Img Source: sciencemag.org

There is a new class of scholarly journal. These journals are not open-access. You can’t purchase their articles individually. Individuals cannot subscribe to them. The only way to access their content is through a very small number of academic libraries.

I call these Super Closed Access Journals. Their purpose is clearly not scholarly communication, for there is very little distribution of their content. Their purpose is academic credit for the authors and profit for the owner.

Here’s is an example, the publisher called Academic Journals and Conferences. It’s a one-man operation based in Florida (though it pretends to be based in New York).

This publisher has these journals:

Except for the article titles and their abstracts, one cannot access the content through the publisher’s website. You have to have privileges at a subscribing library, and there are very few libraries that have licensed journal packages that include this publisher’s journals.

I consider this a phony publisher, and I am sure you will agree with me after you have a look at its website. Here are the reasons I find it phony:

  • The journals have nothing to do with Cambridge, yet they use the term in their titles.
  • The main page proclaims, “CHAMBER of COMMERCE, Beverly Hills, California” (impressive, no?).
  • There are numerous pictures of the owner, Turan Senguder, with young women all over the website.
  • The firm’s secretary is listed as Dr. Charles Hilton, but this is a fictitious persona.
  • The journals have a box that says, “BEST Scholarly Journals 2014” but this is just something the owner made up.
  • It is very easy to find plagiarism among the journal articles.
  • The publisher presents itself as a business academy when it’s really just a sole proprietor who organizes phony conference and journals.
Img Source: prnewswire.com

The publisher does not really “publish” the three journals. They are really only published by a company called ProQuest. That is to say, the only way to access these journals is through a subscription to one of the ProQuest packages that are marketed to libraries.

Why does ProQuest include such low-quality titles in its packages? The reason is ProQuest competes for libraries’ business with other journal aggregators. A good way to compete is to tell potential customers you aggregate and provide exclusive access to more journals than the competition. So ProQuest contracts with as many publishers as possible to be the exclusive distributor of their journals’ content.

Regrettably, ProQuest includes junk journals in its portfolio like the three published by this phony publisher, just to increase its numbers and convince libraries to buy its journal packages. I call on ProQuest to stop this practice and introduce better quality control in its journal packages.

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