Hindawi’s Scientific World Journal Loses its Impact Factor

The Scientific World Journal


Cairo-based Hindawi Publishing Corporation’s mega-publication Scientific World Journal has lost its impact factor.

Each June, the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports® product releases its proprietary citation data for the previous calendar year. Each year, some journals lose their impact factor due to “anomalous citation patterns resulting in a significant distortion of the Journal Impact Factor.”

This year, Scientific World Journal is among the 51 journals whose impact factors have been withdrawn. The 2010 impact factor was listed at 1.524.

This is a significant setback for Scientific World Journal, which was acquired by Hindawi in 2011 and converted from toll to open-access.

A message to me from Hindawi’s Chief Strategy Officer Paul Peters explains what the company sees as the source of the impact factor loss.

He states,

Last week Thomson Reuters contacted us to say that The Scientific World Journal would not be included in the upcoming JCR because of two articles that had been published in the journal which were found to have an excessive concentration of citations to a journal entitled Cell Transplantation. These two articles (located [at] http://www.tswj.com/2011/341532/ and http://www.tswj.com/2010/463612/abs/) had been accepted for publication under the editorial leadership of the journal’s former publisher, and when they were brought to our attention we retracted both of them on the grounds that they violated Hindawi’s Policy Against Citation Manipulation (http://www.tswj.com/policies/), and the corresponding sanctions were applied to both the authors of these manuscripts as well as the Editorial Board Member who had accepted them for publication.

When these two articles were first brought to our attention, we investigated the situation and found that they had both been written by members of the Editorial Board of Cell Transplantation and accepted for publication by one of The Scientific World Journal’s former Editorial Board Members, who is one of the Section Editors for Cell Transplantation. In addition to these two articles, there were several other articles published both in Cell Transplantation itself as well a number of other journals with excessive citations to articles from Cell Transplantation. In response to these excessive citations, which would have significantly increased Cell Transplantation’s Impact Factor, Thomson Reuters decided to exclude both Cell Transplantation as well as the journals that included any articles with excessive citations to Cell Transplantation from the current Journal Citation Reports.

So, it appears that Hindawi Publishing Corporation is the unlucky victim of the improper actions of others and has responded honorably and professionally. The authors of the first retracted article (A Showcase of Bench-to-Bedside Regenerative Medicine at the 2010 ASNTR) are David J. Eve, Cesar V. Borlongan, and Paul R. Sanberg, all from the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery & Brain Repair, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida, United States.

The authors of the second retracted article (Regenerative Medicine for Neurological Disorders) include Eve and Sandburg (above) and also include Dong-Hyuk Park and Yong-Gu Chung, both from the Department of Neurosurgery, Korea University Medical Center, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea, Republic of Korea.

We’ve observed that Hindawi has removed the impact factor statement from the journal’s web page and replaced it with a statement that reads “Impact Factor Coming in 2013.” The earliest it could return would be late June, 2013.

Scientific World Journal (also called TheScientificWorldJournal and ScientificWorldJournal) covers over 90 scientific topics and tries to compete with other omnibus journals such as PLoS ONE, and SAGE OPEN. It charges an article processing fee of $1,000 for each accepted article.

Sourcehttp://admin-apps.webofknowledge.com /JCR/static_html/notices/notices.htm

18 Responses to Hindawi’s Scientific World Journal Loses its Impact Factor

  1. Shawn says:

    Good stuff as usual Jeffrey. A lot of cred to JCR for detecting this and Hindawi for handling it. Unfortunately this type of quid pro quo scheme is probably behind more than a few journals ratings. Another step I would like to see is for the people behind this fraud to be disciplined by their academic institutions.

  2. Jay says:

    It is unfortunate that in this case, the Scientific World Journal is penalized for the wrongdoing of certain editorial member of the Journal who published papers that excessively cited articles from Cell Transplantation. The strange thing is that more serious scientific frauds remain untouched by the current system. For instance, several articles are retracted even after a decade from several high impact journals for scientific fraud committed by individuals who were/are affiliated with prestigious institutions. There is no “impact” of retractions on these “high impact” journals nor is there any penalty for these individuals from their institutions or from funding bodies such as the NIH etc. Interestingly, it is customary for high powered people to dilute the gravity of the situation by writing a “note” to the journal from which these papers are retracted. There is no obvious apology or remorse expressed by the high impact journals per se. I am wondering whether the Thomson Reuters has any plan on addressing such blatant scientific frauds published in high impact journals at least in terms of not issuing impact factor.

  3. Steven says:

    Why don’t you add Hindawi to the list of Predatory Publishing?
    They don’t even have a real peer review system. I mean, you submit and they ask you to find what they call “Academic editor”. I think they have an acceptance rate of 100%. Furthermore, they spam you with tens of e-mails asking for contributions and asking you to edit a special issue of your interest.

    E few examples

    Dear Dr. XXX,

    I am writing to invite you to submit an article to the International Journal of Navigation and Observation which provides a rapid forum for the dissemination of original research articles as well as original review articles related to concepts and applications in navigation, positioning, Earth observation, and related fields.

    International Journal of Navigation and Observation is published using an open access publication model, meaning that all interested readers are able to freely access the journal online at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijno/contents/ without the need for a subscription. All manuscripts that are submitted to the journal during the month of September 2012 will not be subject to any page charges, color charges, or article processing charges for submitted or accepted articles.

    The journal has a distinguished editorial board with extensive academic qualifications, ensuring that the journal maintains high scientific standards and has a broad international coverage. A current list of the journal’s editors can be found at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijno/editors/.

    Manuscripts should be submitted to the journal online at http://mts.hindawi.com/author/submit/ijno/. Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication, it will undergo language copyediting, typesetting, and reference validation in order to provide the highest publication quality possible.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the journal.

    Best regards,


    Invitation and reminder:
    Dear Dr. XXXX,

    I am writing to inquire whether you have received my previous
    email inviting you to be the Lead Guest Editor for a Special Issue
    in our International Journal of Antennas and Propagation.

    If you are interested, I will be glad to provide you with more

    Best regards,

    > ——– Original Message

    Dear Dr. XXXX,
    We are planning to publish a number of Special Issues in International Journal of Antennas and Propagation http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijap/, and I am writing to invite you to be the Lead Guest Editor for a Special Issue on a topic of your choice. The topic of the Special Issue must be of high current interest, broad enough to attract a reasonable number of submissions, but at the same time narrow enough to keep a strong focus for the Special Issue. International Journal of Antennas and Propagation is a peer-reviewed, open access journal, meaning that all interested readers are able to freely access the journal online without the need for a subscription. The most recent Impact Factor for International Journal of Antennas and Propagation is 0.468. As the Lead Guest Editor, your main responsibilities will be inviting 2-3 Guest Editors, writing a one-page Call-for-Papers in consultation with the other Guest Editors, assigning the incoming submitted manuscripts to yourself or the Guest Editors so they can send them for peer-review, and co-authoring an editorial with the other Guest Editors to be published as an opening to the Special Issue. Special Issues are made freely available online to all interested readers leading to the maximum possible dissemination and recognition within the scientific community. Our staff will provide you with as much administrative and editorial assistance as possible to make sure that the whole process is as seamless and rewarding as possible for the editors, authors, and reviewers alike. I will be happy to provide more details if you are interested in being the Lead Guest Editor for one of our upcoming Special Issues in International Journal of Antennas and Propagation. I look forward to hearing from you. Best regards,

  4. RMS says:

    That was pretty blatant. But it’s bound to happen when someone, even if not from the editorial board of a journal, writes a review article on a topic for which a niche journal exists. How to avoid this from becoming common?

    In fact, it would be interesting to see a study on the proportion of citations generated from review articles, in much the same way Thomson tracks proportions of self-citations.

  5. Julianne says:

    Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering
    if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

  6. Mai Hassan says:

    Hindawi Publishing Corporation handled this issue very professionally. They must learn from this case and improve their system to make sure that this will never happen again in the future.

  7. Wilbur says:

    Thanks for sharing this list with us. The list is good and will be very useful
    for us specially me.

  8. Dr. PP Hegde says:

    When the publishers accepts money to publish a article , he is somewhere obliged to publish it without scrupulously investigating it. Also i am not aware of how the journal decided on the peer reviewers but in my knowledge most of the journals track the revieweer through the published articles in pubmed or if the reviewer has been a author of some related article in their journal. Thus this kind of process reduces teh value of the journal also. This kind of selection of reviewers without studying their background abd selecting them for the review process sometimes worries me.
    Anyways i am glad that Hindawi Publishers have handled the situation in a proffesional way

  9. khalid Awan says:

    This is loss of time for people who have submitted the papers and were waiting for some results.

  10. matrus says:

    I wonder if the journal is worth publishing in it since in every respectful journal you may publish the work for free. An ordinary publisher earns by ‘selling’ the content, which they accepted. Have you had any experience with this Journal?

  11. […] this thread, authors are complaining about a journal which published articles that excessively mentioned […]

  12. […] publishing. Hindawi has been described as dodgy, and its flagship journal has been the subject of controversy over fraudulent attempts to boost its standing, or impact factor. It appears to have […]

  13. sam says:

    is you would pay to submit in this journal

  14. Michel says:

    Just to mention that The Scientific World Journal has been included in Thomson Reuter´s JCR since 2013

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