Look out for Bogus Impact Factor Companies

The proliferation of predatory open-access publishers has created several new and expanding markets. One of these is the market for journal rankings. Because few predatory publishers are able to earn legitimate journal rankings, companies have emerged that — for a fee — award bogus impact factors to low-quality journals.

Predatory publishers compete intensely among themselves for the article processing charges that authors pay. Authors are their customers, and they want to get as much money from them as possible. In this competitive market, publishers want to stand out from the crowd and attract the author fees. One way to effectively earn these fees is to boast high journal rankings. Many predatory publishers lie about having an impact factor, but this tactic is easily confirmed as fraudulent. These new companies will, for a fee, bestow a high and “official” impact factor on their clients’ journals. Here are three of the companies:

Journal Impact Factor

No impact.

1. Journal Impact Factor (Global Institute for Scientific Information)

 This bogus organization is an obvious appropriation of the former Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), which no longer exists. (Its journal impact factor was taken over by Thomson Reuters). I think this operation is based in India, but they provide no location information on their website, and their domain name information is blocked. This site uses a web form for submissions. It says, “At least 1 or 2 article [sic] must have been published in the first issue before you submit the journal in online or print.” It also warns, “We are charging nominal fee for processing your journal to get Journal Impact Factor.” This policy shows a clear conflict of interest.

Global impact factor

Not really global.

2. Global Impact Factor (Institute for Information Resources)

 This company provides an address in Australia, but I think it is really from India. It uses experts to make qualitative judgments about each journal, and that’s how the score is calculated. The website says the process takes 4-6 months, but a journal can pay $100 for a priority processing that takes 1-2 weeks. The services judges journals on things such as layout and technical editing, so it’s really not a measure of impact at all.

Universal Impact Factor

Whose universe ?

3. Universal Impact Factor

This website is new and enigmatic. It does not reveal its headquarters location and I cannot figure out where it’s based. The company claims that it does not charge for journal consideration. Its criteria are based on publishing quality, manuscript quality, presentation quality, and editorial quality — things that don’t relate to impact at all. I don’t understand the business model being employed here. Some parts of the webpage don’t work — including access to the “journal master lists,” which renders the site worthless.

Index Copernicus

From Poland

4. IndexCopernicus

This Poland-based service lists the  “IC values” of many of 8,000 journals it tracks. I find it very suspicious. Indian publishers love to tout the IC values their journals have received. For the 2012 list, it appears that the journal “Archives of Budo” received the second highest score of any journal with an IC value of 19.58. Not surprisingly, this journal is from Poland.

Conclusion

I have noticed that among predatory journals that their bogus impact factors magically increase every year. The increasing popularity of ALMs — article level metrics — means that companies like the ones above will certainly be creating and selling bogus versions of these metrics as well. But because ALMs are measured at the article level, these will be marketed directly to authors, so they can increase the values for their published articles. The amount of corruption in scholarly publishing is increasing.

75 Responses to Look out for Bogus Impact Factor Companies

  1. For more information about journal publishing and OA in Poland, see: Open Access in Poland: Interview with Bożena Bednarek-Michalska http://poynder.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/open-access-in-poland-interview-with.html

    IndexCopernicus gives detailed information about how IC Values are calculated. See: http://journals.indexcopernicus.com/jml_archives/ICJML_2010.pdf e.g.
    Stage 1. Detailed Paremetrical analysis
    Following groups of parameters are being evaluated:

    Scientific quality
    580 base points
    (58.0%)

    Editorial quality
    200 base points
    (20.0%)

    International availability
    135 base points
    (13.5%)

    Frequency-Regularity-Stability
    50 base points
    (5.0%)

    Technical quality
    35 base points
    (3.5%)
    Total
    1000 base points
    (100.0%)
    Stage 2. Negative score analysis
    Negative score is given for:
    a.
    irregular or late issuance [late up to one publishing period (-30), joint issues (-50), late more than one
    publishing period (-60)];
    b.
    non-ethical advertisement placement [within article (-60), directly before/after article (-40).
    Stage 3. Experts peer-review
    Experts peer-review of evaluated journals change the total score by ±60 points (12%):
    a.
    Scientific significance of the published material [±20],
    b.
    Up-to-date content [±20],
    c.
    Educational value [±20].

    etc.

    • Bogus websites which gives misleading infromation

      allaboutindianjournals.blogspot.com/

      • LIX says:

        Dear Publisher/Editor,

        We are pleased to inform you that your Journal is eligible to be indexed in the Global Journal Impact Factor (GJIF) research database free of cost. The Indexing in GJIF will provide the much needed global reach for your serial publication.

        You can visit the following link to Journal Submission GJIF.

        http://gjif.org/index.php/journal-submission/

        Once your Journal is indexed in GJIF database, you can apply for the Global Journal Impact Factor (GJIF) which is an important parameter to mark the quality of your Journal. For GJIF Evaluation, submit the link to previous two issues of your Journal for Evaluation if it is an open access Journal else submit the soft copy of the same in the form of .pdf if it is not an Open Access Journal.

        Your Journal/Serial Publication will be evaluated on the basis of various qualitative and quantitative parameters like Scientific Quality of Publication, Quality of Publication, Designated Editorial & Reviewer Board, Indexing, Citation of papers etc. You will receive GJIF for your journal for 2014/2015 with in 7 to 10 days of submission of the requisite documents and very nominal evaluation fee.

        Why your journals need an impact factor Value from GJIF?

        1. To Increase no of Authors to your journal.
        2. To Increase the publication rate and your publication fee.
        3. To Increase Scientific Rush to your Site.
        4. To increase the visibility of your journal.
        5. To Increase the Acceptance rate for your papers acceptance from your authors.
        6. To Increase the acceptance rate from universities all over the world.
        7. To Attract and Retain Authors to your journal for future publications.
        8. To Grow more fast with GJIF Impact Factor Stamp.
        9. To compete in competitive market of Open Access competition.

        <<>>.

        Please Ignore this mail if already applied.

        With Warm Regards
        Director
        Global Journal Impact Factor
        http://gjif.org/

    • Khanna says:

      I don’t like the concept of Impact factor. It was ok in 1970 and 1990 but there are many ways you can change impact factors by self citing or making fictitious sites.
      In today world of Internet if your research is good it will be appreciated if not it will lost in billions of documents available.

  2. Solomon says:

    I think you are little bit confused in your research. IC is an old company and provides IC values per annum basis. The IC values are only calculated if metadata is uploaded regularly. IC does not charge even a single penny to the publishers. One thing more IC is not an impact factor value but a system’s internal worth value.
    P.S. I am not linked to IC in any way.
    P.S.S. You should avoid to publish bogus research as academicians know old and new companies.

  3. Schmuck says:

    I just love this, it is like scamming the scammer, brilliant

  4. From what i discovered, Index Copernicus predated some of these so-called A-list open access journals we know. Index Copernicus (IC), was established in 1999, BioMed Central was founded in 2000, The Public Library of Science began in 2000, Dove Medical Press was founded in 2003, Co-Action Publishing was founded in 2007 etc. To a large extent, i can vouch for Index Copernicus (IC) but i don’t know about the other two. Only time will tell.

  5. Mob says:

    I recommend you to read more about IC factor before call it scam! There are some positive and meaningful correlation between IC value and impact factor reported by JCR. You can find many ISI indexed journals with high impact factor and relatively high IC values.

    As usual, you present premature judgement!

    Mob

    • I didn’t say it was a scam.
      I stand by my criticism of the IC value.

      • AlexH says:

        I think that the main problem with ICV is that it is a purely subjective value, while IF is objective BUT the sample size on which the calculation is applied is too small. In addition, ICV claims to be an indicator of journal quality while IF stands pretty much for “citedness”. They are not comparable.

      • jskr says:

        i think that your motive is to target Indian Journals. If all are predatory then why come people publish from profound institutes. Can you also guarantee that top rated journals produce quality papers………..

      • You are completely wrong. Your premise, that all Indian journal are predatory, is false.

    • Ravindran says:

      I am seeing that Mr.Bell is targeting a lot about Indian journals, in his mind they are bad, predatory and targeting American journals and hindering their growth. Indian and Iranian authors are publishing a lot and if their papers are not being submitted to European and American Journals the papers received by them is rapidly dropping. May be this is an attempt to sabotage Indian journals and Indian scientists reputation. There are journals operating from India having strong reputation which is being spoiled by the overall image Mr.Bell building up with this site and by regularly spotting bad Indian journals.

      The fun is these time he went overboard conveying IC value is wrong, in this mind set Thomson Impact can be the only one value to predict a journals status, and no other in the world can bring on a system to develop a parameter to evaluate the journal.

      Good luck Mr.Bell….

  6. […] Sono anche in vendita fattori d’impatto alternativi. […]

  7. Mob says:

    The monopoly of JCR list will soon be over once Google Scholar offers customize citation report, which is updated very quickly. People may choose to watch citation report for a journal’s articles based on JCR list. In other words, Google may wish to give us an option to see how many times a particular journal’s papers are cited by other journals listed on JCR list. This will be a revolution on impact factor and many young OA publishers could benefit of it. In such a case, any one could easily verify the quality of a new journal and there is no need to wait for few years until the journal is listed on JCR. The other advantage is that it could challenge JCR list since there may be some new journals that would perform better than traditional JCR names.
    Mob

    • Nils says:

      But couldn’t such an indicator be easily gamed, e.g., by citation cartels?

    • Robinson says:

      The ISI server provides indexing of major international journals and proceedings. Author can get information about international journal impact factor, proceedings (research papers) and information on upcoming events. All the journal pages have pointers to Web pages of the publishers which are integrated into the ISI stream pages.

      The purpose is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals. If your journal is indexed & got validated stamp from ISI, you can request for the calculation of impact factor for your journal.

      ISI is a service that provides access to quality controlled Open Access Journals. The ISI aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use an appropriate quality control system, and it will not be limited to particular languages or subject areas. The aim of the ISI is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact.

      E-mail: info@isindexing.com
      Apartment no 215, Siena 1,
      Jumeirah village circle Dubai,
      Jumeirah village, UAE.

      http://isindexing.com/isi/aboutus.php

  8. Robert says:

    Jeffrey, what do you have against Archives of Budo that you put this respectable martial arts journal in a blog post about scam? It looks to me like a kind of spiteful revenge after they refused to publish your paper, and if so, you’re such a pathetic sore loser!

  9. […] Jeffrey Beall har skrivit ett inlägg om dessa organisationer. […]

  10. […] Jeffrey Beall has written a blog post about these organisations. […]

  11. Jeroen Bosman says:

    The Index Copernicus list does not deserve to be put in the same league as the other three. Is it a serious undertaking that fills a specific need not met by Thomson Reuters, Elsevier Science or SCImago. Of course, it is not an impact listing, but a general quality rating. There is discussion possible on the criteria and weighting, just as with all other listings.
    Many countries, disciplines and research schools have these kinds of journal lists intended as guideline for paper submission or as input in research evaluation. Most of them are unpublished. This Polish one is just a bit more organised and compiled systematically and the people behind it rightly thought it would be beneficial to have it out in the open.
    Did you get into contact with them before deciding to add Index Copernicus to the bogus list?

    Jeroen Bosman, Utrecht University Library

  12. Bidesh Chakraborty says:

    As far as i can understand (since I am from india) from the design and layout of the site http://www.jifactor.com, it is located in northern part of India, may be Uttar Pradesh…may be Benares.

  13. Bidesh Chakraborty says:

    Universal Impact Factor (http://uifactor.org): This site too seems to be hailing from India.

  14. Bidesh Chakraborty says:

    I am shocked to find that not a single sentence in their “Important Notes” is grammatically correct. The man behind it must be a person with very low quality school education:
    ” The journal must have National or International level publishing.
    Journals those have valid ISSN No. (Print / Online) can apply for impact factor.
    Those journals who do not provide valid ISSN No. (Online / Print) are not considered for impact factor.
    In case of Print only journals must have to send their journals softcopy to given email id.
    The submitted journals has to be completed minimum 1 year.
    The journals which yet not completed 1 year of publishing will not be consider for impact factor.
    This is mandetory to all journals those who are registered with UIF must enter their all articles in Knowledge Database, then only we can calculate Journals IMPACT FACTOR.
    Journals those who submitted fake or faulty data, will not consider for Evaluation.”
    http://uifactor.org/SubmitJournal.aspx

  15. […] of sophistication among these journals is the use of companies that generate journal impact scores (https://scholarlyoa.com/2013/08/06/bogus-impact-factor-companies/) to support their claim to legitimacy. Beall, an academic librarian, has been threatened with […]

  16. […] sahipleri kendileri de indeks oluşturmaya başlamışlardır (Ayrıntılı bilgi için Bkz: https://scholarlyoa.com/2013/08/06/bogus-impact-factor-companies). Bu gibi indeksler genellikle kendi dergilerine yüksek “impact factor” vererek […]

  17. […] Beall discusses this further on his blog and lists three bogus companies he’s discovered: […]

  18. Muhammad says:

    Then who give i.F AND wher to find origional journal with I.Fctor ..and why should nt that abve i.f count.. Reply thankx.md

  19. […] discusses this further on his blog and lists three bogus companies he’s […]

  20. Michael Slim says:

    Beall, no doubt has been doing a good job in his fight against predatory journals and bogus impact factor companies, however, he has so much been putting up premature judgement in his bid to sell himself. My advise to you ‘Beall’ is that you should put sentiment outside in this fight which we all accept as a welcome development. It is not a hidden fact that you are been sentimental in this call. Some of the so-called predatory journals mentioned in your list are not close to being predatory, likewise, mentioning Index Copernicus as scam is on its own a scam to ridicule the good work IC have been doing over the years. Stop being bigoted by thinking that no good journal can come-out of Asia, Africa, and/or the Middle East.

    • Okay, can you name five standalone journals or publishers on my list that you believe should not be on the list?
      What is your real name?

      • Raja says:

        There are at least 50 such journals, which yourself can check.. Also do you think that no one can name at least 50 to 100 American journals which are bogus and predatory and never do peer review?

  21. Triag says:

    I think Index Copernicus and Global Impact Factor are original and not bogus. The provide free service

    • Thank you for this excellent and deep analysis.

      • Robinson says:

        I also support that Global Impact Factor and Index Copernicus are not bogus companies as they provide the free service. The aim of this blog is just to defame the name of these companies. It is not only the right of Thomson Reuters to analyse the quality of any journal. There are many journals which are not indexed by Thomson Reuters and they publish high quality research papers.

  22. Albert Romeo says:

    Soon the monopoly of JCR will be over as it does not have any true citation report. Thomson Reuter impact factor is also a bogus measure of the quality of the journal.

  23. […] sahipleri kendileri de indeks oluşturmaya başlamışlardır (Ayrıntılı bilgi için Bkz: https://scholarlyoa.com/2013/08/06/bogus-impact-factor-companies). Bu gibi indeksler genellikle kendi dergilerine yüksek “impact factor” vererek yazarları […]

  24. Matrix says:

    Mr Bell, you, man of deep analysis, let us know why JCR should have the monopoly of Impact Factor? Why open access journals are scam and american journals that often ask more then 40USD do download one paper are the best journal to publish?

  25. 581548 says:

    some of the western journals charging more than 200$ for publication as processing fee and other charges. How many academicians from Asian countries can afford for thier publications. Mr Bell statements are degrading the Indian science and its publications. every one should condemn this type of statements.

  26. Lovina says:

    It is not only the right of Thomson Reuters to analyse the quality of any journal. There are many journals which are not indexed by Thomson Reuters and they publish high quality research papers..
    Who has authorise the Thomson Reuters to analyse the quality of the Journal???

  27. 1) Why the sites like Thomson, Science direct, Biomed Central and many other are charging for downloading full text article as the research work is already funded by funding bodies. If any project getting funding from any organization then it should be Open access.
    2) Who has authorise the Thomson Reuters to analyse the quality of the Journal???………………..They are only working for making funds.
    3) For a new author it is never be easy to publish any article (non funded) in Journal related to Science Direct or any other due to their high article processing charges.
    4) Author who are belongs to other than India is only thinking that Indian journal are fake but its not reality……………
    5) If any journal following good calculation strategy for calculating Impact factor really it will never be fake.
    6) Biomed Central charging 600USD (37200 INR), it means only rich peoples having rights to publish article in these sites.

    Overall no one is fake if they are following some ethics, good strategy.

  28. editorsocrates says:

    Thank you every one and especially the admin of this blog for the valuable informations. I am an editor of a journal ” SOCRATES” . The On-line version of the journal (ISSN 2347-6869) is published quarterly. It is Open Access. The Print Version of the journal (ISSN 2347-2146) is Published Bi-Annually. The journal is indexed in DRJI Google scholars Academia , Social science research network, Thomas Reuters, and many more indexes. The ORCID i.d. of the journal is http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5456-1469 .

    The link to the homepage of the journal is : http://www.socratesjournal.com/

    Kindly advice me, how to know the impact factor / global impact factor of my journal ? Is there any genuine way to know ?

  29. RK BARACK says:

    Global Impact Factor is not a bogus company and they have the full review process by the various experts. I am running 10 journal and have got the full review reports. Index Copernicus is a bogus company as it gives higher values to the paid evaluation and I submitted my journals to IC but they were not included because I did not pay the fee. But Global Impact Factor indexed my journals free of costs. Indexed is completely a bogus company. Also ISI has a monopoly, even the good journals are not indexed in ISI. Americans want to rule the worlds and they always want to prove that except them all are wrong.

  30. Ronita says:

    It is not only the right of Thomson Reuters to analyse the quality of any journal. Thomson Reuters is also included in bogus companies if others are fake and bogus.

  31. minocha says:

    Mr . Beall , I want to know , who has authorized the Thomson Reuters to analyze the quality of any Journal and not to others? If you cannot reply , please stop doing cheap publicity of Thomson Reuters. There are many high quality Journals publishing from India and other countries and they do not want to apply for Impact factor to Thomson Reuters. It does not mean they are fake and bogus.
    I need a reply from you.

  32. Minocha says:

    Mr . Beall , I want to know , who has authorized the Thomson Reuters to analyze the quality of any Journal and not to others? If you cannot reply , please stop doing cheap publicity of Thomson Reuters. There are many high quality Journals publishing from India and other countries and they do not want to apply for Impact factor to Thomson Reuters. It does not mean they are fake and bogus.
    I need a reply from you.

    Thank you.

    • Thomson Reuters, or any other entity, does not need permission to analyze journal quality. Not having a legitimate impact factor is not a criterion for determining whether a particular journal is predatory.

  33. editorsocrates says:

    In my opinion Indian journals can provide platform to the high quality research papers.It is true that there is lack a globally centralized mechanism to calculate authentic “impact factor” of any journal.In fact,this terminology is insulting and demotivating the efforts of any journal. Journals should not run behind this so called Impact factor. This is nothing more than bogus and baseless statistical data , that means a lot to unaware and means nothing to the aware.The main reason behind initiating a journal should be to promote research and researches. But what I see today is a huge amount of money involved in this area. This is the main reason why people keep on running behind these fake words. Who can assure that the Impact factor as provided by Thomson Reuters is 100% genuine?

  34. Minocha says:

    Mr Beall, Thank you very much for clarifying. The Impact factor issued by Thomson Reuters or any other agency is really not a measure of high quality research and this type of thing should be stopped by Thomson Reuter and other agencies too immediately. Some Universities are also very confused about this matter because of some foolish peoples working there in higher positions.

  35. Dmitry says:

    For friends of Index Copernicus: their description of ranking process is here http://jml2012.indexcopernicus.com/page.php?page=3&id_lang=3

    See the last step:
    “Base Points (BP) are converted into the 10-point, Total Score Base – Total Basic Score (TBS), then:
    – In the case of the magazines in the Journal Citation Reports maintained by Thomson Reuters, Index Copernicus Value (ICV) is calculated by the following formula:
    9 + [(TBS) * (IF)]
    where IF (called ImpactFactor) represents the ratio of impact.
    Journals indexed in one of the databases: Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index Expanded, Art and Humanities obtain the ICV = 9 points.
    – In other cases, the magazine receive a score TBS = ICV.”

    No wonder, that ICV correlates with IF. One just has to have in mind that ICV for !!!any!!! journal which has IF will be above 9. And when some journal cites its ICV on the web page as impact factor, this is real fraud.

  36. aiman says:

    Dear Beall,
    Can you suggest the ways to stop this increasing corruption in medical literature.

    I hope u will be having useful ideas.

  37. I like to submit paoer in field of polymer conductivity, I require e-mail of correspodace of your jouranal. thank you

  38. Furqan Awan says:

    What about the Impact factor given by SCOPUS? Is it more valuable or less valuable comparing to THOMSON REUTERS?

    • Can you give an example of an impact factor assigned by SCOPUS?

      • Furqan Awan says:

        GLOBAL VETERINARIA (IODSI Publishers) is the journal that claims to be SCOPUS Impact Factor having journal. It is also listed on SCIMajor website. This journal is listed in zoological records of THOMSON REUTERS but it is not given any Impact Factor by Reuters.

  39. Janneke Roelofs says:

    What is your take on the “Eurasian Scientific Journal Index (ESJI)”? They seem pretty shady..
    http://esjindex.org/index.php

  40. Benno von Bormann says:

    Dear Jeffrey,
    not sure this it the proper place, but the design of your site has changed since I’ve been in the last time. May I ask your opinion about Medjaden Bioscience Limited based in Hong Kong. They are not in your list, are established since 10 years and have a real address. However, I got a mail to become a senior editor, which smells a bit fishy. Probably I’m overcautious. Thanks in advance. Benno

    • Benno, I am not able to analyze that site because much of it is in Chinese. Therefore, I cannot determine whether the publisher belongs on my list or not. I can’t even tell if it publishes journals; I don’t see any links to them (though they may be there in Chinese or I may have missed them). Thanks.

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