Introduction to “Super Closed Access Journals”

Turan Senguder

Best at fooling people.

There is a new class of scholarly journal. These journals are not open-access. You can’t purchase their articles individually. Individuals cannot subscribe to them. The only way to access their content is through a very small number of academic libraries.

I call these Super Closed Access Journals. Their purpose is clearly not scholarly communication, for there is very little distribution of their content. Their purpose is academic credit for the authors and profit for the owner.

Here’s is an example, the publisher called Academic Journals and Conferences. It’s a one-man operation based in Florida (though it pretends to be based in New York).

This publisher has these journals:

Except for the article titles and their abstracts, one cannot access the content through the publisher’s website. You have to have privileges at a subscribing library, and there are very few libraries that have licensed journal packages that include this publisher’s journals.

I consider this a phony publisher, and I am sure you will agree with me after you have a look at its website. Here are the reasons I find it phony:

  • The journals have nothing to do with Cambridge, yet they use the term in their titles.
  • The main page proclaims, “CHAMBER of COMMERCE, Beverly Hills, California” (impressive, no?).
  • There are numerous pictures of the owner, Turan Senguder, with young women all over the website.
  • The firm’s secretary is listed as Dr. Charles Hilton, but this is a fictitious persona.
  • The journals have a box that says, “BEST Scholarly Journals 2014″ but this is just something the owner made up.
  • It is very easy to find plagiarism among the journal articles.
  • The publisher presents itself as a business academy when it’s really just a sole proprietor who organizes phony conference and journals.

The publisher does not really “publish” the three journals. They are really only published by the company called ProQuest. That is to say, the only way to access these journals is through a subscription to one of the ProQuest packages that are marketed to libraries.

Why does ProQuest include such low quality titles in its packages? The reason is ProQuest competes for libraries’ business with other journal aggregators. A good way to compete is to tell potential customers you aggregate and provide exclusive access to more journals than the competition. So ProQuest contracts with as many publishers as possible to be the exclusive distributor of their journals’ content.

Regretablly, ProQuest includes junk journals in its portfolio like the three published by this phony publisher, just to increase its numbers and convince libraries to buy its journal packages. I call on ProQuest to stop this practice and introduce better quality control in its journal packages.

14 Responses to Introduction to “Super Closed Access Journals”

  1. Samir Hachani says:

    The site looks so ,well,….phony and kitsch !!!! Anybody falling for this kind of shenanigans is either stupid or dishonnest !!!!

    • Jon says:

      The moving flames and bouncing balls on the site seem to be somewhat of a giveaway regarding the site’s integrity – or should at least arouse suspicion. It feels like a layperson’s impression of what a scholarly or research journal website should look like (I’m reminded of popular TV shows that portray a scholarly journal publication as including a smiling photo of the author sitting in his or her lab, pointing to equipment)

    • can also be lack of experience

  2. Michael Brown says:

    My university subscribes via Proquest to several of these journals. A good number of articles in the journals mentioned above have similarities to the prior literature.

    “A Comparative Analysis of Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Systems in Europe” by Aysegul Timur (Hodges University) and Berna Colak (University of South Florida) in the Journal of American Business Review, Cambridge has many similarities to “Analysis of differences and commonalities in pricing and reimbursement systems in Europe” by Jaime Espin and Joan Rovira, which was published in 2007.

    Some (but not all) examples of similar text from these two papers is provided below.

    The 2007 report is freely available online at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/healthcare/files/docs/study_pricing_2007/andalusian_school_public_health_report_pricing_2007_en.pdf

    Examples of similar text follow.

    #####

    Timur & Colak (2013)

    These are often conflicting objectives. Whether and to what degree these conflicting objectives are attained by a given intervention is often a matter of analysis and empirical evidence. There are other potential objectives, such as supporting domestic production, along with different ways to formulate them. For instance, expenditure control might refer only to pharmaceutical expenditure or to global health expenditure. Improving the effectiveness, safety and quality of pharmaceuticals, or promoting their rational use, are often formulated as self-standing policy objectives, but it can also be assumed that they are implicit in the objective of attaining efficient access.

    Espin & Rovira (2007)

    These are often conflicting objectives. Whether and to what degree these conflicting objectives are attained by a given intervention is often a matter of analysis and empirical evidence.

    There are other potential objectives, such as supporting domestic production, along with different ways to formulate them. For instance, expenditure control might refer only to pharmaceutical expenditure or to global health expenditure. Improving the effectiveness, safety and quality of pharmaceuticals, or promoting their rational use, are often formulated as self-standing policy objectives, but it can also be assumed that they are implicit in the objective of attaining efficient access.

    #####

    Timur & Colak (2013)

    A subset of six practices was selected for detailed analysis. The aim of the selection was to include relevant practices in accordance with several criteria. One criterion was to include practices from both the supply side (such as a price control and payback) and the demand side (such as cost-sharing and incentives for good practices), traditionally used for controlling public pharmaceutical expenditure. Some relatively new practices were also included (such as a payback, which could prove to be of special interest because it has not been previously studied in detail), and reference pricing, for which a large number of studies are available. The final criterion was also to select policies that include several practices; for example, generics’ policies that include different practices such as generic substitution by pharmacists, financial incentives for physicians, fast-track registration or incentives for good prescribing, which include education, prescription guidelines, financial incentives.

    Accordingly, the following practices and policies were selected: Price control, cost-sharing, reference pricing, payback, incentives for good prescribing practices, generic drug policies.

    Espin & Rovira (2007)

    A subset of six practices was selected for detailed analysis. The aim of the selection was to include relevant practices in accordance with several criteria. One criterion was to include practices from both the supply side (such as a price control and payback) and the demand side (such as cost-sharing and incentives for good practices), traditionally used for controlling public pharmaceutical expenditure. Some relatively new practices were also included (such as a payback, which could prove to be of special interest because it has not been previously studied in detail), and reference pricing, for which a large number of studies are available. The final criterion was also to select policies that include several practices; for example, generics’ policies that include different practices such as generic substitution by pharmacists, financial incentives for physicians, fasttrack registration or incentives for good prescribing, which include education, prescription guidelines, financial incentives, etc

    Accordingly, the following practices and policies were selected:
    · Price control
    · Cost-sharing
    · Reference pricing
    · Payback
    · Incentives for good prescribing practices
    · Generics’ policies

  3. Michael Brown says:

    “Inward and Outward U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Performance During Recent Financial Crises” by Dr. Lucyna Kornecki (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) in The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge (March 2014) issue has many similarities to other papers.

    Notably “Inward US FDI Performance During Recent Financial Crises” also by Dr. Lucyna Kornecki in World Review of Business Research (March 2014) and “Outward U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Performance during Recent Financial Crises” also by Dr. Lucyna Kornecki in International Journal of Latest Trends in Finance & Economic Sciences (June 13).

    Clearly the topics overlap considerably, and looking at the text there are significant similarities too.

    Below I reproduce sentences from a paragraph in the conclusions of the JAABC paper and matching/similar sentences from the others article. The papers do not reference each other so it isn’t clear that the papers are quoting each other.

    World Review of Business Research is published by Zia World Press, which is on Beall’s list of predatory OA publishers. International Journal of Latest Trends in Finance and Economic Sciences is published by ExcelingTech (http://ojs.excelingtech.co.uk/).

    ###

    JAABC – conclusions

    During the recent financial crises, inward US FDI equity declined from US$ 256 billion in 2008 to US$ 127 billion in 2009 declining further to US$ 93 in 2011.

    WRBR – page 15

    During the recent financial crises the inward US FDI equity declined from US$ 256 billion in 2008 to US$ 127 billion in 2009 declining further to US$ 93 in 2011.

    IJLTFES –

    [No Match]

    ######

    JAABC – conclusions

    The equity investment was the largest component in 2011, but it was lower than in 2010 (US$132 billion) and it was at its lowest level since 2005 (US$ 71 billion).

    WBBR

    [No Match]

    IJLTFES –

    [No Match]

    #######

    JAABC – conclusions

    The inward US FDI reinvested earnings declined between 2008 and 2009 from US$ 35 billion to US$ 15 billion and return back to pre-crises level of US$60 billion in 2010 increasing farther to US$80 billion in 2011.

    WBBR – page 15

    The inward US FDI reinvested earnings declined between 2008 and 2009 from US$ 35 billion to US$ 15 billion and return back to pre-crises level of US$60 billion in 2010 increasing farther to US$80 billion in 2011.

    IJLTFES –

    [No Match]

    #######

    JAABC – Conclusion

    The outward US FDI equity capital for new investments experienced a sharp decline during the current recession.

    WBBR – page 11

    [No Match]

    IJLTFES – page 8

    The outward US FDI equity capital for new investments experienced a sharp decline during the current recession.

    ########

    JAABC – Conclusion

    The share of reinvested earnings trended upward through 2008, indicating that parent firms were still choosing to invest in their foreign affiliates rather than remit their earnings to the United States.

    WBBR – page 15

    While inward US FDI reinvesting earnings declined, the outward US FDI reinvested earnings trended upward through 2008, indicating that parent firms were choosing to invest in their foreign affiliates rather than remit their earnings to the United States.

    IJLTFES – page 7

    The share of reinvested earnings trended upward through 2008, indicating that parent firms were still choosing to invest in their foreign affiliates rather than remit their earnings to the United States.

    #########

    JAABC – Conclusions

    Despite weak economic conditions, U.S. multinationals have continued to expand their investments in newly emerging markets at a more rapid rate than in advanced economies.

    WBBR – page 11

    Despite weak economic conditions, U.S. multinationals have continued to expand their investments in newly emerging markets at a more rapid rate than in advanced economies.

    IJLTFES – page 7

    Despite weak economic conditions, U.S. multinationals have continued to expand their investments in newly emerging markets at a more rapid rate than in advanced economies.

    ##########

    JAABC – Conclusions

    The outward US FDI reinvested earnings declined between 2008 and 2009 from US$ 212 billion to US$ 207 billion and increased beyond the pre-crises level of US$292 billion in 2010 increasing farther to US$326 billion in 2011.

    WRBR – page 10

    The outward US FDI reinvested earnings increased between 2009 and 2010 from USD 207 billion to USD 292 billion, beyond the pre-crises level, increasing farther to USD 326 billion in 2011.

    IJLTFES – page 8

    The outward US FDI reinvested earnings declined between 2008 and 2009 from US$ 212 billion to US$ 207 billion and increased beyond the pre-crises level of US$292 billion in 2010 increasing farther to US$326 billion in 2011.

    • Lucyna Kornecki says:

      Dear Michael Brown,
      Thank you very much for your interest in US foreign direct investment (FDI) financial structure. I do definitely agree that there are similarities in the 3 papers published recently: World Review of Business Research Inward U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Performance During Recent Financial Crises (1) and International Journal of Latest Trends in Finance & Economic Sciences Outward U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Performance during Recent Financial Crises (2) and The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge related to comparison Inward and Outward U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Performance During Recent Financial Crises (3).
      Your comments are focused only on FDI financial components that are included in all three papers. Paper 3 compares inward and outward FDI financial structure discussed separately in paper 1(inward US FDI) and paper 2 (outward US FDI). It would be totally wrong if the inward and outward US FDI equity and reinvested earnings quoted in above mentioned papers were different. The author used the same statistics based on the most reliable sources of the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis to discuss financial structure of inward and outward US FDI. Please be informed that the scope and the character of inward and outward US FDI are different and require separate discussion and financial components cannot be missed.
      There is no doubt that inward US FDI represents an integral part of the U.S. economy. The inward FDI constitutes important factor contributing to output growth, employment and export. The paper 1 examines inward FDI and spread out beyond financial structure of US FDI. It includes FDI flow and stock by geographical structure and comparator economies. It contains inward FDI stock and flow as a percentage of GDP and focuses on inward US FDI principal foreign affiliates, describes Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) and Greenfield investment.
      The outward US FDI discussion includes US –based multinational corporations (MNCs), which have become one of the most powerful drivers of global economic expansion in recent decades. The paper 2 analyzes the outward US FDI stock contribution to the global FDI stock (comparator economies), includes the following analysis beyond the financial performance: geographical and sectoral distribution, outward US FDI corporate players (MNC’s) ranked by revenue and foreign assets, outward US FDI employment by industry and employment by corporate players. Analyzed issues are essential considering hesitation about the US-based MNC’s based on the assumption that they drain away capital, replace production of goods and exports of products that might be undertaken at US MNC’s at home. However, empirical study finds, that foreign activity of foreign affiliates of US corporations is associated with more production, greater employment, higher export and more R&D in the Unites States.
      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me personally.
      Lucyna Kornecki

      • Michael Brown says:

        Lucyna Kornecki’s comment does not address several key issues.

        If the papers are similar in content (including scholarship and sentences), then why don’t they cite each other?

        Would a reasonable person conclude that “Inward US FDI Performance During Recent Financial Crises” and “Outward U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Performance during Recent Financial Crises” are merely subsets of “Inward and Outward U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Performance During Recent Financial Crises”? Given the overlap of the topics and content (including sentences), is only one publication justified rather than three?

        Why was (at least) one of the articles published in a low profile journal with questionable peer review? “World Review of Business Research” is published by Zia World Press, which appears to be run out of a house in outer suburban Melbourne, and is on Beall’s list of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers

  4. Michael Brown says:

    The following text from page 4 of “Forensic Accounting – A Growing Niche in the Field of Accountancy” by Dr. Consolacion Fajardo (The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge; Vol. 19; Num. 2; March 2014) seems to be available online from various sources (e.g., http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/155936 from 2006). It is not obvious from the paper that the text is quoted from another source.

    ######

    The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (commonly known as the SEC) is a United States government agency having primary responsibility for enforcing the Federal securities laws and regulating the securities industry. The SEC was created by section 4 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (now codified as 15 U.S.C. § 78d). In addition to the 1934 Act that created it, the SEC enforces the Securities Act of 1933, the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Sarbanes- Oxley Act of 2002 and other statutes.

    The SEC was established by the Congress in 1934 as an independent, non-partisan, quasi-judicial regulatory agency following years of depression caused by the Great Crash of 1929. The main reason for the creation of the SEC was to regulate the stock market and prevent these and other abuses. The SEC was given the power to (1) license and regulate stock exchanges. Currently, SEC is responsible for administering seven major laws that governs the securities industry. They are: Securities Act of 1933, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, Trust Indenture Act of 1939, Investment Company Act of 1940, Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and, most recently, Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The enforcement authority given by Congress allows the SEC to bring civil enforcement against individuals or companies found to have committed accounting fraud, provided false information, engaged in insider trading or violations of other provisions of the securities law. The SEC also works with criminal law enforcement agencies to prosecute individuals and companies alike for severe offenses. To achieve its mandate, the SEC requires that public companies submit quarterly and annual reports, as well as other periodic reports. As part of the annual reporting requirement, the company’s top management must provide a narrative account in addition to the numbers called the “management discussion and analysis” which provides an overview of the previous year of operations and how the company fared in that time period. Management will usually also touch on the upcoming year, outlining future goals and approaches to new projects. In an attempt to level the playing field for all investors, the SEC maintains an online database called EDGAR (the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) online from which investors can access this information (SEC).

  5. Stacy Konkiel says:

    Here’s a question: why are libraries paying third parties like ProQuest for access to journals in the first place?

    Pre-selection of content by aggregators may have been an advantage in the past, but the standards don’t seem to be high enough anymore (hence the inclusion of these predatory publishers).

    Seems we might better spend our money teaching machines to sort out the good from the bad using a mix of measures (JIFs, altmetrics, Journal Usage Factor, etc) with built-in gaming detection.

  6. Dear Mr. Beall,
    Do the publisher ask for exorbitant fee to authors who want to publish? It seems strange. If yes, what is their reason to ask the fee, and if no, what is their advantage doing this.

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