Bogus metrics companies have made it possible for essentially any journal to have an “impact factor.” However, because true impact factor information — the data supplied by Thomson Reuters’ Journal Citation Reports — is proprietary, it can be hard to verify publisher impact factor claims
The competition among predatory publishers is increasing, especially among the hundreds of predatory publishers and journals originating from South Asia. These journals need a way to stand out, to compete with other scholarly publications.
The above example is for the International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research, based in India. It claims the journal has earned impact factors from UIF (Universal Impact Factor) and SJIF (Scientific Journal Impact Factor). I consider these metrics to be completely bogus, so this spam email is easily dismissed because the journal identifies the source of its misleading metrics.
This example (above), part of a spam email for the megajournal entitled International Journal of World Research, claims the journal has two impact factors (0.628 and 0.386) but it doesn’t give their sources. The journal also promises it will provide an acceptance letter within three days and only charges $100 for the article processing fee.
What other components of scholarly publishing will be corrupted next? We have predatory journals with no real peer review and now bogus metrics made up out of thin air. I think that attention metrics (also called altmetrics) will be next.
Above and below are two halves of a spam email I received from the Directory of Indexing and Impact Factor (DIIF), a startup, bogus metrics company. The company’s name is senseless, and, in the screenshot below, one can see that they charge $50 to immediately “calculate” an impact factor for a journal. Unfortunately, many will be fooled by this.
I wish there were an easy and quick way for scholars to determine whether the impact factors assigned to a particular journal were bogus or authentic. At this time, my list of misleading metrics is the only source I know.