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.

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