World Science Publisher: A “Serials Crisis”

World Science Publisher -- a selected snip from its homepage

A part of World Science Publisher's main web page, February 24, 2012.

Recently I browsed through the list of journal titles that use the open-source software provided by Open Journal Systems. Naturally, I was looking for publishers that abuse the open-access publishing model, and not surprisingly, I found a few.

One I found is World Science Publisher. Its tag line is “Make easy publication [sic].” The journal claims that “It has branches in USA, UK, and Hongkong [sic].” At the bottom of each of its web pages it says, “Copyright © 2012 World Science Publisher, United States.”

I doubt the outfit is really based in the United States. A look at the domain name directory lists a Queensland address, but that may be the address of the domain provider and not the actual publisher.

World Science Publisher’s main website is a joke. It is missing images, looks unfinished and unprofessional, yet it purports to be the homepage of a scholarly publisher. The part of the website that is hosted by Open Journal Systems has a more familiar and professional look, probably because it was created using a template.

The publisher claims that it has no author fees, a common strategy for emerging open-access publishers. However, unlike other new publishers, the journals have a significant amount of content. All but two of its nine titles have content, even though they are all recent. In fact, the seven titles with content have a publication/issue designation of Vol. 1, No. 1, 2012.

There are eleven articles in the first issue of Advances in Asian Social Science. Where did such an unprofessional-looking publisher get so much content for its first issue? Something is wrong here.

The term “serials crisis” has been used to describe libraries’ inability to pay for some scholarly content. I think the term ought to take on a new meaning. The proliferation of publishers like World Science Publisher is a true serials crisis.

 

Appendix:

World Science’s Publisher’s journal titles:

  • Advances in Asian Social Science
  • Advances in Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Advances in Mechanical Engineering and its Applications
  • Advances in Computer Science and its Applications
  • Advances in Information Technology and Management
  • Advances in Computational Mathematics and its Applications
  • Advances in Digital Multimedia
  • Advances in Applied Economics and Finance
  • Advances in Electrical Engineering Systems

2 Responses to World Science Publisher: A “Serials Crisis”

  1. David Stern says:

    Who is funding these journals that aren’t charging fees? This is all driven by the desire to improve the quality of universities around the world by getting faculty to publish their research, while at the same time the cost of publication has fallen. I get endless requests from these kind of journals to referee papers but I now direct them to my spam filter.

  2. There may be no funding involved, or just what is needed to buy a domain name and pay for internet access. A journal might not charge fees until it has some content, and then add fees later. Universities that want their staff to publish are not giving enough institutional support for the publishing process. There are many poorly produced in-house university journals, but at least they are genuine products of the university, and could be improved if the university gave more attention and support to them.

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