Subscription Publisher Awkwardly Experiments with Open-Access

IGI Global Open access OA


IGI Global, a publisher of books and subscription journals, is experimenting with open-access. The experiment is not going very well.

IGI Global’s open-access effort is located here. The service describes itself this way:

 IGI Global Open Access is quick, easy, free, and offers the valuable opportunity for researchers to share their work in an open forum.

The service has this restriction:

No more than five papers may be in review at any given time. Once a paper has been officially posted, it is no longer considered to be under review.

This restriction may be unnecessary, as I can only find two papers in the entire database. However, the website claims, “Immediate access to more than 2,500 free research papers” Where are they? I only see two. The website also says this:

Each paper must receive at least two reviews before an author can request permission from the Administrator for the paper to be posted.

This seems to be patterned after the F1000Research model of post-publication peer review. And what if the reviews are negative? There’s a lot this website doesn’t say — It leaves many questions unanswered.

Both of the papers I saw there appeared to be Word documents that were saved as PDFs. One says it’s an abridged version of the author’s dissertation.

Anyone can apply to be a reviewer. The application is via a simple web form that only asks a few simple questions.

The reviewer application webpage says,

Thank you for your interest in becoming an ad hoc reviewer. As an ad hoc reviewer, you have the valuable opportunity to review some of the most advanced scholarly research papers in the field. The overall success of a refereed journal is dependent on quality and timely reviews. As such, ad hoc reviewers are appointed to serve for one year. Upon completion of this term, ad hoc reviewers will have the potential to be promoted to a full editorial review board member based on exceptional performance. This promotion will be determined on the timeliness and quality of the reviews received.

Open Science.

Open Science.

It appears that the publisher has used copy from its subscription journals’ reviewer application for its open access journal. The language is hyperbolic (“some of the most advanced scholarly research papers in the field”), and the open-access section is certainly not a journal. There’s no ISSN, no DOIs, and no volumes or issues.

I conclude that this is just an experiment that IGI Global is carrying out, or perhaps it’s an effort to deflect possible criticism from open-access advocates by being able to say that they have an open-access option.

Open Science picture by G.emmerich.

8 Responses to Subscription Publisher Awkwardly Experiments with Open-Access

  1. Shawren says:

    If one looks at the IGI Open Access page (, on the top right hand corner above Quick/Easy/Free, the word Beta appears. This is computer talk for saying that this version of the application is still under development. What happens is that beta testers use the software, and then point out to the developers issues or what they wants or the company is testing the market. This is quite a legitimate thing to do. Beta applications are a part of the IT industry.

  2. copyfit says:

    Hi, this post isn’t dated. Is that an oversight or do you choose not to date your posts?

  3. David Sullivan says:

    Because IGI’s regular offerrings are of an almost uniformly low-quality (and over-priced to boot), there is little reason to hope that this new venture will prove successful. Quick, easy, and free? Perhaps. Worthwhile? Probably not.

  4. […] Subscription Publisher Awkwardly Experiments with Open-Access – Jeffrey Beall – ScholarlyOA […]

  5. Paramate says:

    Hi Jeff, few years back (June 2013), Edy raised a low-Q flag on this publisher (which I had to agree) but was not considered as it was not an OA at that time.

    Does this attempt means that it’s now appropriate to put them under a microscope?

    • IGI Global is chiefly a subscription publisher (in the context of its journals), and as such it’s out of scope for my lists. Still, it’s always appropriate to think critically about any publisher, especially IGI Global. I think many find it bottom tier.

  6. Marcus Souza says:

    Dear Dr Beall,

    After all, is it safe to publish book chapters or whole books at IGI Global?


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