White paper regarding fight against Predatory Publication practices: published by Sciencedomain International

Some open-access publishers publish papers without peer review to make easy money. Some publishers publish articles in their journals within one or two days after submission, provided publication charge is paid. These publishers even advertise in their website and “calls for paper” that they will publish the paper within 1-4 days of submission. Jeffrey Beall, the Denver-based former librarian, first coined the term “predatory publishing” in 2011, to identify such predatory journals. But at the later stage, his methodology to identify predatory journals was questioned. Many academicians proved that Beall’s evaluation was biased and erroneous. Please see the related discussion here: http://bit.ly/wikipedia-Beall. But nobody can deny the contribution of Mr. Beall to identify the black side of open access scholarly publication.

‘Sciencedomain International’ (SDI) fights against predatory publication practices for many years. ‘Sciencedomain International’ is also a victim of the predatory publication model. Many times ‘Sciencedomain International’ was labelled with “predatory” stamp, as Sciencedomain also follows open access publication model. Confusion and mixing the name of ‘Sciencedomain International’ with low-quality predatory publishers harmed the brand image of ‘Sciencedomain International’ in many ways.

Therefore Sciencedomain International took some proactive steps to fight against the predatory publication problem starting from 2011. Some distinguished operating principles of ‘Sciencedomain International’ are discussed below and the backgrounds of these steps are also discussed.

Problem 1: Predatory publishers don’t do peer review.

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

1.1 OPEN Peer review:

‘Sciencedomain International’ journals follow a transparent and robust OPEN peer review model. All peer review reports, comments of the editors and different versions of the manuscripts are also made publicly posted along with the published paper. This process eradicates any possibility of malicious interference by the publisher to publish papers only for money, by compromising academic quality. The main complaint against predatory publishers is that anybody can publish anything by paying hefty money. And predatory publishers compromise the peer review process or don’t do peer review to publish any paper. As ‘Sciencedomain International’ journals follow transparent OPEN peer review model, so the main criteria of predatory publishing (i.e. absence of peer-review and quality control) cannot be applied against ‘Sciencedomain International’. Very politely we want to tell that our peer review system is not perfect. But we strongly want to say that we don’t follow the predatory publication model.

Some examples:

  1. http://bit.ly/open-review-2
  2. http://bit.ly/open-review-3
  3. http://bit.ly/open-review-4

1.2 World famous Science Journal article authenticated high peer review standard of SDI journal

Now it is obvious that all publishers will highlight its brighter sides. But to establish the claim of a publisher, it must be authenticated by some third-party neutral agency. Please see that our claim of the high standard of peer review is authenticated by the world-famous Science journal article.  Please see the investigative report here (http://bit.ly/science-report-111). It was reported that out of total 304 journals, only 20 journals rejected the fake article after substantial peer review. We are happy that our journal was among these few successful journals along with industry leaders like PLoS One, Springer, BMC, MDPI, Hindawi, etc.

Problem 2: Predatory publishers don’t pay any attention to complaints after publication

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

2.1 POST-publication peer review:

The pre-publication Peer review evaluation system is not perfect and many academicians proved loop-holes of the peer review system. We also never claimed that the peer review system is perfect. But we have tried to make it as transparent as possible. But still, we know that there will be errors. So we introduced also POST-publication peer review system.  SDI journal Websites provide the ability for users to comment on articles to facilitate community evaluation and discourse around published articles. The comment section is mainly dedicated to promote “Post-publication peer review”. Please see here: http://bit.ly/post-peer-review.  As a result of this “Post-publication peer review”, if authors agree and/or journal Editors agree (and/or SDI agrees) that any correction is necessary, then it will be published FREE of cost by following SDI Correction and Retraction policy (http://bit.ly/retraction-policy).

2.2 Established Retraction Policy:

No journal in the world has a hundred percent perfect peer review policy. It is not expected from the publisher that it should work like fraud detection agency or fake paper detection agency. No publisher has that capacity or enough resource for such activities. An academic publisher is expected to arrange honest peer review, editorial screening, editing, formatting, publication, DOI registration, digital preservation of papers, indexing of published papers, etc. An academic publisher depends on the integrity of the author for the submitted paper and expertise of reviewers and editors during the peer review process. At any stage, an academic publisher should never influence the publication decision by over-ruling the academic independence of the reviewers and editors. Therefore, a scholarly publisher is never expected to publish only a hundred percent perfect papers, as it depends on the author-reviewer-editor system. But an academic publisher is always expected to work promptly whenever a fraud/wrongdoing is reported. If an academic publisher sits idle when an irreparable wrongdoing is reported then the publisher is just supporting the wrongdoing of the author. Such careless idle steps of the publisher rather encourage other dishonest authors to harbour their papers with that publisher. Predatory publishers often sit idly by publishing fake papers and invite other dishonest authors to publish their papers by providing a safe shelter in exchange for publication charges. It is expected that a true academic publisher should officially retract wrong papers/fake papers immediately whenever reported. Retraction is a negative point for any publisher, but a true academic publisher should never be afraid to retract such papers with official retraction notice. Sciencedomain International has a very strong and official correction/retraction policy (see here: http://bit.ly/retraction-policy-sdi). Sciencedomain International is determined to promote integrity in research publication. We have great respect and we generally follow the guidelines given by COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION ETHICS (COPE) for any publication disputes, authorship disputes, fake paper, etc. Whenever such a serious problem is reported, Sciencedomain International takes immediate action and officially retract the paper.

Problem 3: Predatory publishers use the name of the reputed scientists without consent and sometimes they don’t do quality control during the recruitment of editors.

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

3.1 Transparent Editorial Board:

All SDI journals have a transparent editorial board. Many times predatory journals post the name of editors without their consent. Sometimes predatory journals publish fictitious editors. All SDI journals publish complete academic affiliation of all editors. Additionally, SDI journals publish email ID, short biography and link of the institutional webpage of editors for complete transparency. All communications with the editors are also permanently digitally preserved by SDI. Along with the published paper, identity and comments of the academic editor are also published. Therefore, very politely we want to say that we may not have the strongest editors of the world, but we have a highly transparent and active editorial board to maintain the quality of the journal.

3.2 World famous Nature journal article confirmed the high standard of SDI editors and journals

Now it is necessary to provide the proof of the high standard of editors of SDI journals. We hereby provide the proof from an article of world-famous NATURE journal article. One of our journals was also targeted by the authors of this NATURE article as part of the sting operation.  We are happy to inform that Nature (Impact Factor: 41.6) article confirmed high standard of SDI journal and its editors.  Please, read the investigative report here (http://bit.ly/Nature-report-111).

Problem 4: Predatory publishers claim false indexing status, show false impact factor, highlight Thomson Reuters Researcher ID as proof of indexing in ISI, etc.

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

4.1 Transparent Indexing information: A dedicated indexing team of Sciencedomain International is working to include all of our journals in reputed indexing services or journal evaluation services or catalogue or reference citations, etc. Sciencedomain International also advises that authors should cross-check the authenticity of claims of indexing before submitting their manuscripts to any publisher (including SDI). SDI strongly encourages authors to take ‘informed decision’ before submission of any manuscript. In order to help the authors to take ‘informed decision’, SDI is providing web-links/proofs beside most of the claims of indexing or journal evaluation services. In addition, authors should visit the official site of the indexing organization or journal evaluation services before submitting any manuscript. We have never applied to have a false impact factor (like global impact factor, etc) for our journals and we never display false impact factor of journals to cheat the authors. We never advertised Thomson Reuters Research ID (https://clarivate.com/products/researcherid/) as proof of our ISI indexing. We hope the scholarly community will appreciate our efforts to maintain integrity and transparency. Please see our steps here: http://bit.ly/indexing-sdi1

Problem 5: Predatory publishers don’t provide clear information regarding publication charges. They never provide information related to publication charge before or just after submission. They start demanding money after the publication.

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

5.1 Transparent Publication Charge: At Sciencedomain International, we clearly and publicly provide all information regarding publication charge (http://bit.ly/publication-charge-sdi). Publication charge related all clear information is prior provided to all authors.

Problem 6: Predatory publishers don’t provide clear information regarding the place of Head-Quarters of the publisher and actual place of operation. They also don’t reveal the name of the publisher.

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

6.1 Publicly available Headquarters address: Sciencedomain International clearly displays information regarding registered address and Head-Quarters in the contact page. Sciencedomain International also provides the name of the publisher and contact details. Please see here: http://bit.ly/contact-sdi

Problem 7: Predatory publishers don’t provide attention to the satisfaction of authors. Actually, they harass the authors in different stages of publication. They are also not transparent regarding customer satisfaction.

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

7.1 Direct posting of author feedback: At Sciencedomain International, we believe that quality peer review should attract appreciation from all authors, irrespective of the nature of the review decision (i.e. Acceptance or Rejection). Testimonials of the authors are presented publicly on our website. From 06-04-2016, Sciencedomain has provided direct comment posting feature in the website. Authors, who want to share their experience directly, can use this feature. We welcome any kind of feedback (positive or negative). Apart from this direct experience sharing facility, authors can also share their experience via email, which will be posted by our IT staffs. We are proud to say that we take the satisfaction of authors very seriously. This may be the reason of our lowest possible “Credit Card Charge reversal and Dispute” cases against us (in some calendar year we have zero such cases). Please see here: http://bit.ly/author-speaks1

Problem 8: Predatory publishers don’t provide attention to the satisfaction of reviewers and never maintain transparency (if they do peer review)

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

8.1 Transparent information and recognition of reviewers: We follow the best possible industry standard for reviewer satisfaction. In all published papers, we publish the name of the reviewers and also publicly publish the review reports along with published papers. We also publicly publish the list of reviewers yearly once. Famous Publons (a part of Thomson Reuters Clarivate Analytics), also confirmed the high standard and transparency of peer review system of SDI journals. There are more than 40,000 academic journals worldwide. As per Publons website, 6 journals from ‘Sciencedomain International’ was placed among top 1000 journals and  38 journals from ‘Sciencedomain International’ was placed among top 3000 journals like Nature, Science, PlosOne, BMJ, etc. Please see here: http://bit.ly/publon-rank  (website accessed on 09-07-2018).

Problem 9: Predatory publishers are less attentive regarding plagiarism checking, formatting, etc

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

9.1 Established Plagiarism Policy: SCIENCEDOMAIN international strongly opposes the practice of duplicate publication or any type of plagiarism. SCIENCEDOMAIN international aims to publish original high-quality research work. Plagiarized manuscripts would not be considered for publication. If plagiarism is found in any published paper after an internal investigation and subsequently the paper will be retracted. Plagiarism policy of this journal is mainly inspired by the plagiarism policy of The Nature. Please see here for more information: http://bit.ly/plagiarism-policy-sdi

Problem 10: Predatory publishers falsely claim attachment with famous academic institutions like the publication of research papers from reputed universities, etc

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

10.1 High Profile authors: High standard of SDI journals has attracted authors from world famous universities like  Harvard University,  Columbia University,  Cambridge University, University of Chicago,  UC Berkeley,  Göttingen University, etc. We are thankful to authors for keeping faith in our transparent high standard peer review process, high editorial standard, etc. Sciencedomain publishes a list of authors, who have published at least one paper in any SDI journal. A hyperlink of the published paper has been provided with the name of the author(s) for verification. This list is partial. Please see here: http://bit.ly/author-profiles

Problem 11: Predatory publishers don’t provide attention for permanent digital archiving of published papers

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

11.1 Permanent digital preservation policy: Sciencedomain International is happy to announce that all our journals are now permanently archived in Journal Repository (JR). Journal Repository (JR) is among the fastest growing community-supported digital archives in the world. Please see here: http://bit.ly/digital-preservation-sdi

Problem 12: Predatory publishers don’t provide attention to follow “Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing”, introduced by OASPA, COPE, DOAJ and WAME

Following Proactive Steps were taken by Sciencedomain International to solve this problem.

12.1 Self-compliance report publication: Excellent guidelines regarding ‘Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing’ have been established by the Committee on Publication Ethics, the Directory of Open Access Journals, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association and the World Association of Medical Editors. We sincerely thank OASPA-DOAJ-COPE-WAME for this great effort. Sciencedomain International feels that we must follow these guidelines and should publicly publish a ‘self-compliance report’ for public and scholarly scrutiny. We’ll heartily welcome any valuable feedback to improve our journal. A comment section is available below the self-compliance report card. We’ll be happy to receive ‘peer-review report’ regarding our journal. Please see here for more details: http://bit.ly/compliance-report-oaspa

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