Academicus (subtitle: International Scientific Journal) is a scholarly journal based in Albania. I recently added it to my list of questionable standalone journals, an action that has outraged the journal’s editor, Arta Musaraj.
She called me from Albania and told me my actions were criminal. She now has others calling me pressuring me to remove the journal from my list of questionable standalone journals.
Here are the reasons I added Academicus to my list:
- The editor, Arta Musaraj, sent me this letter asking me to add the journal to my list. (That’s how I became aware of it). On the telephone, she denied sending me the letter.
- There are prominent grammatical errors throughout the site.
- The copyediting in the articles is extremely poor, including in this suspect article supposedly written by US Ambassador Thomas Patrick Melady, one of the journal’s listed editorial board members.
- The “copy” function is turned off for all PDFs, making it difficult to check for plagiarism and preventing search engines from indexing the content, a disadvantage to authors, whose work is less discoverable.
- The site provides no information about the article processing charges.
- The site gives no information about its digital preservation practices.
- Some of the published articles contain plagiarism.
- The email I received from the editor contained false statements: “… Academicus International Acientific [sic] Journal actually the most outstanding scientific journal in Balkan area and Mediterranian [sic] as well.”
- On its Facebook page, the journal brags “Universal Impact Factor evaluates with 1.0257 the Impact Factor for year 2012 of Academicus International Scientific Journal.” I believe that the so-called Universal Impact Factor is a bogus metric that has no value.
- The journal purports to be an international scientific journal, but a good proportion of the articles are about the political economy and social conditions of Albania
The following two screenshots document a case of duplicate publication in the journal. In issue number 7, Published in 2013 Academicus published the article “Attractiveness of foreign investments in Albania: A focused analysis of factors, constraints, and policy assessment” by Blerta Dragusha and Elez Osmani.
Two years earlier, in 2011, the same article was published under a different title, “Foreign Direct Investments in Albania,” by Blerta Dragusha and Aurora Pulti. This earlier article was published in European Scientific Journal, vol. 24 (October, 2011). This is a very serious case of duplicate publication / self-plagiarism.
The article above was published in Academicus, nr. 7, 2013
The article above was published in European Scientific Journal, vol. 24 (October, 2011)
Editor Arta Musaraj herself has five articles published in the journal. Most of them are jingoistic and rambling discussions of Albania’s social and economic policies. Two of these lack any references at all.
I stand by my assessment of Academicus. It is a very low quality and even predatory journal that is an insult to honest scholarship.
Update: January 24, 2014
I have removed this journal from my list. The journal has improved, and I want it to be able to continue to improve without the stigma of appearing on my list.