Report Details Predatory Practices of Two Bosnian Journals

The report's cover.

The report’s cover.

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:

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

18 Responses to Report Details Predatory Practices of Two Bosnian Journals

  1. Sergej says:

    Great post. Dr. Sipka revealed big fraudulent scheme of the part of the Serbian scientific community. This scam endangers positive and hard work of most academics who strives for quality and honesty. Hopefully, both Thompson and Serbian Ministry of Science will take some steps to stop this travesty.

  2. Ahmad AL-HASSAN says:

    Dear Jefrey
    Thank you for all the efforts to detect predatory journals. What about IJAES: International Journal of Arabic-English Studies published by Librarairie du Liban for the Association of Professors of English and Translations at Arab Universities (APETAU).
    On the other hand, I have read an article which is already accepted by an Internationarnal journal titled ” Language maintenance among the Indians of Yemen: A sociolinguistic study “by Dr Dweik and Mohammad Nofal at the Middle East Uniuversity, Jordan. This article was extracted from an MA thesis, but without reference to it. After i had collected evidence, and the Senior Associate Editor (British) was convinced, he asked the author to withdraw it. Was that enough punishment? By the way I am as Assoicate Editor and Head of Production at two journals not yet ‘honored’ predatory!!!
    If you are interested I will be pleased to forward the article to you.
    Iam looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best Regards
    Ahmad
    Dr Ahmad Al-Hassan

    Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2013 17:55:49 +0000
    To: dral_hassan@hotmail.com

    • It looks like the International Journal of Arabic-English Studies is not an open-access journal, and I limit my analyses to OA jorunals.
      Regarding your other question, yes retraction is the proper course for plagiarized articles. If you want to forward it to me, that would be find.
      Thanks very much.

  3. Jamaludin Aman says:

    Dear Jeffrey, I just got an email offering to submit any article in journal below: *American Journal of Experimental Agriculture* *(AJEA **Link**)* I am wondering if it is included in a predatory?

    Thank you, Jamal

    • Jamal,

      Yes, that journal is published by ScienceDomain International. This publisher is included on my list, so I recommend that you not submit any papers to them. Good luck.

      Jeffrey

  4. Alisha says:

    I am really very upset to see the name of journals like academic sciences and global research online journals in the list! sadly i have made 4 publications in these journals and paid a hefty amount for each publication ,i feel very very dejected!

    • Four publications? Sounds like it’s pretty easy to publish there.

      • Wasit ullah says:

        Just came to know from a friend, what every you send them they publish it. International Journal of Pharmacy Teaching & Practices (IJPTP) is full of crap research. They publish tons of crap papers without any proper peer review. Technics Technologies Education Management and HealthMED are EURO making machines that give chance to crap research to get published immediately.

  5. Prof.dr Mensura Kudumovic says:

    I am shocked.
    GENOCIDE ……
    happened in my country and we are still battling with some kind of a “cold war”.
    We are constantly suffering by constant attacks from the region on our values: economic, cultural, educational, scientific etc. and this impacting our success in the field of scientific publishing.
    While Bosnia and Herzegovina has only 3 journals covered by SCIE, the countries from the region like Serbia, has significantly more. The question is HOW is that possible? My country is not united yet, it is still destroyed, wounded and fragmented. United States and Europe are helping us to integrate country, develop institutions and heal. Many countries and organizations are helping us to recover and develop education, science because our country has no budget for scientific infrastructure.
    Some organizations and individuals from abroad helped us to establish scientific infrastructure and journals. We need knowledge, democracy, justice, multi-culture and support.
    Every day we are investing efforts to improve quality of our journal. This way we are directly encouraging and helping development of scientific research studies, especially for the young people from the region. We are also indirectly helping and impacting usage of databases of scientific journals, as well as journals and studies that have been cited, which is constantly increasing Impact factor.
    I need to mention that as a minority as only one/first WOMAN/BOSNAK/EDITOR in the World, I have been discriminated on many occasions.

    • Ljiljana Vučković-Dekić says:

      What a nonsense! The arguments of Mensura Kudumović in her defense of this predatory journal are completely irelevant – political, not scientific.

    • Akpis Arodot says:

      There are many superfluous information in madam Kudomovic comment, while some relevant are missing:

      (1) that she is the Editor-in-chief of HealthMed, an Open Access journal charging authors with fantastic amounts;
      (2) that HealthMed was just these days dropped out from Thomson Journal Master List;
      (3) that this happened after abovementioned study revealed that HealthMed was a member of a cartel exchanging non-existent, fabricated citations, with the only goal to inflate impact and income of cartel members;
      (4) that member of the cartel is a journal edited by her husband.

  6. Sinisa Subotic says:

    Wikipedia defines “Red herring“ as an English-language idiom, a logical fallacy that misleads or detracts from the issue. The reply that Prof. Mensura Kudumovic made is a perfect example of that. Instead of trying to rebuttal Prof. Sipka’s research’s findings and conclusions, she goes on a temper tantrum tangent that is completely irrelevant. E.g. whether or not any kind of „genocide“ did or did not happen, and whether or not she was or was not discriminated based on her gender are completely separate issues, none of which carries any weight regarding the main topic of the debate. And that topic is an unethical citation fabrication – Prof. Sipka presented strong evidence for this, while Prof. Kudumovic presented none in her defense, I suspect because she cannot. It seems obvious beyond any reasonable doubt that what happened here was in fact a vicious malversation, which prof. Sipka uncovered.

    Like Prof. Kudumovic, I am also from Bosnia, and I was one of the independent research contributors asked by Prof. Sipka to verify his report. And like Prof. Kudumovic, I was also shocked, but for a different reason – I couldn’t believe that someone would stoop so low to actually do such an abuse (that she was arguably involved in). Needless to mention that I did not find any issue with Prof. Sipka’s data or report, and apparently Thompson Reuters didn’t either, which is obvious from their recent exclusion of HelthMed.

    Instead of singing „we are poor Bosnians, help us world“ song, and instead of being envious of e.g. Serbia or Croatia for their improving scientific research and publishing status, we should „clean our own yard“ and strive to better ourself academically, which, as it seems, also includes recognizing (and hopefully prosecuting) the corrupt elements…

  7. Lynn Pospiech says:

    Elsevier Life Science Customer Care has informed my library colleague that the content from HealthMED has been removed from Elsevier A&I databases (including EMBASE) due to the journal’s fraudulent practices, particularly mentioning the external evidence supporting the removal as Pero Šipka’s CEES paper “Legitimacy of citations in predatory publishing.” http://www.ceon.rs/ops/12122. Kudos to Pero Šipka, Jeffrey Beall, Elsevier and the library and research communities for bringing attention to predatory publishing practices and taking action to reduce their viability!

  8. Mico says:

    DRUNPP stands for: DRUŠTVO ZA UNAPREĐENJE I RAZVOJ NASTAVNIH I POSLOVNIH PROCESA in Bosnian, or, translated: SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHING AND BUSINESS PROCESSES

    I covered this report here ‘Citation cartel uncovered in Bosnian journals’ http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2013/01/serbia-bosnia-predatory-journal-citation-cartel

    They seem to have launched another journal since, the Balkan Journal of Health Science.

  9. Wasit ullah says:

    International Journal of Pharmacy Teaching & Practices (IJPTP). scope and content they publish are not matching. Their focus should be education oriented but they are publishing public health , chemistry, pharmaceutics, They believe in just say yes to every paper. I believe their editorial board is a dummy editorial board and they dont care about the quality of publication just quantity and money http://iomcworld.com/ijptp/EDITORIAL%20BOARD.html

  10. Wasit ullah says:

    Technics Technologies Education Management. I visited the website. a true scope of journal is missing and they have same policy like health med. pay money and publish every thing

  11. Wasit ullah says:

    International Online Medical Conference (IOMC), also a sister venture. these guys are making alot of money. International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health (IJCRIMPH). have same objectives, like healthmed and TTEM. International Online Medical Conference (IOMC) annually make huge money. Such forums are really misleading to young early carrier researcher and may corrupt their view about the research ethics. I am disappointed to see that such big names are at their editorial panel. What they are doing are they sleeping

    http://www.iomcworld.com/conference/

  12. Wasit ullah says:

    Full Details about DRUNPP SARAJEVO- Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Journals which has been published by the DRUNPP of Sarajevo are:

    1. TTEM – Technics Technologies Education Managemen (NEW NUMBER DOWNLOAD – Volume 9 / Number 1) – Impact Factor 0.414 (ISI Journal Citation Reports 2012) NEW

    2. HealthMED (NEW NUMBER DOWNLOAD – Volume 8 / Number 6) – Universal Impact Factor: Impact Factor is 1.0312 (UIF 2012)

    3. International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health (IJCRIMPH)

    4. International Journal of Pharmacy Teaching & Practices (IJPTP)

    5. Balkan Journal of Health Science (BJHS)

    6. Review of Global Medicine and Healthcare Research

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