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Critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing

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    This journal and its publisher are on my lists. It is particularly bad.

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    The conferences you linked to look pretty legitimate to me.

    The conference experience is about meeting people, networking and yes (shock!) even experiencing a pina colada at sunset. It depends so much about who you meet, and the relationships formed. Measuring that is basically impossible.

    I think we have to be pretty careful as this categorisation seems to me pretty arbitrary, and therefore in an academic context quite dangerous, quite like the supposed scientific techniques to identify Jewish people in WWII.

    Bottom line: it isn’t possible to accurately quantify a conference experience in the same way as it is to appraise a journal.

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    Yes, I think it is. It’s a deceptive, non-transparent, and low-quality journal. I recommend all researchers not associate with this journal in any way. I have added it to my list. Thanks for alerting me to it.

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    Richard, though I doubt it was intended, I think you’ve gone a way to proving why the work James McCrostie is doing is so necessary.

    Let’s look at http://iafor.org/conferences/ace2016/ and the above criteria.


    a. Claiming to be a non-profit when the organizer is a for-profit company.

    A quick look at http://iafor.org/ace2016-registration/
    If you scroll down to the Bank Transfer section. IAFOR tell registrants to pay into “Bank Account Name: The International Academic Forum LLC”

    And a quick look at this page shows a different story http://iafor.org/about/organization/ (Legal section)
    ” IAFOR is a registered non-profit organisation (General Association 一般社団法人) based in Nagoya, Japan.”

    b. Hiding or obscuring relationships with for-profit partner companies.

    So at first it looks legitimate – but clearly IAFOR is taking money in to a regular company while claiming to be a non-profit entity.

    So right away from the above list we can consider IAFOR an automatic fail – a predatory conference.

    What happens if we keep digging?

    2) Inadequate peer review

    Now, this one is hard to immediately call ‘predatory’ on IAFOR for without testing their submissions… but I have a suggested indicator of how we know they’re predatory.

    d) Vetting of peer reviewers is absent or inadequate.

    How can we tell this? On IAFOR’s website.
    Following this link – http://iafor.org/ace2016-call-for-papers/
    If you scroll down to ‘Authors as Reviewers: A Reciprocal System’

    We see here that IAFOR asks the submitter to review papers. These predatory conferences are supposedly interdisciplinary. Participants from a completely different discipline reviewing papers? Not particularly robust – especially when:

    e) Machine-generated or other “sting” abstracts or papers get accepted.

    IAFOR has been on record being ‘caught out’ by the machine-generated papers. While this may be a mistake, it indicates that quality of reviewing is not high on the list of priorities.

    So what is high on the list of IAFOR’s priorities?

    3) Other criteria common to predatory conferences.

    High fees
    a) The conference fee is higher than typical in the field.
    Let’s go somewhere in Japan – http://jalt.org/conference/jalt2016/conference-fees – You can see that JALT is far cheaper, even for a non-member, than IAFOR.

    b) Presenters pay more than attendees.
    Big tick here. Presenters are paying more than attendees.

    The conference is overly broad in scope.

    a) The organizer simultaneously holds multiple conferences at the same time and place.

    Look at http://iafor.org/conferences/ace2016/ – IAFOR openly advertise that they are conducting 4 conferences simultaneously

    b) The same conference is held multiple times a year in different cities.

    I’ll direct you to here – http://iafor.org/ece2016-call-for-papers/ – Now you may say “wait a moment, the theme is different!”. Scroll down to the ‘sub-themes’. Completely identical to http://iafor.org/ace2016-call-for-papers/
    Oh, and for an added bonus, here is another ‘education’ mega-conference in Hawaii http://iafor.org/conferences/iicehawaii2016/ and Dubai http://iafor.org/conferences/iicedubai2016/

    Hopefully by now the IAFOR conference experience should not be even hinting at the word ‘legitimate’. Maybe the words ‘scam’, ‘fraud’, ‘con’.

    Let’s continue.

    c) A single organization holds conferences in very different fields.
    http://iafor.org/sustainability-energy-the-environment/ Sustainability and environmental science?

    Hard to build links here.

    Virtual Presentations

    a) Acceptance of virtual presentations that are not presented to an audience.
    Let’s have a look at some IAFOR virtual presentations

    https://www.youtube.com/user/AsianConferences/videos – a veritable graveyard – barely viewed videos, erratic lengths. What guidelines does IAFOR give these presenters? What support? Do they get representation at the conferences?

    https://vimeo.com/iafor/videos – more videos here. And a helpful counter – 141 videos.

    A quick count – if IAFOR are accepting $350 USD or 35,000 Japanese yen for these videos – that is $49,350 USD in virtual presentations alone on this page – that is ignoring the much older YouTube page. For what? What do these presenters ever get for contributing their work? Again, not a good case for ‘look pretty legitimate’. Looks like a money spinner to line someone’s pockets though! What a fraudulent scheme.

    Continuing on…

    The conference gets marketed as a holiday. Conference websites and emails resemble travel brochures rather than conference notices.

    Look at IAFOR’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IAFORJAPAN/ – plenty of glossy photos and videos. Not much on individual presenters (unless they’re featured or keynote speakers as a marketing point!) How about scholarly articles in the conference fields? Nope! Any breaking research or even news articles related to upcoming conferences? None visible.

    Conference dinners or associated tours are offered at a profit.

    http://iafor.org/ace2016-registration/ – Conference dinners and tours charged at a profit. If we go back to your point – verbatim – “The conference experience is about meeting people, networking and yes (shock!) even experiencing a pina colada at sunset. It depends so much about who you meet, and the relationships formed. Measuring that is basically impossible.”

    Surely with the $49,350 USD effectively stolen from virtual presenters, IAFOR can afford to pay for the dinners and tours of the unfortunate participants that did choose to visit their conferences. I agree, the regular conference experience is about meeting people, networking and having a drink. IAFOR simply want academics to empty their pockets for the privilege. Absolutely disgusting business practices.

    I’ll even concede that you do make a valid point. Conferences depend on who you meet and the relationships formed. I’m not saying people can’t have a good time at an IAFOR conference. I’m saying that for the defined purpose of an academic conference that IAFOR is 100% illegitimate. It is a predatory conference, preying on naive academics for money. It is not worth the time, effort, or money to present.

    I can only hope that is has been worth my time and effort to delve deeper on the IAFOR website and show how much of a slick scam operation they are running – and hopefully, through (I apologize if occasionally heated) discourse, convince you that attending an IAFOR event is never worth it.

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    Three years ago, I was invited by my former PhD fellow student to act as a member of the editorial board of a journal. That guy has two PhD both from very good research universities. I did not see him for a long time but for sympathy I said yes. The journal happened to be an OMICS, journal. I learned of the fact later and emailed to the journal and requested my name be removed from their editors’ list but to no avail. They kept sending me papers for review and I rejected all of them. Later, because of the nuisance, I just moved their emails to the junk mail list but they still kept sending the review requests and acceptance notice to me even up to today.

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    I will refrain from commenting on the conference’s legitimacy. All I will note is that the website is affiliated with the International Academy of Computer Technology (IACT), which I mentioned above. They can be found at IACT.net. Also, many of the conference sites that they host can be found on the same network, with each site having very similar registry information. There are 202 listed in total (and that’s just on this server/IP). You can view them here:


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    Okay, I had not heard of this journal before. It’s clearly a very unprofessional, deceptive, and low-quality journal, and I have added it to my list. I recommend that you not send any more articles to this journal.

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    Actually, I agree. I have added this publisher to my list. It appears on my list with this entry:
    TLEP Journals (The Leading Edge Journal Publication Company)
    Thank you for drawing it to my attention.

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    I received the message from a lady from the same company. She invited me to submit to their microbiology journal while my major is computational chemistry. They do not even bother to check my skill list.

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    I have this journal included on my list <a href="https://scholarlyoa.com/individual-journals/" target="_blank">here</a>. It appears they didn't carry out a genuine peer review and just quickly accepted your paper. I recommend you withdraw the submission and find a better journal for your work.

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    Dear Dr Beal, i admire your work so much.i did an online course in research writing that was where i realized that we have predatory journals. It would be a good idea if you can start a list for authentic journals,that would encourage journals with good intention to improve.Can a predatory journal in your list who have improved their quality be removed from your list in future?

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    Yes, I do sometimes remove journals / publishers from the lists.

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    I agree that researchers themselves may know which journals and conferences are predatory. However, I still think such lists serve a useful purpose. For researchers who work in publicly funded universities, taxpayers are ultimately paying the bill. Usually administers have to sign off on the expenses. These administrators may, or may not, have research backgrounds but even if they do, they may be deans from different disciplines than the researcher submitting the claims. I think that a list of predatory conferences (if done well) could be a useful tool for them to use to see if the money is being well spent. Also, the public has a right to know if conferences and journal publications listed on a university website are legitimate, as they are the ones ultimately paying the bills.

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    Yes I did that exactly. They have not responded to my emails. In the meantime I have restructured and reorganized the article and submitted it to a reputable academic journal–it’s not found in your list. It is under peer review now. My worry is that the new Journal to which I’ve submitted my newly revised manuscript might notice this because FSSH Journal website is still posting my article, saying I might self-plagiarized. What are the chances this might happen? Or worse, would the FSSH Journals might press charges against me should the manuscript be considered for publication to this new journal i have submitted?

    Please enlighten me on this.

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    Good perspective in Nature this week on other issues within the Indian education system, and related to lax practices.


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    Unbelievable. Someone needs to make a scigen-like bot that applies to become an editorial board member for all the journals listed on Beall’s List. Automate the process of trolling the fake journals, just as they automate the spamming

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    Notably, under Juornals we find one on Neuroscience and Psychology but when you click on it it is actually Neuroscience and Psychiatry!

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    Did you transfer copyright to the first publisher?
    I recommend that you not submit an article that is previously published elsewhere. Many in this situation have “lost” the article. In some cases, the best solution may be to use it as a learning experience and write a new and better paper and submit it to a high-quality journal.

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    your work is interesting, what do you
    know about journal of parasitology and vector entomology?

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    You have mentioned virtually duplicative names of meeting, organizations and journals, even involving minor spelling changes. I am concerned about the existence now of two journals the Journal of Pain and The Journal of Pain. It is all too east for someone to click on the wrong journal and waste good data, a lot of time, and lot of money. Are there no actions that can be taken for such infringements? It is virtually, if not actually, criminal. Sincerely, Damien Kuffler

    Damien Kuffler, Ph.D. Professor Institute of Neurobiology Univ. of Puerto Rico 201 Blvd. del Valle San Juan, PR 00901 tel: 787-721-1235

    e-mail: dkuffler@hotmail.com

    Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 15:02:03 +0000 To: dkuffler@hotmail.com

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