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Critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing

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    Intellectual Consortium of Drug Discovery & Technology Development Incorporation

    Strange name for a publisher.

    The open-access publisher Intellectual Consortium of Drug Discovery & Technology Development Incorporation (ICDTD) is based in — you guessed it — Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

    ICDTD is a bizarre and low-quality publisher with three broad-focused journals:

    Journal of Applied Pharmacy
    Journal of Applied Molecular Cell Biology
    Canadian Journal of Applied Sciences

     These journals represent academic fields already saturated with hundreds of meager open-access journals.

    Like many open-access publishers, this one stands out for the prominent editing, idiomatic, and grammatical errors present on its website. We particularly liked this one:

    But they're unreadable.

    But they’re unreadable.

    The headline probably should say, “Most read articles.” In fact, few of the articles from this publisher are readable. I suspect most were rejected elsewhere and are published here as a last resort.

    Regarding this publisher’s Journal of Applied Pharmacy, I am concerned that the editorial board members may lack the experience and credentials required to serve on a scholarly journal editorial board. In fact, two of them are clerks at drug store chains in two western provinces, according to the publisher:

    Part-time pharmacy clerks and scholarly journal editors.

    Part-time pharmacy clerks and scholarly journal editors.

    The web page for the publisher’s third journal, the Canadian Journal of Applied Sciences is branded differently and, like many Canadian open-access journals, is based in Pakistan.

    Here is a screenshot of its main contact information:

    Maybe Sargodha is in Saskatchewan?

    Maybe Sargodha is in Saskatchewan?

    I didn’t see any explanation of why this third journal is published on a different platform (it’s actually a blog platform) or why it’s based in Sargodha, Pakistan instead of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

     

    Hat tip: Tom S.

     



    denverjeffreyIntellectual Consortium of Drug Discovery & Technology Development IncorporationBut they're unreadable.Part-time pharmacy clerks and scholarly journal editors.Maybe Sargodha is in Saskatchewan?denverjeffreyIntellectual Consortium of Drug Discovery & Technology Development IncorporationBut they're unreadable.Part-time pharmacy clerks and scholarly journal editors.Maybe Sargodha is in Saskatchewan?

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    Withdrawal fee

    Legitimate scholarly publishers do not charge withdrawal fees.

    Hyderabad, India-based OMICS Group has found a new and likely lucrative revenue source — charging authors to withdraw their submissions to the publisher’s many journals.

    OMICS Group regularly sends out millions of spam emails to thousands of researchers. In its spam, it generally only mentions the particular journal title the spam email is soliciting for, avoiding mentioning the now stigmatized name of the publisher.

    This strategy is — unfortunately — often successful, for researchers are busy and often lack time to check the publisher’s legitimacy. Moreover, OMICS Group has many journal titles that are very similar or close to the titles of reputable journals.

    Here is a copy of a recent email from OMICS Group in response to a researcher requesting withdrawal:

    From: Joseph G [mailto:authorproof-openaccess@omicsonline.com]
    Sent: Thursday, 19 March 2015 7:51 PM
    To: [Redacted
    Subject: [Redacted]_Publication Withdrawal
    Importance: High

    Dear Dr. [Redacted],

    Greetings from OMICS International !!!

    We discussed with our management and humbly inform you that we agreed to withdraw your article.

    We processed your article starting from quality Peer review process to QC, to xml and pdf conversion due to which the minimum processing fee should be paid.

    You are requested to pay the minimum processing charges of $419.

    We will withdraw your article as soon as possible.

    Thanks & regards

    Joseph G

    OMICS International

    Charging a withdrawal fee is non-standard in the scholarly publishing industry. Sometimes, authors find mistakes in their works after submission and need to withdraw the paper to correct them before submitting the paper again.

    I think such a fee is unethical, and it disincentivizes the making of corrections to the article.

    If you submit an article to a publisher in response to a spam email you receive, please verify the publisher. If the publisher is OMICS Group or one of its many brands, I strongly advise you not to submit your work.



    denverjeffreyWithdrawal feedenverjeffreyWithdrawal fee

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    Sanford Inter Science Press

    Another one to avoid.

    A new open-access scholarly publisher — Sanford Inter Science Press — launched recently with three journals. The journals use an old predatory publisher trick — they lift old articles from the internet and re-publish them using fake author names and affiliations.

    This publisher launched with these three broad-scoped journals:

    Journal of Machine Intelligence
    Journal of Wireless Communications
    Journal of Software Engineering: Theories and Practices

    The publisher’s “contact” page does not list any physical location, but its phone number, +1 (410) 989-3424, indicates Baltimore, Maryland. I think that the press has been set up for Iranians to get easy publishing in international journals, which they then count for academic credit.

    No new open-access publisher likes to start up with empty journals. Instead, they want to appear successful, full of scholarly articles, articles that serve to attract new submissions and their accompanying author fees.

    Bogus article

    Originaly published: 1997.

    So, here’s an example. The article entitled, “An Interactive System for Perception of 3D Models as 2D Images” is lifted from articles published earlier and published open-access on the internet.

    The lifted article appears in volume 1, number 1 of this publisher’s Journal of Machine Intelligence. I had to register and create an account to access the article, so it’s technically not open-access.

    Much of the text that appears in the article originally appeared in this 1997 study, “Rendering Drawings for Interactive Haptic Perception,” by Martin Kurze.

    Also, there is no “Institute of Computer Science” at Ohio University, and the authors’ names, A. Chandra and P. Fletcher, are invented.

    At this time, the journal’s “Editorial Team” page has no names on it:

    Empty editorial board

    No one’s home.

    I find Sanford Inter Science Press to be a completely bogus operation. All honest researchers should avoid this completely counterfeit open-access publisher.



    denverjeffreySanford Inter Science PressBogus articleEmpty editorial boarddenverjeffreySanford Inter Science PressBogus articleEmpty editorial board

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    Betty Jones & Sisters Publishing

    Attention grabbing.

    Betty Jones & Sisters Publishing — a scholarly open-access publisher — launched recently with two journals. The unconventional name of this publisher isn’t the only strange thing about it.

    The publisher does not explain its name, and there’s no description of Betty Jones or her supposed sisters. I think the name was contrived just to draw attention to the outfit.

    The two journals are Journal of Mathematical Sciences and Journal of Earth Sciences. These are broad-scoped journals that cover fields already saturated with dozens of open-access journals. Additional journals are not needed in these fields and are mere noise.

    Spam emails sent out by this publisher are signed by “Thomas Johnson,” not by Betty or any of her sisters. The publisher claims it’s based at 442 Court Street in Elko, Nevada, but a look at Google Maps street view for this address shows a small building that houses a law firm.

    Betty Jones & Sisters Publishing

    Worthless journals from a worthless publisher.

    This is yet another amateurish, scholarly open-access publisher, one of many hundreds that are open for business today.

    If the publisher’s strategy is to stand out and attract attention by means of the ridiculous name, I think the strategy will fail, for few respectable researchers will want to publish in journals from a publisher with such a silly and un-explained name.

    Strangely, though, the Journal of Mathematical Sciences has published four issues so far. Could publishers like this one really herald the future of scholarly publishing?

     

    Hat tip: An anonymous person who received a spam email from Betty.



    denverjeffreyBetty Jones & Sisters Publishing Betty Jones & Sisters PublishingdenverjeffreyBetty Jones & Sisters Publishing Betty Jones & Sisters Publishing

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    Journal of Chest

    Journal of Rubbish

    The Journal of Chest is a new medical journal published by the OMICS-Group-owned Insight Medical Publishing (ImedPub). The journal is competing in a sleazy way with the legitimate and respected medical journal CHEST, published since 1935 by the American College of Chest Physicians.

    Officials from the authentic CHEST Journal are sending out emails warning authors and editorial board members of this new OMICS Groups journal and its predatory tactics. Here is a selection from one of the messages:

    We are writing to you to make you aware that an independent, unaffiliated company called “iMedPub” is soliciting our editors, authors, and reviewers to join the editorial board of the “Journal of Chest” as well as to submit manuscripts to the “Journal of Chest.” It is causing a great deal of confusion because of the similarity between the names of our journal.

    The “Journal of Chest” has no affiliation with or endorsement from CHEST. They are an independent commercial publishing company looking to start a new journal that is very similar in name to ours.

    Note that the phrase Journal of Chest is not idiomatic in English. OMICS Group regularly launches new journals with titles similar to established and respected journals, hoping to trick authors into submitting manuscripts into their low-quality counterpart journals.

    As stated earlier, the Journal of Chest is published by the OMICS-Group-owned Insight Medical Publishing (ImedPub). There is some evidence that OMICS Group acquired this imprint from a publisher called iMed.Pub (which uses the tag line “The international medical publisher”) last year.

    Insight Medical Publishing (ImedPub)

    This imprint is owned by the very dangerous publisher OMICS Group.

    OMICS Group has been soliciting and buying many established journals over the past couple years, expanding its operations and buying journals included listed in respected databases and indexes in order to make its entire operation appear more legitimate.

    iMed.Pub is also included on my list, and this publisher made the news recently because one of its journals, International Archives of Medicine, ran an article based on a fake study of the benefits of chocolate.

    The Journal of Chest is a fake and predatory journal, and I recommend that all researchers not submit papers to it or the hundreds of other journals published by OMICS Group.



    denverjeffreyJournal of ChestInsight Medical Publishing (ImedPub)denverjeffreyJournal of ChestInsight Medical Publishing (ImedPub)

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    International Journal of Review in Life Sciences

    And it really does have a connection to Thomson Reuters.

    The International Journal of Review in Life Sciences (IJRLS) has been hijacked. The victim journal is published by India-based Pharmascope, a publisher included on my list. So this is a case of a predatory journal being hijacked.

    Original journal: http://pharmascope.org/ijrls/
    Hijacked journal: http://www.ijrls.com/

    Why on earth would anyone hijack a predatory or low quality journal? Why not hijack a higher-quality journal?

    The masthead of the original journal is shown in the image above. Note that the journal uses a picture to proclaim its loose association with Thomson Reuters, the company that calculates the impact factor, even though this journal has no impact factor. It is, rather curiously, indexed in the Thomson Reuters database Zoological Record, as are many predatory journals.

    The image also shows a warning from the original journal about its fake counterpart (See “Latest news,” left).

    International Journal of Review in Life Sciences

    The hijacked version of the journal.

    One email correspondent reported to me that the hijacked journal accepted his paper for publication three hours after he submitted it. He emailed me suspecting that something wasn’t right.

    The title used by both journals is ungrammatical and unidiomatic in English. Both journals use the same ISSN, 2231-2935, and this is what makes it a hijacking. It is not uncommon for new predatory journals to launch with duplicate titles.

    I recommend that researchers avoid submitting papers to all journals published by Pharmascope, including both their original and hijacked versions.



    denverjeffreyInternational Journal of Review in Life SciencesInternational Journal of Review in Life SciencesdenverjeffreyInternational Journal of Review in Life SciencesInternational Journal of Review in Life Sciences

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    Free Kindle Paperwhite with every article submission!

    Free Kindle Paperwhite with every article submission!

    Open-access publisher IORE International is offering authors a free Kindle Paperwhite for every paper they submit to one of the publisher’s eleven journals.

    IORE International claims to be based in an office in London’s Canary Wharf, a claim I doubt. A spam email from the publisher soliciting new editorial board members is signed “Caroline Watson,” a name I suspect is contrived. I don’t know the publisher’s true headquarters location.

    IORE International

    Scholarly Publishing gimmick

    The publisher’s journals all are broad in scope and cover fields already saturated with open-access journals. At the time of this writing, none of the journals has any editorial board members listed, so the publishing process ought to be fast and easy.

    Journal of Diabetic Research

    They are accepting submissions, but all the editorial boards are empty.

    I suspect that all the pictures used on the website and on the journal cover images are pirated. Like the pictures on other low-quality, OA publisher websites, the ones here have distorted aspect ratios, a sign of sloppy work.

    I strongly doubt that this publisher will make good on its free Kindle offer. It’s sad that gold open-access is now resorting to such debased marketing techniques.

    Hat tip: Dr. Elisabeth Bik

    Appendix: List of IORE International journals as of 2015-06-19

    1. e Journal of Gastroenterology
    2. Iore Journal of Addiction & Therapy
    3. Iore Journal of Agro and Crop Science
    4. Iore Journal of Bioinformatics and computational Biology
    5. Iore Journal of Cancer
    6. Iore journal of Environmental Science
    7. Iore Journal of Genetics
    8. Iore Journal of Microbiology
    9. Journal of Diabetic Research
    10. Journal of Food and Nutrition
    11. Journal of Immunology


    denverjeffreyFree Kindle Paperwhite with every article submission!IORE InternationalJournal of Diabetic ResearchdenverjeffreyFree Kindle Paperwhite with every article submission!IORE InternationalJournal of Diabetic Research

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    The International Association for Information, Culture, Human and Industry Technology

    The International Association for Information, Culture, Human and Industry Technology — please avoid

    An anonymous researcher in Eastern Europe submitted a contrived and completely bogus scholarly manuscript to an open-access publisher based in Asia. The publisher quickly completed a fake peer review, accepted the submission, and invoiced the researcher for the author fees.

    To start, here’s a little information about the publisher. It is apparently based in South Korea, and it goes by several names:

    It appears the publisher is slowly abandoning the website that uses its original name — AICIT — and moving the content and journals to the third one named above, the Convergence Information Society, whatever that name means.

    Convergence Information Society logo

    Convergence? Sounds deeply intellectual.

    Advanced Information Sciences and Service Sciences logo

    The journal that accepted the bogus paper.

    The submitted article is total scientific nonsense. Its title is “PHY-MAC Detection and Prevention from Distributed Attacks in WiMAX P2P and Infrastructure Networks.” It was submitted to, and accepted in, the journal Advanced Information Sciences and Service Sciences.

    PHY-MAC Detection and Prevention from Distributed Attacks in WiMAX P2P and Infrastructure Networks

    The sting article.

    Franz Ko

    The man behind the operation.

    The Editor-in-Chief of the journal and apparent publisher is Franz I. S. Ko, Ph.D., and he appears to be the EiC or co-EiC on most of the journals his firm publishes. I would say this makes him a busy man, but because the journals likely provide the same peer review results for every article they publish, he’s likely actually not so busy.

    In fact, here is a selection from the peer review report the researcher received:

    Expected Publication Date: Your accepted paper will be published in 3 – 4 months (Fast-Track: 1 – 2 months) after completing the publication process (according to publication schedule)
    If an author want to accelerate the publication process, please follow the submission and publication process strictly.

    You can find final review result for your article below.

    Title: PHY-MAC Detection and Prevention from Distributed Attacks in WiMAX P2P and Infrastructure Networks
    Authors: Researcher Ramis Mlekar,
    Country: The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
    Final Decision (Accept/Reject): Accept

    == Comments ==

    Information for the Contribution:
    1. Writing Skill and Quality (0-10): 9
    2. Quality of content (0-10): 8
    3. Fitness of title (0-10): 9
    4. Significance for theory or practice (0-10): 8
    5. Contribution and Originality (0-10): 9
    6. Level of Innovation (0-10): 8
    7. Quality of presentation (0-10): 9
    8. Ripple effect to other authors (0-10): 9
    9. Decisive overall recommendation (0-10): 9

    The paper is being reasonably well written and discussing a relevant content for journal.
    I believe that this research is worth publishing.

    The author(s) of the manuscript have presented an algorithm for detection the PHY-MAC from the malicious behavior. The illustration is fine and clear. It would be more useful for readers if the authors give more compared discussions with the other available methods.

    These last two short paragraphs are the incompetent reports from each of the two “peer reviewers.” I think that many other authors have received similarly-worded peer review reports.

    While I don’t recommend that researchers carry out sting operations with scholarly publishers (this is better left to gonzo journalists), I do acknowledge that this particular sting as reported to me provided valuable information.

    And finally, I do recommend that researchers not submit any articles to the Advanced Institute of Convergence Information Technology (AICIT) under any name it uses, including the Convergence Information Society.



    denverjeffreyThe International Association for Information, Culture, Human and Industry Technology Convergence Information Society logoAdvanced Information Sciences and Service Sciences logoPHY-MAC Detection and Prevention from Distributed Attacks in WiMAX P2P and Infrastructure NetworksFranz KodenverjeffreyThe International Association for Information, Culture, Human and Industry Technology Convergence Information Society logoAdvanced Information Sciences and Service Sciences logoPHY-MAC Detection and Prevention from Distributed Attacks in WiMAX P2P and Infrastructure NetworksFranz Ko

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    Global Academic Network

    Warning: Another low-quality, profit-seeking conference organizer.

    Here’s another mysterious, academic conference organizing company that I think everyone should avoid: Global Academic Network. It appears to be a for-profit company that exploits the need of researchers to present their work at conferences and exploits the need to take university-funded vacations.

    The company lists offices in London and New York, but I doubt these are its real business locations. Its domain name registration may point to Cyprus or Poland:

    Name: Michal Pleban
    Organisation: Michau Enterprises, Limited
    Language: en
    Phone: +357.22761649
    Fax: +357.22767543

    Global Academic Network-Future conferences

    Upcoming conferences to avoid.

    They organize conferences in major cities, usually paying a university to let them hold the conference on their campus, then suggesting that the university may be a co-sponsor of the conference.

    Indeed, the website has a scrolling bar with university logos, under the headline, “Our Global Partners”:

    Global Academic Network-Our partners

    But do they know they are your partners?

    The firm also displays a “logo farm” of emblems from many organizations. They include some legitimate companies, but they also include some fake impact factor companies:

    Global Academic Network-Logo farm

    Some good … some bad.

    Registration for the congresses is $500, but there is a discount for early registration. The proceedings and abstracts are published on the website. The submission deadlines are routinely extended, and I have evidence that no real peer review is done on the submissions.

    Global Academic Network is not really a network. It is a profit-seeking company that holds bottom-tier conferences in major world cities.

    I recommend that researchers prefer conferences organized by legitimate scholarly societies. Global Academic Network is not transparent. It is a mystery company that appears to only want to make easy money from researchers.



    denverjeffreyGlobal Academic NetworkGlobal Academic Network-Future conferencesGlobal Academic Network-Our partnersGlobal Academic Network-Logo farmdenverjeffreyGlobal Academic NetworkGlobal Academic Network-Future conferencesGlobal Academic Network-Our partnersGlobal Academic Network-Logo farm

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    Dr. Abdel Rahman M. Al-Tawaha

    No longer at McGill.

    An alumnus of McGill University in Montréal, Québec — Abdel Rahman M. Al-Tawaha — is using his McGill University email account to conduct business as an open-access publisher. He is associated with at least three low-quality or predatory publishers in the Middle East and South Asia and uses his McGill affiliation to make the publishing operations appear connected to or affiliated with the university and therefore more legitimate than they really are.

    It appears that Al-Tawaha is really now based at Jordan’s Al-Hussein Bin Talal University.

    Here is an example of his McGill University email address in use:

    On Thursday, June 18, 2015 4:27 PM, Abdel Rahman Al-Tawaha <abdel.al-tawaha@mail.mcgill.ca> wrote:

    Dear [Redacted]

    On behalf of the ISLAMIC WORLD Network for Environmental Science and Technology (IWNEST Publisher), Jordan team,I send you my best wishes and respect, I would like to inform you that we are interested to register our Journals in oaji.net

    He also exclusively uses a McGill affiliation and contact information on the websites of several predatory open-access publishers he is affiliated with:

    His IDOSI page: = http://www.idosi.org/wjas/agriacv503a.htm
    His ISISnet page = http://www.isisn.org/editorial%20board%20br.htm

    As the email above indicates, he is also associated with IWNEST Publisher. His formal affiliation with McGill apparently ended in 2006, when he graduated.

    All three of the above publishers are included on my list.

    Abdel Rahman M. Al-Tawaha IDOSI

    His IDOSI profile.

    Abdel Rahman M. Al-Tawaha ISIS

    His Innovative Scientific Information & Services Network (ISISnet) profile.

    It’s clear that Al-Tawaha is exploiting his former association with McGill University and using his McGill alumni email to make the low-quality journals he associates with appear more legitimate than they actually are.

    This strategy may be used to increase submissions to the journal. The journals use the gold (author pays) open-access model, so more submissions means more revenue for the publisher.



    denverjeffreyDr. Abdel Rahman M. Al-TawahaAbdel Rahman M. Al-Tawaha IDOSIAbdel Rahman M. Al-Tawaha ISISdenverjeffreyDr. Abdel Rahman M. Al-TawahaAbdel Rahman M. Al-Tawaha IDOSIAbdel Rahman M. Al-Tawaha ISIS

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    Roger Brumback

    The researcher listed as the editor has been dead for two years.

    The American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine currently lists a doctor murdered in 2013 as its Editor-in-Chief.

    The journal is published by Science and Education Publishing Co. Ltd., more commonly referred to as Science and Education or simply Scipub. Its URL is http://www.sciepub.com/portal/Home.

    The murdered editor is Dr. Roger Brumback, who was killed in 2013. Former medical resident Dr. Anthony Garcia stands accused of killing Dr. Brumback, his wife and two others and is scheduled to face trial in September, 2015, according to news reports.

    Science and Education Publishing

    Worthless publisher.

    It is unclear whether Dr. Brumback agreed to serve as the journal’s Editor-in-Chief or whether the publisher added his name without his knowledge or permission, a common practice among predatory journals.

    The journal began publishing in 2013, the year Dr. Brumback was murdered.

    The publisher, Science and Education, purports to be headquartered in the United States state of Delaware, at an address that corresponds to a small apartment. I believe it is really operated from another country, but I don’t know which one.

    I wrote a blog post about this publisher when it first appeared, in November, 2012. This publisher is exploiting the open-access publishing model only to earn easy money from researchers and should be avoided.

    Hat tip: Dr John Prowle



    denverjeffreyRoger BrumbackScience and Education PublishingdenverjeffreyRoger BrumbackScience and Education Publishing

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    Applied Research Journal

    Junk journal

    SCIgen is a free, web-based computer program that instantly creates a fake scholarly article. An Iran-based journal, Applied Research Journal, recently accepted and published a fake article created by SCIgen.

    Many scholarly journals — including both open-access and subscription ones — have mistakenly or negligently accepted and published SCIgen articles. But most of them have learned their lesson and now more carefully scrutinize the submissions they receive.

    The fake article is entitled, “Decoupling Red-Black Trees from IPV6 in the Producer-Consumer Problem.” The author-fee for Applied Research Journal is only thirty-five dollars, so it’s an ideal journal for someone wanting to easily, quickly and cheaply publish a bogus article like this one.

    A computer-generated scholarly article.

    A computer-generated scholarly article.

    The journal’s editor is Hossein Farahani of Islamic Azad University. A monthly, the journal published its first issue in March of this year. Its June issue has 19 articles, evidence that you can earn about seven hundred dollars a month by creating a fake journal and accepting everything that’s submitted.

    Journal Hijackings Continue

    On another note, I learned recently about these three cases of journal hijackings:

    Tekstil Original | Hijacked
    Hermès Original | Hijacked
    Verifiche: Rivista di scienze umane Original | Hijacked

    I have a more complete list of hijacked journals here.

    Hat tip: Dr. Cyril Labbé



    denverjeffreyApplied Research JournalA computer-generated scholarly article.denverjeffreyApplied Research JournalA computer-generated scholarly article.

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    iHOPE Conference

    Another conference from a Taiwanese organizer, one of many.

    There’s a lot of money to be made in the scholarly-conference organizing business in Asia these days. These are not conferences organized by scholarly societies. Instead, they are conferences organized by revenue-seeking companies that want to exploit researchers’ need to build their vitas with conference presentations and papers in the published proceedings or affiliated journals. Another one of these conference organizers is the generically-named International Academy Institute (IAI).

    Here are some of the typical characteristics of the conferences, with examples from IAI:

    • They are broad in coverage and typically combine several fields into one conference (for example, “The 2015 International Hokkaido Forum- Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Education”).
    • They have a fast review process (for example, “Notification of acceptance/rejection Two weeks after submission”).
    • On its website, the International Academy Institute claims to be non-profit, but it gives no registration number.
    • They offer research awards as bait to get people to register (For example, “5-10% of the accepted papers will be selected as Best Papers. The Best Papers list will be announced in the conference program.” From here.).
    • They organize multiple conferences at the same place and time. (For example, on July 22-24, the International Academy Institute will simultaneously be holding four conferences at Waseda University, one of Japan’s top private universities: 1, 2, 3, 4. Professor Hajime Tozaki is listed as the keynote speaker for all four conferences.)

    Like one other Taiwan-based travel agency / scholarly conference organizers, this one also funnels its conference papers to predatory journals.

    For example, on the “Publications” page of the 2015 International Hokkaido Forum—Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Education, it says this:

    All registered manuscripts will be published in the Proceedings of the 2015 International Hokkaido Forum- Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Education. Competitive papers will be recommended for fast-track reviews to the following Journals.

    And the two journals are:

    Journal of Social Science

    Broad-scope journals from a highly-questionable publisher. Note the typo: “Social Science” should be “Social Sciences”.

    The two  journals above are:

    Journal of Social Sciences (ISSN 1549-3652)
    Current Research in Psychology (ISSN 1949-0178)

    Both journals are published by the mysterious publisher named Science Publications, which is included on my list of questionable publishers, and Science Publications is known for publishing pseudo-science.

    International Journal of Business and Information (IJBI)

    See the typo?

    The International Academy Institute is a subsidiary of the International Business Academics Consortium (國際商學策進會), and it publishes its own journal, the International Journal of Business and Information (IJBI), but  I cannot find an ISSN for it.

    One additional conference organizer I want to examine is called Social Science.

    Legitimate scholarly societies are losing ground to the current profusion of questionable, easy-acceptance conferences that are appearing all over the place.



    denverjeffreyiHOPE ConferenceJournal of Social ScienceInternational Journal of Business and Information (IJBI)denverjeffreyiHOPE ConferenceJournal of Social ScienceInternational Journal of Business and Information (IJBI)

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    Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering

    Journal of easy acceptance.

    First published in 1996, the Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering is one of the oldest open-access journals, but I think it has gone bad. The journal is indexed in Ei Compendex, an Engineering abstracting and indexing service (or database), it has easy acceptance, and the author fee is only $250. Significantly, however, over 95% of the published papers come from one country.

    389 articles

    389 articles so far in 2015.

    The journal really seems to be a one-man operation, and that man is the editor-in-chief, Mete Öner. He’s a professor at Oklahoma State University, a place I used to know.

    His journal is publishing two issues a month, and each issue includes around 30 articles. At $250 per article, (250 x 60), that’s $15,000 per month in revenue. The journal also requires that authors surrender their copyright.

    To pay the author fees, authors can send checks to what appears to be Öner’s house in Stillwater, or they can wire the money to a bank there.

    We happily accept checks ...

    We happily accept checks …

    As of this writing (July 9, 2015) the journal has published 389 articles in 2015. It is currently up to page 6,023 for volume 20, which corresponds to 2015. The issues come out about twice a month; the current issue is number 14 of 2015.

    Let’s see, 389 articles x $250 author fee = $97,250. Not bad, and the year’s only half over.

    Most all the authors (over 95%) are from China, with a few from Brazil and other countries. When there is little geographical diversity among a journal’s authors, something is wrong. Why have western authors essentially abandoned this journal? For many in China, publishing an article in a Compendex-indexed journal is the “gold” standard and translates into monetary rewards from the government and academic advancement.

    The Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering has the magical combination (cheap + fast + easy acceptance) and news of this has clearly spread in China. Here, a scholarly author can quickly, easily and cheaply get a publication in an Ei Compendex-indexed journal.

    I am wondering if a paper mill in China is brokering the papers.

    This journal has apparently gone bad, gone to the dark side of scholarly publishing. It is at risk of being removed from the prestigious indexes that now include it. If or when that happens, all the authors who paid to publish here will not be getting what they paid for.

    Publishing in indexed, easy-acceptance journals can be risky.



    denverjeffreyElectronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering389 articlesWe happily accept checks ...denverjeffreyElectronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering389 articlesWe happily accept checks ...

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    Coercive Citation Letters.

    Coercive Citation Letters.

    There’s a major, China-based scholarly society journal that has hidden author fees, but the fees will be refunded if authors cite their papers six times within the two years after they’re published, according to emails from the publisher. This is an example of coercive citation.

    The journal is Chinese Chemical Letters, the official organ of the Chinese Chemical Society. Here’s the story:

    I got an email from two researchers in Iran. They successfully submitted a paper to the journal, but upon accepting the paper, the journal informed them they would have to pay an author fee of $500.

    The authors were surprised because the journal’s website makes no mention of any author fee. It’s not an open-access journal — it’s a subscription journal.

    Lacking funds to pay the fee, the Iranian authors emailed the Chinese Chemical Letters editorial office and asked to withdraw the submission. Then they received a surprise.

    The editorial office responded with this message:

    From: 中国化学快报 <cclbj@imm.ac.cn>;
    To: Zahra Azizi <ZahraAzizi@yahoo.com>;
    Subject: 答复: Author query CCLET CCLET-D-15-00032
    Sent: Mon, Mar 23, 2015 12:49:52 AM
    Dear Zahra Azizi,

    If the manuscript has been cited more than six times (including six times) within two years after publication, this fee will be waived upon a request from the principal author (providing the cited information in detail.

    So please make your article be cited more times, we can waive the fee.

    Editorial office of CCL

    [The email seems to mix up the terms waived and refunded.]

    So, this evidence shows the journal is providing a monetary incentive to authors to subsequently cite their articles published in Chinese Chemical Letters, citations that would likely help boost the journal’s impact factor.

    This is an example of coercive citation. I think it is unethical because it perverts the scholarly practice of citing earlier research.

    To confirm the policy, I sent an email to the journal asking how much it costs to publish there. I received a reply the next day that matches the message the Iranian scholars received.

    The journal’s current impact factor is 1.587, but I call this metric into question. It may have been artificially elevated by the journal’s practice of coercive citation.

    The Chinese Chemical Society should apologize to scholars for this unethical practice and terminate it immediately. If the journal charges an author fee, the fee should be prominently stated on its website.



    denverjeffreyCoercive Citation Letters.denverjeffreyCoercive Citation Letters.

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    Global Advanced Research Journals

    Their journals are stranger than their carrot and beet cultivation methods.

    Here’s a publisher that all researchers should avoid: Global Advanced Research Journals. This firm publishes 29 broad journals, requires copyright transfer from authors, and charges around $450-$500 to publish an article.

    On its ‘contact us‘ page, the publisher does not state any headquarters location (evidence of lack of transparency), but the internet domain name registration indicates a Nigeria base:

    Registrant Name:Save Omene
    Registrant Organization:Global Advanced Research Journals
    Registrant Street: Sapele
    Registrant City:Sapele
    Registrant State/Province:NA
    Registrant Postal Code:1111
    Registrant Country:NG

    Global Advanced Research Journal of Microbiology

    Bogus impact factor. Don’t be fooled.

    Several of the journals claim to have ISI impact factors, but a deeper analysis shows deception. For instance, the publisher’s Global Advanced Research Journal of Microbiology (GARJM) claims “Impact Factor (ISI) is 0.963.”

    A closer look, however, reveals that the metric is supplied by the fake impact factor company called International Scientific Indexing. The intent here is to trick researchers into believing the journal has earned a legitimate impact factor from Thomson Reuters / ISI. Several additional journals from this publisher make similar false impact factor claims.

    Looking at this publisher’s website, the first thing one notices is the extensive use of pictures to illustrate it, pictures that I think are all likely pirated. The photos aim to make the publisher look legitimate. The page that is supposed to include the publisher’s privacy policy is empty.

    Global Advanced Research Journal of Phamacy and Phamacology

    Prominent errors.

    Overall, the website is unprofessional and contains prominent editing errors and unidiomatic and ungrammatical language. The mission of this publisher is to make as much easy money as quickly as possible rather than to provide a means for scholarly communication.

    Some of the journals are way behind their publishing schedule. For example, the publisher’s Global Advanced Research Journal of Peace, Gender and Development Studies hasn’t published any articles since 2013. The publisher is currently engaging in a spamming campaign to attract article submissions.

    Conclusion: All honest researchers should blacklist this low-quality and deceptive publisher. It is meant only as a money-making operation for its owner. There are many better places to publish your work than Global Advanced Research Journals.

    Appendix: List of Global Advanced Research Journals titles as of 2015-07-18:

    1. Global Advanced Research Journal of African Studies and Development (GARJASD)
    2. Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science
    3. Global Advanced Research Journal of Arts and Humanities (GARJAH)
    4. Global Advanced Research Journal of Biochemistry and Bioinfomatics [sic] (GARJBB)
    5. Global Advanced Research Journal of Biotechnology (GARJB)
    6. Global Advanced Research Journal of Chemistry Materials Science (GARJCMS)
    7. Global Advanced Research Journal of Criminology, Law and Conflict Resolution (GARJCLCR)
    8. Global Advanced Research Journal of Economics, Accounting and Finance (GARJEAF)
    9. Global Advanced Research Journal of Educational Research and Reviews (GARJERR)
    10. Global Advanced Research Journal of Engineering, Technology and Innovation (GARJETI)
    11. Global Advanced Research Journal of Environmental Science and Toxicology (GARJEST)
    12. Global Advanced Research Journal of Food Science and Technology (GARJFST)
    13. Global Advanced Research Journal of Geography and Regional Planning (GARJGRP)
    14. Global Advanced Research Journal of Geology and Mining Research (GARJGMR)
    15. Global Advanced Research Journal of Health, Safety and Physical Science (GARJHSPS)
    16. Global Advanced Research Journal of History, Political Science and International Relations (GARJHPSIR)
    17. Global Advanced Research Journal of Library, Information and Archival Studies (GARJLIAS)
    18. Global Advanced Research Journal of Management and Business Studies
    19. Global Advanced Research Journal of Medicinal Plants (GARJMP)
    20. Global Advanced Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences
    21. Global Advanced Research Journal of Microbiology (GARJM)
    22. Global Advanced Research Journal of Nursing and Midwifery (GARJNM)
    23. Global Advanced Research Journal of Peace, Gender and Development Studies (GARJPGDS)
    24. Global Advanced Research Journal of Petroleum and Gas Exploration Research (GARJPGER)
    25. Global Advanced Research Journal of Phamacy [sic] and Phamacology [sic] (GARJPP)
    26. Global Advanced Research Journal of Physical and Applied Sciences (GARJPAS)
    27. Global Advanced Research Journal of Plant Sciences (GARJPS)
    28. Global Advanced Research Journal of Scientific Research and Essays (GARJSRE)
    29. Global Advanced Research Journal of Social Science (GARJSS)


    denverjeffreyGlobal Advanced Research JournalsGlobal Advanced Research Journal of MicrobiologyGlobal Advanced Research Journal of Phamacy and PhamacologydenverjeffreyGlobal Advanced Research JournalsGlobal Advanced Research Journal of MicrobiologyGlobal Advanced Research Journal of Phamacy and Phamacology

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    Unified Journals

    Unified with low quality.

    There is someone in West Africa who creates a new scholarly open-access publisher every one or two weeks. Here is the latest one, Unified Journals.

    Unified Journals launched recently with 24 journals, a fleet startup. I don’t know who is behind the operation. There are many other publishers that have the same look and feel, use much of the same website text, and — apparently — originate in West Africa. Here are some examples:

    Access Journals
    Advanced Journals
    Ambit Journals
    Donnish Journals
    Horizon Journals
    Oceanic Journals
    Platinum Global Journals
    Scribesguild Journals
    Spring Journals
    Swift Journals

    This is only a partial list. What is the business strategy here? Will saturating the market with template-produced publishers — each with five to two dozen journals — eventually lead to profitability?

    The publishers all use the same publishing model, gold open-access. In other words, authors are charged a fee upon acceptance of their articles for publication.

    With these publishing operations, the journals typically have the name of the publisher incorporated into their title, such as the Unified Journal of Cancer Research. Most of the journal scopes are broad and duplicate the coverage of dozens or hundreds of existing open-access journals.

    How many cancer journals does the world need?

    Hat tip: Dr. Jaime Teixeira da Silva

    Appendix: List of Unified Journals titles as of 2015-07-24:

    1. Unified Journal of African Studies and Development (UJASD)
    2. Unified Journal of Agriculture and Food Science (UJAFS)
    3. Unified Journal of Business Administration and Management (UJBAM)
    4. Unified Journal of Cancer Research (UJCR)
    5. Unified Journal of Computer Science Research (UJCSR)
    6. Unified Journal of Economics and International Finance (UJEIF)
    7. Unified Journal of Educational Research and General Studies (UJERGS)
    8. Unified Journal of Engineering and Manufacturing Technology (UJEMT)
    9. Unified Journal of Environmental Science and Toxicology (UJEST)
    10. Unified Journal of Geography and Regional Planning (UJGRP)
    11. Unified Journal of Global Security Studies (UJGSS)
    12. Unified Journal of History and Culture (UJHC)
    13. Unified Journal of Law and Conflict Resolution (UJLCR)
    14. Unified Journal of Library and Information Science (UJLIS)
    15. Unified Journal of Media and Communication Studies (UJMCS)
    16. Unified Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences (UJMMS)
    17. Unified Journal of Microbiology (UJM)
    18. Unified Journal of Music and Dance (UJMD)
    19. Unified Journal of Nursing and Midwifery (UJNM)
    20. Unified Journal of Political Science and International Relations (UJPSIR)
    21. Unified Journal of Psychology and Counselling (UJPC)
    22. Unified Journal of Religious Studies (UJRS)
    23. Unified Journal of Sport and Health Science (UJSHS)
    24. Unified Journal of Zoology (UJZ)


    denverjeffreyUnified JournalsdenverjeffreyUnified Journals

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    Aspirans.com

    Brokerage house.

    Aspirans.com is an article broker. In other words, it’s a company that will arrange for you to publish articles in scholarly journals. All that’s required is a credit card.

    The company specializes in arranging the publishing of articles in journals that:

    1. Are indexed in Scopus, or,
    2. Have legitimate Thomson Reuters impact factors

    Aspirans.com seeks out and finds journals that meet these criteria and also offer easy acceptance of articles. They find these weakest links and provide authors the service of getting published there.

    The gold (author pays) open-access model has a conflict of interest. The more articles a gold open-access journal accepts and publishes, the more money it makes.

    There are thousands of journals in the Scopus database and thousands of journals with Thomson Reuters impact factors. Many are in both databases. Occasionally, some of the gold OA journals in these databases “go bad” and skimp on peer review so they can earn easy money from desperate authors.

    Article brokers like Aspirans.com specialize in finding these weakest-link journals and brokering the publication of articles in the journals.

    Here is one of those journals. It’s the European Journal of Science and Theology.

    European Journal of Science and Theology

    Easy Journal of Science and Theology

    I’ve learned of a connection between Aspirans.com and this journal, which is indexed in Scopus.

    If you need a publication in a Scopus-indexed journal, you can contact Aspirans and they will help you. I am told the fee is $600.

    Looking at some of the journal’s recent issues, one observes that they are large, full of articles, and many of the articles have no apparent connection to the journal’s focus, the intersection of science and theology.

    There are many out-of-scope articles published in the journal, evidence of a connection to an article broker. Here are some examples:

    Social Adaptation Features of Children in Foster Care
    National Profiles of Internet-Communication Results of Cross-National Cluster Analysis
    Urals and the Problem of ‘Eastern Ancestral Home’ Of Hungarians
    The Fortification of Settlements in Medieval Alania

    Recent issues of the journal show a healthy number of articles being published. Here is the data for volume 11 (2015):

    11.1 (February)    = 24
    11.2 (April)       = 18
    11.3 (June)        = 24
    11.4 (August)      = 24
    11.5 (October)     = 26

    The journal states that it will publish six issues per year, but it’s already published the August and October issues. That’s five issues this year, with five months to go.

    European Journal of Science and Theology is cryptic about its author fees, saying only, “Page charge: There is no charge per printed page.”

    Open-access journals, author payments, and the pressure to publish in indexed journals continue to bring much corruption to scholarly publishing.

    The best strategy for researchers is to develop and submit their article manuscripts themselves to high-quality, well-managed, truly peer-reviewed journals, following the journal’s instructions, using the other articles as examples, and utilizing their own language editor if needed.

    Brokers that promise to “fix” articles and submit them to the most suitable journal do it knowing that they can just make them look good visually and send them to weak-link or predatory “journals”, and so authors pay twice and earn no respect in their field.



    denverjeffreyAspirans.comEuropean Journal of Science and TheologydenverjeffreyAspirans.comEuropean Journal of Science and Theology

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    The Open Urology & Nephrology Journal

    Open to anything?

    An open-access publisher from the United Arab Emirates has published an article with a conflict-of-interest statement that itself may have a conflict of interest. Here’s the explanation.

    The publisher is Bentham Open, one of the open-access publishers on my earliest list of questionable OA publishers created about five years ago. Bentham Open publishes The Open Urology & Nephrology Journal, one of over one hundred low-quality journals in the firm’s portfolio.

    The article in question is “Gonadotoxic Effects of DBCP: A Historical Review and Current Concepts” by Kathleen Hwang, Michael L. Eisenberg, Rustin C. Walters, and Larry I. Lipshultz. It was published in 2013.

    DBCP is a pesticide, and the review article seems to question whether the compound is as harmful as earlier research has asserted, finding,

    Despite the lack of substantive scientific data indicating a causal relationship between testis failure and the agricultural application of DBCP, extensive litigation continued and extends even to the present day (p. 29).

    The article includes this conflict-of-interest statement:

    Conflict-of-interest statement

    Strangest CoI statement ever?

    I find this statement to be ambiguous and perhaps unprofessional. Scientific articles do not have personal “interests”.

    Is the statement purposefully written this way to shield the authors from not declaring any possible conflicts-of-interest? In other words, does this statement allow the authors to say, “We never said WE had no conflicts of interest”?

    A 2015 letter-to-the-editor by Susanna Bohme published in the journal takes the authors to task and states,

    There is little debate that DBCP is gonadotoxic in men. However, Hwang et al.’s interpretation of studies of exposed agricultural workers suggests that exposures in this population pose no important risk. The authors fail to adequately report the findings of the studies they consider, and omit other important scientific information (p. 56).

    The letter also discusses the ambiguous conflict-of-interest statement attached to the article, asserting that one of the authors does indeed have what may be a significant conflict of interest, as he served as an expert witness for the defense in lawsuits making DBCP damage claims. Despite the problems identified in the letter, no known relevant action has been taken by the authors.

    The journal charged the author of the letter, Dr. Bohme, an author fee to publish it.

    Were the authors using the easy acceptance that author-pays, scholarly journals offer to make the compound appear less harmful than it really is?

    Conclusion

    If someone has an interest in a compound and wants to make it appear more efficacious or safe than it really is, whether to sell it or to protect against lawsuits, dozens of predatory journals stand ready to publish these claims in the form of a scholarly article.

    Similarly, if a researcher wants to make unscientific claims about a compound and avoid having to declare any conflicts-of-interest, predatory journals provide an easy means to do this.



    denverjeffreyThe Open Urology & Nephrology JournalConflict-of-interest statementdenverjeffreyThe Open Urology & Nephrology JournalConflict-of-interest statement

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    Rutveg Publishing

    Open-access publishing finally comes to Champaign.

    West Green Street in Champaign, Illinois seems an unlikely location for the headquarters of a scholarly publisher with 22 open-access journals in its portfolio. However, that’s the listed headquarters location — 674 West Green Street to be exact — of the new scholarly publisher Rutveg Publishing, Inc. The address corresponds to a dwelling in what appears to be a quiet, residential neighborhood.

    Many folks in the Champaign area have long been ardent, vocal advocates of open-access publishing, so I am certain they’ll be delighted to learn that an open-access publisher has established itself in one of the city’s fine neighborhoods.

    I’m sure they will quickly gather up any loose manuscripts on their desks and submit them to West Green Street, along with $700 for the author fee, where the papers will be quickly published. I’m sure all the progressive academic librarians in Champaign will praise this locally-sourced, indigenous initiative.

    I’m uncertain whether the West Green Street area is zoned for scholarly publishers, but it seems likely the city will rush through any needed variance, given this local company’s noble cause — free access to research.

    The term Rutveg is not explained on the website, but a Google search informs me the term is a boy’s given name, popular in India.

    Photo credit: Peter Folk, used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

    Champaign, Illinois, open-access powerhouse.

    A spam email sent out by this publisher and recently forwarded to me proclaimed:

    Note : Rutveg Publishing Inc. and Its Journals is not listed by “Jeffrey Beall” in Beall List. Because our journals are highly reputed. For clarification visit this blog at http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/

    While this statement was true as recently as August 6, 2015, I can tell you that it is no longer true. I’ve added Rutveg to my list.

    So, there goes the neighborhood.

    Appendix: List of Rutveg Publishing, Inc. journals as of 2015-08-08:

    1. Advances in Agricultural Research
    2. Advances in Geology Research
    3. Advances in Medicine Research
    4. Advances in Orthopedics Research
    5. Journal of Advances in Bioinformatics Research
    6. Journal of Advances in Civil Engineering
    7. Journal of Biodiversity Research
    8. Journal of Computational Engineering Research
    9. Journal of Ecology Research
    10. Journal of Energy Research
    11. Journal of Language Research
    12. Journal of Obesity Research
    13. Journal of Oncology Research
    14. Journal of Operators Research
    15. Journal of Ophthalmology Research
    16. Journal of Oral Diseases Research
    17. Journal of Plant Genomics Research
    18. Journal of Remote Sensing, Earth Science and GIS
    19. Journal of Veterinary Research
    20. Journal of Zoology Research
    21. Reports in Medicine
    22. Reports in Surgery


    denverjeffreyRutveg PublishingPhoto credit: Peter Folk, used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.denverjeffreyRutveg PublishingPhoto credit: Peter Folk, used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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