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Who is feeding predators?

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December 1, 2016

I really have my favorites among pseudo-journals discovered by Beall. One of them is the Integrated Journal of British.

Well, I do not agree with Jeffrey Beall in many points and I generally think that the importance of the subject of psuedo-journals is overestimated in his blog. However I really have a good time reading Beall’s posts and I do it from time to time. His collection (or list as he calls it) is something like a freak show, presenting the most crazy ideas that some people have about how to make money off of scholars. Beall is not very empathetic towards the undertakings (pseudo-journals) that he describes, so usually his writing cruelly points out all their shortcomings, especially in English writing. Sometimes he goes too far and becomes unsavory in my opinion, but usually he is just funny.

I really have my favorites among pseudo-journals discovered by Beall. One of them is the Integrated Journal of British (IJBRITISH), that is listed in the current issue of Beall’s collection. I have recently tried to check has it attracted many authors, and if it has published some interesting articles (maybe something Polish?), but sadly I found that its website does not work any more. It is still linked in Beall’s list, which is, as you know, constantly growing, but there is no longer any Integrated Journal of British on the web.

The website of “We-Together to Save Yourself Society“, which is also linked on Beall’s list is also not live any more, because of a hacker’s attack (they probably need some help). Stringer Open seems to have ended its operation as well, or at least as a publisher (This is not a typo. Springer is probably in the game, but Stringer is apparently not). Now in the Stringer Open domain, which is listed on the Beall’s website, you can find the blog of a person who loves “writing, travelling, and making a complete fool out of herself“. Apparently Jeffrey Beall is not able to keep his collection up to date, but this is nothing surprising. His lists are really long now and they link to many websites that often contain multiple pseudo-journals, so nobody has enough labour force to validate them.

There is nothing here!

However, not all of my favorites from collections by Jeffrey Beall have disappeared. The Purple Journals website is still alive and still hunting for researchers naive enough to submit their papers there. But they have not caught too many. I did not check all 10 of their journals but, those that I did check are empty. No one wanted to publish there, so no profit was made by the Purple Crew. Greener Journals are also alive and are doing better, publishing up to 1 or 2 papers a year. A company with the optimistic name Excellent World Journals is still optimistically waiting for submissions to their pseudo-journals, but with no visible effect.

Among all pseudo-publishers that I have known and loved, Wudpecker Journals seems to do best. They probably chose their name intentionally to meet Beall’s inclusion criteria and have free Google positioning through his website. They have published some content, mostly authored by researchers from African countries. This publisher claims to charge an author side fee of 450-500 USD per publication, which I think is lot as for Africa. They falsely claim that some of their journals have impact factor and, despite this obvious misconduct, were able to get one of their serials indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals. This is quite surprising given the fact that DOAJ has recently removed 3300 journals from their database that failed to undergo resubmission under new, restrictive criteria. I do not know how, but it looks like Wudpecker Journals were able to do it.

So we are living in a world where false “impact factor” and a quality stamp from DOAJ is enough to make African researchers pay several hundreds dollars for publication in a journal that has an amateurish website with a misspelled name in the header. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Main image: Do Not Feed The Animals Popcorn by Gareth Simpson, with a grey background added. Licensed under the terms of CC BY 2.0.

This entry was posted on December 1, 2016 by Witold Kieńć and tagged , , .

4 thoughts on “Who is feeding predators?

  1. Ivonne

    I think it is necessary to clarify the process of inclusion of journals in DOAJ. If a journal listed in DOAJ does not have a “green tick” displayed, that means it is under a review process, so it can be removed if it does not have a level of compliance to best practices and publishing standards. More information: https://doaj.org/publishers

  2. Witold Kieńć Post author

    Could you please confirm that Wudpecker Journals submitted a reapplication to DOAJ, and that this reapplication has been under a review, for more than 6 months? I will update an article, when I get the confirmation.

  3. Peter

    I think while some would label a dog from a distance as a predator, some others that dare to have close experiences discover that same dog is a good and faithful friend. I say this because I have published 3 articles with Greener Journals, and I have not seen anything wrong with the journal as claimed. My articles are appreciated and have been cited. I have equally introduced others to the Journal and I have not heard a bad report from any of them except one that had a misunderstanding with the publisher because the publisher was not willing to publish in the journal the author preferred, but had his money refunded. For me there is no reason to stop sending my papers there, I have had better treatment and experiences with this publisher than others. Your account of the journal publishing only 1 or 2 papers a year is equally untrue. The two issues I published in this year had over 6 articles in each, not considering the other issues and then other journals.

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