Two Predatory Bloopers

Bioscan

The Biocan, second door on the left.

The Bioscan is an open-access journal that claims to be the official organ of India’s National Environmentalists Association, however, the journal appears to really be a one-man operation, one man who cannot spell very well. I love the misspelling they have near the top of their main page: The Biocan. This word makes me think of a composting toilet. Here are the reasons I consider this to be a predatory journal. The  journal …

  • Does not give any licenses to its articles other than to say they are open-access
  • Does not state the amount of the APC (but it does list membership fees)
  • Boasts a sloppy website with many grammatical and spelling errors
  • Has articles that are full of plagiarism
  • Provides examples of how references should appear, but the examples contain a bunch of errors
  • Has five different levels of editorial boards, but they mostly appear to be honorary
  • Has a spare website that provides no information about preservation, retraction, peer review, and the like.
  • Has a broad coverage (all life sciences) in order to attract many articles
  • The title is not original; there are several companies with the same name
Mary and Sam

We’d like to meet the Editorial Broad.

If you look closely, you’ll see the misspelling “broad” instead of “board.” In American English “broad” is a slang term for woman, so “editorial broad” congers up an image of a pushy, female journal editor. The most salient aspect of this publisher is its unprofessional-sounding name. The website offers no explanation of the name, and we think it’s an attempt to make the publisher sound more Western than it in fact is. A more accurate name for the publisher might be Fatima & Abdullah Research Academia, given the home countries of the majority of its editorial board members. A brand-new publisher, Mary & Sam is launching with four journals:

  • European Social Sciences Research Journal
  • European Journal of Arts and Humanities
  • European Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences
  • European Journal of Management Sciences and Economics

Again, trying to pass itself off as a Western publisher, the company uses the term “European” in each of its journal titles. We also observe that each journal’s scope is broad, the better to attract more author fees. As of this writing (late December, 2012), none of the journals has any content. Regarding publication fees, the publisher states,

Publication fee is GBP 100 per paper with maximum 5000 words. Fee for each additional word GBP 0.02 will be charged. If the paper is accepted for publication, you will be asked to pay Article Publication Fee (link to payment page). Authors can obtain a printed copy of the journal after advance payment of GBP 50.

This is the first instance I’ve seen of a publisher charging an author fee based on exact word count. The domain name registration data indicates the site is held by Sumiya Bashir, with a registration address of Somerset house 6070 Birmingham B37 7BF, United Kingdom.

This makes me wonder what Dame Finch thinks about gold open-access now. Is this publisher an example of what she and her committee envisioned? Perhaps she is the editorial broad they are referring to.

16 Responses to Two Predatory Bloopers

  1. oneblankspace says:

    What’s a secretory ?

  2. Thank you to all who set up these “publishing” sites. What a fun time 2013 is going to be, laughing at these half-wits. :-)

    And thank you Jeffrey Beall for the patience in drawing attention to them!

  3. Robin Hood says:

    A delightfully humourous start to 2013! The last paragraph of the blog entry post was perhaps the most telling of all: Is perhaps Dame Finch the broad responsible for the massive explosion in OA scams that will rapidly emerge from the UK (by non-UK citizens, mind you)? Perhaps someone should e-mail Mademoiselle Finch about this scam… scan.. can… Maybe Mary and Sam should rename to Bonnie & Clyde to suit the personality disorder better…

  4. naser says:

    Dear Jeffry

    I think the ISSN portal should start looking for new strategies to prevent registration of journals starting with names Australian, American, European, etc for journals in Pakistan or India. For instance, Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences is registered in Pakistan but Ministry of education of Pakistan has kept this journal in its black list and some other middle east countries have also banned this journal. In my opinion, if a journal owner insists to start a journal with a country’e name, it should be registered in that country. I hope Jeffry could pass this point to some people who follow the case.

    Naser

    • Robin Hood says:

      Naser, Good ideas, but practically impossible. One simple reason. The ISSN washes its hands of assuming any responsibilities associated with assigning ISSN numbers. A real Judas-like association. I have for years claimed that the ISSN is one of the BIGGEST causes of the massive expansion and out-of-control state of OA predatory publishing. My claims were ignored. Maybe now people will start to pay attention. We need to fight the ISSN, too. So, every scientists should strongly condemn the ISSN for dishing out ISSN numbers like it is water. Regarding the use of a country or region’s name, your logic is flawed. For example, some publishers use those terms even if they are physically based elsewhere, however, they resevre publication space specifically only for researchers in that geographic zone, e.g. only for EU scientists for a journal starting with European. So, I think you can scrap that idea because it won’t gain support for its lack of logic. It will also be perceived as racist and elitist. As for asking Jeff to do everything, please consider him as a human, like you or I. He is not the police of the world and for all scientists. He is playing his part and we should respect him for that. The question that needs to be asked is what are YOU doing in your part of the world (India, Pakistan?) to fight OA predatory publishers? Pro-active action is required, not just lip service. Finally, where can we find a public list of black-listed publishers as published by the PME?

    • Shawn says:

      Too many legit journals are published by publishers in other countries. For example, Taiwan Journal of Ophthalmology, is published by Elsevier (Netherlands).

      Plus you can easily set up mail boxes in any country to establish your presence. Or, there are many examples of OA publishers that just make up an address.

      There is a lot of money involved, so they are motivated to keep the scam going.

  5. naser says:

    Rabin hood

    Your idea sounds impressive, thank you, I learned from you. The point is that OA environment has become so dirty that people like you and I are finding it difficult to distinguish good journals from bad ones. I think if an OA publisher carefully publishes fairly good quality articles in a relatively good time we may cautiously trust them. However, when I see a new novice OA publisher like this, it is getting difficult for others to build trust.

    About the black list, I was asked from an OA publisher to apply for Pakistani index, I think, it was HSC or something like that and inside the instruction they clearly said they do not recognize that Pakistani journal. I know many people use Jeff’s list as a basis for assessing a journal in many countries. I hope he can categorize somehow his list so that criminal journals can be separated from others. Honestly, some people try to do healthy business and they are listed along with some worst practice titles.

    His terms and conditions for assessing OA help many people take a more close look at their websites and their practices. I congratulate him for his work.

    I know many universities take a look at the content of a published articles when a person wants to get promoted based on OA publications. On the other hand, I know many non-OA publishers do not perform review process, properly. For instance, Applied Mathematics and Computations was banned in some countries solely because they issued acceptance fairly quickly. This is a well known journal in the field of mathematics.

    I hope some Libraries setup some promotions for Platinum OA publishers to subscribe when they promise not to receive money from authors. This way they could encourage good OA publishers to work harder, publish good quality papers and contribute to scientific society.

    Naser

  6. A Khan says:

    If you see carefully master journal list of ISI (8576 journals in SCIENCE CITATION INDEX EXPANDED), you may find out approx. 200-300 journals whose name can give a wrong impression about the publisher’s country (Reference: http://science.thomsonreuters.com/mjl/publist_sciex.pdf). For example AMERICAN JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE IMMUNOLOGY can be published by a publisher based in DENMARK, or AMERICAN JOURNAL OF NEPHROLOGY can be published by a publisher based in SWITZERLAND, Asian Journal of Mathematics can be published by a publisher based in UNITED STATES or so on. It is quite easy to find out this type of mismatch and it is a common practice for last 50-60 years in publication industry. Anybody who is having some experience about publication industry, knows this fact.
    It is not journal’s name; it is journal’s quality and peer review practice, what bothers me more.
    Academicians expect that a Scholarly journal should work as a gatekeeper of scientific research. A scholarly journal mainly provides a kind of certification to a research by publishing a paper after peer review. Definitely quality of certificates differ from each other as per the peer review quality of the journal. That’s why different tires of scholarly journals exist. That’s why impact factor changes from journal to journal. Ultimately journals are meant to provide result of trusted filtering service to scholars. Therefore, in my opinion if a journal fails to provide this (trusted) service, it is predatory journal or vanity press. This should be the one and only criteria to judge a journal. Too many parameters create too much problems/controversies and ultimately divert from the main issue (i.e. peer review standard/ transparency/ quality). If any journal gives the result of fake peer review, though it is supposed to give the result of original peer review, then it is predatory journal or criminal journal or pseudo journal. It can be Open access journals or subscription based journal (Reference: Elsevier published 6 fake journals: Source: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/27383/title/Elsevier-published-6-fake-journals/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsevier).

  7. eponine says:

    May I know how legitimate is Inderscience publisher? I read your blog about this publisher having a journal with identical name as another existing journal. In addition, many bogus conferences have their papers published by inderscience publisher.

  8. Robin Hood says:

    Dear Eponine. Jeff does not have Inderscience listed on the list of predatory publishers. You claim that many “bogus” conferences are published by this publsher. You cannot make claims without proof. Prove it.

  9. Guria says:

    Journals with similar titles split out from Eurojournals. They are ‘European Journal of Social Sciences’ and ‘European Journal of Scientific Research’. Links:
    http://www.europeanjournalofsocialsciences.com/ and http://www.europeanjournalofscientificresearch.com/

    Apparently, these journals want to disassociate themselves from your list of predatory publishers.

    • Yes, it appears they have split off from Euro Journals (or have been sold). However, I cannot access their content; it appears they are no longer open access.

      • Guria says:

        Thank you very much for your reply. It is very interesting to learn about that. Last time that I visited the websites, articles of later issues could still be downloaded. Is it possible they develop a new business model. No longer an open access, the journals might only give hard copies to the authors, who paid for the publication of their papers. Readers can access only the abstracts.

      • Guria says:

        ‘European Journal of Social Sciences’ and ‘European Journal of Scientific Research’ are no longer open access journals but they still collect fees from authors. Isn’t that strange?

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