Img Source: sciencemag.org

On April, 8, I was quoted in a New York Times article about questionable open-access publishers and questionable conferences. Since that day I’ve been happy to receive many emails, some with suggestions about possible publishers and standalone journals to add to my lists.

Below are three publishers and two standalone journals that I added to my lists after completing an analysis of each. For each, I’ve listed the name, a representative image, a selection of the reasons for including the publisher/journal on my list, and a short discussion.

1. Scribes Guild

Scribes Guild (note the typo in the image)

Reasons for inclusion

  • The publisher does not reveal its location information.
  • The site includes content pirated from other websites (i.e. privacy policy, authors’ guidelines)
  • The site has numerous broken links and dead image links.
  • Some of its journals have empty editorial boards but they have papers published.

Discussion

This publisher has a spare website with its format copied from existing sites. It was probably created in a single sitting. This publisher is part of a recent surge of similar operations coming from Nigeria.

2. International Journal Publishers Group

International Journal Publishers Group

Reasons for inclusion

  • The Publisher is not a group of publishers as indicated in the name; it is a single publisher.
  • The publisher claims its journals will be indexed in services that are not abstracting and indexing services.
  • The publisher appears to use the same editorial board for all its journals
  • The publisher does not reveal its headquarters location or address.
  • The publisher requires copyright transfer
  • The site makes no mention of whether authors are charged an APC or the amount.

Discussion

I cannot figure out where this publisher is based. It uses the ubiquitous Open Journals Systems software, a favorite of low-quality publishers. Its servers are slow, and some of its journals, such as the International Journal of Advanced Mechanic [sic] Engineering still lack any content.

3. Design for Scientific Renaissance

Design for Scientific Renaissance

Reasons for inclusion

  • The publisher gratuitously uses the logos of Elsevier, Thomson Reuters, Scopus and Emerald on some of its pages.
  • The editorial boards are listed but lack members’ institutional affiliations.
  • The site makes no mention of whether authors are charged an APC and if so, the amount.
  • Some of the journals use the word “advanced” in their titles but the articles do not reflect advanced research.
  • There are instances of plagiarism among the articles.
  • The articles all bear this licensing statement: “© 2012 Design for Scientific Renaissance All rights reserved.” The site makes no reference to free licenses.
  • The author guidelines are pirated from other sites.

Discussion

This publisher is from Malaysia (which it clearly states). I am not sure why this publisher plasters the Elsevier, Thomson Reuters, and other logos on its web pages. The name, Design for Scientific Renaissance, is contrived and corny.

4. International Journal of Medicine and Biosciences:

International Journal of Medicine and Biosciences (IJMB)

Reasons for inclusion

  • The journal does not list a headquarters location.
  • The journal lists a fictitious person as its editor in chief (A. Anderson from the International University, Cambodia). Also, editorial board members are listed without institutional affiliations.
  • Some of the articles contain plagiarism.
  • Much of the journal’s content (such as its editorial policy) is copied from other publishers without attribution.
  • The journal mentions an article processing charge on its website but doesn’t state the amount.
  • The journal claims to be indexed in services that are not abstracting and indexing services.

Discussion

This journal is trying to be a mega-journal and wants to accept practically any article that might match or come remotely close to its scope. The world does not need another journal on this topic; there are too many already. This is likely a one-man operation in which the man wants to do an hour’s work every day and watch the money roll in.

5. International Journal of Trends in Economics Management and Technology (IJTEMT):

International Journal of Trends in Economics Management and Technology (IJTEMT)

Reasons for inclusion

  • The publisher’s headquarters location is not listed.
  • The journal requires that authors transfer their copyright
  • The journal charges a higher, per-page APC for papers above eight pages.
  • The journal makes false and boastful statements including, “As the world’s leading publisher of Economics Management and Technology, IJTEMT serves more than 30 million Researchers, Students, Academecians [sic] & information professionals worldwide.”
  • The journal promises a two-week turnaround time for peer review.

Discussion

This journal is brand new and lacks any content. It shows three issues as being published, but this is just a ruse. In fact, the three issues each have a table of contents and abstracts listed and no full text. The article titles and abstracts are lifted from other publications. An example is the article Rough logic for building a landmine classifier from volume 1, issue 6 of this journal, an article that originally appeared here.

Conclusion

These are only a few of the publishers I’ve added to my list in April. The numbers of questionable journals and publishers are surging. Every day I receive new “nominations” from concerned scholars. The increasing predominance of predatory publishers in the scholarly open-access publishing industry seriously threatens the future of the open-access movement.

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