I am currently researching an organization called the Maryland Institute of Research. It publishes two open-access journals, the International Journal of Business and Social Research, which began in 2011, and the Journal of Arts and Humanities (JAH), which just published its first issue in August, 2012.
One confusing thing about this publisher is that it seems to be hiding its true headquarters location. It lists an address in Annapolis, Maryland, USA, as its headquarters, but there’s no local phone number listed. The building at that address is a block of small office suites, and it’s conceivable that this organization may have rented one.
On the other hand, the telephone numbers the Institute gives use the 647 area code, which is from Toronto, Ontario. Furthermore, I found that the domain name, http://miredu.org/, is registered to a Mohammed Shamimul Islam in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Hoping to steal some legitimacy, the main site links out to such respected organizations as the Lawrence Livermore Lab, and the World Public Opinion organization. The two separate websites for each of the two journals do the same, and they link to the Harvard Business Review and to the University of Maryland, Division of Research. The main page also displays two pictures, one that says “Conference” and one that says “Annual Meeting,” with both showing rooms packed with people. I think these are from unrelated meetings.
The main page links to a page called “We the people” that links to a page called “Board of Counselors.” There the president of the board is listed as “Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yunus.” A Google search turns up information identifying him as the Bangladeshi winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize; he won for setting up microcredit loans to microbusinesses in his country. The look and feel of his website is similar to the Maryland Institute of Research’s website. Is he a part of this scam?
Many of the authors published in the two journals lack any institutional affiliation, and I didn’t see any from Maryland. The editor of the business journal is listed as Jonathan Bendor, a business professor from Stanford University. Some of the content on the instructions-to-authors page is lifted from other sites. The publisher charges $200 per paper accepted, but “research students” are granted a discount and charged only $50.
I called the Toronto phone number, but no one answered and there was no voicemail. I sent email inquiries to both journals’ editors and to the main website email, but the only response I received was from Dr. Jonathan Bendor, the person listed as editor of the International Journal of Business and Social Research.
“this is bizarre. i may be on the editorial board—i vaguely recall agreeing to that—but there’s absolutely no way that i’m editor in chief!! i haven’t done any work for this journal whatsoever.”
I conclude that the good name of Maryland is being exploited in this case, that the publisher is trying to falsely convey that it’s based in Maryland, and that this organization has as its true goal to profit from author fees. I recommend against engaging in any business or contact with this bogus organization.
Appendix: DNIS registration information
Created On:01-Oct-2011 13:59:22 UTC
Last Updated On:02-Jan-2012 16:44:34 UTC
Expiration Date:01-Oct-2012 13:59:22 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (R27-LROR)
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Registrant Name:Md. Shamimul Islam
Registrant Street1:Dhanmondi R/A
Registrant Postal Code:1207
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Admin Name:Md. Shamimul Islam
Admin Street1:Dhanmondi R/A
Admin Postal Code:1207
Admin Phone Ext.:
Admin FAX Ext.:
Tech Name:Md. Shamimul Islam
Tech Street1:Dhanmondi R/A
Tech Postal Code:1207
Tech Phone Ext.:
Tech FAX Ext.: