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.
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/
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 Postal Code:700
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.