I learned recently of a journal whose title exactly copies the title of a respected journal in the same field, the Journal of Natural Products. The counterfeit journal is based in India, while the original journal is published by a respected scholarly society.
The copycat journal is apparently the effort of one man, Sudhanshu Tiwari. A recent statement that appears on the journal’s website under the heading “FROM EDITOR DESK” gives evidence of the journal’s low quality:
I wish all of you a very “HAPPY NEW YEAR (2016)” and I want to convey our cardiac thanks to all of you, due to your kind support we have published volume 08(2015) of our ON-LINE JOURNAL “Journal of Natural Products” (ISSN 0974-5211). We are also receiving huge amount of noble research paper for forth coming issue from all over world.
The letter continues:
All paper published by J.N.P. is blindly peer reviewed.
Well, they got that right.
The letter brags about all the fake metrics — including fake impact factors — the journal has “earned.” There are now a couple dozen companies that sell contrived impact factors to predatory journals.
The journals then display these impact factors on their websites to attract article submissions, particularly submissions from people needing to publish in impact factor journals.
It costs 5,000 rupees for one’s article to appear this pay-to-publish journal. Using an unoriginal journal title, a website, and some fake metrics, one can earn a good, steady living by tricking people.
Under United States law, one cannot copyright a journal title.
The victim journal is the Journal of Natural Products from ACS Publications, part of the American Chemical Society.
Currently in volume 79, the journal originally launched in 1936 under a different title. There is a Wikipedia article about the journal that tells its interesting history.
There is no practical action that can be taken against copycat publishers such as this one. Because the bogus journal is open-access, libraries cannot cancel their subscriptions to it. There’s no way to make it go away.
As long as we have author-financed scholarly publishing, such scams will continue to appear and prosper.
Hat tip: Dr. Guido F. Pauli