Shortest-Ever Review Article Published

Annals of Biomedicines and Natural Products

Too brief?

What is possibly the shortest review article ever published has appeared in a highly questionable journal based in Nellore City, Andhra Pradesh, India. The  review article has only three paragraphs.

Review articles are usually longer than three paragraphs, often much longer. They aim to summarize the current scientific findings on a given topic. This review article is about the drug levamisole.

Here is the article’s citation:

Ganguly, Subha. (2014). Efficacy of levamisole as non-specific immunomodulator: A review. Annals of Biomedicines and Natural Products, 1(1), 22–23. Retrieved from: http://www.pharmaresearchlibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Gallery-Proof-ABMNP2041.pdf

By comparison, the Wikipedia article about the drug is many times longer than this review article and has 38 references. The review article has seven references, but I do understand the article is about one aspect of the drug.

Written by Subha Ganguly, a professor at India’s West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, the article appears in the journal Annals of Biomedicines Natural Products, published by the recently-launched publisher called Pharma Research Library.

table of contents

Why have a table of contents for a 1.5 page article?

Rather absurdly, the two-page article has a table of contents. It took about six weeks for the article to pass through peer review, which is surprising given that it takes approximately one minute to read it.

Predatory publishers frequently promise a rapid peer review, sometimes offering to complete the process in a week or less. If there ever were a case that might justify such a rapid peer review, it would be this one.

The article’s publisher, Pharma Research Library, launched recently with twelve low-quality, broad-coverage journals (see list below).

An email forwarded to me shows the publisher makes false claims about its journals’ impact factors:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Editor PRL <pharmaresearchlibrary@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 6:52 PM
Subject: Thanks for Contacting Pharma Research Library Journals
To: [redacted]

Dear Author,

Thanks for contacting us, we will reply you soon.

*Impact Factors: 0.799*(IJCPS), 1.008* (IJPNM)1.467*(IJMPR), 2.976* (IJRPLS), 4.402* (IJCTPR)

*Indexed In: 

Indianscience.in, Google Scholar, Cite Factor, Science Central, Open Acadamic Journal Index, Google, DOAJ, Pak Directory of open Access Journals, Indexcopernicus, Jour Informatics, Research Bible, Directory of Research Journal Index.

Thanks with Regards

Editor-In-Chief

Pharma Research Library

www.pharmaresearchlibrary.com

I suspect that the real purpose of this article was to get academic credit for the author — credit that needed to be established quickly, before a deadline.

I recommend that researchers not submit manuscripts to all the journals published by Pharma Research Library.

Appendix: List of Pharma Research Library Journals as of 2015-02-27:

  1. Analytical and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
  2. Annals of Biomedicines and Natural Products
  3. Asian Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research
  4. Asian Journal of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  5. International Journal of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  6. International Journal of Current Trends in Pharmaceutical Research
  7. International Journal of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Research
  8. International Journal of Pharmacy and Natural Medicines
  9. International Journal of Research in Pharmacy and Life Sciences
  10. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biological Research
  11. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis Letters
  12. World Journal of Pharmacy and Biotechnology

24 Responses to Shortest-Ever Review Article Published

  1. Jake Bundy says:

    Wow – it’s even shorter than you describe … it’s really only two paragraphs.

    • Bill Williams says:

      Not a herculean task, writing this review: of the 7 references cited, 3 were the author’s own papers.

  2. nskeptic says:

    The first paragraph appears to be ‘adapted from’ the last paragraph here: http://gpvec.unl.edu/electives/Griffin/GriffinPMfiles/ImmunoTherapy_MVM.txt

    Took me all of 3 minutes to find that!

  3. Joro says:

    “I suspect that the real purpose of this article was to get academic credit for the author”

    Highly unlikely- even in the countries with a lower standards his colleagues are not dumb. It is not easy to get credit this way (for instance in my country- former communist block country- during the promotions/ habillitations the rule is to ignore all articles that are not indexed by thomson reuters and/or scopus- others are treated as non peer revied preprints). I can’t believe that it is possible somewhere to get a credit for anything is such “journal”.
    Most likely this is some sort of conference abstract that was stolen from some conference web page/ cd with abstracts in order to fill the “journal” with some content. I found a few months ago one of my extended abstract “published” by some Pakistani predatory journal and fortunately they removed it quickly after my request.

  4. tekija says:

    There is no hurry to review as this journal is published only two times a year.

  5. John says:

    Does somebody knows what is meant by Gallery proof? Galley proof ???

    • Low says:

      A galley proof is a preliminary publication, not fully completed yet (so there may be typesetting errors, copyediting errors etc that the publisher is aware of) that’s used to e.g. solicit book reviews before the book is officially published, so the review will be available when the book is published. See Wikipedia on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galley_proof

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      “Gallery proof” does mean something specific in the art world {i.e. a particular class of trial print of a printed artwork, lithograph or etching or whatever). Perhaps the author is planning to frame copies of the Review and sell it to dealers. It’s small enough.

  6. John says:

    See dr. Ganguly’s link to another predatory publisher here:
    http://omicsonline.com/editor-biography/Subha_Ganguly/

  7. Lightbulb says:

    I am glad that this was only one author. The authorship responsibilities could have been difficult to describe if there were > 1 authors! I did notice that it claims to be indexed in the Research Bible. Interestingly, another predatory OA journal, IJFAS, is using the Research Bible IMpact Factor to measure its quality:
    http://ijfas.com/
    And from what I have judged thus far, this is hardly holy work.

  8. ChingYingTikTau says:

    They can now claim to be indexed in Scholarly Open Access

  9. Ivana says:

    11 sentences ;)

  10. […] Is this the shortest review article ever published? […]

  11. herr doktor bimler says:

    The journal has been de-published and the link to its Archive is 404ed:
    http://www.pharmaresearchlibrary.com/abmnp-2014-volume-1-issue-1/
    although it still has an Editorial Board:
    http://www.pharmaresearchlibrary.com/editorial-board-abmnp/

    I suspect that people who published in that triumphant first edition will not get their money back, but it remains to be seen whether they will remove the citation from their CVs.

  12. herr doktor bimler says:

    “Analytical and Medicinal Chemistry Letters” seems to have gone down the memory hole as well
    http://www.pharmaresearchlibrary.com/amcl-2014-volume-1-issue-1/
    — although the publishers haven’t gone as far as deleting all the PDFs of papers in the first issue, as they did for ABMNP.

    See dr. Ganguly’s link to another predatory publisher here
    If the search function at “Pharma Research Library” is to be believed, the busy little grifter has published over 60 times in their various journals.

  13. John says:

    Looks, like the publishers of also other low quality journals do not known what review article suppose to look like.
    Check here another low quality review article of 1 page!
    Must have been a hell-of-job to have written this paper.
    Author of this (also Subha) used probably a thesis published in Germany as only reference.

    http://www.pharmaresearchlibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/PRL2013-AJCPR-1875.pdf

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      Ganguly’s “Comprehensive Review on Some Medically Important
      Infections of Human” is all of four pages.
      http://www.ijpab.com/form/2015%20Volume%203,%20issue%201/IJPAB-2015-3-1-167-170.pdf
      Connoisseurs may also enjoy his Review Article “Ayurveda and Pharmacy finding multivarious application of indigenous herbs and medicinal plants for traditional therapy”, in which the Reference section consists of 6 previous 2- and 2-page Review Articles by Subha Ganguly.

      His profile on the Omics site proudly proclaims him to be “Honorary and Executive Board Member, Pharma Research Library, India (PRL)”, so he’s part of the scam. Perhaps he gets a special discount.

    • Katrin says:

      That and the only reference was published by one of the pay-per-print publishers that will publish anything, even undergrad essays.

  14. John says:

    Google his name and look for his CV. Make your own conclusions about this man.

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      look for his CV
      It is as if he is collecting his own list of predatory journals. He seems to specialise in th “two- and three-page Review Article” genre. Perhaps he has ADHD and longer formats are difficult for him.

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