Thai Researcher Has Hundreds of Publications, Except …

Viroj

Viroj Wiwanitkit.

An egotistical Thai researcher claims he has “the most number [sic] of international publications as first author in global [sic] international record.” However, he mostly publishes letters to the editor and one-paragraph editorials, many of them in predatory journals.

The man is Viroj Wiwanitkit. He apparently loves predatory journals and serves as editor-in-chief of some and on the editorial boards of many others. He is a visiting professor at China’s Hainan Medical University.

He also loves to write short, vacuous pieces in journals — editorials and letters to the editor — to get his publication count up. Then he brags about the number:

He's on the editorial board of OMICS International's Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense.

He’s on the editorial board of OMICS International’s Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense.

Many of the letters to the editor and editorials he writes or co-writes seem to be written at the high school level. He strings short, declarative sentences together, sentences that merely state the obvious.

His correspondence pieces tend to be published in higher-quality journals, many of them subscription journals. How have so many journals fallen for his game?

Cool dude.

Cool dude.

In writing his letters to the editor, he trades in controversy, a strategy to provoke readers to write follow up letters, citing his earlier one. In this way, he gets cited frequently also, often in top journals.

His non-correspondence pieces are mostly published in predatory journals and are typically short. Here’s an editorial that appeared recently in OMICS International’s  Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases, of which he serves on the editorial board:

OMICS editorial

The editorial’s text is just one paragraph. This clever researcher has figured out a way to make it look — on paper — like he’s a highly productive researcher. His altmetrics are also deceptively elevated. However, most of his publications are “easy” ones: letters to the editor and short editorials, chiefly in pay-to-publish open-access journals.

It’s ironic that a man who studies infectious diseases uses predatory journals to buy his way to prestige, for predatory journals are infecting all of scholarly communication.

Appendix:

Examples of letters to the editor written or co-written by Viroj Wiwanitkit:

Examples of short editorials / articles:

50 Responses to Thai Researcher Has Hundreds of Publications, Except …

  1. P. David says:

    Your blog goes low standard day by day. You are advised to concentrate on predatory journals and do not try personally to damage the reputation of the researchers
    You are posing as you are excellent and all others are bogus.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Emerging infectious disease during a war is a good complex situation.” Wow. Maybe more Zika publications than anyone else (13), as well. On the other hand, many cover letters are longer than these publications.

  3. cho says:

    Mr.Jeffrey Beall this is not right. This is more personal.

    • David Taylor says:

      The basic problem with predatory journals is that they rely on authors who need easy publication for salary increases, promotions, etc. This is simply an example of a rather extreme case of using predatory journals as a means of professional aggrandizement — such journals don’t survive without authors, and this is a prime example of an author milking the system. It will look “personal” when it is discovered, but it is simply an example of how the system works.

    • liorsham says:

      Of course it’s personal, but Dr. Wiwanitkit pretty much walked into it by claiming to be the world record holder.

      Assuming that the facts are correct, this is important information about the way that system works.

  4. Ko says:

    Another fake Dr. and Conference Coordinator (URL: https://web.facebook.com/rind143?ref=br_rs). The person Aneel Khan (Some time he signs on the acceptance letter by showing that he is a Dr. Aneel Khan). Now he is going to organize International Conference on Emerging Trends in Business, Economics and Management. The conference will be held on 15, 16 October 2016 at Majestic Hotel Tower Dubai, UAE. URL: http://www.arpgweb.com/?ic=conference&id=2). He does not know the meaning of what is research? But he is evaluating the abstract submissions for the conference, the abstract submission e-mail address, i.e. conference@arpgweb.com.By google search you will not find his single research paper publication. Now the question is that how we control such cheaters.

  5. Robinson Kat says:

    Your blog is looking like a very cheap quality. I am surprised, how your university has offered you an Associate Professor position. You are looking like a Tutor.

  6. Akhlesh Lakhtakia says:

    Thanks, Jeffrey, for exposing this shady practice.

  7. […] Thai Researcher Has Hundreds of Publications, Except … Jeffrey Beall […]

  8. Michael Getzner says:

    Thanks, Prof. Beall, for sharing this as an example of the need of some “researchers” for publications in the diverse predatory journals. If someone needs editorials or such short letters to blow up his/her list of publications, this says it all about ethics in science. Just by reading some of these “papers” (including the horrible English) no serious researcher will acknowledge the scientific merits behind.

  9. Guido Berens says:

    I agree that this post is interesting for exposing a wider phenomenon and should not be seen as a personal attack against dr. Wiwanitkit.

    Speaking of irony, dr. Wiwanitkit has also published on publication ethics, stating in a (one-paragraph) editorial “Research Ethics on Oral Health Case Series Report” (published with OMICS):

    “Several researchers used paid service for performing researches, writing research report, making a pseudo-reviewer team and *having pseudoscience predator publisher for complete the process of their researches*. *This is a totally unwanted event*.”

    Unwanted indeed…

  10. B. Ronald says:

    This type of things of Mr. Beal’s is not appreciated.

  11. Jyoti Dubey says:

    Please do not play dirty politics through this blog.

    • Loms B. says:

      Reading these comments is as entertaining as the actual post. Rampant sockpuppetry

    • Sporkle Dorkle says:

      This is exactly how people like this guy get away with what they do. As soon as someone points it out, they get accused of being personal, playing politics etc. Maybe it’s your culture, I dunno, but there’s this instinct to save people’s pride as soon as their faults are pointed out. But because you protect them, it means they can get away with stuff that is obviously selfish and wrong.

      You don’t need to save his face. He has damaged himself by publicly claiming he is the most published person in the world, when most of what he writes is not scientifically valuable. He uses scam journals to promote himself. You should not want to protect such people.

      • MC says:

        Well said. These are the same people who complain ad nauseum that the playing field isn’t ‘equal’, but when one of their perceived kin tries to get ahead by faking their way through the system, the first response is to try to save face and pretend like the ones pointing out the attempts to cheat are somehow guilty. Backwards.

      • OffHours says:

        Fair points, Sporkle Dorkle and MC.

  12. Editor Y says:

    It is the content and the message of what is written that matters but not the length or the type of writing (letters, editorials, etc.).
    One can contribute in the advancement of the scientific knowledge and serve the scientific community in less than 100 words much more than in a book of 100,000 words.
    The categorization of writing “Letter, Correspondence, editorial, etc.) is just for convenience for printing and reading and it does not make much sense.
    The article categorization is absolutely worthless as it is the content that matters but not an arbitrary categorization made for space convenience only.
    Some journals publish results in the format of Letters; others announce important changes or discoveries etc., in different formats and lengths. It is NOT the type or the length that accounts but the message being delivered.
    If length was a scale of importance, why most journals limit the lengths of manuscripts to a given number of words (1000, 2000, or 3000 words, etc., depending on journals)?
    Now, we tweet with no more than 160 characters and it works superbly, obviously!
    Short formats are often more digest and purposeful than lengthy writing.
    What do you read most and what do you understand best? Isn’t the short and focused writing ups rather than lengthy and incomprehensible papers?

    Wisdom and eloquence are always concise, focused and purposeful, not lengthy or verbose.

    • Guido Berens says:

      The point is that he published a *lot* of these short papers, *and* that they are of very low quality (which you can verify for yourself). This raises the concern that shady publishers offer ‘researchers’ with some disposable income the opportunity to pad their CVs with huge numbers of publications in very short time. Sure it is takes more time and effort to write a good, short paper than to write a bad, long paper – but it also takes more time and effort to write a bad, long paper than a bad, short paper.

      • Editor Y says:

        I do not question the quality of paper but the critics on the “type of publications”.
        I agree with Jeffery Beall on the egotistical way the author presents himself as an “editor in chief and editorial board of more than 40 journals”, affiliated to many institutions at the same time (I saw 5 different affiliations in one of his publications!).
        This is simply ridiculous and senseless. How one can be an editor in 40 journals and affiliated to 5 institutions at the same time?
        This is possible in one case only; each organ of his body is affiliated to a different institution or journal!
        Again, the problem should NOT be in the “type of publication” or its length but its content, which is, of course, debatable and criticizable but not the publication type (letter or editorial…) which is an arbitrary categorization that does not make much sense.
        The problem is not in the type or length of a publication but in the “show-off” the author is presented with.
        Even if we have thousands of papers and thousands of prizes, we should remain humble. This is the point that Jeffery Beall should focus on, but not on the length or the type of publication per se.

  13. Ali Jr says:

    You go far from the target.
    I guess it’s personal matter

    • MC says:

      Yes, Dr. Beall was recently at a conference where he met Wiwanitkit (who is a fine researcher, by the way, for whom I have absolutely no misgivings) and Wiwanitkit would not agree to let Dr. Beall be the editor in chief of 100 new open-access journals that he is starting with impact factors all above 10 and based in Hyderabad, India. No, wait I mean San Francisco. You have exposed the origin of the feud, congratulations.

  14. Steve D says:

    You are getting it wrong, Jeffery Beall.
    There are many and full journals called Letters devoted to concise and short manuscripts (Physical Letters, Chemical Letters, Biology Letters, etc), which are influential in their respective fields in their short formats. So, your critic on the Editorials’ or Letters’ types is completely out the scope!

    You are completely missing it.

    • MC says:

      No, what you are referring to are actual REAL “Letters” or “Communications” (sometimes, and formerly in most cases, “to the editor”) that describe ORIGINAL and REAL research, not a regurgitation and vomitspitting of facts, erroneous facts, and blinding non-sequiturs.

      Look at this example of HIS “letter”:

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568997216300799

      These are literally letters, written to the editor of the journal, for publication in the “mail bag” section of a journal. Like when you open a newspaper and see letters to the editor, or like the letter in Science that Dr Beall recently wrote in….

      You used google to find journals with “letter” in the title and you have completely missed “it”.

      • Steve D says:

        “Like when you open a newspaper and see letters to the editor, or like the letter in Science that Dr Beall recently wrote in….”
        So, you are doing exactly what you are crying on for others! You publish letters and you are proud of, but at the same time you cry on the Letters of others!
        Not so credible.
        You seem confusing the scientific knowledge and mixing up the terminology.
        What “Real” and “Original” do mean in science? Absolutely nothing. Otherwise, then tell us what your “real” and “original” contributions in the field are before criticizing the works of others.
        Authors can provide “real” or “original” ideas or contributions in the format of Opinions, Viewpoints, Discussion, Letters to the editor, Editorials, etc., (these are arbitrary categorizations) but you seem having some troubles with article formats. Most research is not “real” and what you call “original” is not so original.

      • MC says:

        Sure, when Wiwanitkit comes up with some observation that is useful or otherwise helpful in any way, then he can be proud of it. I have no issue with that. In the meantime, his CV is filled with bullshit.

        I’m sorry that you feel like there is such thing as original research being done to advance science. Tough future ahead for Steve D.

  15. W Viberg says:

    According to Web of Science dr Wiwanitkit has an h-index of 13 which is not very impressive considering the large number of papers (1419 in WoS).

    • Alena Watson says:

      Be better than him if you want to evaluate him .
      What i you H-index ???

      • MC says:

        Ok, done. Now, that I’ve got that out of the way, this guy is an idiot.

      • Marco says:

        *my* h-index according to WoS is 24 (in 2015, I haven’t checked recently), with just shy of 6% of the number of publications of Wiwanitkit. Ten of my publications have reached over 100 citations.

        Would that be impressive enough for you to allow me to declare that Wiwanitkit’s record is not very impressive?

  16. Roma Chuk says:

    It looks ,you don’t know ABCD of the research , first learn the things then start the blog .

  17. OffHours says:

    It’s saddening if these personal comments are written by grown-ups who are employed in any role in the research publishing industry. What kind of “research” they report if publications are not normally expected to be publicly scrutinized, questioned, and critisized?

  18. Minakshi Mishra says:

    Dear Mr. Beal. It’s Ok, if you continue your review on open access predatory journals, but not a personal attack on any researcher. I know, some of your so called friends called it right, but I do not think so because its only damage the reputation of your blog including you.

    • CN says:

      It is highly premature for you to worry about Dr. Beall’s reputation, given that it isn’t really his reputation at stake here.

  19. Steve D says:

    MC=Jeffrey Beall?
    If you are so attached to “original research”, why you are a librarian but not an “original researcher”, then?
    Your vision to science is truncated and shortsighted.
    Examples are countless but take only this one: gravitational waves were suggested decades ago as a RAW, immature idea but it is only now (decades later, so) that we have some proof on them. That is, the scientific knowledge is made of accumulating information, thoughts, ideas, theoretical and practical works, critics, opinions, hypothesis, tests, etc., not only works in “dusty” libraries or labs.

    • OffHours says:

      Everything published as research is supposed to be read by non-researchers as well. If someone cannot withstand the writings published under his name being publicly questioned by the readers, he shouldn’t have those published in the first place. Trying to argue as “ad hominem” as possible you have only succeded in exposing how the garbage publishing system works unchecked.

      I do not know anything about this Thai case, but, in general, it shouldn’t be difficult for academic faculty members in developing countries to produce a large number of low quality writings by forcing their students to compile those as a part of educational process. To earn a degree students do whatever they are told by their superiors. Apropos this forced student labour, the author of this blog some time ago harshly criticized a plagiarised article about plagiarism from India, which, among other things and to its credit, mentioned this shameful practice.

    • MC says:

      Bizarre attempt at an ad hominem aside, When Wiwanitkit makes some useful contributions to theoretical physics, he can add them to his resume. In the meantime, please take heed of his non-short sighted “vision” and make sure you wash your rice thoroughly:

      “Since rice is important source of food for the Asian, the control of bromide contamination, which can like to the future cancer development, is strongly suggested. ”

      Thanks Dr.!

  20. Ajarn Panita says:

    IAFOR or maybe ACSEE Conference?
    asian_conferences@iafor.org
    ACSEE Conference Inquiries

    http://iafor.org/ – A friend of mine is going off to this conference but it looks very shady. There appears to be no link to guidelines for paper submission which makes me very nervous as well. Can you shed some light on this conference and its organizers? Thank you

  21. SPN says:

    I think most of the negative comments are written by Viroj Wiwanitkit himself as he is utterly exposed here. Great job Prof. Jeffrey Beall

    • Ritika Nahar says:

      Very dirty job Mr. Jefferey. Not appreciated.

      • CN says:

        Just so I understand… So, let us for a moment assume that there are many people who are not Jeffrey Beall and who applaud what he is doing. Like me, for instance.
        Are we all bad professionals and terrible human beings? Am I also Jeffrey Beall? Do you think we’re doing that movie scene with “I am Spartacus!”? Do you think Viroj Wiwanitkit is a respectable scientist?

  22. CN says:

    I’ve long disagreed with the term “predatory” applied to the myriads of these “publications.” The author-journal relationship here is far more symbiotic than one may imagine, especially given that in many countries (e.g. ex-USSR) researchers get pay bonuses and promotions for the sheer numbers of publications regardless of quality. I am not convinced that talking exclusively about the journals is sufficient. It is in fact critical that the community recognizes the role of the authors (especially those bragging about their incredible productivity) and has the guts to at least talk about it. Many of the comments above accuse Jeff Beall of a personal attack, but I suppose this is only tolerated because we seem to be complacent. I mean, how dare he mess with the financial stability of the fine scientists publishing garbage?! However, these journals exist because they have a market.

    • OffHours says:

      CN, the comments here prompt to assume that “predatory” publishers and “predatory” academics are two sides of the same coin, when there is a demand for low-hanging fruits, there is a supply. I entirely agree with all your points but one. To be fair, I sincerely doubt that ex-USSR authors have routinely contributed to the rise of these subpar nevertheless costly open access publishers targeting “publisheable manuscripts” written in English. Ex-USSR countries’ junk publications are more likely to be found in local languages, in a numbered list of dusty local journals. The Soviet mindset’s derivatives aren’t likely to accept this Western idea of scholarly publishing as an openly commercial enterprise (let alone successfully monetized), instead of a network of university or research institution-affiliated publishers, covertly commercialized through facilitation payments.

  23. Bibliometrician says:

    Mr. Wiwanitkit is apparently unaware that the real sign of prestige in scientific publishing is to be LAST author on lots of papers. The last author is usually the guy with all the funding…!

    • CN says:

      Yes, “the guy with all the funding” is the new definition of prestige in science. However, it’s also not unusual for the first author to be the postdoc/student with all the actual ideas and not just execution. :)

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