Strange Website Claims it is a Respected Citation Index

Institute of Science Index

Impostor ?

I learned recently of the “Institute of Science Index.” It appears vaguely similar in some ways to Journal Citation Reports, the database now published by Thomson Reuters that supplies journal impact factors.

Journal Citation Reports is commonly referred to as ISI, the initials of the organization that originated it, the Institute for Scientific Information.

Arthur S Parr

Strange claims.

This new website describes itself this way:

The Institute of Science Index (ISI) was founded by Arthur S. Parr in 1960. It was acquired by the International Association for College and University Education(IACUE) in 1998, became known as IACUE ISI and now is part of the Social and Science business of the multi-billion dollar IACUE.

It uses a URL that is, perhaps, intended to mislead: http://www.isi-database.org/

Close, but not the real thing.

It uses a URL that is, perhaps, intended to mislead: http://www.isi-database.org/

The website’s “Contact Us” page gives no information about where it is based, but its domain-name registration data points to a Taiwan headquarters:

Admin Name:JUN I CHEN
Admin Organization:JUN I CHEN
Admin Street: No.32, Kunshen Rd., Anping Dist., Tainan City 708, Taiwan (R
Admin City:Tainan
Admin State/Province:Tainan
Admin Postal Code:700
Admin Country:TW
Admin Phone:+886.069742539

The business model — if any — of this website is unclear.

How will it generate revenue? The website claims its director is Dr. Rene Ruth, but that name sounds made up to me.

Also, what is the IACUE, International Association for College and University Education? Is it really a “multi-billion dollar” organization as the website claims?

The website is dense — it offers several lists of journals and lots of other information. Someone put a lot of effort into it, but the fake names and vague similarity to the real ISI betray it as just another suspicious, scholarly-publishing related website.

Predatory publishers and related scams began to explode in South Asia about four years ago. Now we are observing the start of a similar explosion of publishers and scams in East Asia.

14 Responses to Strange Website Claims it is a Respected Citation Index

  1. The IACUE page “Committee on Recognition” appears to be closely based on some text from 1998 from another organization the CHEA.

    • Dan Riley says:

      Not to be confused with ichea.org, a copy of CHEA by the same people behind IACUE. Also see detca.org, acbsp.us, iacpt.org, idetc.us, ipqmi.org, etc. All sorts of dubious-looking credentials from apparently fictional people.

      • Indeed. I have emailed the real CHEA to let them know about this. And I copied in ICHEA and IACUE to let them know that we know all about them.

      • herr doktor bimler says:

        Whoisology links the IACUE.org website to a whole tangle of scamsites registered in different names but all using the same Taipei e-address
        https://whoisology.com/archive_11/iacue.org

        There’s detca.org, education scams (emba-edu.org), conference / indexing grifts (ijcso.org. iopca.us), and a couple of predatory parodies of the IEEE (ieee-publications.org, publications-ieee.org). All vouching for one another’s credentials.

        Fraudsters go where the money is.

      • herr doktor bimler says:

        A few more minutes fossicking around reveals that IACUE.org is linked (through a shared organisation) with a long long list of on-line diploma mills:
        https://whoisology.com/organization/archive_11/intach/1

        For instance, acbsp.us (a parasitical spoof of the existing acbsp.org).

        All linking to one another and vouching for the validity of one another’s certificates and qualifications. It is like a glimpse into a parallel universe.

      • Yes it’s like stepping through the looking glass into Wonderland, where everything is the same (plagiarized) but weird.

  2. Also: the ISI’s “strange claims” are based on the Wikipedia page for the real ISI, with the relevant names changed (the real ISI was founded in 1960 by Eugene Garfield. Arthur S. Parr appears to be invented.)

  3. Sylvain B. says:

    These guys are not fooling anyone. Sentences like this one, at the end of the “about us” section [1], make the scam obvious:

    “ISI is co-operating with the ISII web of knowledge platform at the same phase.”

    Any investigation about such sites is a waste of time.

    [1] http://www.isi-database.org/au.php

  4. Miles says:

    I know a business model for this, you can charge a newly created journal for an annual membership fee to be included in “SCI” on their web site, then that new journal can claim itself as “SCI indexed” then charge authors for publication fee, and poor authors can apply research funding from whatever tax payers’ hard earned money to pay their publication fee, and get their degrees or promoted to chair professors. This is actually a quite profitable model.

  5. abonar says:

    Thanks for compiling such a useful resource. I think the significance and importance of what you research has potential far beyond what you may have realised thus far.

    I have come across it as a result of my research in the field of email spam and current sources, specifically within the subset of email purporting to be from Associations, Organisations and Foundations. These are always of dubious merit and often offer accreditation or training of questionable quality and value.

    In any case, a limited amount of info that may prove useful to you, Dr Rene Ruth may well be this gentleman here:
    http://www.institut-mec.de/ueber-imec/imec-team/

    I’m not sure if a real individual, and if real is genuinely connected to all the websites of dubious repute.
    Allegedly the same individual is associated with a number of journals/associations and is on the editorial team at “Annals” (another one to look into I suspect)
    http://www.anssr.com/ojs/index.php

    SCI seems to have strong ties with a number of organisations of doubtful integrity:

    http://www.ipqmi.org
    http://www.idetc.us
    http://www.eaice-foundation.org
    iacue.org
    ifma-global.org
    acbsp.u

    • Nils says:

      Interesting. The i-mec web site reminds me of the regular invitations I get by one Melinda Something-ot-other to attend her Institute’s workshops on how to write ERC grants (for a not-so-small fee, needless to say). It’s fascinating how much money researchers are assumed to be willing to invest into NotWorking.

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      In any case, a limited amount of info that may prove useful to you, Dr Rene Ruth may well be this gentleman here:

      FWIW, the IMEC team image is a generic stock photograph of the Frankfurt skyline (with the three suited twunts photoshopped into the foreground).
      https://de.fotolia.com/id/35775528

      ifma-global.org are linked through shared registration details with the IACUE of the original post, and I am happy to believe that the others are part of the same Great Circle of Grift, but their websites are all so visually busy — like Powerpoint presentations from someone who has just discovered all the image-transition features — that I cannot bear to look at them.

  6. Ademir says:

    We should not rely on such dubious companies with little contact information and methods of suspicious job. The fact of accessing the site is already a risk.

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