Predatory Publishers are Abusing the ISO Logo

Trademark violation?

The latest trend among some predatory publishers is to display the ISO (International Standards Organization) logo on their websites. They do this to make themselves look legitimate. I don’t think any of them are using the logo appropriately, and I think the ones that state they have an ISO certification are lying.

Some just add the ISO logo to their websites, but I’ve seen a number of predatory journals that claim to be ISO 9001:2008 certified, some without using the logo.

According to Wikipedia,

The ISO 9000 family of standards is related to quality management systems and designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholder

Certified? They can’t even get their images to display. Plus their grammar and spacing are atrocious!

According to the ISO’s website:

The ISO logo is a registered trademark. Unless authorized by ISO, use of its logo is prohibited. Notably, ISO will not allow its logo to be used in connection with conformity assessment activities. These include the certification of management systems, products, services, materials or personnel, even when these certifications attest conformity to an ISO standard, such as one of the ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 series. Examples of unacceptable use of the ISO logo would include use on products, in publications, on Internet sites, in marketing materials, advertisements and company letterheads.

Engineers should know better.

I think this (the quote above) makes it pretty clear that using the logo is a trademark violation.

All the journals I’ve observed that use the ISO logo gratuitously or that falsely claim ISO certification are from India.

17 Responses to Predatory Publishers are Abusing the ISO Logo

  1. Frank Lu says:

    What has ISO got to do with quality control of journals? What is the international standard that we are talking about — ISO 9000?

    • They are completly abusing the ISO certification system to make themselves look legitimate.

    • Robin Hood says:

      Frank, I contacted the ISO about this. They were so startled, the vice president or someone really high up responded to my query. The attribution of an ISO is purely voluntary. Apparently there are about 10,000 categories of ISO, you somehow just spun off some silly number you probably read off the back of a pick-up truck. Although a good business model for ISO, so I don’t see them turning away applications that would hurt their bottom line. So, I consider the ISO to be in collusion with the predators. Is any business truly clean? Finally, a trick question. If the IMpact Factor is the maximum level of quality in science (apparently), why does it NOT have an ISO? Now that is food for thought… You want to be smart, ask Thomson Reuters… and then link what it is that these predatory OA publishers are truly after… link the dots, and I don’t mean the three dots following the 9…

  2. Rahim Khan, India says:

    The fact is that there are a number of organizations that get you ISO certification in India for a fee. I guess these journals must have availed these kind of services. There is a lack of any regulation regarding research publications and quality control in India. Mushrooming of large private educational organisations have made matter worse. As a result a there is a huge market for these substandard journals because most faculty of these private institutions are not good enough to publish with IEEE,ACM,Springer and other established publishers.

  3. R.V. Krishnakumar says:

    I foresee more tactful approaches in coming years to make appear online publications look more real. Earlier it was the statue of liberty alongside one open access journal’s name. Now, it is the logo of ISO itself. Those researchers and scholars who do good work publish in established journals and I am sure are not gullible. I partially agree with Mr.Khan. It is those faculty who try to make their bio-data “appear fat” are responsible for the sudden spurt in open access journals. I also foresee journals such as “mathematica indica”, “acta indica”, “indica politica”, “Accounts of Science and Technology”, “indica historica”, ….. oh! I am tempted to start one.

  4. Sanjay Kumar says:

    Mr. Jeffrey Beall whats your opinion about International Journal of Development Research as I wanted to submit the paper to this journal but no where i am not getting the publication group nor its office address

    • I am not able to access the site at this time. It shows an “internal server error. I will keep trying. Thanks.

      • R.V.Krishnakumar says:

        I think it is all too obvious with International Journal of Development Research. I could access the site now. The header of the paper with the logo matching closely that of Elsevier, appears to me a perfect humbug. Yet, I would like to hear your verdict.

      • I will be adding this journal to my list for the following reasons:

        1. The “contact” page does not list an address for the publisher; the site gives no indication where it is located, so we assume that they are trying to hide their headquarters location.

        2. The site is poorly presented; the singular is used when the plural should be. There are many links that do not work.

        3. The journal requires copyright transfer; this is non-standard for open-access journals.

        4. The site does not state what the author fees are.

        5. The publisher’s logo mimics that of Reed Elsevier.

        6. Many of the published articles have no relation to development studies, an indication that the journal accepts articles just for the author fees.

        7. The editorial board is called “International Board of Executive Editor” (makes no sense) and appears to be only an honorary, rather than a working, editorial board.

        8. The site uses professional pictures, likely pirated from other sites, without attribution.

        9. The editor in chief does not list his editorship on his website.

        10. None of the editorial board members have contributed papers to the journal.

        11. Some of the journals issues have a few as two articles. Some articles have as few as 2-3 pages.

        12. There is evidence of self-plagiarism:

        –Jeffrey Beall

  5. Sanjay Kumar says:

    Mr. Jeffrey Beall whats your opinion about International Journal of Development Research as I wanted to submit the paper to this journal but no where i am not getting the publication group nor its office address
    journal website address is

  6. R.V.Krishnakumar says:

    By header of the paper, I mean research articles. I read one paper on ‘Computer anxiety among……….students’. Must read, only if you dont mind the time you had spent for the purpose.

  7. R.V.Krishnakumar says:

    I never claim I am the most enlightened in OA. The present system (none) allows anyone to start a OA publication. Thats it. I suggest you avoid remarks that appear more racist than intellectual. I am here to learn too. You are severely distorted in your logic. I am sorry.

  8. An interesting article that has clearly promoted much discussion around this topic, thank you for posting.

  9. chris says:

    I know of a company that puts the iso logo on all the products they product and they are not certified. What can you do about this?

  10. baz says:

    How can i get ISO certification for my online journal ? what are required for it ?

  11. Chris says:

    That’s registrant :
    Name: Manikandan G
    Organization: qbase technologies
    Mailing Address: no 112 kamraj salai , pondicherry, pondicherry pondicherry 605011 IN
    Phone: +91.4304070
    Fax Ext:

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