Examples of these indexes include EBSCO and its various index products, such as Academic Search Premier, also Scopus and Gale products. Some of these indexes now offer full text as an option as well, or they enable the use of open URLs that link to a library’s copy of the full text.
Companies like these compete with one another for libraries’ business. One of their selling points is the number of journals that they index.
Unfortunately, some of these companies have begun indexing predatory publishers’ content in order to increase the number of journals they index. Their sales pitches then compare their numbers with those of other companies.
For example, EBSCO has signed an agreement to index the independent journal World Journal of Science and Technology (WJST). This journal, published in Karnataka, India, has a big problem with piracy in the form of plagiarism. Moreover, the journal has a very broad coverage which makes it a good place for authors to submit articles rejected elsewhere. Journals like this one specialize in accepting articles that other better-quality journals will not, so WJST is essentially a vanity press.
Yet, EBSCO has signed a contract with the journal to index its content. We think that EBSCO enters into contracts with such journals to increase the number of titles it indexes and advertises to librarians.
In the minds of many, a journal being selected for indexing in an international abstracting and indexing service is a mark of quality. People assume that the major indexers will only include the best journals in their indexing portfolios.
I think this assumption is no longer true. Being selected for indexing is no longer a measure of a journal’s quality.