Chinese Publisher MDPI Added to List of Questionable Publishers

Shu-Kun Lin

MDPI’s owner, Shu-Kun Lin

UPDATE 2015-11-13: MDPI has been removed from the list following a successful appeal.

Updated 2014-02-27

I have added the Chinese publisher MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute) to my list of questionable publishers. This is not a decision I have taken lightly.

There is increasing evidence that MDPI is a highly questionable scholarly publisher, evidence that compels me to add the publisher to my list and to recommend that scholars:

  • Not submit papers to any of the MDPI journals
  • Not accept invitations to serve as journal editors or editorial board members, including as guest editors for the publisher’s many “special” issues
  • Resign from any MDPI editorial boards they are currently serving on, and resign as editors

The publisher MDPI is increasingly becoming synonymous with its founder and owner Shu-Kun Lin, himself the subject of increasing criticism and controversy. Lin and his vocal lackeys attack anyone who thinks critically about or dares question the legitimacy of MDPI.

Trash bags

An earlier photo incorrectly indicated that  MDPI’s Basel office was in the bakery behind the red car. This photo better shows MDPI’s location, which is accessed through the glass door in the center of the picture, located, rather fittingly, next to the two bags of rubbish.

Here are the reasons I have decided to add MDPI to my list:

1. The publisher cleverly uses the names and reputations of legitimate scholars, including Nobel laureates, to make the operation look more legitimate and accepted than it really is. The publisher claims that that several Nobel Laureates serve on its editorial boards, but one investigation found that they didn’t realize they were listed.

Also, MDPI publisher Shu-Kun Lin managed to convince the former de facto head of the open-access movement, Peter Suber, to serve on the editorial board of one its journals, Publications, a tactic designed, in my opinion, to forestall criticism of MDPI from OA advocates and to mingle the publisher’s reputation with Suber’s and that of the OA movement itself. [I was also personally invited to serve on the journal’s editorial board by MDPI owner Shu-Kun Lin but declined. In 2010, I published a paper in one of the firm’s journals, an action I now regret.]

2. The publisher has a large fleet of journals, many with one-word names, copying the practices used by legitimate subscription journals such as Cell. MDPI uses the gold (author pays) model of open-access publishing, and I think its article processing charges are high, and the publisher regularly launches new journals. The journals’ one-word titles (e.g., Animals, Children, Diversity) give each journal a broad scope, a strategy that draws in more articles and their accompanying author payments.

3.  Because its mission is to earn as much money as possible through article submissions, the publisher regularly accepts questionable papers, resulting in a kind of “controversy of the month” for MDPI that draws attention – both wanted and unwanted – to the publisher.

For example, a 2011 MDPI paper entitled The Australian Paradox: A Substantial Decline in Sugars Intake over the Same Timeframe that Overweight and Obesity Have Increased has led a professor  an Australian economist to campaign for retraction of the article and to create a website refuting it.

Also, a 2011 paper entitled Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life was published in the MDPI journal, Life. This article caused a major stir in the scientific community, documented in this blog post.

I wrote a blog post in May, 2013 (as did other writers) describing a questionable article about the chemical glyphosate published in the MDPI journal Entropy.

It’s likely that controversial articles like these will continue to be accepted in MDPI journals, possibly staining by association other articles that appear in the same journals.

4. Some believe the publisher is mainly set up to exploit and profit the need for scholars in China to get “international” publications. According to a recent report,

Lin’s MDPI headquarters in Switzerland has only about a half dozen of employees, but its branches in China, Beijing and Wuhan, have more than 100 people. The fact alone indicates the importance of China’s market to Lin’s business. As a matter of fact, China is the perfect place for open access publishing in general, and for Lin’s MDPI in particular. Ever since late 1980s, initiated by Nanjing University, publication in “international journals,” which generally mean journals either published outside of China or in English, or both, has become a necessary requirement for a member of Chinese academic community to be promoted.

5. The report also reveals an email exchange involving MDPI owner Shu-Kun Lin in which Lin offered the editorship of one of his many journals to a Chinese scholar, promising the scholar that “It does need an editor to do a lot of work, however I won’t bother you to do anything.” The new editor responds, “It is very good that I don’t need to work to be an editor. I like being lazy.”

6. I am aware that some of the MDPI journals have impact factors and are indexed by reputable abstracting and indexing services, and that the publisher has purchased a COPE (Committee on Publishing Ethics) membership.  However, the criteria I use differ from others. Also, regularly publishing controversial articles may be an MDPI strategy designed to increase its journals’ impact factors, for these articles are later cited in repudiation articles in legitimate journals.

For authors that don’t care about science but only want to get publications in IF journals, MDPI is a fine venue.

7. The company calls itself an “Institute.” However, it’s not an institute in any true sense of the word.

In my opinion, MDPI is not the kind of scholarly publisher we need or want for the future of scholarly communication. Just because it is open-access doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. I think MDPI’s warehouse journals contain hundreds of lightly-reviewed articles that are mainly written and published for promotion and tenure purposes rather than to communicate science.

The publisher’s owner, Shu-Kun Lin, is himself becoming increasingly well-known and controversial, and he and MDPI have become inseparable in the minds of many. A scholarly publisher whose identity is closely tied to its owner’s increasingly-controversial image is harmful to the communication of science.

I think it’s fair to classify MDPI as a questionable publisher, and as such, it belongs on my list. I recommend that all scholars not submit papers to this publisher. In the long run, publishing a paper with MDPI will turn out to be a bad personal decision for most authors.

178 Responses to Chinese Publisher MDPI Added to List of Questionable Publishers

  1. Philipe says:

    Jeffery, I don’t understund how is bad this situation, the physics is now judged by a librarian.
    You think that you a god and you have the right to publish a predatory list of journals a warse situation

  2. Nils says:

    Thanks, Jeff, that was about time!

  3. I bet this SOA post will be heavily commented…
    My experience with MDPI, although limited to a single journal (Crystals), both as reviewer and author, was positive. All the process was fine, indeed. Yes, the Theory of anything paper in “Life” was really awkward. But what about the “Science” Arsenic life paper?

  4. Jeffrey, I read, astonished, your entry about MDPI. Last year I published a paper on one of its journals, Life. The publisher did not performed any attempt to earn my money and the paper were subjected to a solid peer review by two renowned colleagues in my field. I though that they learnt the lesson of the infamous and ridiculous paper of 2011 about Origins of Life. Moreover, some of my colleagues also published in MDPI without problems or suspects of questionable practices. Now, I received invitation to publish in other MDPI journal, “Challenges”, in a “special issue” in which two of my well known colleagues are guests editors. Now I am in doubt…I did not want to publish with a questioned publisher, no matter on how justified are the bad reputation, because a questioned publisher will be invariably associated with questionable scientific work of the paper’s authors. Is a very delicate issue.

    • Dear Mr. Salvan,
      In my opinion, you should consult your own experience with the journal, and your intuition. If you have a good experience with them, and you feel that the journal is OK, then, it is OK. Mr. Beall is a human, so he may make errors too, and his judgment is not always correct.

      • Jeanne,

        Cesar was right to be cautious about being involved with a “special issue” of an MDPI journal. In my experience, MDPI has no real commitment to scientific integrity, as for more than two years it has refused to correct the nonsense-based claim that there is “an inverse relationship” between sugar and obesity.

        That obviously false “finding” – designed to exonerate sugar as a menace to public health – was self-published in an MDPI “special issue” by a highly conflicted “guest editor” with financial links to the sugar and sugary foods industries: ; ;

        Meanwhile, the highly conflicted group falsely claiming that there is “an inverse relationship” between sugar consumption and obesity also falsely claims in its pop-sci diet books that “There is absolute consensus that sugar in food does not cause [type 2] diabetes”:

        Disturbingly, despite promoting a range of obviously false claims on the links between sugar, obesity and type 2 diabetes – – the University of Sydney’s low-GI crew receives major taxpayer support to research the prevention of….type 2 diabetes!

        “PREVIEW is an acronym of PREVention of diabetes through lifestyle Intervention and population studies in Europe and around the World”:

      • Rory, I resonate with you and understand your case against MDPI. I am not in agree with Jeanne. Only the own experience and intuition is not enough. Despite the overall good experience with the publisher, the Science business is (as all human activities are) also a question of image and prestige. If only the Science and the results matters, why not to publish in blogs or edit your own booklets and let the readers and History to judge?.

        Independently of the strong efforts performed by MDPI in order to appear as a serious publisher, the doubts (and these doubts not come only from this blog) on their commitment with the minimum quality control is enough to affect to the authors who publish there. For example, Jeffrey asked me why I published in MDPI. I answered (and is the truth) that I published because it was a special issue on my field of research, because I received invitation and because before its perversion by the strong publishers and the massive attack of bogus and predatory publishers, I was a believer in the Open Access movement.

        The question of Jeffrey was logical: when an author publish in MDPI, the usual first thought is “ah, OK, he finally publish all these minor, or difficult-to-publish, or even junk results he can not publish in the classic journals…maybe he need to add a paper to his list..”. And, unfortunately, in some cases this is true. I have a recent experience with MDPI that confirms it. This reinforces my perception that, although I acknowledge the efforts of MDPI to increase its image, quality and its peer-review system, they need further work to surpass its image as a “better to avoid publisher” or even “ah, this Chinese crap publisher” (I heard it, true story). In my experience, the colleagues treat with disdain the papers in MDPI (including my paper, to the point that I am re-elaborating the results and adding new material in order to publish my research with a renowned publisher). And this is not helpful for a career.

      • roryrobertsonformerfattie says:


        If MDPI and the University of Sydney had quality controls in science we could trust, they would have retracted the spectacularly faulty Australian Paradox paper well before two years had passed: (contrast authors’ “findings” on p. 2 with authors’ evidence on pp. 4-6)

        Instead, MDPI and the University of Sydney allowed the Australian Paradox hoax to live on, with further formal work published in MDPI – – and BMC – and the shonky story regularly appearing in the everyday media: (again this week)

        Readers, when does simple academic incompetence morph into scientific fraud? At what point does the persistent exaggeration of one’s evidence for a scientific “finding” – in this case, an industry-friendly finding of “an inverse relationship” between sugar consumption and obesity – via the ongoing refusing to correct a range of formally published errors and misrepresentations – become simple academic and scientific fraud?

        By the way, my observations here were confirmed by an independent investigation by Australia’s national broadcaster in February of this year:

        In my opinion, the University of Sydney authors’ response to the shredding of their “findings” by that ABC program is further evidence of the research misconduct I have been jumping up and down about for over two years:

        Even the local student newspaper has been more determined to get at the real facts of this matter than MDPI or University of Sydney management:

  5. Stephen B says:

    Jeff – I have no idea about this publisher, but I am glad that you are concentrating on *serious* questionable publishers. Yes, it’s funny to laugh at websites with numerous spelling mistakes, set up by people who don’t understand the academic world. But sites like this are potentially far more dangerous to the academic community, and deserve more of your attention. Again, I don’t know enough about this particular publisher to judge if you are correct, but I’m glad you are investigating these guys.

  6. I am agree with Sylvain Bernès. My experience with MDPI was positive, although limited to a single journal. The problem is that bad reputation of the publisher is infectious and affect to the authors. But, again in agree with Sylvain, I bet that comments accusing this blog of being a servant of Elsevier, Wiley or the publishing lobby will appear soon…

    • Cesar, what made you choose the MDPI journal over others? Why didn’t you choose a better journal? Was your paper rejected by other publishers?

      • Jeffrey, I published in MDPI by proposal of the guest editor. I did not saw anything weird, I have not pay anything and some well known colleagues also contributed. I found it as an opportunity to support the open access initiatives and I designed the paper for this publication. As I said, the process and peer review has been as rigorous as in any traditional journal. My concern is if the reader thinks “bad publisher=bad author”.

      • Olu Akanbi says:

        What makes a better journal a better journal? By whose agreed criteria? Beauty in the eyes of which beholder?

    • Lachezar Filchev says:

      I see here the main issue with the MDPI. It is in their strategy or tactics to get credits from established authors’ reputation at no cost while making huge profits from not-that-well-established ones. I am not ashamed to admit that I am not an established author so far – because it can be checked on the Internet. However, obviously the publisher approach is two-fold. In the case of ‘Remote Sensing’ journal for instance there are numerous established scholars who publish in MDPI, so one who thinks (as I thought before): ‘Those guys are there – that means this journal is OK, it is safe and I am going to publish in it. Moreover it is OpenAccess and it is fairly cheap to publish.’ (this is how it goes in reality) is doomed. The truth is that the glossy facade (made from good to mediocre articles by established scholars) is only for those who guess the entity by its look. Unfortunately, I am not an exception – so I was mistaken to offer them a paper to publish. But after the rude rejection on our refusal to pay extra charges for proofread once we have done our proofread by a sworn translator (in fact our papers are accepted by many quality publishers and no one has said even a word about the language) we were taken aback. So, say it plain – the politics of MDPI is: ‘be generous and open to the one in power and mean and brutal to the one who are not in the top ten of the cited authors of SCOPUS, Thomson Reuters and alike’. Therefore, the controversy here is plain – we have a clever man behind this publishing house who knows how to use scientists’ intention to publish in a reputable journal. I can say that this is no wonder why he has been able to enter into very high-levels of politics as well if he follows strictly this winning approach. However, the choice is entirely yours – you may be on the winning side and to give credits to this publisher but as the author of the post has concluded: ‘In the long run, publishing a paper with MDPI will turn out to be a bad personal decision for most authors.’ For the beginners it is the excuse for not being aware of the very nature of the publisher but what will be the excuse of the established ones?

  7. Emil says:

    Jeffrey Beall! Congratulations! YES! MDPI is a very predatory publisher. Do not remove it. MDPI is a bad quality publisher. Money, money, money

  8. Lilian says:

    I agree with Emil.

    Check it yourself

    Download some PDF from MDPI in environmental science and environmental engineering!!!

    They are of low quality and their statistics is statistics of a little child!

    MDPI is a very bogus publisher and must be in your black list.

    MDPI has also a ridiculous spam policy with funny invitations inviting us to participate in funny on-line conferences and crappy journals.

    I got a spam recently from MDPI about their journal in electrical circuits. I was invited as an expert in Electrical Circuits.
    The only thing that I remember from Electricity is the Ohm’s Law

    U = R*I

    I am not an expert in electrical circuits at all
    And they asked me to pay 1000 CHF in the same email!!!

    How can

  9. Kohen says:

    I believe, when a journal is indexed by Thomson Reuters or Scopus, authors should not worry about anything. The personal opinions have no intrinsic or extrinsic value. No one can set the rules for open access publishing. What is right or what is wrong? Just try to consider only two monopolistic entities i.e. in US, Thomson Reuters and in Europe, Scopus. Other than these, all the entities covered by Web of Knowledge also work fine.

    • Please look up the word “fatuous.”

    • Dear Mr Kohen,
      You miss one for medicine: Pubmed.
      I believe in ISI Thomson Reuters, Scopus and Pubmed. As for journals that are not indexed by them, I will avoid journals/publishers that are listed in the list of Mr Beall.

      Bad thing is that the journals/publishers that are not listed today, may be listed tomorrow, and indexing is not forever, as the journals can be de-listed from the indexing bodies.

  10. Mr Beall is obviously right in certain cases. However, I’m beginning to think that his assessment is subjective with respect to certain publishers or journals.
    One of the journals published by the publisher in question entitled ‘Nutrients’ ( has an impact factor of 2.072. I cross-checked in the Thomson Reuters’ Journal Citation Reports and discovered it is true. The journal is also indexed in all the major databases (the PubMed, ISI Web of Knowledge, Scopus, etc). So, what criteria did Mr Beall use to have arrived at such a damning conclusion? Was it just the retraction case he mentioned? What about papers being retracted once in a while from leading journals like Nature, Science, etc, yet the journals will NEVER make it to Beall’s list? Mr Beall should not just wake up from sleep and start adding journals to “my list of questionable publishers”. Cheers

    • There are so many logical fallacies in this that I don’t know where to start.
      First, yes, I agree, the criteria I use are chiefly subjective. I’ve never claimed they were objective. I also mentioned in the post (did you actually read it?) that I knew some of the MDPI journals had impact factors. I don’t think you can make the argument that just because some of the major journals have occasional problems that it’s okay for MDPI to be low quality. If you are happy with MDPI, please submit all your papers there. Pay the CHF 1600 and enjoy the fact that your articles are published in one-word journals.

      • First, I have never published in any of the journals. Second, what do you mean by “one-word journals”? Are Nature, Cell and Science two-word journals? They are also one-word journals! Will you include them in your list? I bet you won’t. CHF 1600 is too little compared to some open access journals (e.g BMC journals) that charge over $1000, and I bet you will not dare include them in your list. I am happy that you agree your criteria are subjective. So, as an experienced author yourself, you must follow criteria acceptable within the research community such as the ones I mentioned in my first post, otherwise your assessment risks loss of credibility. I know you don’t want that to happen. You’re doing a good job but you should follow conventional criteria. Not those that are subjective. Cheers

      • Okay, help me out. Can you list three objective criteria that I can use to evaluate a journal that is less than a year old, criteria that I can apply across the board? If someone can come up with a better way to evaluate young journals, then I would be happy to consider it.

      • Steve says:

        Jeffrey, here is the answer to your question: If you do not know how to evaluate a journal, you just DO NOT evaluate it.

  11. Mateo says:

    In my humble opinion MDPI is a bogus publisher. They have published many plagiarized papers in the past and many papers with counterfeit experiments. They publish several papers per month, they find plagiarism and mistakes and then they retract them. The whole procedure is quite ridiculous. The upload PDF files and after some days they delete them without explanation. A typical blog of a non-scholar is more serious.
    Furthermore, MDPI is totally bogus.
    In the MDPI web site as it is today, they are bragging that they have teamed up with some important universities:
    * 10 February 2014: Institutional Membership with the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    * 5 February 2014: Institutional Membership with the University of Zurich and the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland
    * 31 January 2014: Institutional Membership with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
    All these are lies and bullshit. From time to time they send unsolicited emails that they are in the same team with some important universities.
    This is, however, unacceptable, offensive, unethical, and quite unprofessional.
    I know very well and I can sign that MDPI has underground routes of black money with several professors and several indexes.

    Another example: In this paper:
    they claim
    Received: 14 December 2013; in revised form: 14 January 2014
    If you calculate 15 days Christmas Holidays, it seems that
    time between Received and Revised is 15 days.
    It implies (as an average) that Review Time was 7.5 days and Time for Revised Version other 7.5 days.
    Is it a real scientific journals with 7.5 days for review only?
    MDPI is clearly a good marketing scheme for easy profit.
    I also agree that MDPI is bogus and fake publishing industry. Vanity Press. Nothing more.



  12. I see that the general opinion about MDPI is that is a substandard and questionable publisher to avoid. Again, my (only one) experience with MDPI was positive. But I begin to regret to publish there and, after the research of Jeffrey and the comments here, I will avoid to publish in MDPI hereafter. It would be terrible that a colleague think that my data or my research, obtained after a hard work, is questionable because it was published in a MDPI journal. Thanks to Jeffrey for his work. As someone said before, the real help for us as authors is to expose the apparently *serious* open access publishers, the real threat to authors, specially to those, as is my own case, who believe in the open access movement.

  13. John says:

    Based on the amount of spam that I receive from them (mostly calls for papers in special issues), the fact that their automated emails do not feature a “unsubscribe me” link, and the fact that I did not manage to be removed from their lists after several complaints, I would say that they are not a respectable publisher.

    I don’t know how long they have been around, but most of their journals in my field (chemistry) were very recently created: see there for a full list, which you can sort by journal creation date. Their older journal, Molecules, has a less-than-stellar impact factor of 2.4. Its editorial board, apart from the occasional celebrity or two, is unremarkable.

    As a conclusion: I think they surf on the popularity of open access journals, but I don’t consider them serious players.

  14. David says:

    I agreed to be a special issue editor for an MDPI journal. My experience so far is good. They seem to have decent standards for review, rejecting clearly sub-standard papers. Mainstream publishers like Elsevier publish many questionable papers too that slip through the cracks of peer review. Also, it makes sense to mainly employ people in China where wages are lower. From the photo above it looks like there is office space upstairs in the buildings on that street (see the intercom panel next to the storefront). I really don’t think this publisher belongs with the more questionable ones on your list.

  15. Jay says:

    I agree the opinions of David and Moses P. Adoga.

    Some of the MDPI journals seem followed the conventional criteria. For example, please see :

    Besides, the “report” from China mentioned in this Beall’s post is just one of the disputative idea in China.

  16. Chuan-Guo Xiao, MD says:

    CG Xiao

    Jeff, well done.

    I worked at SUNY and then NYU for more then 15 years as an assistant/associate professor of Urology. I was invited back to China in 1997 to chair the department of urology in one of the biggest university hospital. In China, ,All graduate students, all teachers, all medical doctors, and all other professionals,even slightly related to academic or technology, have to go through 4 to 5 promotion, which request a lots of published papers. MDPI is just aimed for these Chinese authors who need the publications badly for their promotion at whatever price which is about USD1500~3000/paper by MDPI.

    I don’t know how much MDPI charges authors outside China, It seems to be free according to posts above.,it seems to me MDPI invited those authors and editors from USA ad Europe to make it looks like an INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHER, then uses their names and reputation to lure Chinese authors to make money.

    I have one question: Is it legal in copyright law by adding a “S” to so many famous Journals, like Cell–Cells, Cancer-Cancers, etc,?

    • Yes, my understanding is that this is legal, at least in the U.S. You can’t copyright a title.

      • Jinhai Gao says:


        I thought that you should know this information. Chuan-Guo Xiao is a urologist whose controversial surgical procedure was criticized by two “science cops” in China. He hired four thugs to beat up them and was later found guilty and sentenced to 4.5 months in jail (

        This information is relevant because Xiao has a throng of fervent supporters, who have been waging a ferocious war against one of the “science cops”, Fang Shimin. The most zealous and obsessed one among them is a man named Ge Xin (aka cunfu yiming), who has written over 30 open letters to Nature complaining about the journal’s decision to give Fang an award. He also wrote letters to all MDPI editors with negative information about the publisher. I think most of the information about MDPI you posted in your article probably came from him.

        Why did Xiao’s supporters pick on MDPI? What is the connection between Fang Shimin and Lin Shukun? The answer is, Lin has been a long time supporter of Fang Shimin and he recently sponsored a science award dished out by Fang’s website “New Threads”.

        Bet you never thought that you could inadvertently get into this muddy water of hatred. To maintain your impartiality, I think it is prudent for you to contact the publisher to get the other side’s story.

      • You have made some false assumptions. I am not at all involved in this “muddy water.” MDPI is now on my list because it meets the criteria. I’ve received many valid complaints about its practices from some very respected researchers. The mission of my list is to help researchers avoid questionable publishers, and I have added MDPI for that reason and that reason only.

      • Jinhai Gao says:

        I didn’t say that you were involved in the muddy water, but you could have been misled by the Fang haters. You clearly used many materials supplied by yiming. Your article has two links to his “open letter to Nature, Part XXXIII”. The two pictures both came from yiming’s open letter (the second picture was cropped by you to remove the second floor view). If you have time to click on yiming’s other open letters, you would have better idea how ridiculous a person he is. I didn’t want to see you becoming a tool of these people.

        I still think that you should contact the publisher for another side of the story. This was also one of the criticisms of your method in the march 2013 Nature piece.

        This was meant to reply to your post below, but there was no “Reply” button.

      • I realize that the ‘Fang haters’ are just looking for ‘dirt’ on MDPI, but a lot of the dirt they found is real dirt! Criminals can testify against other criminals (metaphorically speaking).

        I think that if evidence is credible, the source isn’t that important. Thank you for your comments.

      • Jinhai Gao says:

        Both at the beginning and at the end of your article, you cited the publisher being a controversial figure in China as a main reason for your recommendation of avoiding MDPI. I think it is fair to say that you had been clearly misled by Fang haters. The only reason that Lin Shukun became a controversial figure in China is because yiming and Co. made it look like so, due to his association with Dr. Fang.

      • Under what circumstances did he leave the University of Louisville? Not the Louisville in China, but the one in the U.S.

      • Jinhai Gao says:

        Your question perfectly illustrated my point. He left Louisville 25 years ago. The incident remained undisclosed until a couple of months ago, after his public donation to Fang’s website, thanks to the diligence of guys like yiming, who searched the internet deep and wide for dirt. By the way, there is no Louisville in China.

      • What incident? Can you describe it fully?
        If he left 25 years ago, how can there be a record on the internet?

      • Jinhai Gao says:

        First of all, I don’t believe that the incident itself has any bearing on whether MDPI is a legitimate publisher.

        The University never made it public. However, in 2002 an anonymous person posted a message (ironically) on a forum in Fang’s website. Yiming was able to dig out this message last month and went after it. You can see a screen shot of that message in yiming’s “33rd open letter to Nature”.

        My understanding is that the accusation was from his former advisor from China who claimed that Lin stole his idea in a paper published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry while at the U of L. This accusation was neither proven nor disproved. Partly because of the fallout from this accusation, Lin left Louisville and finished his degree in Switzerland.

      • AntitLiar2 says:

        Hi Jeffrey, personally I believe the best & fairest way to figure out the truth is to contact Lin’s former supervisor Charles directly ( And as far as I know, that anonymous guy was communicating with Charles directly via Emails (although I cannot prove if the Email is fake or not) and he exposed part of the Email which described why Lin was dismissed from the University. I don’t know what happened between these people later but then Charles asked that anonymous guy to stop exposing these Emails and I am afraid he may not take a position in this case now

  17. myrtle says:

    It has arisen a hot topic in chinese miniblog because mdpi is related with shimin fang, the famous strike fighter. MDPI provides fund supporting the xinyushi award for annunal scientific spirit.I don’t know what mdpi have done. But I can guess it is maybe not so good to name journals cell,nature,science, which are similar to those famous journals. At least, it makes me confusing. Although MDPI is maybe devil to make money, however , I think it is not strongly to deduce that shiming fan has consipired with mdpi. Some guys think that fang had gotten money from mdpi to back it and I think it is no enough proofs.

  18. E Moore says:

    Do not publish your papers in MDPI. They are scammers. They started as Molecular Diversity Preservation International. Then, they converted to just for making money, but they are stupid and maintain the same logo. They also declare the connection of with in the site of
    I strongly recommend you not to publish to MDPI. No other money in the pocket of Shu-Kun Lin (big scam)

  19. Charles says:

    I have very negative experience with MDPI. My low-quality paper (it was rejected twice by a mediocre conference) was sent to MDPI. I paid 1200 CHF plus 300 CHF. Guess what!!!
    They charged my credit card extra 300 CHF because the format of my (bad) paper was not the MDPI format and their secretariat worked additionally to adapt the format to MDPI format. I deservedly conclude that MDPI is a bad-quality, strange, not-for-science but for-profit corporation. They deserve the attribute: dummy and bogus. I am sorry, but nobody charges 300 CHF additionaly for the format. This is ridiculous. Check it in their site.
    I am very angry with MDPI fake and bogus “scholarly” publishing company. (:

  20. En Joo says:

    A completely fake paper by Erik D. Andrulis
    has been accepted and published in MDPI


    many other fake papers of pseudoscience have been accepted and published in MDPI

  21. Andrew says:

    Dear Friends

    Allow me to report you another fake and bogus paper published in a MDPI Journal: “Molecules”
    MDP people clearly ape, cheat and steal brand names from reputable one-world journals like Science, Nature or create theie one predatory one-world journals like Cosmetics, Children etc…

    So, another fake and bogus paper had been published in the MDPI Journal: Molecules

    If you need a laugh, visit this link:

    Avoid any relation with MDPI. Do not review papers, do not organize Special Issues, do not serve on the committees, do not forward the MDPI spam to your colleagues.
    They are slimmy and bogus.

  22. Martin says:

    I completely agree with Andrew. Most of the scholars believe that MDPI is a vanity press without any serious quality control

    ” Don’t submit to the journal Molecules unless you have no problem being called out by name when you’re busted”

    Many MDPI accepted and published papers are almost … SCIgen papers. If you do not know what is SCIgen, google SCIgen fake bogus papers…………………………………………………………………………………………

  23. Veronika says:

    The list of bogus, garbage, fake papers in MDPI is endless:
    One more:
    “Simulation slip-up leads to retraction of explosives paper”

  24. thiagosilva says:

    I have only had experience with their journal Remote Sensing. I have reviewed several papers for the journal, most of average quality, including a minor paper coauthored by a very reputable researcher in the field.

    They seem to take my (detailed) reviews into consideration, but the editors do tend to give all papers the benefit of the doubt, and a paper I categorically rejected was published on grounds of favorable reviews from other reviewers. strangely, it is their default policy not to share reviews from other referees, but they did share them with me upon request.

    I also had a student’s paper rejected by them with solid reviewer comments, so it isn’t all pay to publish.

    But, given their ever expanding line of journals, and the high amount of papers I receive to review from them, I’m inclined to agree with Beal about the focus on profit. I’ll probably quit submitting and reviewing for them for a while, after this.

  25. Nils says:

    Here’s another instance of plagiarism in Entropy:
    which is an almost verbatim copy of
    This fact is pointed out in MathSciNet, but the MDPI paper has never been retracted.

  26. He Wang, Ph.D. says:

    Jeff was probably bombarded very recently by emails that try to portray MDPI to be as questionable as possible. Only very recently! Why? Because MDPI just co-sponsered a Spirit of Science Award hosted by The latest recipient is Prof. Rao Yi,, who is an eminent Chinese neuroscientist, a former Steiner Elsa A. Swanson Research Professor at Northwestern University. He was the one, side-by-side, standing with the most famous Chinese academic fraud fighter Dr. Fang Shi-min (net name Fang Zhouzi), fighting against anti-science movements in China, for eg. anit-GMO and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

    Dr. Fang was the founder of During Dr. Fang’s years of fraud-fighting, hundreds of, if not thousands of, fraudsters, mostly in high positions, governmental or academia, were exposed. Obviously, as a result, Dr. Fang would never ran out of enemies, such as the ones who wrote Jeff to bad-mouthing whoever would give Dr. Fang a hand.

    The person who commented earlier, “Chuan-Guo Xiao, MD”, was convicted of a crime conspiring to hire two hitters to kill Dr. Fang and a journalist, who exposed him of performing unapproved medical procedures on hundreds of patients, mostly children, for profits.

    I don’t know much about academic publishing business. Other than my reservation with the “facts” Jeff provided (did all these Nobel Laureates back Jeff’s investigation? citation please.) , I wonder if MDPI deserves the blame (Have Science/Nature ever retracted papers? ) in perspective of the rest on his list.

    • This news story backs up what I said about the Nobel Laureates (at least one of them) not knowing about being on the editorial board:

    • DJM says:

      The news story that supposedly backs up what you said about a Nobel Laureate not knowing he was on the editorial board of an MDPI journal should have checked its sources, as you should have too. An e-mail ostensibly sent by Prof Capecchi accepting an honorary appointment to that board exists (I have read i and have no reason to doubt its autheticityt) and a lot of what you state in your reasons to add MDPI to you list comes from the very voluminous (and readily available) targeted e-mail campaign against MDPI since they first indicated support for the Spirit of Science Award. That puts them in good company with Nature who went through something similar for the same reason. A welcome to the world of vociferous lackeys is in order I suppose.

    • J Chen says:

      As Jinhai Gao says: (February 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM)
      “a ferocious war against one of the “science cops”, Fang Shimin.”
      Just check what the so-called “science cop” did in his own first-authored “scientific publication” , the only first authored publication in his life time. (

      As the figure of western results shows in his paper, the critical results the protein-protein interaction in this paper (also as his PhD. thesis) were combined from 5 different experiments by pasting them together, which is absolutely not acceptable by any scientific standard for conclusion of, or publishing the results. Fang has since no any publishing anymore. He quitted his academic career in USA after 10 years PhD and PostDoc experience and went back to China working as a self-employed “scientific cop” ironically with non-scientific standard. The best example as he recently did in the MDPI issue. He claimed in his web site ” international authority Jeffrey Beall did not list MDPI as a bad publisher” a few days ago when someone in web indicated MDPI showing strange activities in business. But when Jeff put MDPI in questionable publisher list, he then defended MDPI in his web “Mr. Beall is just a librarian and no any organization/authority cares what he said”) .
      I would say Fang and Lin have very similar experience in life, both failed in science but good in others. It was said that Mr. Fang receives $500/monthly contribution from MDPI for his “scientific cop foundation” and unknown amount of commercial fee from showing MPDI in his cop web site ( MDPI also contributes thousands dollars of “scientific spirits award” yearly to Fang’s funds, All awards went to Fangs personal friends. Clearly, these funding might be paid as Lin’s protection fee for Lin’s money gathering behaviors.
      I support Beall’s activity in clearing the environment of real science.

  27. Jay says:

    (1) As the idea of this post is largely come from a disputatious Chinese report, I think Beall doesn’t like to be involved in ; and I have to say that it is a little difficult for Beall to fully understand the puzzling situation in China ( for example, no one can establish a new journal unless be approved and get permission by the Chinese government, and a large proportion of Chinese scholarly journals are somewhat like “double dipping” if we use the language of OA ).

    (2) MDPI is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association ( OASPA); it is interesting to know the idea of OASPA menbers on this.

  28. Jina says:

    I have just received an SMS message from a MDPI Editor to come to this forum and to defend MDPI.
    So, I have just landed in this forum, but I will not speak like an under-control robot, but as a free human being.
    I am human. I am scientist and I will speak with the language of TRUTH.

    First of all almost all the defenders of MDPI in this forum are editors or authors with multiple papers in MDPI and they do not like to reveal the one and only one truth: MDPI is a Bogus publisher.

    Second: MDPI has published many fake papers. Some of them have been reported by previous commentors in this forum.
    I have counted more than 10 cases of bogus papers reported here. All well documented with many proofs and much evidence.

    Third: If in the internet you can find 10 or 12 bogus papers accepted and published in MDPI, like those that combined genetics, philosophy and astrology in one paper, then we can easily conclude that MDPI probably has accepted and published more than 30 or 40 fake pseudopapers.
    These articles and thousand other articles of low quality with made-up statistics (medicine, environment and sociology) is poisson of our academic life.

    Stay far from MDPI bogus chinese enterprizes
    P.S. I am also victim of the wild and aggressive MDPI spam

    • Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva says:

      Below, please find a verbatim, unedited letter of complaint I sent to MDPI a few moments ago.

      Complaint: MDPI (Publications), a confirmed predatory OA publisher

      Dear Dr. Martyn Rittman, Chief Production Editor, MDPI

      NOTE: 2 documents will be sent to all in e-mail 2.

      My claim: the rejection of my Letter to the Editor was purely political revenge and not based on any academic grounds.

      My call: Boycott MDPI. Remove yourselves from the editor board to avoid professional injury from this association. Retract your papers to send a strong message that this kind of bias and behavior cannot take place in publishing.

      Other basic requirements: I think Retraction Watch needs to address the exact links it may have with MDPI and the cozy relationship with Prof. Grant Steen, giving him ample coverage on RW. MDPI also needs to explain exactly why they vetted Ivan Oransky as a peer reviewer for this paper, and why this was clearly not perceived as a conflict of interest, especially since this special issue got immediate coverage on RW while other stories in plant science have been relegated to the back seat. MDPI also needs to make the peer reviewers’ comments available so that we can judge if there were any rejections and why the issues that I picked up were not picked up by these so-called professional peer reviewers, or even elite editor board members. Prof. Grant Steen and Prof. John Reggazi should also make their positions clear.

      My proof: Please read the information below and my two documents very carefully.

      I am astonished by the decision that was reached on February 6, 2014 about my letter in response to a paper published in the Grant Steen special issue of Publications (, co-authored by Bilbrey, O’Dell and Creamer, published by MDPI, the Sino-Swiss open access publisher. In fact, I did not respond immediately because I had many other things to do. When I tried to access my MDPI account on February 7, I found that my account had been blocked. Two weeks later, despite my request for information (see e-mail below), the publisher has not had the dignity of responding and providing a reason for why my account was blocked. Moreover, I have complained once before about the peer reviewers’ decisions on a paper submitted to their journal “Plants”, which was followed by a really unprofessional and aggressive e-mail. These three incidents, coupled with the very recent news that MDPI is now an official “predatory” open access publisher, as defined by Jeffrey Beall ( has now forced me to respond to this latest unscholarly rejection.

      I wish to explain why I am not pleased with the behavior of this editor, Prof. Grant Steen, and his host publisher, MDPI. The paper by Bilbrey et al., although covering a very important issue, contained, as I saw it, some fundamental flaws, the most important of which was the introduction of the term “fraud” into their new classification system. I promptly posted some of my concerns on Retraction Watch ( A blogger encouraged me to submit a Letter, which I did, on January 30, 2014. Since the journal did not have any guidelines with respect to Letters to the Editor (, I submitted my letter to Prof. Grant Steen, the Guest Editor, The Editor in Chief, Prof. John Regazzi and one management e-mail. Much to my surprise, I received an almost immediate response from Dr. Martyn Rittman, Chief Production Editor, but not from any of the editors. At that time, I did not think much of this. A few days later, on February 3, 2014, Dr. Rittman indicated that the letter could be accepted, but only if reduced to one page. I was a little irritated with this because how could I reduce a paper of 6-7 pages into one page and still make the same detailed argument? Moreover, page limits seemed redundant for an open access journal. Finally, where in the Instructions to Authors does it claim that a letter to the editor should be only one page long? Despite these three valid reasons to protest, I decided to make the edits and resubmit, also on February 3, 2014. On February 6, 2013, MDPI, specifically, Dr. Rittman, rejected the letter.

      I have the following questions:
      a) Why did an editor board member not handle my paper but rather a management figure?
      b) What decision, if any, did Prof. Grant Steen play in this decision? This is important because I have been fiercely critical of Prof. Steen and his unfounded bias in editing before. So, I want to know, in black and white, if this was just an act of revenge?
      c) What academic basis was there to the rejection? The rejection sounds much more political to avoid damage that one of the very few papers published in this “ethics” special issue should actually be grossly flawed.
      d) I believe that the correct way is to address the journal, who should then confront the authors. What MDPI did was completely unheard of. They told me to contact the authors directly and seek a resolution through the authors. What then is the value of a letter to the editor, if I cannot openly and publically critique a paper published in your journal?

      As you can see, I am extremely displeased by this situation. Where am I supposed to publish my concerns about the factual content of a paper in your journal, if not in your journal? Am I supposed to team up with the authors of the paper who I am critiquing?

      Consequently, I have e-mailed all editors to share of this purely non-academic scandalous behavior by MDPI. If any authors who have published there have any scruples, they would withdraw their papers immediately from this scam journal, with a scam “editorial” system, which is run by management. I call on Bilbrey et al. to please correct their paper appropriately, and to respond to my queries in the original version.

      From my own personal experience, I consider the publishing practices of MDPI to be highly questionable, very unprofessional, grossly non-academic and totally biased. This in itself should annul the very existence of this one-noun journal, Publishing.

      Judging by the number of nouns in the English language, I assume that business will be very good for MDPI in the future. You may take this “sayonara” e-mail to imply that you will no longer need to activate my account, either. Fortunately, there are many other publishing options, including self-publishing.

      Finally, I look forward to a response from all parties queried, authors, publisher, editor board and Retraction Watch. I will be publishing this Letter and critique elsewhere, and will also include this entire communication and e-mails. It is time to bring accountability to the table, and show the truth, loud and clear. And everyone should have a fair say.

      The worst and most ironic part of this is that MDPI is a paying member of COPE: I have long stood firmly against this commercialization of ethics. It stains publishing black and purposefully murkies the waters to make the boundaries between finance and ethics unclear. If COPE receives money from MDPI, then surely COPE must also be held accountable for its members behavior? Either that, or revoke membership.


      Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

  29. solihu says:

    I think this has implications for the indexing organizations, too. Some of the journals of MDPI have good IF. For example, remote sensing has IF of 2 which is higher than IJRS. How has MDPI been able to manipulate IF? The journal is also indexed in scopus and DOAJ. Are these databases not for quality control? I am confused now.

  30. Steve says:

    No matter whether MDPI is a bad publisher, I think it is inappropriate to define all its journal as “bad journal”. After all, some of them is just fine.

    • solihu says:

      Probably, it is better to evaluate the journals individually. One of MDPI’s journal is the ISPRS journal of Geoinformation. I doubt if ISPRS will allow its name to be appended on a bogus journal. Also, it is high time there was a distinction between entirely bad journals/publishers and those that have some issues that might be rectified. Have they been warned and what was their reaction to the warning?

  31. Aberdeed says:

    I had sent a paper in MDPI and the review was not a real scientific review. It was a childy review. “Make some changes in the format” and that’s it. MDPI is a highly questionable and bogus swiss/chinese press. I did not publish my paper when I learnt that MDPI is a fake publisher.
    MDPI is also a very tricky organization. They organize on-line conferences. They do not have registration fees, but after the conference, MDP oblige the authors to publish the same papers in their Journals with 600 – 1500 CHF. You cannot withdraw your paper from their ridiculous on-line conferences, because they keep the Copyright. So, it is one-way, without return to pay 600 – 1500 CHF. This is scam.

    • Dear Aberdeed,
      You have attended the conference, but you could refuse to pay, if you did not want your paper to be published by them. Why did you pay? You could refuse, did not you? If I were you, I would say I did not have the money, and did not pay.

      Another question: why did you give the copyright to them? In my opinion, it is very unusual, as I never transfer a copy right to present a paper in a conference.

  32. George says:

    Jeffrey, I do believe your decision is based on truth and evidences.

    A bunch of “Fang Supporter” is coming against you. Please be prepared, LOL.

  33. Francois says:

    Editors in MDPI are also very funny.
    They are speaking now about scientific misconduct.
    This is unacceptable
    Do not pubish in MDPI. Ban this sinful shop!

  34. Wow, the dark side of OA. My points are a bit more pedestrian, I’m afraid.

    Once again, I am torn between the “facts” I read about a publisher on Beall’s List and the purported reputation of individual journals published by a publisher on Beall’s List. For example, the journal “Water” is published by MDPI, but it is listed in DOAJ (presumably vetted). Moreover, MDPI is a member of OASPA. Does this mean that DOAJ and OASPA are poor barometers of reputation? Am I relying too much on these organizations/tools to make my own decision?

    For those of us who offer advice to faculty authors about, or manage funds that support, reputable, peer-reviewed OA journals, this is a huge challenge and responsibility. Do I need to research the reputation of each member of an OA journal’s editorial board and come to my own conclusion? Do I need to contact these individuals to be sure they have actually agreed to serve? Should I assume that because an OA journal doesn’t require a fee, it is somehow more reputable? And the list goes on…

    • There is a promising new metric, called preSCORE, that provides a measure of a journal’s quality in part by looking at the h-index values of the editorial board members. So, to answer your question, “Do I need to research the reputation of each member of an OA journal’s editorial board and come to my own conclusion?,” yes, but this will be done for you when the metric gets going.

  35. Jon Burley says:

    I am really pleased that Jeffrey Beall has brought this group of journals to everyone’s attention. From an invitation, my team supplied a manuscript for a special issue. We could tell something was not correct right from the start when we got our reviews back, on topics and research lines that we have been very successful in publishing in better journals. But we had submitted something to help our colleagues in their special issue. After reading the reviews (some were thoughtful–probably from the reviewers in the list we supplied and some reviews were actually outlandish as though they knew nothing about research, methodology, and literature reviews), so the team decided to back-out and we are in the process of publishing in a much more respectable journal. I felt sorry for some of my team members because they did quality research and prepared a quality manuscript. They were perplexed by the reviews. Having a little experience (36 years of publishing academic papers), I advised that the team should simply withdraw and publish the paper in a better venue. It delayed the publication of our research, but I think the team will be happier. Judging by the reviews we got, this publisher is of low quality with non-sense reviews that displayed little evidence of actually knowledge about scholarship and academics.

    For anyone who has published in these journals I am happy for you; however, be careful, papers in these journals may not be well respected by some critical colleagues at times for promotion and tenure. Make sure you have something published from a more respected publishing house such as Elsevier, Routledge, Taylor-Franics, Springer-Verlag.

    Dr. Burley

  36. Jinhai Gao says:


    You said “Criminals can testify against other criminals (metaphorically speaking)”. However, you need to take what criminals said with a fat grain of salt (metaphorically speaking).

    A case in point here: the bakery the red arrow points to in the second picture above is NOT the Basel headquarter of MDPI. Rather the MDPI headquarter is in the next building. See this actual picture for yourself (building 64): Yiming fooled you.

    Everybody is familiar with the phrase that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Why did you even make a big deal about how MDPI headquarter look like? Should publishers all have fancy buildings like banks? For a comparison, here is what the Nature headquarter looks like on Google street view:

    I think you should at least take down that bogus picture. In my opinion, you have done a really sloppy job this time. I have been a long time follower of your site. To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement.

    • Xin Ge says:

      Please Google the MDPI address:
      Klybeckstrasse 64, 4057 Basel, Switzerland

      Also, please check MDPI’s own announcement:
      22 July 2013
      New MDPI Office Location and Address

      MDPI AG has a new office location and address since 1 July 2013:

      MDPI AG
      Klybeckstrasse 64
      4057 Basel

      View Map

    • Dear Jinhai: You seem very happy with MDPI, and that’s fine. You are free to like it, and I am free to classify it as questionable. Because you seem to like it so much, I encourage you to publish your research in MDPI’s journals. When you do this, I am sure you will get the academic credit you deserve. –Jeffrey Beall

      • Jinhai Gao says:

        Jeff, I don’t know how you came up with your conclusion that I am happy with MDPI. I have never published or reviewed a paper in its journals, not on any of its editorial boards. I am not defending MDPI per se. My problem lies with your analysis. In the past I simply accepted your judgment on its face value. However, this time I did look into your analysis in more detail and found it highly problematic. I am here to simply point out these problems.

        In my earlier post I pointed out that the picture is incorrect in pointing to a bakery as the publisher’s headquarter. In fact yiming (Xin Ge) corroborated my account by posting the address of MDPI as Klybeckstrasse 64, which is clearly the building next to the red arrow (see the above link. Here is another view: Frankly I am astonished that you ignored my post and continued to show the wrong picture. Of course you are free to classify MDPI as questionable, but you must first get your facts straight. To me this is a credibility issue. The influence of Beall’s list depends on your credibility. I’m not a lawyer, but common sense tells me that by knowingly refusing to correct factual errors, you are exposing yourself to potential liabilities.

        Here are my two cents about your sarcastic suggestion on submitting papers to MDPI’s journals. My field is molecular biology. People in this field usually try the best journal you think your paper could be accepted, and if unsuccessful, go down the ladder until you find a journal that accepts your paper. Fortunately I have had no need to publish a paper in a lower tier journal. However, not all papers can get into top tier journals. Lower tier journals exist for a reason. Many problems noted for MDPI journals are not specific for open access journals. There are plenty of traditional journals that publish low quality papers. I have served as a reviewer for some of the lower tier, traditional journals. There is no doubt that standards for these journals are much lower than higher tier journals. I can easily complain about them like people complaining about MDPI journals here. For example, I have noted a dozen pseudoscience papers from a couple of labs published in traditional journals with IF of ~3, which report the effects of a Qigong master’s ability to manipulate the biology of cells.

        The bottom line is, when your paper appears in a lower tier journal it doesn’t carry much weight anyways, especially in a US academic institution. There is little difference between publishing it in a MDPI journal versus publishing it in a traditional low quality journal, which by the way is not free either. However, an initially lower tier journal can improve its quality over time if the editorial board is serious. What you are doing to MDPI is a self-fulfilling prophecy. By putting them into your list, you are making it harder for those journals with ambitions to climb the publication ladder to achieve their goals.

      • Have you ever published a scholarly paper anywhere? Who are you? I think you were smart not to ever publish in an MDPI journal, and your actions are very telling.

      • Jinhai Gao says:

        Why did you sidestep my criticism? Who I am is not important. It is the substance of my criticism that is important. What I can tell you here is that I am a faculty member in an academic institution in the US. If you really want to know my identity and swear not to disclose it to anyone else (because I don’t want to be harassed by guys like yiming). I can let you know by email.

        Let me air more complaints about your analysis. First of all, the title of your article is not even correct. MDPI is not a Chinese publisher. Lin Shukun is a Swiss citizen and the company headquarter is located in Basel, Switzerland. Many Silicon Valley companies are founded by Indian immigrants, and many of these companies outsource their operations to India. Would you call these companies Indian companies? KFC is now doing most of its business in China, would you call KFC a Chinese company? The term “made in China” is associated with poor quality and elicits raw emotions in some people’s mind. I suspect that your action of classifying MDPI as a predatory publisher may have some to do with your realization that its founder is a Chinese immigrant.

        Your analysis is choke full of speculations with little evidence to back them up. Here are some more examples:
        1) Peter Suber serving on an editorial board is an effort to forestall criticism. Evidence? None. It was just your hunch.
        2) Because its mission is to earn as much money as possible through article submissions. Where did you find this mission of the company, out of thing air? Let me borrow your tactic, see how you like it: because Jeffery Beall’s mission is to gain as much fame or notoriety as possible through Beall’s list, he went after MDPI…
        3) The publisher was mainly set up to exploit the needs of scholars in China. Evidence? Because yiming said so? The Beijing office was set up in 2008, but if you care enough to look through MDPI’s recent publications, you’ll find that only a small percentage of papers is actually from authors within China.

      • Is Jinhai Gao your real name, or are you writing under a pseudonym? Have you published any papers with MDPI? I just searched your name on the MDPI site and found nothing. (Perhaps you use only an initial?) Please answer my question: have you published any papers with MDPI?

      • Jinhai Gao says:

        I have already answered this question above: “I have never published or reviewed a paper in its journals, not on any of its editorial boards.” Looks like you didn’t quite read my comments. Let me add more information: I have published plenty of papers. I have no relationship with MDPI. I do not know Lin in person. My interest in this case comes from 1) I have been a long-time follower of your list; 2) I am familiar with the Fang Shimin and Yiming’s work.

        Of course I use Jinhai Gao as my pseudonym, for the reason I explained in my previous response.

      • Okay, so you are using a fake name. What other false things have you said?
        I stand by this: the fact that you have never published in MDPI’s journals is very telling.
        I understand Lin is calling in favors and asking his friends to defend his business, and I commend you on your loyalty.

        It appears that all the scholars who are defending Lin have never published in any of his journals. Those closest to him, his friends that are defending him, don’t want to publish their work in his journals.

  37. HQ says:

    Jeffery, I agree with you that one of criteria for determining predatory open-access publishers is they “displays prominent statements that promise rapid publication and/or unusually quick peer review”. In a review titled “The publishing delay in scholarly peer-reviewed journals” in 2013, the authors analyzed 300 research articles from 15 journals in each of 9 disciplines. Publication time in Chemistry journals is 4.73 months from submission to acceptance, then 4.18 months from acceptance to publication. In Biomedicine journals the time is 4.65 and 4.82 months, respectively. Open access journals usually accelerate publication time, especially in the stage from acceptance to publication, and it varies by each journal. However, if the manuscript is subjected to rigorous and professional peer review, it still needs reasonable time from submission to acceptance.

    I analyzed the publication time of Research Articles in two MDPI journals. One is Marine Drugs, which has highest impact factor 3.978 (2012) in all MDPI journals, the other one is Molecules (IF 2.428, 2012), the first journal created by MDPI. For comparison, I picked up two other open access journals with similar impact factors to Marine Drugs, Molecular Pain (3.77, 2012) and PLOS ONE (3.73, 2012). The selected samples are: all 23 articles in Marine drugs 2014:12(1), the most recent 30 articles in Molecules 2014:19(2), the most recent 25 articles in Mol Pain and PLOS ONE:Pharmacology. Here is the time (months) from submission to acceptance and from acceptance to publication in each journal:

    Marine Drugs: 1.56 +/- 0.45; 0.62 +/- 0.17
    Molecules: 1.32 +/- 0.59; 0.27 +/- 0.13
    Mol Pain: 3.92 +/- 2.39; 0.34 +/- 0.30
    PLOS ONE: 3.66 +/- 1.13; 1.42 +/- 0.64

    We can see that the two MDPI journals do have unusually quick peer reviews, which take only 30~40% of time in the other two OA journals. As in your blog, the MDPI owner recruited a “lazy” editor and wouldn’t “bother him to do anything”. I think he tells the truth how MDPI journals are operated.

    • Thank you for this very helpful comment.

    • Clem says:

      As well as the fast peer-review, how can acceptance to publication be so fast when MDPI promise on their website that “production includes professional copyediting and English editing”? Both Molecular Pain and PLoS one do not do any language editing.

      “Molecular Pain will not edit submitted manuscripts for style or language; reviewers may advise rejection of a manuscript if it is compromised by grammatical errors.”
      “PLOS ONE does not copyedit accepted manuscripts, so the language in submitted articles must be clear, correct, and unambiguous”

  38. Albert Noel says:

    Cool down please!
    Nothing happened. This journal’s list is not God’s list. The actual quality of a journal can only be determined in two ways:

    1. Give the published article to an expert of that area, and seek his comments regarding the article quality.

    2. Ask an experienced scientist to send his paper for review to a journal under investigation. That expert can actually judge the quality of desk and actual reviews and comments from the experts.

    Other than this, all discussion would be a wastage of time.


    • AlexH says:

      This will point only to the quality of the articles in question. Journals and publishers create a context in which these articles appears publicly. This context can not be evaluated as if it were an aggregate of articles, other factors, derived mainly from the (past and current) functioning of the publishing company must also be taken into account.

  39. James says:

    MDPI is a bogus publisher. They charge 300 CHF just to fix the format of your paper. This makes the publisher 5 times predatory one. Avoid any relation with MDPI predatory company and the chinese mafia that stands behind, in the dark background. I strongly recommend you to classify the MDPI as Bogus, Predatory and Fake Publisher!

  40. auth says:

    You are clearly free to list the publisher in your list. Still, your choice could negatively affect the career of scholars which published there, and, as such, should be taken with care.

    I had a good experience in publishing an article to one of their journals: the reviews were helpful and relevant, much more than those I received from other non-MPDI journals. I read other articles of that journal and they are reasonable and correct. I believe that the quality of each MDPI journal is mainly ensured by the editors. Sometimes this publisher chose bad editors, sometimes not.

    As a consequence, I would rather suggest to list specific journals for which there is evidence of misconduct, not the publisher as a whole.

    • solihu says:

      That is it! Journals should be evaluated individually especially if the publisher is on a borderline. As I mentioned above, MDPI is the publisher of an ISPRS journal ( Will ISPRS not ensure acceptable standard and quality? One of the journals, Sustainability, is also handled by a professor from Canada.
      Some publishers are clearly bogus. I have seen one promising a 7-day review. So, there is a need to separate them.

  41. rsignell says:

    We picked MDPI’s Journal of Marine Science and Engineering for the publishing selected papers from the 13th International Conference on Estuarine and Coastal Modeling, and as one of the special issue editors, I’ve been very happy. As editors, we picked the peer reviewers from our community, and the reviews were equal to others I’ve seen as associate editor for the Elsevier journal Ocean Dynamics (and why wouldn’t they be?). The turnaround at the journal has been great (the papers will all be available about 4 months after the conference), which is something we really wanted. If you are interested, check them out here:

    The main thing I was concerned about before selecting JMSE was whether the journal articles would still be accesssible in the future if JMSE went belly-up. It turned out that because the JMSE office is nominally in Switzerland, the articles will be stored at the Swiss National Library Archive (and available online via e-Helvetica Seems pretty safe.

    One thing in this discussion that really disturbed me was Jeffrey Beall’s response to one of the comments: “You seem very
    happy with MDPI, and that’s fine. You are free to like it, and I am
    free to classify it as questionable. Because you seem to like it so
    much, I encourage you to publish your research in MDPI’s journals.
    When you do this, I am sure you will get the academic credit you

    As a scientist, I’ve always been uncomfortable with this concept —
    that the journal you publish in is the measure of the quality of your
    science. What about the actual science contained in the paper?
    Shouldn’t each paper stand on it’s own merit, regardless of what
    journal it was published in?

    I guess it’s likely that Beall’s blog will frighten some folks away
    from MDPI, but I don’t really care about that either. If MDPI is gone
    in two years, we will use some other open-access publisher!

    • How much did they charge per paper?

      • rsignell says:

        They didn’t charge us anything to publish in JMSE. Perhaps it’s a MDPI policy to waive all costs for relatively new journals, but I just checked, and all submissions in 2014 are also free (see the statement at the top of

      • Veronica Maher says:

        Jeff, what’s your opinion on open access journals from reputable publishers that charge extraordinary amount of fees? Would charging excessive fee be a predatory behavior?
        For example, Cell Reports is a new OA journal published by Cell Press. It charges $5000 per article!

      • I currently don’t have high fees included as a criterion. I agree that an APC of $5,000 is shocking. I have been observing that OA journals with impact factors are able to command higher author fees.

        Perhaps this is the new version of the serials crisis.

    • Mike Fainzilber says:

      Cell Reports is specifically positioning itself to be a high profile journal that publishes a limited number of papers per year, in their own words “Cell Reports publishes thought-provoking, cutting-edge research”. Yes, one can publish almost four PLoS ONE papers (APC $ 1350) for the cost of one Cell Reports (APC $ 5,000), but most likely one Cell Reports paper will be much more important for a career than any number of PloS ONE papers…

      As additional food for thought:

      Cell Reports published ~500 papers in 2013 @ $ 5000 each = income of $ 2.5 million for Cell Press (Elsevier)

      PLoS ONE published ~32,000 papers in 2013 @ $1350 each = income of $ 43 million for PLoS…

      Disclaimer – I have published in both Cell Reports and in PLoS ONE

  42. Miguel Roig says:

    Some months ago I received an invitation to contribute to a special issue of one of the MDPI journals that was to be edited by a well-known contributor in my field. At the time of the invitation I was a bit suspicious because I had never heard of the journal and although it had not been listed in Jeff Beall’s list yet I felt somewhat uneasy about contributing to what appeared to be just another relatively new OA outlet with unknown staying power. I was getting ready to email the editor of the special issue to confirm that that individual was, in fact, heading the project when, coincidentally, the special issue was announced in a very trusted blog. So I agreed to contribute. Weeks went by, but due to a family health crisis I neglected to continue to work on the project until I received a reminder from the journal’s editorial office 3 weeks before the submission deadline. Then, a couple of days later on Feb 18th my co-author alerted me to Jeff’s new entry.

    Based on Jeff’s diligent work and on the various contributions to the present discussion (both, for and against MDPI), I decided that there were sufficient grounds for me to avoid this publisher altogether and have, therefore, withdrawn my offer to contribute. Some of the MDPI journals, perhaps including the one that I was going to submit to may, in fact, work under a genuine system of editorial and peer review. However, for me, the question arises as to whether I would want to be in any way associated with an ethically questionable publisher like MDPI. Of course, I am not naïve and fully recognize that no journal or editorial process is perfect and that there are ‘issues’ with just about every single major publisher and journal, as well as with the current peer review system. But, I think in this case there are just way too many of those ‘issues’ and lots of unanswered questions.

    Anyway, THANK YOU very much, Jeff. I think that your work has done a great service to science and scholarship. And thank you all for contributing to this discussion.

  43. ash kanash says:

    Jeff, what are the differences between Hindawi and MDPI that prompted you to remove the former and add the latter to the list?

    • Cool, a trick question from Inspector Clouseau! What is your real name? Why are you afraid to reveal it? How many papers have you published in Shukun Lin’s website? Zero? Excellent — that’s exactly what I recommend.

    • pirkish nunam says:

      Pick a random journal from Hindawi and see if there is/are questionable papers. If you cannot do it limit this to journals under your expertise and see if there is/are questionable papers. Share it here so we will know.

  44. Jay says:

    I think the smart way to answer Ash Kanash’s question is to keep with patience and explain directly the difference of journal quality between Hindawa and MDPI.

    • Disagree. Tolstoy said: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” I will update this to “Successful publishers are all alike; every predatory publisher is predatory in its own way.”

      I do not compare publishers to each other; this is a waste of time. If you want to do this, feel free, and report back what you find.

  45. Bociari says:

    Hi Mr. Beall,

    I want to know your opinion about the indian “Kre publishers” are their jorunals also questionable?

    thanks for your work,
    Naples University

  46. Ahmad Zaki says:

    Hi Jeffrey,

    I really appreciate your work in identifying potential predatory journals. I wouldn’t say your work is perfect. But I really salute you. Your website has became genuine watchdog or benchmark in academic world.

    Nowadays there are so many questionable journals/ conferences especially those from emerging economies. One of questionable conference organizer [] is affiliated with predatory journals. They published conference proceedings through predatory journals e.g. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Science listed in your website. See

    As you can see the predatory journals have adopted “innovative” approach to attract more customers. I believe not well established researchers have become their main target. To be honest, I was also tempted to submit my article to pay-based journals to accelerate review process in the past. Now, I will check the journal in your website before submitting any manuscript.

    Again, I hope you can keep your good work. Stay happy although you have been criticized. I am looking for more good analyses.

    Thank you.

    • Thanks for your comment. The predatory publishers are constantly changing their strategies and tactics as you indicate. The journal you mention is published by AENSI (American-Eurasian Network for Scientific Information). This is indeed on my list. Thanks.

  47. Right, the photo information given was a few feet off. The office entrance is near the convenience stores and not the bakery. This is a red herring designed to draw attention from the real issue — the quality of the publishing venue. Why are the Lin lackeys so hung up on the picture?

    • HQ says:

      The MDPI address does point to the bakery in Google Maps street view. The actual MDPI office next the door is not better looking at all, with two trash bags near the entrance.

      • drhewang says:

        Well, don’t be fooled. The guy who picked the photo intentionaly pointed the view angle down, made the front looks depressing. Anyone who bothers to copy the address into Google street view, and look up, pun intended, would find that the building doesn’t look bad at all. This kind of trick is very dirty, and despicable. A decent scholar should have stopped using this list as a resource by now.

      • HQ says:

        I think it is fair enough to show the photo in that angle, at least it clearly shows the entrance, and we don’t know exactly how much space upstairs MDPI occupies. How do you think the first picture in this web page? MDPI intentionally presents a photo showing the whole street, although its office sits in a tiny dark corner. This kind of trick is very dirty, and despicable. A decent scholar should have stopped sending his/her manuscript to this publisher by now.

      • J Chen says:

        Interestingly, in MDPI’s own website front door picture ( ), it shows 2 gabege bags in its front door as google maps street view showing. Is that ” dirty and depressing” for such an international academic publisher managing more than 120 peer review journals?

      • Leo says:

        Now there is a more recent picture, allegedly taken by a guy who lives in Basel:

        In this one, one could clearly see the MDPI sign at the front entrance. And the bakery seems to have been taken over by a Turkish bistro.

    • GuidoB says:

      Well, I think because your list potentially has huge financial consequences for the organizations and individuals involved, combined with the fact that outsiders cannot completely judge the validity of your methodology. If you make mistakes in such a context, no matter how trivial, they trigger the valid question “Did he make other mistakes?”. Raising such a question does not automatically mean that the person does not believe your judgment about the organization, or make that person into a lackey of the organization.

  48. Hippocrates says:

    Prof. Dr. Peter Murray-Rust said that Beall’s criticism of MDPI lacks evidence and is irresponsible. He also said in his blog that he has no personal involvement with MDPI. But the MDPI said he is one member of its editorial board
    I feel confused. The MDPI use the professor’s name without permission AGAIN???

  49. roryrobertsonformerfattie says:


    I have a long-running dispute with the MDPI journal Nutrients and the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre about the extraordinarily faulty yet influential “Australian Paradox” paper.

    The extraordinarily faulty paper was “peer reviewed” and published while the lead author operated as the “Guest Editor” of a “Special Issue” of Nutrients:

    The credibility of the dud research was again shredded recently in an investigation by Australia’s public broadcaster, the ABC:

    The authors and MDPI’s Nutrients responded to the high-profile public shredding of the dud research by making several minor formal “Corrections” but otherwise pretending that everything is fine:

    It isn’t. The credibility of the paper having again been shredded in excruciating detail, this time on national radio, I am amazed that a senior University of Sydney scientist is continuing to defend such an obviously flawed piece of work.

    For the record, I have discussed the need for retraction with MDPI’s CEO, Mr Dietrich Rordorf, on the Retraction Watch blog. But, clearly, he’s not inclined to do anything to correct the integrity of the scientific record on this matter: (see interactions in comments)

    Jeffery, I have documented the obvious problems – up versus down is the main one! (see charts in the next link) – and I’m hoping that you and others will assist my push for the retraction of the faulty paper and its main “finding”: there is “an inverse relationship” between sugar consumption and obesity.

    For those interested, I’ve even drafted an excellent retraction notice (Section 5):


  50. Clem says:

    Following from HQ’s analysis (above) of time from submission to acceptance and from acceptance to publication in each journal:
    MDPI state themselves on their journal websites the unusually fast manuscript handling; for example:
    The journal ‘Viruses’
    “Rapid publication: manuscripts are peer-reviewed and published within 41 days (average Jan-Jun 2013)”
    The journal ‘Molecules
    “Rapid publication: manuscripts are peer-reviewed and published within 44 days (average Jan-Jun 2013)”

    How can a journal go through a serious peer-review, author revisions, production and publication in 6 weeks?

    Further, MDPI states that production includes professional copyediting and English editing – unless this is ‘extensive’: “A separate English editing charge will be applied to articles that require extensive English language editing or formatting.” – see How is ‘extensive’ measured? Since this copyediting come during production, then the author would find out about this hidden charge after their paper is accepted, no?

  51. Mark Taylor says:

    MDPI is a very unprofessional lead and structured company that only focuses on a maximum profit with as low as possible investment into the paper. I’ve had several issues with them and could tell you even more about their way of dealing with them. I also once had the possibility to correspond with a employee based in China, that brought me a quite shocking insight on their working conditions. It was about time to have this publisher listed here.

  52. sustainability person says:

    I’ve read a couple of pieces in MDPI’s journal Sustainability and they are usually as good as some of the less prestigious journals published by Sage, Elsevier or publishers usually recognized as legitimate. I’ve considered sending a manuscript there and checked your site for information.
    I find it a little bit usually that 1) you would criticize a digital publisher for not having a fancy building and 2) you call it a “Chinese” publisher when it is located in Switzerland. Granted, it may have a Chinese person in a leadership role but it’s not accurate to call it a “Chinese publisher”. Honestly, that feels like an unfair swipe to de-legitimize the publisher. If a publisher has a fancy building its probably because they are extracting huge fees from university libraries all over the world.
    I don’t think I will send a manuscript there but I don’t really find some of your criticisms convincing. It would be better for you to focus on criticisms of the peer review process, the quality of the work, etc. MDPI’s journals are probably about the same quality as some of the lesser publications of the leading publishers, but this blog post is enough to turn me off. Plus, a Chinese guy works for them and their office is shabby. Who wants to publish with that type of company?

    • What’s your real name? Why don’t you use it here? Will you share your CV?

      • sustainability person says:

        I don’t really know how that’s relevant. I’m not a “big deal”. I’m just saying that critiquing the fanciness of some publisher’s office doesn’t seem relevant nor does it seem relevant that they have a Chinese person in a leadership role.
        It sounds like there are enuf problems with this publisher for it to be avoided without these somewhat hallow critiques.

    • sustainability person,

      I agree that we should “focus on criticisms of the peer review process, the quality of the work, etc”.

      Please consider the extent of problems in the MDPI’s “Australian Paradox” paper and tell me if the “peer review” process was satisfactory. Here you go.


      • sustainability person says:

        I wouldn’t say an entire publisher is “bad” because of 1 paper. By this logic we should consider Duke University press “bad” because it publishes Social Text, the home journal of the infamous Sokal Affair. Obviously, Duke University is a pretty prestigious publisher.
        Similarly, an audit of the infamous “gay parenting is bad” article published in Social Science Research revealed a number of problems with peer review. SSR is a well-regarded journal and it published by a “good” publisher, Elsevier. Again, by this logic no one should publish in Elsevier journals anymore.
        MDPI is building up enuf of a bad rep online that I wouldn’t publish there. I was only remarking that the articles that I have read seem roughly to be of the same level of quality as articles in similar journals (e.g. low rank or low prestige) published by “legit” companies like Sage or Elsevier.
        Honestly, I think the relative monopoly of the big academic publishers will be very hard to break because any missteps by upstart publishers or open-access journals will be taken as evidence of their fundamental illegitimacy. For major publishers problems with peer review, retractions, etc are seen as evidence of a few bad apples while for companies like MDPI these are seen as evidence of a fraudulent enterprise.
        Again, I would not send my own work here, but its mostly because of the critiques of the company that I have read online, not because of the quality of their journals. With that being said, I should probably note that I have only read a handful or articles from one of their journals.
        Thanks for reading.

    • J Chen says:

      MDPI registered in Swissland and only has a couple of sample “employees” in Swissland. As his ex-Chinese owner, chief editor, and manager Mr. Shukun Lin admitted: its process offices, manage offices, computers are in China (see its web sites), and all most all employess are Chinese. Can you call it a “Swisslan publisher”?

      • Joel Kinnamann says:

        MDPI is registered in Switzerland, and in China it is treated as a foreign company. What you described is simply a phenomenon of globalisation where international outsourcing of labor is commonplace. What many people fails to realise is that China actually houses quite a few internationally renowned journals, Cell Research for example (IF > 10), is described as “China’s leading journal in the life sciences”. What we should focus on is the quality of the journal, not the origin or where they have most of their employees.

  53. Robert J says:

    Jeffrey Beall, MDPI is an excellent publisher. I have published 3 papers all with helpful comments and great peer review.
    You must release MDPI from your predatory publishers.
    MDPI is a fantastic publisher with many ISI Journals.
    You cannot put MDPI in the list of questionable publishers!!!!

    • Hi Robert J,

      If MDPI is an “excellent publisher”, why was “peer review” in the case of its extraordinarily faulty Australian Paradox paper either non-existent, incompetent or ignored?

      If MDPI is an excellent publisher, why does it not retract the obviously false high-profile “finding” that there is “an inverse relationship” between sugar consumption and obesity?

      I think you might agree that the authors’ own charts tend to point up not down: Figures 1-5 in

      • Wayne Dawson says:

        I agree that the implications of the article are surely misleading. I can hardly think that sugar is benign. However, the graph itself might be informative in the sense that consumption has probably largely shifted to processed foods that often have trans-fats and possibly other additives. Excessive consumption of meat may also be not particular helpful in a diet. The authors should have investigated why a little more assiduously.

        At any rate an editor should resist using a public journal as a private platform to promulgate his/her own particular slant on things without the full agreement of the editorial board.

      • Dear Mr Robertson,
        Nature also publishes 2 STAP articles that contained plagiarism, and other serious misconducts, and have not retracted the 2 papers yet.

        In my opinion, no journal is perfect

  54. […] Beall doesn’t trust the intentions (and with it, the quality) of another publisher, but Peter Murray-Rust disputes Beall’s conclusions because the quality of the reasoning is […]

  55. Wayne Dawson says:

    Hmm, it seems about the time this came out, I was finishing up as a guest editor with the journal Entropy. I certainly tried to live up to the job and took a very active roll in the reviewing process to be sure I knew what I was deciding about in the light of the reviewer’s comments. To the best of my understanding, my decisions were fair. It certainly took at least a couple months in many cases. These are the things I can say for myself on this matter.

  56. I had one experience with MDPI which shows a lack of sincere interest by the editors to look into possible problems with articles. It’s quite easy to publish pseudoscientific articles in their journals it seems and to get away with it.

    This has to do with an article of a special issue of Animals “Combination of Western and Chinese Medicine in Veterinary Science” ( ) It’s on using electroacupuncture in cattle. You could argue that this is pseudoscience anyway, so why bother to look at it at all. I was however intrigued by the fact that the authors had used a device that was supposedly developed by the Soviet Russian Space Program. A Russian reference was given for this, but could not be found anywhere. As I found out this was all made up by a Russian pseudoscientist. Another problem is that the last author of the article is the owner of the firm which sells this device and the first author is member of the scientific advisory committee of this firm, however: “The authors declare no conflict of interest” the article states.
    I pointed this out to the editor of Animals and got a reply by an assistant editor. They had looked into it and told me that they had found a reference to this machine. But this was from a German esoteric magazine, which just promotes all kinds of pseudoscientific nonsense. They didn’t report back on the COI issue. Case closed from their side. The firm is happily telling its customers that scientific research has been published on their device :-(

    I’ve written a blog on this: which goes a bit further than just this connection with MDPI.

    • wkdawson says:

      Well, maybe it was the extra attention that made the cows more productive. It would take quite some cajoling to get a cow to agree to have some contraption put on it.

      Most likely, the problem here was that the paper is rather boring, so the reviewers didn’t really think deeply about it. However, it was the guest editors’ responsibility to go over the paper carefully before accepting it. Peer review is not all that it is cracked up to be. Nonsense is not unique to open access journals. If it were so, we would know what not to read.

      • wkdawson,

        The promotion of “peer reviewed” nonsense as scientific fact appears to be a greater risk when guest editors are allowed to oversee the publication of their own papers. For example:

      • Wayne Dawson says:

        Roy Robertson

        Nevertheless, it is not a unique problem of OA journals. It has been a long enduring practice of a lot of stuff I have witnessed in academia in fact; indeed __long__ before OA was even an idea that could be implemented. Academics have stubborn opinions (sometimes right and sometimes not) and will find a way around the roadblocks (rightly or wrongly) put against these ideas.

        I have already commented on several of your posts on this matter. I understand that this is annoying to you in particular, but this is one miscreant act in one journal: with Animals possibly yet another. I can accept that mdpi has some issues. Nevertheless, these are far from unique to OA and could have happened elsewhere to some unsuspecting editor.

        How about the recent blow up over Obokata’s publications in Nature and the handling of matters at RIKEN? More and more big kahunas on the author list and your paper is guaranteed respect in the Nature pipeline? Prof so-and-so is an authority, who would _dare_ to question this? Yet us little fish are quickly shook off before it ever gets to the reviewers for a serious evaluation.

        Academics was once part of nobility. It is, therefore, even today, a system that largely presumes that articles and research are submitted to journals in good faith. In effect, authors agree to that upon submission. Perhaps there have always been frauds in this business, but fraud is a very serious (career demolishing) crime to charge a scientist with. It speaks to the very intellectual integrity of the person.

        I can agree that mdpi probably needs a few more checks and balances. NPG evidently does too. Can we at least finally move from justice in the time of Achan (Jos 7:16ff) to that understood in the time of Ezekiel (Ez 18)?

  57. Hello, Jeffrey. In this post, I will limit myself to a single MDPI journal, i.e. Galaxies. My experience with it was positive so far. I decided to publish in it since, in general, I am favorable to the Open Access philosophy, provided, of course, it is implemented seriously. When I was contacted to publish in Galaxies, the project seemed to me sound and promising. It provides also Altmetric, and I guess it will be indexed by SCOPUS and ISI as soon it will become possible.The Editorial Board listed is made of some quite renowned researchers in the field, some of the authors who decided to publish so far in Galaxies are well known researchers. All my articles were peer-reviewed, and I did not pay anything (so far) to publish in Galaxies. All in all, my opinion on this newly established journal is positive.
    Best regards.

  58. Ed says:

    I was recently asked to review a paper for the journal ‘Energies’ (which I thought was a strange title). When I hear of a journal I am not familiar with, I check Beall’s list. I declined the invitation. I will admit that the process they provided (title and abstract of paper in email, and a ink to an accept/decline invitation) is consistent with other journals I review papers for: simple and professional. However, given the number of journals on the topic of energy, and the fact that the paper was actually on environmental radioactivity, I openly question why the authors decided to submit the paper to this journal as opposed to a well established journal on topic. It makes me question whether the paper has already been rejected elsewhere or the authors are aware of dubious quality of their work. I do not have time to review poor research (which of course I am speculating on).

    On a completely separate thought, I am not sure how the publishing costs should be factored into any analysis of credibility. I recently has a paper accepted in a credible journal….and they had an option to make it open access (which involved more paperwork and a $3k fee). I do not normally publish open access, but in this case, the paper was more of a policy/opinion piece and I wanted it to have broad coverage to an international market. So, the choice to pay (a very high figure over the per page charge) for the open access option was mine alone. Is this predatory? I am not sure.

    In any case, thank you for the hard work.

    • Ed,

      Some may choose to publish in MDPI journals rather than elsewhere because quality control can be so lax that rejection is unlikely; moreover, even if the quality of one’s paper is shown by “post-publication peer review” to be extraordinarily poor – and its main conclusions wrong! – MDPI will not retract the paper:

      That sort of arrangement might seem attractive to industry-friendly scientists with strong opinions who don’t mind wearing a second hat as MDPI’s “Guest Editor”:

    • Please, permit me to be a bit surprised by the first part of your comment. In your place, instead of looking at…the editorial manager of the journal and its functionality (!), I would have primarily looked at its Editorial Board to make an idea of its level! Secondarily, I would have checked some of the papers published so far, and to the overall details of the journal’s page. I would also have looked at the Impact Factor, if any; in case of a newly launched journal, the Editorial Board would have been crucial. In this specific case, although it is not my field, I see that Energies actually has an IF, although I cannot judge on the quality of its Editorial Board.

      About the fee of 3k$ fee you paid, even if I had that money I do not think I would have wasted it to have my paper Open Access: I would have found other ways to circulate my paper. Frankly speaking, 3k$ seems to me quite predatory….

  59. Evert Nijenhuizen says:

    MDPI is not a Chinese publisher, it is a Swiss publisher with offices in China, and having an owner which has the Chinese ethnicity. Kindly rectify this error.

  60. Non-academia-drone says:

    Academics are hopeless. Gawping and scraping and oddly, increasingly, paying for the privilege of having their work published. The latter demonstrates a holistic detachment from common sense. You write a book or material for a publisher, and then YOU pay for it to be published in a vehicle they sell with nothing coming back to you except some vague navel-gazing “academic scholarship” gibberish? Unless you are self-publishing (which you are de facto not by submitting to a journal publisher ) anywhere else that would be called a scam. Want to give it to them for free to tick the latest academic or research institute promotion scorecard or librarian-industry “meaningfulness” statistic? Knock yourself out, there’s no rule against dispensing the fruits of your labor for free, particularly when 90% of it’s paid for by taxpayer’s via research grants anyway.
    But doing (often considerable) work, then being charged for the privileged of having someone else put it in a journal they sell?
    And then other scientists do even more work reviewing these things gratis, doing the journal’s work for them.
    Scientists might know science, but they wouldn’t know business if it smacked them in the face.
    In this case, when you PAY the arbiter of what is “good” science, i.e. the publisher, to publish your work, that creates what in the real world is called a conflict-of-interest set of incentives. To use a non-scientific term that apparently more academics should familiarize themselves with, “DUH!”

  61. Annoyed anonymous reviewer says:

    I peer-reviewed a paper for an MDPI journal this year and noted some major concerns in my review. A couple months later I received a request to review a revised version, but my concerns from the first review had not been adequately addressed (and the article had low scientific importance) so I restated these and recommended rejection. Shortly thereafter, the MDPI journal published the article. I did not receive a rebuttal to my review and the paper was not sent for a third round of review or to a third reviewer for a tie-breaker (some of the things I take for granted from reputable journals).
    Waste of my time.

    • Annoyed anonymous reviewer,

      It’s good to hear that someone claiming to be competent was involved in the peer-review process for an MDPI journal. That seems not to have been the case in the extraordinary Australian Paradox episode involving the MDPI journal Nutrients (overseen by academics at the University of Sydney and the University of Newcastle): ; ;

    • As it stands, this comment is useless from several points of view: you should reveal both your identity and the specific journal. Otherwise, how can one trust you? By assuming you are right and trustful, how somebody could avoid the error of making submissions to the wrong journal if you do not disclose it? Moreover, from your words it seems that two referees were assigned to this manuscript: indeed, you invoked a third reviewer. What was the report of the second referee?

    • leo says:

      Dont take it personally, but for reviewers it happens sometimes their concerns are not addressed. A colleague recently submitted a manuscript to one Royal Society journal and 1 of the 3 reviewers was a complete tool, demanding him to cite the reviewer’s own papers (albeit not relevant to the subject) and making changes that made no sense. Given the field was small it was very obvious who wrote those reviews. And the editor shamelessly claimed 1 out of 3 was already a majority decision so my colleague’s paper got rejected. Do you expect this from Royal Society, a reputable institution? Anyway the manuscript found its way to a PLoS journal later on (not PLoS ONE).

  62. This time, I will comment on the journal Universe, to be launched in the next days and my experience with it so far. When I was appointed as Editor-in-Chief (I will not receive a penny for that…), the board already counted several renown scientists in the field, apart from, perhaps, an individual. Some other people joined after having been personally invited by myself, and, hopefully, more will follow. So far, people at the Editorial Staff of Universe were competent, serious and proactive. Suffice it to say that, when I pointed out that a member of the board should have been removed because of her/his modest standing in the field as per her/his publication record and metrics, after some days she/he was actually removed from the Editorial Board: indeed, now you will not find her/him. Moreover, when she/he submitted a manuscript to the journal, it was rejected without external review under my advice. Other manuscripts are currently under review by two-three competent referees (I know them, of course..)

    • Gu Fu says:

      Dear Lorenzo,

      My own experience with MDPI can be resumed by what Lachezar Filchev said on February 20, 2014 at 3:22 PM (see commentS above).

      I quote: “I see here the main issue with the MDPI. It is in their strategy or tactics to get credits from established authors’ reputation at no cost while making huge profits from not-that-well-established ones. I am not ashamed to admit that I am not an established author so far – because it can be checked on the Internet. However, obviously the publisher approach is two-fold. In the case of ‘Remote Sensing’ journal for instance there are numerous established scholars who publish in MDPI, so one who thinks (as I thought before): ‘Those guys are there – that means this journal is OK, it is safe and I am going to publish in it. Moreover it is OpenAccess and it is fairly cheap to publish.’ (this is how it goes in reality) is doomed. The truth is that the glossy facade (made from good to mediocre articles by established scholars) is only for those who guess the entity by its look…So, say it plain – the politics of MDPI is: ‘be generous and open to the one in power and mean and brutal to the one who are not in the top ten of the cited authors of SCOPUS, Thomson Reuters and alike’. Therefore, the controversy here is plain – we have a clever man behind this publishing house who knows how to use scientists’ intention to publish in a reputable journal“.

  63. Gu Fu says:

    I have so far, had three experiences with MDPI, all of which were negative.

    First, as an author: I am a plant physiologist by training and my most recent project involved quantifying the effect of climate change on plant metabolites. During that exercise, I noticed that there was no information available on the quantification of some secondary metabolites in some cereals seeds. By definition, this is not plant physiology, but food science. Well, I decided to write something on the subject and publish it. Since it was a spin-off publication of my project, I did not want to waste time going through several rounds of review in journals whose only acceptance criterion is perceived importance/novelty and not the science behind the research. I confided with a friend and he recommended the recently MDPI launched journal “Foods”. I submitted my manuscript to the journal and received three reviews: an insightful and two mediocre reviews. The latter reviewers focused only on the manuscript format and when asked about the language, they all selected “Extensive editing of English language and style required “, whereas the first reviewer selected” English language and style are fine”. That’s where I started getting the feeling that something was not correct. My native language is not English, but I did all my studies in English-speaking countries, defended my bachelor, master and PhD thesis in English and so far I have published 18 peer-reviewed papers in English. I always make sure before sending a document for peer-review, to have it read by my co-authors who are mostly native-speakers, and at least one colleague. It was the first time a reviewer felt that my manuscript needed an extensive language editing.

    I again consulted with my co-authors and colleagues, and they found no problem with the language. In my reply, I rebutted the accusations. At the time, in 2013, publication fees have been waived, apparently it is MDPI policy for new journals. I submitted the paper during the Christmas holidays and received the reviewers’ comments a week later. When I sent back my reply to the comments in January 2014, the journal informed me that I had to pay a publication fee, which was instated in 2014. Furthermore, all the three reviewers now recommended an extensive language editing, without mentioning specific language problems. You can imagine how surprised I was: The first reviewer who said the English was fine now was recommending extensive editing.

    All this time, I never had to deal with any of the journal’s editors: Each time, I corresponded with a Chinese secretary from China. When asked to know where exactly the language problem was, the secretary pointed at a sentence in a manuscript, “12 out of 30”, and said it was not proper English. Of course, she will ask me each time to pay for language editing. And when asked why pay a 2014 fee for a paper submitted in 2013, she replied that all revisions received in 2014 are considered as new submissions.

    I immediately realized that there was something fishy in all this, and asked that the manuscript be withdrawn from the review process. That’s when she decided to put me in touch with the editor. Curiously, another Chinese guy contacted me and introduced itself as the editor-in-chief, while on the website, it is said that the editor-in-chief is Prof. Christopher J. Smith from the UK. I back-out and the paper was recently published in a respectable journal after going through two lengthy rounds of thoughtful reviews.

    Second, as a reviewer: I recently reviewed a paper for a journal and recommended rejection. The document was so poorly written, with no statistics, several wrong statements about the physiology of plants; most of the conclusions were not supported by the results. Only a month later, I found the article published in the MDPI journal “Molecules” without any change (I insist on this), except for the language that had been significantly improved.

    Finally, as a reader: I had to read several articles published in “Molecules”, “International Journal of Molecular Science”. And each time, I could not help but wonder how these articles could have been published without anyone noticing that they were so flawed and out of the journal scope. I found an author who has published more than a dozen of articles in the journal “Molecules”, spanning a period of three years (4 articles related to plant physiology per year in the same journal). The similarity between these articles is so flagrant. One has the impression that the author only recycles old results and texts, not to mention their pseudoscience nature and their inappropriateness for the journal’s scope.

    I recognize that this is a personal experience with three MDPI journals and so it would be exaggerated to make generalizations. But my impression is that there is no editorial control at MDPI and the decision to accept or reject a paper is the sole authority of a secretary and the reviewers recommended by the authors.

    • It seems to me that these problems are more typical of the field you are working in, so that they likely reflect also in journals of the same field. As far as my personal experience is concerned as EiC and Guest Editor of a Special Issue, I am always consulted at the very beginning of the submission process, and in the final decision of acceptance/rejection process, with the faculty of adding my own review comments. And we already rejected some manuscripts without external peer-review.

      • For example, there is now a paper currently again under review after two postive referee reports. After having been asked for a decision, I required some more referee reports, and now it received two more referees. So, if it will be finally accepted, it will have received 4 referee reports…

  64. […] van dat platform. MDPI is niet bepaald een onbesproken uitgever. Zo heeft Jeffrey Beall ‘m op zijn invloedrijke lijst van Questionable Publishers geplaatst. MDPI geeft ook nogal eens zo’n ‘special issue’ weg aan een gasteditor die dan […]

  65. Youness says:

    I was thinking to submit a paper to Algorithms (a journal published by MDPI). The website for Algorithms seems professional to me and the editor in chief and some members of the editorial board are well-known. The journal is also index by some of popular data bases.
    The only reason that I stopped submitting my paper is this post. Are the editor in chief and editorial board of Algorithms aware of this post?

    • Please, permit me to be a little surprised. Well, yours is not my field but, according to your own words, the EiC and some of the Board members of the journal you looked at would be renown scientisits in the field and…you decided not to submit just because of some negative comments here by people who, instead, you do not know, who are often anonymous and who write about different fields?? It sounds quite odd! Where is your own judgment and discernment? Incidentally, you did not say anything about the quality of the papers published there: have you checked it as well?

    • I have experience on several Editorial Boards and Program Committees. IMHO, “Algorithms” does not differ much from classical journals when it comes to refereeing. In case of any doubts, more than two referees are involved.

  66. Kacper says:

    dear sir

    Good to add MDPI in your list, sir!

    I have very bad experience with Hindawi as well
    They are also extremely predatory.
    Can you add Hindawi in the predatory publishers
    Hindawi is an unethical publisher. I told them that I am a pure scientist
    I asked them some discount and not to charge my credit card with 1200 USD, but they charged me 1200 USD for a journal’s publication
    that is not in SCOPUS.
    I asked my money back, sir and remove the paper from their site.
    But Hindawi is a criminal company.
    They did not give me the money back.

    Add Hindawi in your black list now, otherwise I will post my negative impressions for Hindawi in my Facebook and other blogs

    • leo says:

      Dear Kacper, I guess you are free to post your negative impressions for Hindawi on your Facebook and other blogs. Jeff had Hindawi on his list for many years but recently removed it for reasons that are not clear at least to me.

  67. Ferdi says:

    Recently, they asked me to review a paper for one of their journals. However, they only gave me 2 weeks for reviewing the paper, so that I cannot give my comprehensive evaluation to the paper. Sometimes, it feels ridiculous to ask reviewer sending their comments in just two weeks, as we also have other jobs that we should handle.

    • Max says:

      Dear Ferdi, excuse me for my skepticism, but your story makes me question your academic credentials. 2 weeks to review a manuscript is NOT short time for any journal. In fact I just reviewed one paper for a Wiley journal related to optical physics and biomaterial, they gave me only 1 week from the time I am allowed to read the full abstract. But in the end I believe I did a good job by really committing to the task I took upon myself. If you feel under time pressure, just dont accept the review task. And if you spent less time reading and comment on forums you probably wouldve had enough time for a comprehensive evaluation. When people neglect their responsibility because the one asking for review is less than Science or Nature, then of course these poor journal’s quality cannot go up!

  68. pascual says:

    I would like to share some bad experience with MDPI as an author and a reviewer, that both show the way this journal is managed. As an author, I felt the reviews mediocre, and not detailed. But what I am particularly concerned is that the editor asked me to cite more papers from their journal. This is of course a way to make increase their impact factor… And it worked, in 2 years the journal ‘remote sensing’ doubled its impact factor reaching now 2.62.

    Now, as a reviewer, I was really disappointed by the way the editor took into account my comments. For at least two of the reviews I did, editors just even didn’t resend the paper for a second round of review after major considerations, accepting the paper as it. For a third paper, the editor asked for a second round of review, but let me only 1 week to comment. It was a week I was away from my email. So when I came back I directly did the review and sent my comments. They answered it was too late and the paper was already accepted… This is of course a way to increase their statistics between time of submission and acceptance.

    So I won’t advise anyone to submit a paper at least to this journal (‘remote sensing’). I don’ know about the other ones of MDPI. For my specific case, I am now really disappointed to have a nice study published in such a crappy journal.

  69. Rivers says:

    Dear Jeffrey Beall,
    I am curious. How do they manage to keep decently high impact factor journals? I am thinking on Sensors (IF 2.048, JCR; 1st quartile in Instruments and Instrumentation), for instance.

  70. […] :(. I guess Dr. S. was not quick enough to jump on the opportunity to review this manuscript on something completely unrelated to his research. I don’t recall any past efforts, though. This invitation was from MDPI, a highly questionable Chinese publisher. […]

  71. I can see the point of the proposed boycott. But to what extent do good editors exert proper control over content? Someone I know and respect is editor of one of their five year old journals, its fees are around US$300 (not excessive and around the limit for what I would ever pay), and I am more than confident in his work. If he is overseeing the review process I would have no trouble submitting to that journal, which is getting some citations too. If he is overturned by the staff in China, that would be bad.

    • It appears MDPI has been taken off Jeffrey’s list and reinstated as reputable in late 2015, after this discussion concluded.There is a brief posting at the top. I am interested to know if all 7 criticisms made of MDPI were addressed, or if there are other other reasons for the alteration of status. As I said above, some of their journals seem OK; maybe we should start a differentiated list.

  72. […] anyone’s guess. A quick internet search confirmed my suspicions and revealed that Entropy is likely a predatory journal.  Predatory journals are publications (usually for-hire) that masquerade as legitimate […]

  73. […] there are exceptions: for the example you cited specifically, I recommend you take a look at this: News outlets, blogs, etc. are usually not very reliable for […]

  74. […] rivista disposta a pubblicare qualsiasi articolo purché l’autore paghi a sufficienza, inclusi paper plagiati (e che quindi quasi certamente non hanno dovuto sottoporsi a nessuna revisione […]

  75. […] while some are free, eventually they usually go over the $500 limit, and the company had some bad press (but is currently in the clear). You can browse their […]

  76. Larry Purcell says:

    You make a very strong argument why MDPI should be included on the list of predatory publishers. Why were they removed from your list? This seems very odd…

  77. […] en la revista Entropy ( Esta revista es publicada por MDPI, considerada otra publicadora predadora (¡otra vez!) y muchos científicos la consideran fraudulenta. De hecho, se supone que la revista […]

  78. Michael Getzner says:

    I recently submitted a paper to a special issue of Sustainability, one of MDPI’s journals. Just saying: I received one excellent, one good, and one rather short review; major revisions took me some time, the paper was then accepted after some weeks.
    As a reviewer, I was asked to review one paper, which was very low quality, I rejected it (and the journal also sent a rejection later).
    My experience with Sustainability is good, their journal and editorial management is fine, and I chose the journal basically because of its inclusion in SCI and the special issue topics.
    I though have no other experience with this journal nor MDPI, it seemed o.k. to me.

    • Michael,

      My experience with MDPI remains troubling. Its infamous “Australian Paradox” paper – cited by Jeffrey Beall in his “Chinese Publisher MDPI Added to List of Questionable Publishers” piece – has not been properly corrected, nor retracted.

      In my opinion, it remains an academic disgrace and a menace to public health.

      Here’s a recent report on the matter by widely respected journalist Emma Alberici, on the Australian state TV broadcaster ABC’s Lateline program (~15 minute video):

      And here’s my recent interaction with the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney:

      Readers, please let me know if you think my ongoing efforts on this matter are unreasonable.


  79. Nunzio says:

    I’ve found excellent articles in MDPI Sensors. Not every MDPI journal is mature as expected but world is moving even more quickly and some original paper can’t wait 1-2 year to published. In other words there is a problem in the reviewing time and MDPI try to get this lack as an opportunity.

  80. Dr Strangely Strange says:

    I have been asked to review by Nutrients twice and the process consistently felt like a racket and left a bitter taste.

    It went something like this. Some two years ago, when I accepted the assignment to review, I was given a choice of timeline for submitting my review of one week or two. The first time, several years ago, I chose to respond in two weeks and then on the very same day the review was due, I was told that they no longer need my review. This is after I spent two full days carefully reading a thirty page mind-numbing review and deciding to reject it. In response to my request for clarifications, they explained to me that they received two positive reviews and they no longer need my review regardless of its conclusions.

    This year again, the same thing happened but on a shortened time scale. I made the mistake of accepting, they give me a choice of one or two weeks and I chose to get back to them in one week, I thought I was being nice and pretty speedy. Six days in the review process, still with plenty of sunshine till my self-imposed deadline, they email to say: “We have now received sufficient peer-review reports from other referees and would like to cancel our request”. Again, fool me once — shame on you, fool me twice — you can’t get fooled again. Essentially, I think they request a plurality of reviews, wait till they receive a few on the more positive note and then revoke, rescind requests and/or simply ignore the rest.

    I tell my students it is unethical and unscientific to drop observations or data points from analyses which refute or invalidate the favoured hypothesis. It should be unethical and immoral to ignore reviews and select the favourable reviews with the goal of justifying the publication of shoddy articles and the collection of page charges. Jeffrey Beall: Please make some room for the 120 or so MDPI journals back on your list. We need better science not just more science, or soon we will drown the little truth left out there in this murky polluted sea of arguments. Lets set an example.

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