66 Responses to Hindawi’s Profit Margin is Higher than Elsevier’s

  1. Hindawi’s products are of high quality. The PDFs are beautifully typeset. More importantly, the XML is well structured, unlike most publishers’ XML (whether open access or traditional).

    Apple makes huge profits, but people still love them!

    • Nils says:

      I do hope Donald Knuth never sees this kind of statement, after all he has done for typesetting,

      • Actually, Knuth would be very proud of Hindawi, as they are one of the very few publishers who do their own production, and one of the few who do use Knuth’s TeX for typesetting their PDFs. ;-)

        I am just comparing the end product (XML and PDF) of Hindawi’s papers with those of other publishers, and very few match the quality of Hindawi.

      • Nils says:

        To me, mathematical formulas in Hindawi papers, especially sums, integrals and size of brackets, look as ugly as those produced by Word. Did you guys tamper with Metafonts to get this result?

      • Ahmed Hindawi says:

        Hindawi uses Minion for text along with Minion Math for mathematics. Minion is a modern revival by Robert Slimbach who produced a number of well-known fonts in the Adobe library such as Utopia and Adobe Garamond. Minion Math was developed by Johannes Küster to extend Minion to allow the typesetting of mathematical formulas. To my own eyes, Minion and Minion Math are extremely well designed and attractive fonts. However, as this is a matter of taste, I fully understand that others might find them unattractive.

      • We also decided to use Minion for the design of PeerJ, our most recent client, which was successfully received. (http://blog.peerj.com/post/43558508113/the-thinking-behind-the-design-of-peerjs-pdfs)

    • Interesting! How do they get the information into the XML files though? Most journals I’ve come across start out with Microsoft Word as input files, and then somehow need to move that into a format you can use for typesetting. That process usually requires a lot of manual human intervention.
      That was the reason why we started Fidus Writer ( http://www.fiduswriter.com ), so that the auhtor can either directly write in this online editor, or he can do the import himself through copy-and-paste. Output of fidus writer can then be Latex, which you can use directly in the journal. I haven’t found other editors that do that, at least none with a WYSIWYG interface.
      How do you guys do that?

  2. Nils says:

    Some time ago, you wrote that you did not consider Hindawi a predatory OA publisher, but kept it under close scrutiny. Does this still hold true?

    What annoys me most about that publisher are the spam emails proposing to become a “Lead guest editor”. Where is the difference to the classical Pyramid scheme?

  3. moom says:

    How are staffers making decisions any different to what the Nature Group does?

  4. Here is another key point raised:

    “The money that academic libraries used to pay for subscriptions is now being spent on article processing charges, it seems, and universities will soon be back to where they started from with open access.”

    Under the subscription system, authors (and institutions supporting authors) did not pay for the production costs (which do exist, for serious publishers), but readers and institutions supporting libraries did. Institutions have been trying to cut library budgets, but must now realise that they then have to give more support to researchers who face author fees.

    Perhaps in any given research field, there would be an ideal mix of journal types available for publishing research:

    1. Fully-funded (but naturally rare) institutional publications that are free to contributors and authors alike. These can aim to set standards in terms of academic quality, or support for esoteric areas of research, or for local-language publication.
    2. Contributor funded publications that are free to readers.
    3. Subscription funded publications that are free to contributors.
    4. Various combinations of the above.

    Regardless of the model, we need ways to assess cost-effectiveness, fair pricing, review methods and recognition for reviewer efforts, support for authors, support for authors, archival standards, approaches to marketing, distribution requirements, academic reliability, and so on. Jeffrey Beale has been right to attack misleading and unethical practices apparent with many new publishers.

    It also seems that many new and old publishers are hoping to expand and survive through academic hegemony – an approach that researchers must resist. We have our own responsibility to support the journals and publishers we know and like… we should not simply sit back and complain about smaller publishers being swallowed by larger publishers, or about production being moved ‘offshore’ with respect to wherever we happen to stand.

    We need a multiple sets of standards, or quality monitoring services, that support best practices across a range of publishing styles and methods. The aim should be to give authors and readers a wide range of good options, rather than the present multitude of confusing and unreliable options, with just a few [often unattainable] gems scattered among them.

  5. I have to say that I am very surprised by the incorrect claim about our editorial and peer-review process given that every single paper we publish has the name of the editorial board member who handled the paper and recommended its acceptance published on that paper. We also provide full statistics about our acceptance and rejection rates of every single journal that we publish at http://www.hindawi.com/statistics/. Our average acceptance rate is between 35 and 40%.

    I am also surprised to see that what concerns Mr Beall is the percentage of our profit margin rather than the actual cost of our publishing program to the academic community. In 2012, we have published more than 22,000 articles with total revenue of about $13m. This is about $600 per published article. Given that the industry-wide average revenue per article is estimated to be around $4000, the academic community would have paid $88m to get these articles published under the toll access model. This is a $75m less to the academic community while ensuring that these articles are full open access.

    • Ali says:

      Peer review by Hindawi is very week. Hindawi has a lot of case report journals with a lot of poor quality and plagiarized materials.

      In Hindawi’s ISRN journals, peer review is ridiculous. Each manuscript is sent up to 5 reviewers. Based on majority, the decision is made. If 3 out of 5 reviewers give positive feedback, they publish. This is stupid peer review policy. The acceptance or rejection should be done by the editor (not Hindawi’s staff) based on strength of comments made by the reviewers rather than number of reviewers giving positive feedback.

    • Do you really need to spam, Hindawi?

      (We list your entire network, so anybody using our resources will just skip all your mail.)

  6. […] Per ora Jeffrey Beall considera Hindawi Corporation un predone borderline e lo tiene d’occhio per via del marketing aggressivo e dell’ingiunzione di citare un tot di papers pubblicati dalle sue riviste. Per il momento giova non all’impact factor, ma ai profitti. Scrive Beall: […]

  7. dzrlib says:

    My concern is that $600/articles is less than half of what some very responsible society publishes request for OA publication. I would appreciate more information on why ‘editor-in-chief’ is not deemed necessary for Hindawi journals. This would seem essential to prevent over-burdening the peer reviewers.

  8. Prontito says:

    Ahmed, can you please provide a reference for the $4K/article that mainstream pubs make? Obviously, their business model includes individual and institutional subscriptions, ad revenue, etc. That model also includes a much bigger overhead (paper, printing, postage etc.) and it is not “open access.” Which brings me to my point, comparing Hindawi to Elsevier as publishers is like comparing trains and buses in terms of transportation; they are not the same. Granted, they both “move” people but they do so differently and it is unfair to hold “net profit margin” as the measurement standard between the two models when there are so many more relevant issues related to quality of scientific publication from a writer’s point of view, e.g. abstracting/indexing, editorial reviews, impact factor, etc. I am not saying that cost/profit is not relevant; I am saying that “profiting” appears to be a weak argument against an enterprise if that enterprise is indeed providing a useful and legitimate service or product. It is going to take a lot more than “you are making too much money” to challenge the OA medium; specifically Hindawi as started in this thread.

    • Ahmed Hindawi says:

      One quick reference for the revenue per article would be the recent article in Nature titled Open access: The true cost of science publishing: “Data from the consulting firm Outsell in Burlingame, California, suggest that the science-publishing industry generated $9.4 billion in revenue in 2011 and published around 1.8 million English-language articles — an average revenue per article of roughly $5,000. Analysts estimate profit margins at 20–30% for the industry, so the average cost to the publisher of producing an article is likely to be around $3,500–4,000.” You can read the full article at http://www.nature.com/news/open-access-the-true-cost-of-science-publishing-1.12676.

      I agree with you that there are some differences between subscription publishers and open access publishers (e.g., open access publishers wouldn’t have large sales forces that are needed at selling subscriptions to libraries). However, they both share most of what we think of as scholarly journal publishing. For example, subscription and open access publishers both have the need to create journals that are well respected by the academic community. They both need to peer revenue manuscripts submitted to their journals in order to accept only those manuscripts that match or exceed a particular level of quality and to provide their submitting authors (including those whose manuscripts are rejected) with a professional service that helps them improve their current and future manuscripts. Subscription and open access publishers both need to publish their accepted manuscripts using high quality standards and make them as discoverable as possible (by getting them indexed in appropriate secondary databases and search engines).

      But as far as revenues, costs, and profits are concerned, I think the biggest difference between subscription publishers and open access publishers is that the open access is creating a competitive market unlike the subscription market, which is anything but competitive. This is an argument that has been presented many times by many people over the last few years. It basically boils down to the following: As a reader, a researcher does not have the open to choose what to read (the proofs of this mathematical theorem is in this paper published in this journal, not anywhere else) but as an author, a researcher has a few options of where to publish their paper (a few journals within the same quality band covering the same subject area). I believe this will lead to a significant contraction of the scholarly journal market (my best guess would be a contraction by a factor of somewhere between 2 and 10).

      In a truly competitive, commoditized market, producers of a particular good or service cannot charge much higher than the average ongoing cost of that good or service. Please note that I didn’t say: producers cannot charge much higher than their own cost. In a competitive market (and I believe that open access publishing will establish a much more competitive market than the current subscription publishing market), an individual company may have a high profit margin, if that company is able to lower their cost significantly below the “average ongoing cost” within their industry. That company can enjoy a much higher than average profit margin for a period of time, until their competitors become able to lower their costs to a matching level (in which case price competition will force them to lower their prices). I don’t think open access will completely commoditize the market, but it will certainly create a much more competitive market that we have with subscription publishing and this will have a dramatic effect on the revenue per articles that publishers will be generating.

  9. AL says:

    I have checked and I have 33 invitations from Hindawi, starting in 2007. These include
    2013 -> 4
    2012 -> 14
    2011 -> 5
    and less so in previous years.

    Three of them invite me to Guest Edit an issue, five to be member of some editorial board. Most often the subjects are not related (or very vaguely related) to my area of work.

    I don’t bother to answer and I will start marking them as spam any time soon.

    • Jessica says:

      Under this situation of so many spam emails, why Hindawi should not be classified as Predatory publishers? Beall, can you come out with answer. Beall himself describes Hindawi as House of Spam. When AL says, most often the subjects are not related to the work of AL, can Beall come with right way of description to the marketing strategy of Hindawi.

      • John says:

        Jeffrey Beall will keep Hindawi in so-called borderline case for next 20 years. Everyone knows why he does so.

      • Thomas says:

        There should be transparency and fairness in critical decisions like this one! With Hindawi not on Beall’s list and it is being tagged as the House of Spam by Beall himself, I strongly object to the credibility of that list unless Beall has a ‘sensible’ explanation to this so called “borderline” ruling!

      • Prontito says:

        Replying to John; no, I do not know why Beall keeps Hindawi “in so-called borderline”. What am I missing John?

    • emperor says:

      I am also receiving unsolicited mails by Hindawi and there is no apparent way to unsubscribe. In my country it is illegal to not provide an easy way to opt-out.
      As a serious business they should make sure their advertisement does not violate the laws of the country of the receiver.

  10. Avraham says:

    So interesting is the fact that Hindawi has a big add on some Nature issues, is it not?

  11. True spam has no relevance at all to most receivers. Marketing is more-or-less targeted according to the benefit/risk of reaching a broad target and offending receivers within the target group. Marketing costs must rise if the aim is to reach many people with strict test for relevancy.

    Maybe Hindawi is pushing the envelope of acceptability with its marketing, but I suspect that the company that wants to survive, so they will respond to negative feedback if they have ways to receive (or perceive) and process such feedback.

    Meanwhile, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of Science, continues to send out physical envelopes with nicely printed form letters inviting me to pay a subscription to join their Society and recieve the journal. I admire the website and journal, but do not need a personal subscription because my institutiuon purchases the printed journal. I am amazed that they can afford such marketing, but since many individuals and libraries subscribe, I guess it is cost effective.

    I don’t regard advances of the AAAS as spam, and not even as junk mail. It is legitimate marketing that I choose to ignore.

    • Nils says:

      From http://www.networketiquette.net/core_rules_do_not_spam.html :

      “It is proper netiquette to refrain from sending unsolicited messages through the internet or responding to them. Unsolicited sales messages are spam. Spam email messages are illegal in the United States.”


      “Proper internet etiquette prevents sending unsolicited messages of any kind. It is not appropriate to waste a users time with unwanted information.”

    • Spam is not about content (hence relevance of the message is irrelevant to its spamminess), but about consent.

      ScientificSpam.net welcomes Hindawi with open arms and has just listed based on spam seen in our spamtraps. We expect to see more in the future, and list more IP addresses that Hindawi uses to send the spam.

      • At least the network is clearly documented.


        inetnum: –
        netname: Hindawi-Publishing
        descr: Hindawi-Publishing-Corporation
        country: EG

  12. dzrlib says:

    Isn’t the difference between Science magazine’s ‘spam’ and that of Hindawi … that Science isn’t trolling for articles. Isn’t one of the measures of a quality journal the rejection rate?

    • Alex H says:

      A small OA journal may receive dozens of plagiarized/substandard articles, subject to desk rejection, This may also produce a modest (10-25%) acceptance rate.

    • 99% of good research cannot be published in Science or Nature, as the role of those journals is really to popularise the best research going. In itself, rejection rate is not a good measure of the value of a journal. The ability of editors and reviewers to recognise good research, and to help authors raise the level of their presentation, and get published, is part of what makes a good service journal. This community service role is also lacking in a great many new start-up journals!

  13. I think we need to keep a number of thoughts apart here, in order to make this a sensible discussion. The discussion about marketing has no relevance to the question raised about why aren’t we crying out about Hindawi’s extremely high profit margins. (Feel free to complain about Hindawi’s marketing practices, but why here?)

    Hindawi’s profit margins are high by anyone’s standards, far higher than those of Elsevier. Some points: We should not lament publishers creating profits for themselves, our concern should be how they create margins and in what kind of market.

    Elsevier create profits by reducing access to scientific content, Hindawi by enabling such access.

    Elsevier mostly operate in a marked characterized by monopolistic competition, creating super-profits. Hindawi operate in a more competitive market, where the chances of super-profits are much smaller.

    The reason Hindawi can make such huge profits, is the pricing of Elsevier and others in the non-competitive market. And Hindawi’s margins can be threatened by new entrants in the market; this is not a major risk for Elsevier. The risk for Elsevier lies in a transition to OA, which is more competitive and threatens profit margins.

    We should bear in mind that Hindawi’s income per article is smaller than Elsevier’s profit per article.

    • dzrlib says:

      Might the fact that “Hindawi’s income per article is smaller than Elsevier’s” be due to the fact that they don’t provide the same level of editorial review. As an aside, I think a much more important comparison would be with responsible independent society publishers, such as the Am. Phys. Soc.

      • A point: That was NOT the comparison I made, I compared Hindawi’s INCOME per article with Elsevier’s PROFITS per article. Income-wise, Elsevier and Hindawi are worlds apart.

        And if economics is the theme (that’s where this post started) we should be very happy to have Hindawi – switching from Elsevier to Hindawi would save science about a billion USD per year.

        Now, to quality. I am not qualified to have strong opinions on the quality differences between Hindawi and Elsevier, but I see that the general opinion is that there is one, with Elsevier as the (far) better one. (I have no doubt, however, that there must be variation between individual journals with both publishers.)

        The point I would like to make is that in a future competitive market that OA will create, publishers need to compete for manuscripts. In the long run, the only viable way to do that is to create quality journals. Quality along two major lines: Services to authors, and quality of readership. Authors want to be read by the best.

        Today’s pricing differences between journals are not a function of quality, but of market imperfections. Increasingly, prices will start to reflect quality. Maybe Hindawi will strive to increase quality, and Elsevier to cut costs/prices?

        Somehow, I have better hopes for Hindawi than for Elsevier. But I may be proven wrong … wouldn’t be the first time.

  14. Naser says:

    Profit margin normally depends on scale of a business. A small firm could reduce its overhead costs and increases profit margin but when the scale is becoming bigger, it is getting difficult to keep overhead costs low. Big cap publishers like ELSEVIER and Springer need to spend more time and energy to remain pioneer in their jobs but small firms like Hindawi do not have to necessarily spend much on R&D, etc.

    In economy there is a theory called Cub-Douglas function where value added is measured by capital and labor. According to this theory, return to scale can be different from a small firm to a large one.

    Nevertheless, I see Hindawi increases its journals very rapidly and may send many email messages to various people to attract editorial board or papers. I think the owner of this firm plans to expand its operations, very quickly.

    Presently, there are only 29 journals out of 536 indexed by ISI, which is not a good sign. There are many other OA publishers with much fewer numbers of journals and more ISI indexed journals. I think the publisher must focus more on quality to remain popular.


  15. […] can evidently be lucrative. Hindawi Publishing Corporation with its more than 520 journals had a profit margin of 52% in 2012, better than that of the long-established Elsevier’s […]

  16. […] mainstream journals. Elsevier’s profit margin may not have been as high as Hindawi’s, but at 36%  some (including me) might still regard it as excessive, representing gouging of their captive […]

  17. […] Hindawi – fondato da 2 studenti di fisica nel 1997 – ha un margine di profitto del 52% su un fatturato di  $6,3 […]

  18. brembs says:

    “Why aren’t all the anti-profit zealots complaining about Hindawi’s 52% profit margin?”
    I am: “universal, unregulated Gold Open Access is one of the few situations I can imagine that would potentially be even worse than the status quo”

  19. […] thought seems given to understanding whether OA really does anything to help reduce those margins (Hindawi’s OA profit margins, after all, exceed those of […]

  20. […] l’expansion est carrément exponentielle avec plus de 1000 salariés. Un groupe qui affiche un bénéfice monstrueux, 3,3 millions de dollars pour les six premiers mois de 2012, mais surtout correspondant à 52% de son chiffre […]

  21. […] contestable et justifie un boycott de ses acteurs (Nature, Cell, Science et de nombreux autres – y compris certains en accès libre) pour quiconque s’y […]

  22. Treze says:

    I am an employee in Hindawi Publishing Corporation: I do not know how my opinion will be perceived, but I found it obligatory for me to share in this talk. I just want to say that Dr. Hindawi is a very honorable man who respects his employees. In addition, he is a very smart and accurate person. He loves science and so he uses it as a means to serve those who need it. So choosing this Open Access model was a natural result for his passion for science and his intention to benefit the readers of his journals. An evidence for this is that he formed specialized teams in his company whose only job is to make a paper of high quality in every aspect. As an employee in Hindawi Publishing Corporation, I bear witness myself how the review process goes in a very accurate manner and how our staff and above all Dr. Hindawi himself exert a huge effort to guarantee the accuracy and integrity of the whole publishing process.

    • Zed says:

      Just a comment about Hindawi’s awfull lies. We published in one of their journal Biomed Res International and we asked about the real impact factor of the journal because we could not find it in any official database. However till this time I never checked it, we trusted in the journals. But now I felt that something is wrong. In the answer they claimed an impact factor.
      As today everybody can reach the new Journal Citation Reports
      it became clear that this journal did not have and do not have any impact factor.
      Today I checked most of the journals published by Hindawi.
      Most of them have no impact factor, however the declare it.

      This is stealing money from authors.

      • Are you sure? I have never seen any evidence that Hindawi has misrepresented its journals’ impact factors.

      • Zed says:

        The only official IF list what we use is Journal Citation Reports.

        That is the problem, that the journal name and ISSN number is changed, according the rules the IF is not continuous. The new IF is zero for Biomed Res International, which would be split with the last IF of the previous journal in 2015 and got it’s own IF just in 2016 not before. We can play with this how to calculate IF, but I think it is not correct to put the IF until is not given by JCR/TR; I think is more correct to say that Biomed Res Int has no IF yet, but it will have in 2015 (will be published 2016 in JCR). New ISSN means in many country a new journal whit a totally new life history starting to get IF from the zero point.

        Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
        ISSN: 1110-7243

        Biomed Research International
        ISSN: 2314-6133


        A user’s knowledge of the content and history of the journal studied is very important for appropriate interpretation of impact factors. Situations such as those mentioned above and others such as title change are very important, and often misunderstood, considerations.

        A title change affects the impact factor for two years after the change is made. The old and new titles are not unified unless the titles are in the same position alphabetically. In the first year after the title change, the impact is not available for the new title unless the data for old and new can be unified. In the second year, the impact factor is split. The new title may rank lower than expected and the old title may rank higher than expected because only one year of source data is included in its calculation (see Figure 4). Title changes for the current year and the previous year are listed in the JCR® guide

        I have no problem with OA I think published papers must reach as many people they can, but publications with their IF are important in the scientific carrier as well.

        When the system and the librarian not accept the publications IF because they use very strictly the Thomson Reuters rules its a wasted work.

        “This is stealing money from authors.” Ok I have to apologize for this sentence, it’s too hard and not diplomatic. But say the truth I got many problems with this Hindawi”s journals, due this IF problems..

        I had no problems with stable Elsevier or other journals even they changed their name or not.

        However I wish Hidawi a good process and development not to get this problems in the future.

      • Can you give us names of journals and links to where the real and “fake”impact factors are presented?

      • I have a list of misleading metrics companies here. The legitimate impact factors appear in a proprietary product called Journal Citation Reports.

      • johanneswilm says:

        @Jeffrey Beall: Yes, but you seem to have your own agenda in relation to journals and open access, and some of the criteria you use for inclusion in the list, such as “The company exists solely for the purpose of earning money […]” seem to be rather subjective factors. Do Elsevier, Springer and Nature not also exist (solely) for the purpose of earning money? Do that make the stuff that comes from them any less scientific? Why do we have other standards for journals, metrics, etc. that are newer and come mainly from the third world?

        If this “real” impact factor isn’t freely available, I’m a bit unsure why anyone should take that into consideration. But of course if the Hindawi journals claim to have one impact factor according to this statistic, and they are really listed with a different value, then that is not OK. As a librarian I imagine you have access to this report. If we could get the name of the journal which supposedly is doing this on the table, then you would be able to validate the claim made above, right?

      • The front page of our journal http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/ clearly states that the journal former title is Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. The journal title was changed in Jan 2013 to BioMed Research International. The front page of the journal clearly states that the 2012 impact factor of the former title is 2.880, which is certainly correct. The 2013 impact factor, which was published yesterday, is 2.706 and we will update the webpage of the journal within the next couple of days to reflect the new impact factor

        When a journal changes its title, TR includes the impact factor before the title change and after the title change for a couple of years. The 2013 JCR includes the new title of the journal in order to report its immediacy index, number of published articles in that year, etc. The impact factor under this new title does not appear this year since the title change happened in 2013. Next year, TR will publish two impact factors (one for the former title and one for the new title). Then a year later, the former title will not mentioned in the JCR and only the new title will appear in the JCR listing.

        This is the same way TR handles all journal title changes as far as I can tell. TR acknowledges that this is the same journal that went through a title change and link the two records rather than a new journal but they choose to handle the JCR listing in a way that may cause confusion, as it apparently happened in this case. We are very transparent about the indexing of our journals and the impact factors of those that are indexed in WoS.

  23. dglossman says:

    I have not access to the JCR IFs, and it seems that there is some problem with the journals webpages. Can you tell me which is the new IF for International Journal of Photoenergy and for Journal of Chemistry?

    • Ahmed Hindawi says:

      The journal of chemistry is another title change that happened two years ago. The journal used to be titled e-Journal of Chemistry and has been changed to Journal of Chemistry and is currently listed in the JCR 2013 under E-J CHEM with Impact Factor of 0.622.

      International Journal of Photoenergy has not received an Impact Factor in the JCR 2013 because a few articles published in a special issue titled “Radiation Effects in Solar Cells and Optoelectronic Devices” had an usually high number of citations to a journal titled “Nuclear Technology and Radiation Protection” (with which Hindawi has no relationship whatsoever). We are currently investigating if these citations were indeed intended to increase the Impact Factor of the recipient journal of these citations. If it turns out that indeed this is the case, we will take appropriate actions including retracting the offending articles and imposing sanctions in accordance with our Publication Ethics Policy that is detailed at http://www.hindawi.com/ethics/.

      Hindawi takes all Publication Ethics issues including citation manipulations very seriously and exerts a significant effort in detecting these cases during the peer-review process. Unfortunately, that cannot guarantee the appropriateness of every single citation in every single article we publish.

      • Mellisa says:

        Dear Mr Hindawi,
        I have question that Jeffery couldnt answer, could you please answer me as a professional?
        Check this link: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/380184/ . The papers that are accepted and appeared in the journal’s page are not shown in the webofknwoledge, the journal is ISI indexed, but if the journal lose its index during coming months what will happen to these papers? They will be shown in webofknowledge?
        Actually our scale for validity of a paper is webofknowledge, and I dont know how can I be ensure at the time of acceptance of an article that this article will be shown in the webofknowledge? What if you accept my article, publish it and exactly at that time Thompson Reuters decide to drop that journal of you?

  24. manuel De la Sen says:

    The statement

    “It has done away with the position of editor-in-chief. Staffers in Cairo make accept/reject decisions based on reviewers’ comments (with the exception of issues with guest editors)”

    in the last paragraph is not exact.

    Journals have no Editor-in-Chief while they have a set of Editors to handle the regular submissions . Editors handle the papers assigned to them and choose the referees to start the refereeing process before taking the editorial decision upon reception of the referees´ reports. Also, the assigned editor can reject directly assigned papers , by justified reasons that he /she has to point out, before starting the standard refereeing process.

  25. frederico medeiros says:

    Dear Beall,
    Is “Hindawi Publishing Corporation” confiable?
    Thank you.

  26. eriktrell says:

    I would like to make a case report here that I believe may bring useful perspectives on the Hindawi enterprise and the overall predatory journals and good publicist and editorial standards issue, and more specifically how a Trojan horse ‘preditor’ may overturn ever so good records and aspirations for both publisher – in this instance Hindawi – and author – me.

    I know it is a very long note but believe that the subject matter and the recent editorial in BMJ, “Firm action needed on predatory journals” (BMJ 2015; 350: h210), makes it timely and called for, and important also for Hindawi to consider in order to maintain the position within the non-predatory journals league.

    I am an, if not grand so at least old man in preventive Medicine (I attach my Pubmed entry here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Trell+E) and, designing and running the Department of Preventive Medicine in Malmö in the seventies and eighties have contributed to innovative developments in e.g. alcohol and cancer and general prevention and the on-line medical informatics management of it. This, in turn, enabled a transferal of the clinical protocol to working out in Society with an interactive logbook/on-line computer health counseling instrument with the thermometer as visual analogue called (in Swedish) hälsometer (In English healthometer, in Greek hygeiometro, in German Gesundheitsthermometer). Like its parent it serves to recognize and reinforce the positive, wellbeing aspects of health, in the overall encouraging light of which it is possible to identify and advice on the occasional weak spots.

    After due publication in this R&D phase, Hälsometer has continued in routine use, e.g. in a large elderly health campaign in Sweden. However, now the time has come for an updating because of the changing information technology and associated market offering situation in the population, and the “wide opinion gap between scientists and the general public” (A.I. Leshner, “Bridging the opinion gap”, Science 347, 459, 2015) which has occurred also in the health system much owing to its lagging behind in adaptation to it. It has been authoritatively stated that “the only recourse is genuine, respectful dialogue with people” (Ib.), and that this as a major basic Science concern today requires “new tools for measuring…subjective well-being (SWB)…as well as conceptual frameworks for interpreting such measurements…which refer to how people experience and evaluate their lives and specific domains and activities in their lives…considering both happiness and misery”. (A.A. Krueger and A.A. Stone, “Progress in measuring subjective well-being”, Science 346, 42-43, 2015) This is in effect what Hälsometer aims to do, operationalizing in color-enhanced visual analog scale “vignettes…a coherent framework for aggregating dimensions of SWB…in which individuals’ utility depends on several nonoverlapping aspects” (Ib.).

    When now being developed to modern mobile app implementation, a renewed report was therefore warranted, and was submitted as a review under the perhaps a bit presumptuous title ”HealthOmeter – an aid in advancing Preventive Medicine media revolution” in December 2014 to Hindawi’s Advances in Preventive Medicine, which appeared to be the ideal open access journal for it. I stated in my covering letter the instrument’s novelty in terms not only of software but also and importantly of the quality-assured know-how (“wetware”) it holds. The paper (Reference number APM/979084) was well received and a few directly recommended amendments including a slight reduction of the number of (self-)references were made in January. In February came the review reports which were on the whole encouraging. Both reviewers found that “the topic of this manuscript falls within the scope of Advances in Preventive Medicine”, and the first reviewer commented that “this paper rises an important issue for the preventive medicine and political agenda” and recommended that it “should be published unaltered”. The second reviewer did not find the paper in its form at that stage “of sufficient quality or novelty to be published in this journal”, but gave a list of six constructive and easily resolved points for amendment. The report was accompanied by a letter from the Editor, William Cho, that the article should be revised, “taking into account the changes requested by the reviewers” and gave me time to March 24 for that. So far, a quite normal editorial process, and one that I from large own experience both as author and reviewer (and editorial board member) considered on the whole favorable, and had no problem to follow, sending my amendment within a week.

    But then the abnormalities started. Within a few days I got the following response from the editor:
    “After reviewing your Review Article 979084 titled “‘Healthometer’ – an aid in advancing preventive medicine media revolution,” by Erik Trell, I regret to inform you that it was found unsuitable for publication in Advances in Preventive Medicine.
    >> We appreciate the authors’ efforts. However we used to publish scientific paper, some figures seems not the usual figures for scientific article.
    >> Besides, we need more scientific results to back up the therapy.
    >> Furthermore, validation is needed for the generalization usage.
    >> Thank you for submitting your manuscript to Advances in Preventive Medicine.
    >> Best regards,
    >> William Cho”

    None of these, quite colloquially expressed sweeping allegations were raised in the review and were thus not at all pending in the process. So on March 9 I protested, emphasizing also that the proper and commanded review still was on. I got this (like all communication from the office very kind and considerate) answer the same day:
    “This is to confirm the receipt of your email below and inform you that I have raised your concerns to the Editor and to my supervisors, and I shall be contacting you soon”.
    And on the 11th of March:
    “Thank you for your email. Of course, we understand your disappointment and we will certainly consider your further clarification. I want to assure you that we are currently in contact with the Editor, and I will get back to you once I receive a reply from his/her side.”

    However, nothing happened, so on the 9th of April I wrote:
    “It is now a month since I got your reassurance…this has not happened so I must draw the conclusion that the result is silence…” I am not going in detail on my further discourse, but I started to raise concerns about the Editor’s competence and fairness and the motivations of his sudden reversal including possible vested interests (one of the six reviewer points was if any financial interests are involved which I could inform is not the case since engaged in an EU research program).

    The answer from Hindawi, two days later was:
    “This is to confirm the receipt of your email. Please accept my apology for the delay in our reply. Please be sure that the delay in unintended. But, we have to meticulously investigate the matter in order to decide on the most appropriate action that should be taken. In order to reach a decision that is fair and well considered, we decided to consult other Editors and seek their opinion regarding this issue. Currently, the issue is pending the receipt of the Editors’ feedback. Once we have received the opinions we sought, we will contact you”.

    I replied, the same day:
    ”Thank you for your rapid response. But I am not happy at all about your still unilateral and evasive line of action which does not involve me or the real crux at hand but still seems most concerned with vindicating your own and your responsible but still non-accountable editor’s mismanagement. I am most dissatisfied and protest vigorously that you again digress and puts above my head the case to a ring of your own editors, thereby handing over my confidential work even more to dissipation and slander…Let me remind you that the actual case is that I submitted a scientific article to you, and amended it three times according to your instructions, and that you put it to a regular review process that I passed…And there is where it still stands; performed, fulfilled – and passed. This is the situation that you have to solve and comply with as a decent, qualified, non-predatory publisher. If there are any further consultants called for they are to be impartial and independent experts in the scientific field and putting their objective expertise and not loose and most possibly biased local “opinions” to the essential question, namely, the quality of the article and your editorial process.”

    But the scholarly struggle was in vain. On the 16th of April I got this blow:
    “Dear Dr. Trell,
    I hope my email finds you well. We regret that this investigation has taken a long time, but as you know we have to be meticulous to maintain the standards of the journal. Following your email below, please allow me to clarify the following points: All of our Editors are leading researchers in their fields, and they have been chosen for their strong academic background and publication history…We trust that our Editors will maintain high standards while making their editorial judgments…Please note that invited manuscripts go through the same peer review process like all other submitted manuscripts…At last and following our previous correspondence in regards to the Editor’s decision, we have received feedback from one of the Editorial board members. Please find his comments in the Word file attached to my email. I regret to inform you that the Editor as well as the Editorial board member have both agreed on the same opinion, and so we have to respect the Editors’ decision.”

    The verdict, in brief: Paper too long, sentences unclear, complicated language, figures can be deleted (and replaced by a table! In a pictorial review of the instrument itself!), too many self-references (in a review of own work); that is effectively the essence of it. One editor secretly “agreed”, and I am left with an unfair stain in my shield, and, worse, Science could be deprived of a valuable and called for advance in Preventive Medicine. It is quite easy, and important, to point out the serious editorial and publicist fallacies in this case. The assured ”review process” remains annulled, just an illusion, a false promise that led a serious scientist astray. And instead of fulfilling its contract and continue the review, Hindawi ”at last…received feedback from one of the Editorial board members”, who “agreed on the same opinion”. What is that but collusion? “At last”, Hindawi managed to find one single, anonymous, editorial board member who agreed to support Dr Cho! It is definitely not decent publication standards. It is definitely not transparent. And it is an insult also against the honest reviewers and their sincere work and the entire regular editorial process. In practice Hindawi’s conduct here is predatory.

    However, is it systematic, is it in Hindawi’s system? Let us test the assurance: “All of our Editors are leading researchers in their fields, and they have been chosen for their strong academic background and publication history…We trust that our Editors will maintain high standards while making their editorial judgments”. And let us test it for the Editor-in-Charge here, William Chi-sing Cho, who from the website presentations in the journals he is editor of appears as a per se capable albeit non-MD (or Ph.D. or other academic degree) biomedicine “scientific officer” dealing with e.g. cancer biomarkers, proteomics and microRNA and whose acumen as a global preventive or other clinical medicine editor might therefore be questioned. None-the-less he is described as “editor-in-chief and editor in a number of international medical journals” and it is ominous that a rapid screening of just a few of them where he is imposingly announced as editor reveals that at least three belong to open access publishers reported in Beall’s list as predatory. They are Journal of Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacoproteomics by OMICS; International Journal of Molecular Sciences by the MDPI group, and Journal of Cancer Therapeutics by HERBERT open access journals. I think that Hindawi should be wary about the true drives and capacity of such a prolific entrepreneur on the shady side of the otherwise constructive and productive open access publication venue. What good are official declarations when they could be undermined by a mole?

    And one’s worries increase even more when one reads from the web homepages of these journals that he is also an “international renowned grant reviewer of the Hope Funds for Cancer Research (USA), Cancer Research (UK), MRC Research Grant (UK), Health Research Board (Ireland), Science Foundation (Ireland), Istituto Toscano Tumori (Firenze), The Foundation Fournier-Majoie for Innovation (Brussels), National Medical Research Council (Singapore), The Medical Research Council (South Africa), and Academia Sinica Investigator Award (Taiwan), etc”.

    Well, I close this lengthy but I firmly believe constructive complaint now, and leave to Hindawi to draw the right conclusions and start the necessary restoration to a truly non-predatory publishing company. In my case that would mean continuing the ongoing review of my manuscript. My reasons for submitting it to you was because I considered Advances in Preventive Medicine as the designated herald of the new signals and developments that the media revolution bring to its subject. There are a few more intuitive reasons as well, connected with earlier scientific collaborations (and even HealthOmeter co-authorship) with Egypt at the University of Cairo and in Alexandria, and also first getting in contact with the subtle art of square-octagonal periodic tiling there. This has, in turn, led to some publications and even a recent invitation from the Hindawi Journal of Nanotechnology to submit an article in the nanotechnology field. Everything is connected in the end, and my hope is for a happy one.

  27. Ramesh Nair says:

    I’m looking for information about the Arab World English Journal. Is it included in the Predatory Journal list? If so, where can I see this? Thank you.

  28. […] each article. Despite this relatively low cost, they seem to make an extraordinarily high profit of 52%. This may reflect certain shortcomings in the way they do things. As Jeffrey Beall has written, […]

  29. […] a little frustrating to find that the newest review was a bit tarnished because the publisher was criticized by Beall in Scholarly Open Access. The interested reader can see the open access article at this […]

  30. vakalutusau says:

    Dr Beall, is Hindawi Publishing Corporation on your list of predatory publishers?

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