A report entitled “Legitimacy of citations in predatory publishing: The case of proliferation of papers by Serbian authors in two Bosnian WoS‐indexed journals” was published in late 2012. Written by Pero Šipka,, the report looks at the questionable self-citation practices of four journals published by a Sarajavo-based organization known as DRUNPP. The shadowy organization publishes five journals according to its website:
- TTEM – Technics Technologies Education Management
- International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health (IJCRIMPH)
- International Journal of Pharmacy Teaching & Practices (IJPTP)
- Balkan Journal of Health Science (BJHS)
Page 5 of the report details and summarizes its findings:
- The two journals, HealthMed and TTEM, are published by an organization (DRUNPP) of unclear identity, low transparency and questionable management.
- The general profile of these journals shows a typical “predatory” pattern characterized by the discrepancy between authors publishing charges and investment in journal quality.
- The two journals are bibliometrically isolated, i.e. not being cited by other quality journals including two controls, and even by small non‐WoS [i.e. Web of Science] Bosnian journals of similar background.
- Relatively high Impact Factor of the two journals comes entirely from self‐citations, their mutual citations exchange, and citations delivered by Serbian authors.
- A large amount of those citations is illegitimate, i.e. either unjustifiable, or fabricated.
- The proofs exist of direct engagement of both journals’ editorial staff in misconduct. Some of these malpractices, e.g. appending article reference lists with items citing their own or the other DRUNPP journal without informing authors about the change, are to our best knowledge unprecedented in international academic publishing.
- Clear indications exist of willing involvement of authors from several Serbian institutions, which makes them members of a “citation cartel”.
- Considering the benefits Serbian researchers have from publishing in WoS journals, these authors, along with editors of DRUNPP journals themselves, have to be tagged as “members of a joint unethical enterprise”.
- The cross‐border spillover of fabricating citations is already taking place in Serbia, where two authors, one of which is a prominent member of the DRUNPP group, established journals of the very same profile and started the very same malpractice.
The publisher DRUNPP is included on my list of predatory publishers. The publisher’s name is an initialism in Bosnian, but I cannot figure out what it is. The English name is Society for Development of Teaching and Business Processes in New Net Environment in B&H.
This case is evidence that just because a journal in included in Thomson Reuter’s Journal Citation Reports database (that is, journals with an official impact factor) doesn’t mean it’s a quality journal.
We commend Dr. Šipka for his work on this project and the Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science for publishing it.
The report’s citation:
Šipka, P., (2012). Legitimacy of citations in predatory publishing: the case of proliferation of papers by Serbian authors in two Bosnian WoS‐indexed journals. CEES Occasional Paper Series ; no. 2012‐12‐2. Retrieved from http://www.ceon.rs/ops/12122 ISBN 978‐86‐89475‐00‐5