Mysterious Turkish Thales Academic Publisher Promises “Fast” Publication in 20 Days

Thales Academic Publisher

A Trojan horse?

[Note: This is a guest blog post by Dr. Tansu Küçüköncü].

Thales Academic Publisher publishes 23 open-access journals and organizes scholarly conferences. It also publishes academic books. It is included on the list of questionable publishers.

Strangely, two of its journals (the International Journal of Advanced and Multidisciplinary Social Science (JAMSS) and the International Journal of Advanced and Multidisciplinary Engineering Science (JAMES)) are also found on the website of another publisher, Scientific & Academic Publishing (SAPUB), which is also included on the list of questionable publishers.

Also, seven of the publisher’s journals (JNSR, JEDS, JBAH, JIEA, RJFA, RHSS, JSTR) are included on another publishing platform, that of the International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE), a publisher is also on the list. It is emphasized that six of the journals in IISTE (all except JSTR) have been published for at least five years.

It is said that all seven journals in IISTE are published jointly by both Thales Academic Publisher and IISTE. However, when you access the journals through the IISTE website, there is no indication that the journals also appear on the Thales Academic Publishing website.

The editor-in-chief of the two SAPUB / Thales journals is the same, Fikret Mazi. Fikret Mazi is also the editor-in-chief of three of the IISTE journals.

One of the journals, the International Journal of Thales Solar Energy Reviews (JTSER), which promises fast publication in 20 days, is supported by TÜBİTAK (the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey). Its editor-in-chief is Furkan Dincer.

Thales Publisher also has thirteen additional journals which also promise fast publication in 20 days.

It is interesting that Thales Academic Publisher (Tales Akademik Yayincilik) has no physical address, nor does it list a phone number. Probably it has no official registration anywhere. The only way to contact Thales Publisher is through an anonymous e-mail, thales.editors@gmail.com.

Although its website (http://www.thalespublisher.com) has no information about who its owner is, it’s possible the owner is Omer Faruk Farsakoglu.

The mysterious / fictitious / anonymous / unofficial Thales Academic Publisher, which is contactable only via an anonymous email, is sponsoring several conferences with Kilis 7 Aralık University in Turkey in 2016 at several locations.

The chair of these conferences is Ömer Faruk Farsakoğlu. The conference at Kilis 7 Aralik University — to be held 19-20 March 2016 (International Conference on Natural Science and Engineering (ICNASE ’16)) — is interesting because it has dozens of Turkish university directors (vice rectors, deans) as scientific committee members.

Retraction notice

Retraction notice for plagiarism; the author is now a conference organizer in Turkey.

In 2005, Ömer Faruk Farsakoğlu had a paper retracted because of plagiarism. Part of the retraction notice appears in the image above.

According to new Turkish academic regulations, publishing articles in any journal or conference proceeding are enough to be an associate professor and then full professor.

Moreover these articles bring salary promotions, up to 20 percent, to their authors.  Prizes (such as best paper awards) given by any journals and conferences are also effective for promotion to associate professor and to gain salary promotions.

Articles in journals that have published for five years or more bring more academic credit.

Being the editor of any journal or organizing any conference is also an effective way to be promoted to associate professor and to gain salary increases.

Under the old system, having one or two SCI (or the equivalent of it for other disciplines) articles was the requirement. The new system did away with this requirement.

Since 2011, the TÜBİTAK ULAKBİM index for Turkish journals (which includes some journals which were deleted from SCI) (which includes 2 year-old journals) (inclusion criteria of which is suspicious) (deletion is almost impossible) is accepted as equivalent to SCI (and its equivalents for other disciplines).

(ULAKBİM: Ulusal Akademik Ağ ve Bilgi Merkezi = National Academic Network and Information Center)

TÜBİTAK is problematic. There are some journals which are directly published by TÜBİTAK. One of the basic and major problems is that it refuses to retract even some 100% plagiarized articles, if the article is older than 5 years. Its decisions, especially details (how they decided, who decided), about ethical violations are secret. It refuses to share data used in articles.

The new system can be summarized as: Everything is acceptable.

In Turkey, associate professor is a title awarded by Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK).

YÖK (or HEC) has no white or black list for journals and publishers. In the new system, publishing in Turkish journals and being cited six times in Turkish journals (there is way to determine these citations) are the new requirements.

In the new system, conferences are promoted. YÖK has no white or black list for conferences and conference organizers.

New salary promotions, up to 20%, are in parallel to this new system.

Turkish academy is very problematic. The new system and the new salary promotions will create a crisis situation that will be unfixable.

The immediate consequences will be:

  1. An increase in the number of gold (author-pays) publishers specializing in quick, easy, and cheap scholarly publishing.
  1. New Turkish journals and publishers and conference organizers and “international” conferences by Turkish academics and Turkish citation rings.

Thales was an ancient Greek philosopher from Miletus on the Aegean coast of Anatolia.

8 Responses to Mysterious Turkish Thales Academic Publisher Promises “Fast” Publication in 20 Days

  1. wkdawson says:

    “In the new system, publishing in Turkish journals and being cited six times in Turkish journals (there is way to determine these citations) are the new requirements.”

    So if you are an intelligent post doc in Turkey, then be sure to slice your work into small pieces of sausage, send them to these journals and get all your pals and buddies to cite you.

    Of course, the assumption (on the part of the bureaucrats who wrote the rules) is that an academic would value his or her intellectual integrity and that such work would be the sure product of genuine scholarly research. However, there is little doubt that gaming the system happens enough of the time that it is easy to become cynical.

    • “(there is way to determine these citations)” : But way is problematic, since
      there is no automatic mechanism which follows all
      Turkish
      x academic
      journals most of which are not in any index.

      Author(s) of a new article in a Turkish journal will inform
      the author(s) of an article which they cited in their article and
      will send a copy of their article to them.
      When using this citation, author(s) of the article which was cited
      is also expected to prove that this citation comes from a Turkish journal.

  2. Vijay Raghavan says:

    Wow! They are coming up with new tricks all the time and stay one jump ahead of the rest of us. The predatory journals industry is hale and hearty. Once I thought they were operating surreptitiously, but we see that they are getting bolder. Time was when you could catch a disgraceful publisher or journal by the bad English used, but here too, they have become sophisticated.

    Perhaps we can call them the terrorists of publishing.

  3. L_C says:

    Hmm… Well, it could be Farsakoğlu, but I’m also suspicious of Dincer. First, he is the only Editor-in-Chief (JTSER) with a photo, a google scholar link, and a handy link to his personal website, http://www.furkandincer.com. He is also an editor of many SAPUB and IISTE journal crossover titles. Second, check out the landing page for http://www.thalespublisher.com. There are five text filled rectangles with a small bolt in each corner. One appears towards the upper right of the screen and reads “5 Years of JOURNALS.” The other four are found lined-up horizontally midway down the page. Next, peruse the landing page of furkandincer.com. In the upper right of the screen, you’ll notice a very familiar little rectangle reading “Homepage.” It’s also interesting that thalespublisher.com and furkandincer.com use the same security to mask their site registration. Finally, Dincer is typically listed as the main Icnase16 conference contact and is responsible for the creation of icnase16.com. Icnase16.com is registered to Furkan Dincer at Kilis 7 Aralik University, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. The email address given is dincermuhendislik@gmail.com, which is the contact email he lists at the bottom of furkandincer.com:

    http://educationalevent.com/show-event.php?id=6329

    http://www.whoismind.com/whois/icnase16.com.html

    It was also fascinating to learn about IISTE’s journal migration feature. It certainly was a somewhat clever idea to integrate the older IISTE journals with their Thales Publishing platform that is perhaps only a year old in order to gain that 5 year seal (I really did enjoy reading your post how Turkish academic promotions are determined). Hosting a journal through both your own site and a mixed outside platform is definitely different. If there was a way to be even less certain about to whom your $ and publications will be sent, this may be it. For instance, IISTE has a NY address, a NY P.O. Box, and a UK address (however questionable these may be). However, if you chose submit an article to their Advances in Life Science and Technology journal, your $ will be sent to a bank account in Hong Kong belonging to Eduvantage International Limited:

    http://scicomm.scimagdev.org/data/journals/350/3/Publication_Package_Instruction.pdf

    Regarding SAPUB, they have a CA address & their business is registered in CA (entity # C3378170) to a Chicago address: 6050 W Eastwood Ave #201 Chicago, IL 60630. This address has been used multiple times for several different businesses. I’m uncertain how these businesses are connected, however the vast majority appear to be Chinese in origin and are registered in the US through Albany, NY. At least one company at this address has been taken to court and SAPUB themselves are currently FTB (Franchise Tax Board) suspended, presumably for for failure to meet tax requirements. If you submit a paper to their…well currently it’s called Research in Cancer and Tumor, but the full name is given in other places as the International Journal of Cancer and Tumor and, on a payment slip of theirs, they mistakenly referred to it as the International Journal of Tumor Therapy (all of the links for each of these titles though took me to the same webpage). If you submit a paper to this journal, the $ will be transferred to a Liao Wei in Hong Kong (the exact same bank as for IISTE).

    http://scicomm.scimagdev.org/data/journals/98/11/payment%20information103400011.pdf

    Here is a short review of a paper that was sent to this journal. I’ll let this quote speak for itself: “This paper is not scientifically sound (see#6 above). The paper is acceptable for publication”

    http://scicomm.scimagdev.org/data/journals/98/7/IJTT-103400011(review%20%20result).pdf

    • J_C says:

      Thalespublisher.com has changed a few features in the past several hours. Certain journal links and graphics are mysteriously being removed (they may be returned later after edits?) Notably, the two SAPUB journals JAMES and JAMSS are currently removed along with JTSER. I suspect someone is a fan of Scholarlyoa. No worries though- there’s always an archived copy of the site’s landing page with the original journal list (although the graphics are a tad different since this is couple of months old):

      https://web.archive.org/web/20160112190326/http://www.thalespublisher.com/

    • Yes. They may be partners.
      They work in the same university and in the same unit.
      Ömer Faruk Farsakoğlu has high rank there.
      Furkan Dinçer is PhD graduate of 2015.
      He had 50 SCI articles in 4 years during his PhD (2011-2015).
      15 of these are related to his MSc thesis.
      And 35 of these are related to his  PhD thesis and in 2013-2015
      (before completion of PhD thesis and beginning before completion of following lectures).
      His speed of writing PhD related SCI articles between 2013-2015 is
      18 articles per year, 1 article in 20 days.

  4. E-mail from “info@thalespublisher.com” says that
    Thales Publisher decided to end its relations with Omer Faruk Farsakoglu !! :

    Answer (originally in Turkish) from “info@thalespublisher.com” to me
    without mentioning who wrote it and
    without mentioning where physically Thales Publisher is and
    who owns Thales Publisher :
    ————————-

    from:      THALES PUBLISHER
    to:          Dr Tansu KÜÇÜKÖNCÜ
    date:      Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 9:03 AM
    subject:  Hellos

    ….

    We are a commercial company
    which was established in Turkey for Academic Publishing.
    All our activities are in legal frame.

    ….

    After reading your article
    we decided to end our relations with Ömer Faruk FARSAKOĞLU.

    But we don’t want that you know us wrong.
    We want to talk about these subjects in any platform you want.

    ….

    —————
    THALES PUBLISHER CO. (note : “Co” : seems like a British company)

    ….

    thales.editors@gmail.com
    Web site: http://www.thalespublisher.com
    —————

    ————————-

  5. Conference program of Thales Publisher conference at Kilis 7 Aralik University :
    icnase’16 conference schedule :

    * http://media.wix.com/ugd/954ac9_8ee0662dd8a24bc7896f3a2d7f90fe17.pdf

    Some statistics :

    Total no of papers : approximately 460
    Total no of posters : 13

    Papers by foreign authors in this international conference : 2
    Papers which include foreign co-authors in this international conference : 4-5

    Kilis is a border (to Syria) city. Because of war in Syria,
    it is not a touristic city. In these days some bombs
    which are thrown from Syria are falling in even downtown of Kilis.
    And lots of bombs are thrown from Kilis to Syria.
    Population of Syrian refugees in Kilis is more than its population (100.000).

    It should be a rare example of conference which is next to war and
    under noise of bombs.

    İsmail Güvenç (rector of Kilis 7 Aralik University) : 4 papers (single author) :

    İsmail Güvenç    Using Solar and Geothermal Energy Sources for Agricultural Greenhouses
    İsmail Güvenç    Solar Energy Potential for Irrigation Applications in Kilis, Turkey
    İsmail Güvenç    Biofuels
    İsmail Güvenç    Current Status and Outlook in Biodiesel Production

    Ömer Faruk Farsakoğlu : 6 papers

    Furkan Dinçer : 5 papers (3 papers : single author)

    Furkan Dincer    Solar Energy Pumps
    Furkan Dincer    Metamaterials – A Review
    Furkan Dincer    Climate Factors Affect Photovoltaic Panel

    Cumali Sabah (PhD supervisor of Furkan Dinçer) : 2 papers

    Other scientific committee members
    who are university directors :

    Bilal Acemioğlu (Kilis 7 Aralik University) : 2 papers

    Nazim Sekeroğlu (Kilis 7 Aralik University) : 2 papers

    Mustafa Bayram (Gaziantep University) : 1 paper

    No explanation from e-mail of Thales Publisher, info@thalespublisher.com ,
    about where Thales Publisher is and who owns Thales Publisher !

    No explanation from İsmail Güvenç and other Turkish university directors
    who are in the scientific committee of Thales Publisher conference
    about where Thales Publisher is and who owns Thales Publisher !
    Moreover one of them protested me since I asked
    where Thales Publisher is and who owns Thales Publisher !

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