43 Responses to Red Alert: Avens Publishing Group

  1. Ahmad Hassanat says:

    is any of these journal with impact factor?

    • No, none of the journals has a legitimate impact factor (also, they are too new).

      • Bill White says:


        You seem to be obsessed with the “impact factor” or what?
        You, the prominent librarian, for whom the “impact factor” was initially created for, seem ignoring this flawed and defective measure?
        You seem to focus on this flawed measure in almost all your posts!

        What is regrettable!
        For a junior or inexperience man, it is understandable he/she would focus on the impact factor but for you, it is a little bit curious!

      • Bill,

        There are many companies that are offering counterfeit impact factors for sale to publishers. Then the publishers use these fake impact factors to solicit manuscripts and earn article processing fees from duped authors. (The authors think the journals have real ISI impact factors, when in fact they don’t).

        This is what I am obsessed about! Not the impact factor itself, which doesn’t matter much in library science, and in terms of library collections the Eigenfactor is probably more useful. Many people are being deceived by fake impact factors. If you have any suggestions for me on how I might improve my message, I am all ears.



        PS: I have drafted a blog post about this and hope to publish it soon.

      • Dear Mr. Beall,
        Bentham open is in your list. Is Bentham open the open access choice of Bentham Science? Both open and closed access of Bentham Science Articles appear together. One of its journal (CSCRT) has an impact factor of 2 point something, is the IF true or fake?

  2. alu mudgal says:

    Mr. Beall,
    What do you mean by a legitimate impact factor? If the journal is new, what is the problem?

  3. Thanks Jeffrey for sharing! I tried search a journal listed about in PubMed and was glad that I did find it there, I’m not sure about the rest of the journals. Thanks for the alert.

  4. sundeep says:

    i just want to confirm that address is not at all an issue for open access journals. it is completely online based. You just see the quality of articles and review process & company standards.
    Newly launched open access journals mandatorily don’t require impact factor…

    • The issues include deception and lack of transparency. If a publisher claims to be based in Massachusetts when it’s really based in india, this is deception. And using a friend’s address at his house in Northborough as your company’s headquarters address when the house is not really the headquarters is dishonest and misleading. If a company lies and misleads regarding these basic business practices, they are likely lying about other things as well, and should be avoided.

      • Sudesh Kumar says:

        Right or wrong, isn’t the motivation for doing this the reason that there is an inherent bias towards (an address in) developing and underdeveloped countries, which are perceived to be of low standard and of poor quality?

        This bias itself precludes a level playing field and a fair competition based only on merit.

        If the address of a journal is listed as from India, how many western authors will submit their paper to the journal only because of the bias and not anything else, even though the journal may have the best business practices.

        If the bias is so inherent, how do can one level the playing field and compete only on merits?

        A western address is one way and then when the competition happens, it will only be on merit. May the best journal win.

      • Wrong. It will be based on deception and trickery for the journal that lies about its headquarters location. Why are so many Indian companies embarrassed to admit they’re from India?

  5. Sudesh Kumar says:

    If the same publisher was to open two identical journals, one with Indian address and one with US address – which journal do you think will get more submissions and higher quality submissions?

    Aren’t ” deception and trickery” (very wrong acts) being used to counter the preexisting bias (again a very wrong act) against journals from these countries; a bias which exists – based on an address – which does not even give them a chance to prove themselves?

    I think i said why Indian companies don’t admit they are from India or for that matter from any other developing and underdeveloped countries. I quote again:
    “There is an inherent bias towards (an address in) developing and underdeveloped countries, which are perceived to be of low standard and of poor quality.

    This bias itself precludes a level playing field and a fair competition based only on merit.”
    Another thing to note is that – address is something which is apparent – one look on the website and you know the address. Processes and procedures of a journal have to be experienced over a long time of 3-4 months (for one manuscript). To make someone experience the processes you have to make them submit a manuscript and interact with them.

    If there is a preexisting bias towards some countries, who is going to submit a manuscript to journal from these countries just to experience the processes of a journal AFTER looking at the address and knowing the country of origin. Doesn’t this limit the playing field very unfairly – just because of an address?

    • Lying to authors is wrong, and you can try to justify it all you want, but I won’t change my mind. All scholarly publishers need to be completely honest and transparent about where they are based. “Leveling the playing field” is not a justification for lying or hiding information from people. Your argument tells me a lot about you personally.

  6. Yes,
    “There is an inherent bias towards (an address in) developing and underdeveloped countries, which are perceived to be of low standard and of poor quality”;
    but no,
    “This bias itself precludes a level playing field and a fair competition based only on merit”.

    As Jeffrey mentioned above ““Leveling the playing field” is not a justification for lying or hiding information from people”.

    First, most articles in these open-access, low standard journals, come from developing and underdeveloped countries. Just because these countries need a place to increment the curricula of its academics. There’s no reason to lie just to attract american or european articles. This is nonsense. They are trying to attract dishonest or ingenuous people.

    There is a large number of honest journals based on developing and underdeveloped countries, with the purpose of publishing research of regional relevance. Some of them eventually receive an impact factor. In these cases, a large number of papers coming from other regions of the world are submitted … without lies or hidden information.

    This is the case of Scielo-based journals (Latin American, mostly brazilian jounals) or Research4Life (Hinari etc) journals.

    • Sudesh Kumar says:

      Your above comments reflect exactly what I am saying.

      I also agree that there is no justification for lying or hiding information, but is the “country of original” such an important criteria that anyone not disclosing it must be branded “predatory”? It has absolutely no relation to the publishing practices. “Publishing” plagiarized content – bad; “Publishing” low quality content – bad; “No” peer review – bad; “No” editorial review – bad; BUT Country of Origin?

      You said “…most articles in these open-access, low standard journals come from developing and underdeveloped countries”,

      So you also think that developing and underdeveloped countries publish low quality, low standard journals? How did you know that the journals are of low standard? Have you published in any such journal and observed its practices or your observation based only on – the address?

      People from underdeveloped and developing countries do not publish articles – “Just because these countries need a place to increment the curricula of its academics.” – Very wrong statement, and it is true for every country.

      “honest journals based on developing and underdeveloped countries, with the purpose of publishing research of regional relevance.” – So journal from developing and underdeveloped countries should publish research of regional significance.

      Does a journals from developing or an underdeveloped country no right to be GLOBAL? Do you really think that PLOS or Biomed Central would have been this successful if they had been started from Mongolia or Indian or Sri Lanka.

      Bottom line is – bias exists; processes never get a chance to be matter, and even if they do it is at a regional level – everything that matters is the – country or the address.

      • Sudesh Kumar says:

        My apologies for some language errors in the previous comments.

      • AlexH says:

        I’ve never heard about authors makig decisions based on the country of origin of the journal’s editorial office. I would say that it is hardly a factor in any professional decision. What really counts is abstracting/indexing, reputation of the editorial board, quality of the published articles and adequacy of topic.

        The lack of western names on the editorial board and/or among the authors of past issues can raise a flag for some (including myself), but it will not make a difference if the journal publishes quality work.

        These publishers are not lying to attract articles from western authors. Their targets are dishonest or inexperienced authors, westerners or not. Money is money. An inexperienced author will not be influenced by the country of origin of the editorial office; it is overal a very small and unimportant detail and they are often unaware even about the important ones (and this is why they are mistaken in considering predatory journals as a possible place for publication). A dishonet author, however, may think that a phony journal looks more legit (meaning it is harder to discover its phoniness by collegues or administrators) if dressed in western garments.

  7. Sudesh Kumar says:

    So a lack of western editors makes a journal suspect. I take this to mean that presence of western names on the editorial board provides a “more” legitimacy to the journals. I wonder why?

    How many westerners would serve on the editorial boards of journals from lets say Peru, Bolivia, Thialand, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Morocco and many more.

    If this is so, the journals from underdeveloped and developing countries with no western names are suspect, until an author makes a decision based on the quality of work, which the authors in many cases, especially first or second timers can not. If an author is incapable of judging the quality, and the journal has no western names where does it leave the journal? – with no submissions I guess.

    I absolutely don’t agree with – “These publishers are not lying to attract articles from western authors. Their targets are dishonest or inexperienced authors”.

    Do you think that some publisher would have said – there are many dishonest and inexperienced authors in the world so we will give a western address so that we can cheat them for money? Hardly any publisher would have started publishing to “target” dishonest and inexperienced authors for money. In my opinion publisher probably think that publishing journals are a way to earn money and they start journals. Then they give a “western address” to attract more papers in general, from everyone – not from westerners authors, not from inexperienced authors, not from dishonest authors, because believe it or not an address in US is undoubtedly more attractive than an address in Mongolia. Of course the “dishonest authors” may use these journal to publish papers, but won’t that make the author guilty and not the publisher?

    • AlexH says:

      “So a lack of western editors makes a journal suspect.”

      In the case of new OA journals with APCs and after (or in the middle of) the blossoming of predatory publishers, yes. This is not prejudice but based on experience and data – just look through Beall’s list or track back the spam CfPs in your inbox.

    • Liam Mac Liam says:

      I’m based at a Western European institution and regularly review for a small but good quality open-access journal operated by a Malaysian university. Submissions to the journal tend to be predominantly from Asian and African institutions, from what I see, but they do also receive some from European and US researchers.

      The journal has been running for 5 years and has people from various parts of the world on its editorial board – including “Western” universities. It has been successful because its editor is known and respected in the field and she has worked hard to build up a team of reviewers and maintain the quality of the papers published. It doesn’t charge authors for publication so I assume it is subsidised by the university. In the fields I am familiar with, there are a number of other Southeast Asian institutions who run successful journals, many being OA.

      Having said that, I do suspect that many ambitious European, US or Australian researchers would opt to publish in a “Western” rather than “Asian” journal of similar quality, if the authors are strongly focused on professional advancement.

      Moreover data we have gathered (and will be publishing later this year) show that in the leading journal in our field, US authors predominate and they mainly tend to cite other US authors in their work. Authors in the corresponding European and Australasian journals tend to be more global in their citations.

      • Sudesh Kumar says:

        Good to know this, but doesn’t it just confirm what I have been saying – location matters – and influences our decisions – whether to publish or to join the editorial boards.

        See what you wrote – “Malaysian university…..submission….predominantly from Asian and African institutions…receive some from European and US researchers”
        “predominantly” and “some”

        Now based on your experience, can you answer a hypothetical question.

        One day this publisher changed the address to a US address and the whole world woke up the next day with amnesia about this publishers location in Malaysia. For the whole world including you this publisher from this new day is a US based publisher as indicated by the address.

        How will it affect the:

        Number of papers submitted by Asian and African countries?
        Number of papers submitted by European and US researchers?
        Number of editorial board members from Europe and US?
        Also a question i wrote in earlier comments: would PLOS or Biomed Central would have been this successful if they had been started from Mongolia or Indian or Sri Lanka.

        I again say – location matters – and influences our decisions – whether to publish or to join the editorial boards.

      • Liam Mac Liam says:

        I agree that location matters, Sudesh – my own experience and the data we have been collecting in my field would appear to suggest this.
        There is probably room for debate as to how much it matters and I have seen little empirical data on this – not sure if I have missed what’s available in other areas or whether it’s just not considered a worthwhile area of research.

    • Dear Mr Kumar,
      I do not agree with you. Why don’t you have self confidence being a non Westerners? Look at Hindawi, it is not a US/European company. However, their profit is bigger than Elsevier. Even Mr Beall does not put Hindawi on his list. Moreover, many Indian scientists flourish everywhere in the world. As a scientist I do not mind the base camp of a journal, as long as the journal is listed in Scopus or Pubmed. .

      • Sudesh Kumar says:


        First I am very confident about myself, but I can not remove the bias that exists in this world, and you can not deny that it exists.

        Second, before making statements like — ” Look at Hindawi, it is not a US/European company. However, their profit is bigger than Elsevier”, — CHECK your facts. Hindawi’s revenue was 6 million in 2011 and for Elsevier it was about 800 million in 2011. I know the source of your information and that article was written exactly to give the impression that you have. Please go and read it again.

        Third – “Even Mr Beall does not put Hindawi on his list.” — if you check again, Hindawi was on Beall’s list but it was removed due to undisclosed reasons, and I would love to know why it was removed.

        As your primary requirement for submitting and article is “as long as the journal is listed in Scopus or Pubmed” I would like to mention that before the journal can be listed in Scopus or Pubmed it needs to have articles published, and to get publications it needs authors and if authors like yourself will submit articles to only journal can be listed in Scopus or Pubmed, no new journal will ever get started.

        Here is an interesting article i would like to share: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1866196/

  8. Bill White says:

    Then, I am waiting your drafted article about the highlighted issue.

    • Thanks, Bill, and, just curious: What university are you affiliated with? Will you share your website with me? Your CV?

      • tano sue says:

        Who are you to ask his CV, only because he does not like your views? You are only making this blog so much of low standard. Your arguments and articles tells me a lot about you personally. You only misguide the new research scholars through this blog and doing the cheap publicity of a company that gives fake impact factors. They do not know that IMPACT FACTOR is not required for any research journals.

      • The reason I was asking to see his CV is because I suspect he is using a fake name.

  9. I. Mohacsi says:

    Well it seems quite a few people in underdeveloped countries suffer from minority complex. Simply having a publisher registered in a developed country makes it a lot easier to handle cases like plagiarism (including name plagiarism), IP debates, suspicion of fraudulent data etc. Most of the OA journals in Nigeria or Panama accept anything for the right fee.
    I knew a former (western) editor of an OA journal, who tried to keep his journal clean of junk: the result was that the publisher assigned a number of co-editors, who accepted everything to get their share of the publication fee (way of encouragement). The level sunk, so that “Hey, I found this piece of stone in the hills and had a look at it in the microscope”. Its simply about strict quality control and making editors non-interested in publishing everything. It would have been fine if they would introduce a new category instead of articles, namely “Lab notes”.

  10. fake publication says:

    the key point is these journal are just trash, they are there because someone are desperate to publish some garbages with their grant money, and someone can earn money. thanks for sharing!

  11. Henry Woo says:

    Thanks for this article Jeff. I just received an invite from Avens to join an editorial board. The usual rubbish trying to appeal to vanity and trying to butter me up with words like reputation, distinction and eminent. Non-profit my ass. I looked at the editorial board – hardly eminent – mainly naive assistant professor looking for a break. The discussion in the comments above seemed to have degenerated into a persecution complex rather than one about the Avens as posted.

  12. Paul Jenkins says:

    In relation to the above made point. There are way better methods to increase your ‘image’ and apparent lack of ‘credibility’ for a journal from non-Western origin:

    Take for example the Journal of Biosciences, they’re linked to Springer and still have their own website accesible to everybody so in fact open access without charge ;-)

  13. Noor says:

    Thank you sir for your reply. But do you think, simply telling them “I withdraw from submission” ll be enough and they will be honest not to publish my work? The most horrible thing is that, in thier first email, their representative so called a doctor asked to send the dissertation I had recently completed and not an article based on it.

  14. Dennis Templeton says:

    Thanks, Jeffrey, for your cautionary points about Aven. The blog post have degenerated somewhat. I received an invite from one of their journals and they seem to have toned down the hyperbole some, to the point that I had to check them out. You are providing a valuable service.

  15. Assem says:

    what to do to withdrow my minuscript I was sent to medcrave group

  16. Michael Seaman says:

    Thanks for this article. I googled Avens after getting a spam email. I knew it wasn’t legitimate because it was asking me to be an editor for a journal pretty far outside my expertise. But I was curious about the background– who are these people, and what are their motivation. Thanks. You saved me time in providing this info.

  17. Allan Felsot says:

    Unfortunately, the discussion to this point had mostly devolved into claims of ethnic or country of origin bias. However, I would urge more focus on how one might know that a particular publisher of many “open access” journals may be more interested in profit than publishing scientific manuscripts. Actually, the scam is not difficult to spot. So, what I see in the Avens Publishing spam mail seeking my association on an editorial board (specifically the Journal of Environmental Studies) are several triggers. First, the English language skills are poor, exhibiting many of the common grammatical and syntax errors that we see among college freshmen (and disappointingly some graduate students). Seriously, if you’re claiming to be a publisher of English language journals, I would think you would at least hire someone proficient in writing to edit your spam. Second, the solicitations usually have a plea about discounts, both in publication charges and on “registration to our ‘Individual and Institutional Memberships’. Perhaps this plea is more akin to a pyramid scheme in that the more ‘editors’ you entice, the more likely you are to establish an income stream. But seriously, peer reviewing is a service, so to try to sell something to those you are asking to work for you without pay is dishonest and of questionable ethics. Third, as someone already mentioned in the forum, the appeal to one’s ego is blatant. But really, to appeal with a sentence stating your participation “is invariably accoladed with Scientific Credits” begs credulity because that is just meaningless gibberish. Fourth, and I probably ought to have started there, when your name is inversed in the greeting, and bold faced, you can tell that the spam has been sent out to many, many scientists. If you’re requested to participate as an editor or on an editorial board, you receive either a paper copy of a letter, or the latter and a letter attached in the email. The letter should have the logo imprint and be signed by a person, not an anonymous “managing editor”. You would think the publishing scammers would have caught on by now for how to at least appear more legitimate. We don’t have to be ad hominem in our disgust of these publishing scams, we should just practice our craft of being skeptics.

  18. John says:

    Lately, Avens Publishing Group is launching many new “journals” and is actively soliciting editorial board members.

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