Archive | April 2015

Bogus Open Access Publishers and Their Academic Scam

In the last few years, we have seen growing numbers of scholarly open access publishers. Some of them are bogus and they have managed to attract academics into publishing with them. Invitation for submission of papers normally comes via unsolicited bulk emails. Unsuspecting researchers from developing countries are their easy target. It is probably due to the fact that publication has become one of the main performance indicators for academics. The race for university ranking, the need to produce research publications for promotion, and the urge to publish in prestigious and high impact journals have somehow encouraged the growth of new journals. It normally takes years for a journal to gain prestige and recognition. Researchers usually know best the prime journals in their subject fields. However it is not easy to publish in these journals. Therefore the open access scholarly communication has now provided an alternative way for aspiring researchers to get published. Some are genuine but many so called predatory publishers with substandard, dubious, bogus journals have emerged. They know for the fact that academics must publish or perish in the academic world and unscrupulous access publishers take advantage of the situation.

The worst kind of these publishers are those using legitimate journal titles with actual ISSN.  They are bold enough to claim that their publications are indexed in Web of Science or Scopus. Some even claim that they have impact factors. Journals that managed to lure our research community include Pensee and Wulfenia. It is not easy to differentiate between authentic and fake or hijacked journals unless we are familiar with the publication practices and ethics. Many of our academics have been tricked into sending their articles to these unscrupulous publishers. So researchers please beware!

fake{ Does this look familiar? , I could not open the link anymore can you? }


{The orignal La Pensee, , the original La Pensee is in French with summary in English }

At present the only widely used reference for potentially probable predatory list of journals and publishers in the academic world has been the one maintained by a Librarian at the University of Colorodo. It is the work of a person who has been involved deeply into scholarly communication using his blog to reach to the outside world. However, Beall’s lists have also been a target of attack not only by the affected publishers but also the affected researchers.Although there are currently four publishers being blacklisted by the Ministry of Education, there are actually hundreds of them polluting the scholarly world. They survive due to the supports and demands they got from unsuspecting researchers who sometimes have to part with cash.  Who then has the expertise or authority to validate open access publishers? It is only the passion and interest of some individuals or researchers who have helped to alert the research community. But still some affected researchers or publishers may be defensive of their choices.

Nevertheless the information provided in Beall’s lists has opened up the mind of many researchers to make informed decision on where not to publish.  Details may be found at;;;  or ask your librarian.


Nur’ Aini Abu Bakar,
Head, Research Support and Archieve Division