I have observed what may be evidence of article brokers at work in a number of Bentham Open journals.
Bentham Open is a Sharjah-based open-access publisher with over 100 low-quality OA journals in its portfolio. The publisher has been included on my list since 2011. Its non-open-access counterpart is Bentham Science Publishers.
It appears that there are some suspicious publishing practices in many of the Bentham Open journals. I suspect that some article brokers may have arranged the publishing of some or all of the papers in several Bentham Open journals.
Article brokers provide the service of arranging publication in indexed journals for their clients, the authors of the papers. In many countries, for graduation or promotion, authors need to publish one or more scholarly articles in journal that has an impact factor, is indexed in Scopus or Engineering Village (Compendex), or some other internationally respected index.
If you look at the tables of contents of some of the Bentham Open journals, you’ll see dozens of articles in each issue, and the authors are all from China.
This may be evidence of an article broker in action. Some of the Bentham Open journals are indexed in respected academic indexes. China is a country in which many universities require publication in international indexed journals for graduation or academic promotion.
Here are the Bentham Open journals that I find suspicious:
- Open Automation and Control Systems Journal
- Open Civil Engineering Journal
- Open Cybernetics and Systemics Journal
- Open Electrical and Electronic Engineering Journal
- Open Fuels and Energy Science Journal
- Open Materials Science Journal
- Open Mechanical Engineering Journal
- Open Petroleum Engineering Journal
It’s difficult to illustrate this practice in a blog post, so I invite you to click on one or more of the links above and examine the tables of contents.
It’s not normal for a publisher based in a Middle Eastern country to publish papers exclusively from one country in East Asia. Most international journals publish papers from diverse regions and countries.
Bentham Open was among the first publishers I added to an early list I had in 2010. I don’t think its journals are a good place for honest researchers to submit their work.
The publisher’s new and questionable practice of publishing large batches of papers from a single country is highly suspicious and not standard practice for high quality scholarly journals.