The Mediterranean Center of Social and Educational Research is a very popular open-access publisher of three broad-scoped and popular journals:
- Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
- Journal of Educational and Social Research
- Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
This publisher has helped many researchers get promotions, tenure, and Ph.D. graduation. If you are a scholar needing to meet a quota of published articles for tenure, promotion, or to earn a Ph.D. (required for graduation in some countries), the three MCSER journals are perfect for you. The journals offer a quick, easy — and cheap — acceptance of submitted manuscripts, and that’s why the journals are popular.
Also, some requirements specify that the publications must be in journals with impact factors, and many universities are unaware of the bogus impact factor companies, or they choose to pretend they’re real.
The article processing charges for the three journals are relatively low. You can publish a single paper for $200 or two for $280. If you want the volume discount, you must publish two papers in the same issue of the journal, according to the payment instructions. So this publisher is like an article publishing wholesaler, offering to publish multiple articles for authors at a discount.
Indeed, it’s not hard to find cases of a single author with multiple publications in a single issue. One example is Darjel Sina. In Volume 4, Number 6 (2013) Special Issue-July 2013 of the MCSER journal Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, Dr. Sina is listed as a co-author on no fewer than six articles! This is a single issue of a single journal! The articles are:
- Albania’s Integration in EU / Darjel Sina, Arjan Vasjari
- Legal Innovations to the Strasbourg Court and the Decision Qama versus Albania / Darjel Sina, Arjan Vasjari
- The Right and Justice between What is Right and What is Useful / Arjan Vasjari, Darjel Sina
- The Right of the Children to Know Their Origin in Adopting and Medically Assisted Reproduction / Juelda Lamçe, Enarda Çuni, D. Sina
- Family Reunification in Albania: A Comparative Study in the Context of Albanian Integration in the EU / Erjona Canaj, Arjan Vasjari, Darjel Sina
- Free Movement of Albanian Goods within the European Union: New Challenges in the Context of Integration / Erjona Canaj, Arjan Vasjari, Darjel Sina
Note that this special issue of the journal contains, by my count, 78 articles. The regular issues also have lots of articles. When relatively new journals such as these quickly have single issues with dozens of articles and “special issues” with dozens more, it’s clear that there is something bad happening. In this case, researchers are using the quick, easy, and cheap publishing MCSER offers to get their quota of published articles in “impact factor journals” for tenure and promotion. It’s a breakdown of the academic system.
Academic promotions in many places are no longer based on merit. Instead, they are based on the ability to create articles that look like scholarly articles and to publish these articles in scholarly vanity presses like MCSER. This is pseudo-academia.
Although this publisher gives an address in Rome as its location, and although it might really have a presence there, the publisher is basically an Albanian operation. In fact, in the instructions the publisher gives for wiring the article processing fees, two bank accounts are given. One is a personal bank account in the name of Sokol Pacukaj:
The second one is a bank account belonging to MCSER itself, but it’s for a bank in Albania:
This publisher is on my list. On February 20, 2014, I got an email from the publisher (Sokol Pacukaj) telling me that the operation was being purchased by the German publisher De Gruyter, so I removed it from the list, wanting to allow a fresh start. I was duped. I added the publisher back to my list after several months, upon confirming with De Gruyter that there were no plans to buy the publisher.
Publishers like this one are doing great harm to academia and to science. I realize that several prestigious indexing services include MCSER’s journals, but I think they are making a big error. I strongly recommend against submitting papers to MCSER journals.