. They are really only published by the company called ProQuest. That is to say, the only way to access these journals is through a subscription to one of the ProQuest packages that are marketed to libraries.

    Why does ProQuest include such low quality titles in its packages? The reason is ProQuest competes for libraries’ business with other journal aggregators. A good way to compete is to tell potential customers you aggregate and provide exclusive access to more journals than the competition. So ProQuest contracts with as many publishers as possible to be the exclusive distributor of their journals’ content.

    Regretablly, ProQuest includes junk journals in its portfolio like the three published by this phony publisher, just to increase its numbers and convince libraries to buy its journal packages. I call on ProQuest to stop this practice and introduce better quality control in its journal packages.



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    Avens Publishing Group

    A complete impostor.

     

    The purpose of this blog post is to warn scholars to avoid having any association with Avens Publishing Group. By this I mean: don’t serve on their editorial boards, don’t submit papers to the firm’s journals, and don’t agree to review any papers for them.

    When this publisher first appeared, it listed this contact address:

    Avens Publishing Group
    877 W 23rd St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA

    Now it uses this address, which is a house:

    Avens Publishing Group
    47 Hemlock Dr.
    Northborough, MA 01532
    USA

    The actual address is this:

    Avens Publishing Group
    Flat No. 502
    Jyothiraditya Apartments,
    Srinagar Colony,
    Hyderabad, India

    Avens Publishing Group headquarters

    Headquarters for 46 medical journals? 47 Hemlock Drive, Northborough, Massachusetts

    Avens Publishing Group’s portfolio now includes 46 journals (see list below), chiefly in the area of biomedical sciences.

    In its early spam emails, the publisher claimed to be non-profit:

    “We are glad to invite you as an eminent editor for the Journal of Cancer Sciences. Journal of Cancer Sciences, nonprofit, open access, peer reviewed journal that is being recently launched by Avens Publishing Group with a commitment to serve the scientific community.” [emphasis added. Source: Avens Publishing Group spam email message]

    There is no evidence to indicate that the firm is truly non-profit. When it first began operations, Avens Publishing Group sent spam emails to editors listing these enticements:

    Editorial Board benefits:

    1. We will provide 20% of Journal’s yearly revenue to individual editor, for their valuable service and on fulfilling their responsibilities.
    2. Articles suggested (or) submitted by Editors will be provided a 50% discount.
    3. We will be conducting conferences yearly; relating to happenings, advancements and breakthroughs in our Journal and editors will be playing a key role in suggesting titles, educating the young scientific community and also promoting our Journal.
    4. The article’s fate i.e., both the acceptance or rejection of article is purely dependent on the Editor’s decision and the peer reviewing process will be confidential.
    5. We will be providing scientific credits to all the Editorial board members based on their active participation towards our journal.

    [Source: Avens Publishing Group spam email message]

    The publisher has the annoying habit of saying its spam is not spam.

    “Note: This is not a spam message, and has been sent to you because of your eminence in the field. If, however, you do not want to receive any email in future from Avens Publishing Group, then please reply with your request.” [Source: Avens Publishing Group spam email message]

    Avens Publishing Group is a shrewd and dishonest publisher that all researchers should avoid. If you are currently serving on one of its editorial boards, I recommend that you resign. Above all, do not submit your work to this publisher’s journals. There are many better options.

    Appedix: List of Avens Publishing Group journals as of 2014-04-13

    1.  International Journal of Nutrition
    2. International Journal of Otorhinolaryngology
    3. Journal of Addiction & Prevention
    4. Journal of Analytical & Molecular Techniques
    5. Journal of Andrology & Gynaecology
    6. Journal of Antimicrobial Drug Design and Therapy
    7. Journal of Bioanalysis & Biostatistics
    8. Journal of Bioelectronics and Nanotechnology
    9. Journal of Biowar & Defence
    10. Journal of Cancer Sciences
    11. Journal of Cardiobiology
    12. Journal of Chemistry and Applications
    13. Journal of Clinical & Medical Case Reports
    14. Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology
    15. Journal of Clinical Trials & Patenting
    16. Journal of Cytology & Molecular Biology
    17. Journal of Emergency Medicine & Critical Care
    18. Journal of Environmental Studies
    19. Journal of Epidemiology & Drug Research
    20. Journal of Food Processing & Beverages
    21. Journal of Forensic Investigation
    22. Journal of Gene Therapy
    23. Journal of Geriatrics and Palliative Care
    24. Journal of Glycemic Disorders
    25. Journal of Hematology & Thrombosis
    26. Journal of Human Anatomy & Physiology
    27. Journal of Integrative Medicine & Therapy
    28. Journal of Metabolomics & Systems Biology
    29. Journal of Neurology and Psychology
    30. Journal of Obesity and Bariatrics
    31. Journal of Ocular Biology
    32. Journal of Oncobiomarkers
    33. Journal of Oral Biology
    34. Journal of Orthopedics & Rheumatology
    35. Journal of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
    36. Journal of Pediatrics & Child Care
    37. Journal of Pharmaceutics & Pharmacology
    38. Journal of Plant Biology & Soil Health
    39. Journal of Proteomics & Computational Biology
    40. Journal of Surgery
    41. Journal of Syndromes
    42. Journal of Toxins
    43. Journal of Transplantation & Stem Cell Biology
    44. Journal of Urology & Nephrology
    45. Journal of Vaccine & Immunotechnology
    46. Journal of Veterinary Science & Medicine


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    OMICS Publishing Group's Journal of Thermodynamics & Catalysis.

    The “editorial”

    This 2012 editorial, “On information thermodynamics and scale invariance in fluid dynamics” was published in OMICS Publishing Group’s Journal of Thermodynamics & Catalysis

    Two scientists found the editorial incorrect and misleading and set out to correct the scholarly record. They composed a response and submitted it to the journal, but they found the journal’s editorial process so sloppy that they attempted to withdraw their response, preferring to submit it to a better journal.

    However, OMICS published their article anyway, and it appears here.

    Meanwhile:

    arXiv article

    The official response.

    The authors’ official  response recently appeared in arXiv, (arXiv:1404.4087 [physics.flu-dyn]) but with this very telling addendum:

    Comment on Journal of Thermodynamics & Catalysis

         We also must add some commentary on the Journal of Thermodynamics & Catalysis: we naturally attempted to respond to Di Vita’s criticisms through a discussion paper in that journal. However, after submission we received a poorly typeset proof of the manuscript. We have never seen such poor handling of a manuscript by any journal – indeed one of our names was spelt incorrectly! We did not consider it worthwhile to correct such a proof ourselves, and sought to have it re-typeset – however, we believe this proof went through to publication without our copyright permission or consent. Despite several entreaties from us, the journal does not appear to have attempted to make any correction. Examining their web- site (http://omicsonline.org), the Journal of Thermodynamics & Catalysis does not appear to have an Editor or any scientific oversight, although at time of writing the website appears to be malfunctioning and does not load any hyperlinks.

         Our response to Di Vita’s article is outlined correctly herein. We hereby disassociate ourselves from any version of this manuscript published by the Journal of Thermodynamics & Catalysis.

    And, indeed, one of the author’s names is still rendered incorrectly in the article they requested be removed from the OMICS journal, an article that OMICS has not removed.



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    Changes in confirmed plus borderline cases of congenital hypothyroidism in California as a function of environmental fallout from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown

    Questionable science.

    This article, “Changes in confirmed plus borderline cases of congenital hypothyroidism in California as a function of environmental fallout from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown” was published in the Open Journal of Pediatrics, a journal published by Scientific Research Publishing (SCIRP), a publisher included on my list of questionable publishers. 

    The article reports that fallout from the Fukushima nuclear accident increased the number of confirmed congenital hypothyroidism cases in the population studied.

    The article’s findings were reported in the media, including a report on ABC 10 in San Diego and Yahoo! News, among others.

    However, some independent researchers are questioning the study’s validity. According to Dr. Yuri Hiranuma:

    The actual count of confirmed cases of congenital hypothyroidism (CH) from the California Public Health Department does not match the authors’ count because they disregarded the actual count given to them. Instead, the authors (1) invented their own definition of confirmed cases of CH, (2) misrepresented the real definition of CH, and (3) invented a fictitious diagnostic category of CH which they call “borderline cases. Unfortunately, the study is widely disseminated as the “proof” of the effect of Fukushima fallout on the west coast.

    Dr. Hiranuma wrote up her objections to the study and submitted them as a letter to the journal.  However, the journal refused to publish her letter. The letter has since been published on this blog. They sent her this response:

    SCIRP

    Publish anything in SCIRP journals, and they will stand behind you.

    Next, Dr. Hiranuma sent an email asking why the letter would not be published, and she got this reply:

    SCIRP

    SCIRP refuses to correct the record.

    I think one reason they won’t publish the letter is they only want to publish revenue articles — they don’t want to publish a letter for free. The following email confirms this:

    ddd

    Predatory publishing is all about the money.

    Analysis: This is a case of several researchers who are concerned about health effects of radiation exposure using a predatory journal to publish questionable science that bolsters their position on the adverse health effects of low level radiation exposure. Upon publication of the article, they were successful in getting some media outlets to report their findings, and the findings were seen as legitimate because they were published in a scholarly journal. The journal’s publisher remains faithful to its customers (the paper’s authors, who paid to have their article published) and refuses to retract the article or publish a standard response to it. The academic record remains uncorrected.

    I recommend viewing the following video, which provides a pitch-perfect explanation of the situation:



    denverjeffreyChanges in confirmed plus borderline cases of congenital hypothyroidism in California as a function of environmental fallout from the Fukushima nuclear meltdownSCIRPSCIRPddddenverjeffreyChanges in confirmed plus borderline cases of congenital hypothyroidism in California as a function of environmental fallout from the Fukushima nuclear meltdownSCIRPSCIRPddd

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    Sylwan

    Bogus and counterfeit.

    The Polish journal Sylwan has been hijacked — sort of. Unlike previous journal hijackings, in this case the legitimate journal has a website, and a bogus website pretends to be the journal’s English edition.

    The authentic journal is in Polish and published in Poland. The hijacked version of the website purports to be the “English Edition” of the journal. Sylwan is a forestry (silviculture) journal, and according to its Wikipedia article has been published since 1802, with the current publisher being the Polish Forestry Society.

    To trick people, the counterfeit website contains much correct information lifted from the authentic website.

    Someone has edited the Wikipedia article to add the counterfeit web address. Here are the two websites:

    Do not submit any articles the “English edition” website of this journal. The same website also offers “access” to the journal’s backfile for $650, and I recommend against paying for this content through this website.

    Sylwan

    A screenshot of the spam email now being distributed.

    Whoever is operating the bogus English edition of the journal is spamming for article submissions. I was forwarded a copy of the spam email above from a friend in Iran. Unfortunately, this website is firewalled in Iran, preventing this warning from being read there.

    I do not know who is responsible for this hijacking.

    Sylwan

    I found this 1842 volume on Google Books.



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    Webcrawler Journals

    Journal of salad.

    New Questionable Publisher

    I recently added the new publisher called Webcrawler Journals to my list of questionable publishers. Like many questionable publishers, this one is not transparent about where it is based. My guess is Nigeria, because many of the publishers from there have strange names and hide their locations.

    Webcrawler Journals launched with nine new journals, including Webcrawler Journal of Biological Sciences (WJBS). This comes as a great relief, as the field of biology was in urgent need of a new open-access journal. There are so few of them. This publisher is much better than most at selecting pirated pictures to use on its website; the vegetable picture makes me want to submit a paper right away.

    New List of Questionable Conferences

    My friend Dana Roth, a librarian at the Caltech Library, has started a list of questionable conferences. It’s called Conferences – spammed and ??. Dana works in Pasadena, and I think his work in this area will create a big bang in the world of predatory conferences.

    New Monograph about Academic Plagiarism

    False feathers

    False feathers in Denver.

    I recently finished reading the new book False feathers: A perspective on academic plagiarismby Debora Weber-Wulff. She’s the author of the blog Copy, Shake, and Paste. The book covers plagiarism by both academics and by university and college students. One of my favorite passages is this one:

    It [plagiarism] is unfair to other students if plagiarism brings rewards, similar to doping in sports, as long as it remains undiscovered (p. 23).

    Much of the book deals with plagiarism in dissertations, and Germany, where Weber-Wulff is from, has been at center of many dissertation plagiarism scandals. She describes a cooperative, wiki approach to documenting plagiarism in dissertations. The study of academic plagiarism seems to be increasing, as is academic plagiarism itself. Dr. Weber-Wulff’s book is a valuable and timely contribution to this growing field.

     

     



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    Phishing

    Not really Elsevier.

    I’ve recently been alerted to several phishing attempts that involve scholarly open-access journals.  The phishing attempts try to lure scholars into submitting papers without ever visiting the publisher’s website. One example, illustrated above, involves people misrepresenting themselves as the publisher Elsevier. They aim to conduct all business through email, so they will never direct a potential author to a website. Another example is less sophisticated and involves a fictitious publisher called PJ Publication.

    Phishing

    Please don’t fall for this.

    I don’t know of any cases of anyone actually being successfully tricked by these scams, but I just wanted to document that they are happening and warn scholars to be on the lookout for these or similar scams.

    A PDF of the two phishing emails is  here.



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    Imprints Open Access

    Group? It’s just one guy.

    There is no slowdown in the number of new, questionable, and low quality gold open-access publishers appearing and offering their services to scholarly authors. Here I describe one of the latest, Imprints Open Access.

    This publisher launched very recently. I became aware of it because a researcher at my University’s health sciences campus was a victim of this firm’s spam email campaign to recruit editorial board members. Here’s a selection from the smarmy email the researcher received:

    Imprints Open Access

    Really bad spam.

    The website is full of prominent typos, as this screenshot shows:

    Imprints Open Access

    Innovative spelling.

    It appears the firm’s email blast to recruit editorial board members was a failure. None of the publisher’s six journals has any editorial board members listed, except one that lists a bogus name and a bogus university:­­­

    Imprints Open Access

    Never heard of it.

    Even though there are no editors-in-chief or editorial board members, the firm is accepting papers. Who will complete the peer review on them? Perhaps this firm, like many others, doesn’t do a peer review. Also, despite its low quality, this publisher has the nerve to charge rather high article processing charges — $950.00 !!

    Imprints Open Access

    An outrageous charge for such a low-quality operation. Greed!

    A look at the domain name registration gives a registration address of 642 Henderson Street, Oak Park, Illinois, United States. Google Maps cannot find this address, so it may be made up. The spam email I saw was signed “Reddy S, Editorial Assistant.” I think the firm is really based in India.

    New low-quality OA publishers like this one are appearing almost every day.

    Imprints Open Access has left a bad impression on me. It’s an amateurish operation that is an insult to honest scholarly publishing. I recommend that all scholars completely ignore this publisher.

    Hat tip: Ben Hanke 

    Appendix: List of Imprints Open Access journals as of 2014-05-11

    • Journal of Biotechnology & Computational Biology
    • Journal of Cellular Immunology & Immunotherapeutics
    • Journal of Chemistry & Chemical Synthesis
    • Journal of Community Medicine & Health Affairs
    • Journal of Current Cancer Research
    • Journal of Pharmocology [sic] & Pharmacogenomics

     

     



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    Bogus metrics companies have made it possible for essentially any journal to have an “impact factor.” However, because true impact factor information — the data supplied by Thomson Reuters’ Journal Citation Reports — is proprietary, it can be hard to verify publisher impact factor claims

    ddd

    Our journal got bogus impact factor.

    The competition among predatory publishers is increasing, especially among the hundreds of predatory publishers and journals originating from South Asia. These journals need a way to stand out, to compete with other scholarly publications.

    The above example is for the International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research, based in India. It claims the journal has earned impact factors from UIF (Universal Impact Factor) and SJIF (Scientific Journal Impact Factor). I consider these metrics to be completely bogus, so this spam email is easily dismissed because the journal identifies the source of its misleading metrics.

    Spam

    Acceptance in three days, and an impact factor, wow.

    This example (above), part of a spam email for the megajournal entitled International Journal of World Research, claims the journal has two impact factors (0.628 and 0.386) but it doesn’t give their sources. The journal also promises it will provide an acceptance letter within three days and only charges $100 for the article processing fee.

    What other components of scholarly publishing will be corrupted next? We have predatory journals with no real peer review and now bogus metrics made up out of thin air. I think that attention metrics (also called altmetrics) will be next.

    Directory of Indexing and Impact Factor

    Directory of rubbish.

    Above and below are two halves of a spam email I received from the Directory of Indexing and Impact Factor (DIIF), a startup, bogus metrics company. The company’s name is senseless, and, in the screenshot below, one can see that they charge $50 to immediately “calculate” an impact factor for a journal. Unfortunately, many will be fooled by this.

    I wish there were an easy and quick way for scholars to determine whether the impact factors assigned to a particular journal were bogus or authentic. At this time, my list of misleading metrics is the only source I know.

     

    Directory of Indexing and Impact Factor two

    Get an impact factor for your journal, only $50.

     

     

     



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    Afinidad

    The authentic journal.

    The Spanish journal Afinidad has been hijacked. Someone has set up a fake website for the journal and is soliciting submissions and payments from the authors in accordance with the gold open-access model. 

    The journal deals with the topic of chemical affinity and is published by La Asociación de Químicos e Ingenieros del Institut Químic de Sarri (Catalan: L’Associació de Químics i Enginyers de l’Institut Químic de Sarrià).

     

    Hijacked version = http://www.afinidad.org/
    Afinidad bad

    The bogus site.

    I realize that journal hijacking is less of a problem for Western scholars than it is for others. This is because the hijacked journals are more heavily promoted in Asia, usually through intense spam email campaigns. In this case, the authentic journal has an impact factor, and this is the selling point for the hijackers.

    I have also learned that if English is not your native language, it’s harder to judge a publisher’s authenticity. The same is true of a native English speaker judging a website in another language.

    I often hear the term fishy used to describe questionable publishers’ websites.

    I now have a page on my website that lists hijacked journals; the page is here: http://scholarlyoa.com/other-pages/hijacked-journals/

    Hat tip: Amin Daneshmand Malayeri



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    European Science Journals

    We accept just about everything!

    I have added European Scientific Journal to my list, as well as a bunch of brand-new journals just launched by the journal’s publisher, the European Scientific Institute I have received many inquiries about this journal, with most of them asking why it wasn’t on my list. The emails I received pointed out the journal’s weaknesses, and after monitoring the journal for over a year, I added it to the list. The journal operates from Macedonia.

    There are some major problems with the journal. It is evident that the journal is not checking for plagiarism; consequently, it’s very easy to find instances of this misconduct among the journal’s many articles. Moreover, the journal promises a suspiciously fast peer review:

    [From: http://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/pages/view/submission]

    Efficient reviewers = very short review period

    I don’t understand why they require authors submitting papers to supply the name of one reviewer and at the same time promise a very short turnaround time for the peer review.

    Moreover, this journal is publishing a lot of articles. Since March, 2014 to now (end of May, 2014), it has published all these issues:

    European Science Journal

    Puppy mill for journal articles

    The issues are packed with articles. Volume 10 number 12 has about 40 articles. The publisher is generating a lot of revenue. Perhaps due to this popularity, the publisher has just launched a fleet of new open-access mega-journals:

    These journals also promise a one-week turnaround time for the peer review. They are broad in scope to make more papers suitable for them. I have added all these journals to my list also. At this time, they don’t have any editorial board members listed, yet they are accepting submissions.

    The journals each have their own website, and the websites are not connected to each other — they are standalone megajournals. Finally, the publisher is also advertising a bunch of vacation packages, oops, I mean academic conferences:

    These are broad in scope to make pretty much every submission acceptable.

    Cape Verde

    Greed does NOT know borders.

    I recommend against submitting papers to all of these journals and conferences.

     

    Hat tip: Alison Chan, Md. Mohsin, and many others.

     



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    MedCrave logo

    It’s not research that you will be stepping in.

    A highly questionable publisher with the silly name “MedCrave” launched in April, 2014. I have added it to my list of questionable journals and recommend against joining their editorial boards and against submitting papers. This publisher appears to be a new brand created by OMICS Publishing Group of Hyderabad, India. 

    There is nothing on the website itself that directly connects MedCrave to OMICS, but I see these telltale signs that this is an OMICS operation:

    • The look and feel of the MedCrave website matches that of OMICS
    • Most of MedCrave’s 20 journals have little content except editorials, opinion pieces, and “short articles.” The publisher expertly recruits these easy articles from ranking academics and then uses the editorials and names and pictures of the academics to attract more articles.
    • MedCrave calls itself “MedCrave Group” just like OMICS calls itself “OMICS Group”
    • Like OMICS, MedCrave uses LinkedIn to connect with researchers and solicit papers and their accompanying fees.

    One of the identities that MedCrave has created on LinkedIn is “Mary Thompson,” and in its spam it has used “Helen White.” The headquarters location of MedCrave is listed as this:

    MedCrave contact information

    This address makes it appear to be U.S.-based.

    If you look at this address in Google Maps, you’ll see that it is a residence. There’s no street view in this neighborhood, but the aerial view shows houses. Thus a medical publisher with twenty journals is being run out of a house.

    MedCrave

    The scholarly publishing quarter of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

    (I actually think the address is not the true headquarters; I think this operation is being run out of Hyderabad, India.)

    Finally, I found the publisher’s FAQ to be strange and poorly written:

    MedCrave FAQ blunders

    Certain awards?  Journals I submit?

    In the first question, it is clear they are trying to entice potential editorial board members by promising “certain awards,” and in the second, they are confusing the word journals with articles.

    This operation is non-transparent and deceptive. I recommend that scholars not conduct any business with MedCrave.

    Appendix: List of MedCrave journals as of 2014-06-01:

    1. Advances in Obesity, Weight Management & Control
    2. Advances in Plants & Agriculture Research
    3. Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Open Access
    4. Journal of Anesthesia & Critical Care: Open Access
    5. Journal of Cancer Prevention & Current Research
    6. Journal of Cardiology & Current Research
    7. Journal of Dairy, Veterinary & Animal Research
    8. Journal of Dental Health, Oral Disorders & Therapy
    9. Journal of Diabetes, Metabolic Disorders & Control
    10. Journal of Human Virology & Retrovirology
    11. Journal of Investigative Genomics
    12. Journal of Microbiology & Experimentation
    13. Journal of Neurology & Stroke
    14. Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering
    15. Journal of Pediatrics & Neonatal Care
    16. Journal of Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry
    17. MOJ Cell Science and Report
    18. MOJ Immunology
    19. MOJ Orthopedics & Rheumatology
    20. MOJ Proteomics & Bioinformatics

     

     

     



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  • 06/10/14--08:08: De Gruyter Journal Hijacked
  • Chemical and Process Engineering (suspect)

    The hijacked version of the journal.

    Chemical and Process Engineering is a scholarly journal published by the German company De Gruyter for the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). A duplicate website has recently appeared for the journal, and it looks like another case of journal hijacking.

    Chemical and Process Engineering

    The authentic version of the journal.

    The duplicate website does not use volume numbers; it uses years instead. Both websites only have content going back to 2011, though the journal, a quarterly, is currently publishing volume 35.

    I could not find any article processing charge information on the legitimate journal’s website and at first assumed there were none. An email I received from the editor, Dr. A.K. Biń,  confirmed the hijacking and stated “We have been trying to charge ca. 100 euro per publishing sheet – equivalent to ca. 6 pages of a manuscript.” There are also page fees for figures.

    The suspect website has this statement about article processing charges:

    Starting from no. 3/2012 of Chemical and Process Engineering, a principle of publishing articles against payment is introduced, assuming non-profit making editorial office. According to the principle, either authors or institutions employing them, will have to cover the expenses amounting to 500 PLN or 100 € for each publishing sheet.

    This may have been translated using a machine translator. The suspect website also uses boastful language to entice article submissions. Referring to the journal as CHPE, it says,

    CHPE journal is the world’s most highly cited interdisciplinary science journal, according to the 2012 Journal Citation Reports Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013). Its Impact Factor is 0.394.

    How does one stop journal hijacking? Now,  in addition to predatory publishers, researchers need to be aware of journal hijackings and misleading metrics. The days of innocence in scholarly communication are past.

    Hat tip: Dr. Mehrdad Jalalian

    Update:

    I just learned about this hijacking of a Colombian journal:

     

     



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