Jeffrey Beall scores a retraction

jaimJeffrey Beall, a scholarly librarian perhaps known best for his list of possible predatory journals, has convinced one of those journals to retract a paper for plagiarism.

Here’s the notice: from the Journal of Advances in Internal Medicine, the official journal of the Society of Internal Medicine of Nepal.

It was brought to our attention that the article, “Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy for Heart Failure” JAIM | volume 01 issue 02 | July-December 2012 page 65, contains this passage in its introduction: “Heart failure is a clinical syndrome resulting from a structural and functional disorder of the heart that impairs the ability of the ventricles to fill with or eject blood to fulfil the demands of the body, or does so in expense of increased filling pressures.” Unfortunately, this passage is not attributed and was taken from an earlier publication: There are additional instances of plagiarism in the article. Given the weight of evidence offered in the report by Jeffrey Beall (Associate Professor, Scholarly Initiatives Librarian, Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver, 1100 Lawrence Street, Denver, Colorado 80204 USA), the article has been retracted from the journal.

Here’s the journal’s stance on plagiarism:


JAIM defines plagiarism as whenever  an  author  uses  another  person’s  exact  words,  they  must  be  placed  in  quotation  marks  and  a citation must be given. The  reader of an article in JAIM must know which words are  the author’s and which belong  to  someone  else.  Even  documents  in  the  public  domain,  such  as  government  documents,  must  be attributed to their source.
The  author’s  copying  of  her  or  his  own  previously  published  material:  duplicate  publication  or  “selfplagiarism.”     If an author has published an article in Journal A, she or he may not send the same article with a
few  minor  adjustments  to  Journal  B.  Nor  may  she  or  he  take  verbatim  portions  of  the  first  article  without quotation  marks  for  use  in  a  second  article.  Each  publication  should  contain  fresh  writing,  even  if  there  is nothing new to report on the topic.

Kindly check the plagiarism before submitting the paper. Authors are encouraged to use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting

40 thoughts on “Jeffrey Beall scores a retraction”

  1. Good work (relative to nothing being done). What I found quite interesting was how the journal attributed the report to Mr. Beall. Most of the retraction notes that I have seen at RW maintain the whistle-blower anonymous. There should always be a zero tolerance policy towards plagiarism and self-plagiarism, but two aspects are missing from the journal’s report, I believe:
    1) “There are additional instances of plagiarism in the article.” If so, then why has only the plagiarized text from the Informahealth paper – one sentence – being shown? This is a biased display of the facts. If the journal wants to be transparent about the case, then show the FULL Beall report and the other instances of plagiarism, and their sources.
    2) There was no quantification of the level of plagiarism or self-plagiarism that was acceptable to the journal or the cut-off level at which a paper is rejected based on these two phenomena, nor the exact percentage of text that was plagiarized as a ratio of the entire paper’s total word count. Why was no quantification provided either by Beall or by the journal?

    I have two criticisms here. The first relates to the request by this publisher for authors to use a commercial software iThenticate. This is publisher bias. I say NO to support of the commercialization of ethics, which is one of the reasons why I am also critical of COPE for charging “membership fees” to get advice on ethics. The scientific community has the responsibility of creating a free software for checking plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Note: I am not in support of plagiarism or self-plagiarism. But I am against the commercialization and trade of ethics, which is in itself an ethical contradiction.

    Secondly, although Beall managed to catch one fish in the entire ocean, he should also be open to fair criticism. And since he is the central player of this story, I wish to add some clarifications which he has failed to do on his web-site:

    a) He is not a doctor, does not hold a PhD, and should thus never be referred to as Dr. Unfortunately, Mr. Beall fails to correct the comments posted to his blog that refer to him as Dr. Beall. He should add a small note, each time, that that information is factually incorrect, and should correct it. In the same way that Ivan and Adam correct errors in their comments and in comments made by bloggers at RW.

    b) He is not qualified to make comments about specific topics. I contested the validity of Mr. Beall’s claims on his story about his 2014 list of predatory open access publishers. Mohammad Shameem Al Mamun asks Mr. Beall a pertinent question on January 16, 2014. Mamun asks “I am a tea scientist and want to publish a research article in Journal of Tea Science Research Could you please inform me about the journal?”
    On January 16, 2014, 56 minutes later, Mr. Beall responds with the following “That journal is published by Sophia Publishing Group Inc., and this publisher is NOT on my list. I think this journal is okay, and it’s nice to see a specialized journal like this. I think it’s better to have a journal like this one than to have a journal title such as the Journal of Plant Science Research.” This response is extremely dangerous because it reflects that Mr. Beall is making comments about a publisher that covers a lot of plant science without himself being a plant scientist. I then gave evidence that something was not quite right with his comment and assessment. On the 20th January, 2014, I posted the following:
    “Please observe Volume 1:
    1) Please run a background check on James F. Vancouver as a specialist in tea genomics.
    2) Please run a background check on Canada Institute of Science and Culture Communication
    Please observe Volume 3, and compare it with:
    Furthermore, why are not all papers by this author in a recent review?
    Volume 4. Please observe the right side of the PDF file on page 1. The name of the journal has been published as The Journal of Tea Science, not as Journal of Tea Science Research. Why is this?”

    As you can see, my comments have been wiped off that blog, within 30 minutes of posting them. This indicates that Mr. Beall is biased, unfair and does not moderate based on valid criticisms. He is unable to face fair criticism either. Mamun’s query (and concern) is valid. Beall’s response is not and the message he has sent that scientist is not factually correct.

    c) I am of the opinion that several of the stories on the Beall blog should be retracted, because they are not substantiated by sufficient evidence to make the claims he makes. I can provide a substantial assessment if required, but that in itself would take an entire book volume to compile.

    d) He has not quantified what predation is even though the Predatory Score was devised as a way to quantify predation:
    In this piece, I have also made some criticisms of the aspects that he calls predatory. Despite posting about this Predatory Score on Beall’s blog, my comments and suggestions have been almost all wiped off the blog. This is incorrect.

    It is important, to get a balanced perspective on any story, to also get the perspective from the critics, too. Although Beall can be applauded for detecting this case of plagiarism and for forcing a retraction, there should also be frank and open debate about his blog on blogs such as this one that base their story on Beall, and his judgment.

      1. Without wishing to appear to hog this story, I wish to give another mini-analysis why the “criteria” for selection of what is “predatory” or not is problematic on the Beall blog. You may ask, what has this information and evidence to do with retractions, the subject of this blog? Firstly, it has to do with the story at hand and the person responsible for “achieving” this retraction. Secondly, it is important because scholars and academics are seeking to find plagiarism and cases of inappropriate scholarly conduct on his list of publishers and stand-alone journals. I think this is great and the cause in defense of academic and scholarly publishing is noble. Yet, the criteria and the rules of engagement must be fair and standard whether we are talking about an Elsevier journal, or the Journal of Advances in Internal Medicine.


        For one year, in 2012, we could understand that Beall’s blog was a hobby, but from 2013 onwards, it was important for Mr. Beall to understand that he could not just randomly list open access publishers on his blog without true quantitative justification. I personally warned Beall that making accusations and listing OA publishers would be a dangerous thing because it had to be carried forward responsibly and that it could rile a lot of feathers around the world. After one year of creating and expanding on this hobby, Beall now is faced with real responsibilities towards making factually accurate statements and claims at , quantified and supported wherever possible. I have quite a substantial body of evidence that suggests that unfair (or at least dubious) listings exist.

        One of the very serious and unintended consequences of Beall’s blog is that he MAY cause serious damage to the reputation and/or financial standing of some OA journals that may in fact be perfectly valid, but simply with a green or shaky start to their business. Below, I list two case studies that represent what I consider to be serious cases of controversial selection “criteria” of publishers by Beall himself to add to his list. These comments are quoted verbatim from his blog, and I have provided the link that others can use to verify my claims, of course. If the person who is creating such a list that many are loudly decrying as foul, unfair, and biased, and whose voices of discontent are being repressed and wiped-out on his blog comments, then how can we begin to believe that the retraction “scored” by Beall in the Journal of Advances in Internal Medicine was free of influence, bias, or that it was based on true or quantifiable parameters? Additional proof is required. Indeed, we have the statements by the publisher, and a retraction PDF file linked above, but even now, the PDF file of this so-called retracted paper is still available for viewing by the public (at least at the time of posting this comment):

        What value is a retraction if the paper is still there?

        So, this is not a goal when the ball has not entered the net! It’s a deflection off the cross-bar.

        Incidentally, I have approached the original authors, the editors of Journal of Advances in Internal Medicine and the authors of the 2007 book (whose text was apparently plagiarized) for a copy of all relevant documents pertaining to this case because the notice above and the information provided is clearly not telling the whole story. Most importantly, the criteria and analyses performed by Beall need to be meticulously analyzed and made publically available given the standing, influence ad contacts that Mr. Beall has within the world of publishing.

        Back to the two case studies that prove that selection criteria by Beall are not healthy or correct (possibly even biased).

        Case 1: same-day analysis and decision on predation.
        Case 2: decision on the “predatory” nature of a publisher in 41 minutes.

        Yet, according to the appeals page (, “Appeals are limited to one every 60 days.” (dated 2013-03-11, i.e., 11 March, 2013)

        This means that given the speed and rate at which Mr. Beall is adding “predatory” publishers to his list, he is adding at a potential rate of 365 a year (minimum) but removing publishers or stand-alone predatory journals at a rate of 6 a year.

        There is no wonder that the list jumped from 18 in 2011 to 23 in 2012 to 225 in 2013 to 477 in 2014 (Jan):

        This is another reason why I devised the Predatory Score, so that Mr. Beall and other academics could use a more quantitative system to validate “predation”. Not simply based on analyses over or after lunch or based on such broad criteria (last updated 2nd edition / December 1, 2012) ( that could include many main-stream and non-OA publishers.

        Case 1

        RSSS says: April 24, 2013 at 12:53 AM
        what about this one?

        Jeffrey Beall says: April 24, 2013 at 6:29 AM

        Case 2

        Ron Davis says: September 12, 2013 at 1:35 AM
        Please find few more possible predatory publishers i found in my email box.
        Hope for the best Mr. Beall

        Jeffrey Beall says: September 12, 2013 at 2:16 PM
        Thanks. The first were already on my list. I analyzed the third one and added it to my list.

        1. I suspect that you are misinterpreting the part about ““Appeals are limited to one every 60 days.” I would take this to mean that a particular publisher cannot appeal more than once in 60 days.

          1. Dear Deillevid, you are absolutely correct, thanks for pointing this out. This was my error when I wrote the blog entry (unfortunately, as you know, it is difficult to edit the entry after you press the “Post Comment” button). Still, a decision about the fate of a publisher made by a single individual within about half a day is, to say the least, incredulous. These sort of analyses take days or even weeks to complete. Most publishers have staff, have made preparations for months, if not years, and there is always a considerable investment, aspects that Beall does not even consider (or perhaps even understand in detail) when he simplifies his selection. As I have said quite clearly above, several of the publishers on Beall’s list are predatory, but I am questioning HOW predatory they are. No start-up company, including a traditional or OA publisher is perfect, anyone who has ever established a publishing company, like myself, will know that. Unfortunately, Beall may have a sparkling academic curriculum, as alluded to by his fans elsewhere in this blog story, but he does not have two key aspects of experience that I believe are essential to make judgment calls about publishing quality, especially as relates to topical issues: a) despite his academic papers, he is not a scientist, has never worked in a laboratory, let alone devised an experiment, executed it, or analysed its data; b) he has never established a publisher, so he has no idea what goes into establishing, sustaining and developing one. One of the comments and frustrations I often hear from many of Beall’s critics that contact me are that he is simply destroying the reputation of some publishers at the word go, even before the publisher has had the chance to prove itself. In some cases, actually, the claims are quite valid, but in others, they are not. And that is the key reason why I decided to do some focused analyses about Beall and his blog and post them here. Because we, scientists, and those in publishing, should not accept anything at face value. Everything requires analysis, and I am sorry that my meticulous minutiae irritated some, but that is the nature of a scientist, to be thorough, and exploratory (in terms of understanding a process). Again, sorry, indeed it was 12 hours+ (although if in the US or across continents, the time zones posted could have some considerable level of variation).

            But this is simply a deflection or detraction. I re-emphasize my initial point. Beall “scored” a retraction. Unlike most other retractions we observe at RW, the person who made the report is often not known, or is anonymous, even with hat tips. But in this case, considering such a high-profile individual in the world of publishing, particularly OA publishing, it is not unreasonable to make a detailed analysis of the individual responsible for reporting the retraction.

    1. Replying just to a), I fail to see when Jeffrey Beall ever claimed to hold a doctorate, apart from not commenting on comments made on his blog. If I applied that reasoning, I would have to reply to dozens of spam e-mails calling me “professor” or alike. Honestly, I have better things to do, so does Mr Beall, I reckon.

      In general, I feel that your criticism of Mr Beall does not really belong here. Whatever your opinion on Mr Beall may be (I guess I know by now), I think this is not the right place to make it public.

      Your first two points are valid, though. I see the journal in charge of the investigation, thus they are responsible for (not) providing details, not the whistleblower.


      1. Right you are Danny,

        Here’s Jeffrey Beall’s listed degrees from his workplace URL


        B.A. California State University, Northridge, 1982
        M.A. Oklahoma State University, 1987
        M.S.L.S University of North Carolina, 1990

        Though he is an associate professor (hence has no need to correct any “professor” attributions) there is no claim of a Ph.D. in his education listings. He’s just really smart and talented, even without a Ph.D., talented enough that he has been granted a professorship.

        1. I never claimed anywhere that Beall refers to himself as a Dr. I clearly stated that several bloggers give him this academic title when he in fact does not hold one. Now the next text will clearly irritate my critics, but it extremely important to provide the evidence of what I have stated in a) just in case there are disbelievers. Details are extremely important when dealing with such issues. Based on the evidence I provide below, I believe that the correct thing for Mr. Beall to do is to correct each mention of Dr. or Prof. and add a strike-through, to indicate that a published blog comment has been corrected. To remove, erase or in any way tamper with these original blog comments would be construed as a serious breach of publishing ethics. Then, from now on, Mr. Beall has the responsibility of reporting the facts correctly and accurately, including to any blogger that refers to him (incorrectly) as Dr. or Prof., either during the moderation phase, in contact with the blogger, of post-comment publication, as I have suggested he do above. Responsible blogging is often in the hands of responsible blog owners. RW sets an fine example of how to deal with these issues, even if some people consider them pesky. 1) Comment by leo August 14, 2013 at 9:28 AM “Dr Beall” (uncorrected) 2) Comment by logic October 23, 2013 at 11:35 PM “Dr. Beall” (uncorrected) 3) Comment by Farid October 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM “Dr. Beall” (uncorrected) 4) Comment by Dr.Rao October 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM “Dr. Jeffrey Beall”, October 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM and October 27, 2013 at 6:17 AM “Dr.Beall” (all three uncorrected) 5) Comment by oca sapiens September 28, 2013 at 8:37 AM “Dr Beall” (uncorrected) 6) Comment by Mil Kovasevic September 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM “Prof. Beall” (uncorrected) 7) Comment by Samir Hachani July 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM “Dr Beall” (uncorrected) 8) Comment by Genaro japos July 16, 2013 at 5:36 PM “dr Beall” (uncorrected) 9) Comment by RV Krishnakumar June 2, 2013 at 2:38 AM “Dr.Beall” (uncorrected) 10) Comment by Guria May 21, 2013 at 9:22 PM “Dr Beall” (uncorrected) 11) Comment by Anonymous But Contactable May 28, 2013 at 4:52 AM “Dr Beall” (uncorrected) 12) Comment by Ricerca motorizzata « Oggi Scienza July 31, 2013 at 1:29 AM “prof. Beall” (uncorrected) 13) Comment by V.TOMIC July 3, 2013 at 4:22 AM “dr. Beall” (uncorrected) 14) Comment by Richard M Magsino May 2, 2013 at 8:09 AM “Dr. Beall” and May 2, 2013 at 10:44 PM “Dr. Beale” (uncorrected) 15) Comment by sahanamadhyastha April 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM “Dr. Beall” (uncorrected) 16) Comment by Samir hachani March 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM “Dr. Beall” (uncorrected) 17) Comment by jimgthornton March 26, 2013 at 1:45 PM “Dr Beal” (uncorrected) 18) Comment by Krishnakumar, R.V. March 1, 2013 at 3:46 AM “Dr. Beall” (uncorrected) 19) Comment by Alberto January 31, 2013 at 5:07 PM “Prof. Beall” and by naser February 1, 2013 at 5:56 AM “Prof. Beall” (both uncorrected) 20) Comment by R V KRISHNAKUMAR January 29, 2013 at 4:02 AM “Dr.Beall” (uncorrected) 21) Comment by Galuh Sarasvati February 5, 2013 at 10:35 AM “Dr. Beall” (uncorrected) With this list, please do not lose focus of what it is I am trying to indicate. There are several members of the academic community that claim (or believe) that Mr. Beall holds a PhD. This is incorrect information and if his blog holds incorrect information, about him, or about the larger issue, open access publishers, then he has the duty to correct misinformation to the scientific public. I have shown, through evidence-based research (a back-breaking and exhaustive search for these instances) that Mr. Beall is not correcting these errors. He is also blocking fair, valid and informed comments on his blog and/or only selectively allowing those that please him or that support his critique of the “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers”. This then questions his character as he exposes publishers that he points out on his blog as being false, dishonest, or not correcting factually incorrect information. In English, there are two terms to describe this: hypocrisy or contradiction. Let us also remember what a blog is: a public location (a virtual one now) in which ideas and facts can be discussed, where validated criticisms can be launched, and where viable solutions can be found. As a first step to gaining respect as a “professional”, one has to be honest about oneself, at least on a public blog. My criticisms are meant to raise awareness about this tiny issue. I haven’t even begun to explore the other serious contradictions on that blog yet because I don’t want to be labelled as making inappropriate or unlinked statements. Those criticisms will emerge when the topic is linked and wen the time is right.

          1. Can I thus conclude, based on my criticisms of Jeff Beall above, and your fervent support of him, that in fact this story could in fact be an open place for debate about Jeffrey Beall, his blog and the qualities and criteria that he uses to judge the “predatory” nature of open access journals? It seems fair to me that if bloggers are allowed to defend him, then others should also be allowed to criticize him. Please remember how we got here. The title of this story claims that Beall “scored” a retraction, almost as if this were a game of football (soccer) and Beall was Messi in disguise. If indeed Beall scored a goal, then we should be allowed to see all of the evidence of that goal, and how the decision to retract was reached, or forced. Thus, we have to critically analyze what lies behind this particular retraction. This is because this decision will have massive implications for the “predatory” open access movement, which many feel are being actively targeted by the traditional publishers, many of which Beall himself fails to or fears criticizing on his blog. I have often claimed that Beall’s blog is absolutely essential, but that there are critical deficiencies in that blog, including the lack of quantitative criteria for selection. I don’t think that my call for an open debate is so unrealistic, or unfair. We are all being civil with our comments, and we have to substantiate what we claim with facts.

          2. Jaime: hope this is not in response to my comment. My response is actually ….to show that how one can ridicule ancient medicine without any proof!!

  2. I think you put too much weight on whether the man has a PhD. With a couple hundred bucks and a diploma mill, he could solve his problem and could be referred to as “Doctor” on his blog without any additional problems. For issues like plagiarism, I believe a well written and defended letter from a 6th grader citing passages and sources should be taken as seriously by a journal as one from a PhD.

    I would argue that questioning Mr. Prof. Beall’s academic accolades in reference to opinions offered on his blog is beyond the scope of this discussion, and the sort of thing that prevents whistles from being blown.

    1. KH, you have focused on completely the wrong aspect here. The focus is not on the fact whether Beall has a PhD or not, because he does not. I am not challenging his credentials. I am not stating that his blog is not useful. I am not even challenging yet) that his call for retraction is not valid. I have already clearly stated that plagiarism is not acceptable, but the truth of the matter, neither Beall, nor the editors or journal have provided us with the full report on plagiarism. And this is of concern to me, because it reflects a lack of transparency about the process by all parties involved, including Beall. The fact is that there are errors on his blog, namely instances where he is referred to as a person who is the holder of a PhD that are FACTUALLY incorrect. The fact that in 2013 alone, there were approximately 20 instances of such small, but important factually incorrect facts on Beall’s blog says volumes about the person who is doing quality control at that blog. In this case, yes, you may say that these are small and irrelevant facts. And I would say, no, it is the small details that provide us with a deeper understanding of the larger picture. Why has Beall not corrected factually incorrect information on his blog when he so quickly points out factually incorrect information on “predators'” web-sites or journals? Double-standards.

      1. While I agree with your assertion that the retraction notice is lacking in both detail and transparency, I would argue that it is the responsibility of the journal, not the whistleblower, to provide definitive information regarding the retraction after their own thorough internal investigation, including which passages were plagiarized and from which original sources. I have serious misgivings about the journal including the name of the whistleblower, because how many scientists are going to want to go on the record ratting out other scientists who are potentially their colleagues, future journal article referees, etc.?

        I believe that RW is focused on the wrong aspect here, by focusing on giving Mr. Beall a little pat on the back when the post should be focused on those committing the plagiarism, the journal that let it slide by unnoticed, and the journal’s handling of the situation after the fact.

        How did a simple retraction notice (and the journal’s inexcusable mention of the whistleblower’s name) end up as a witch hunt criticizing Mr. Beall’s extramural pursuits and academic titles? Since when is a person’s blog subject to the same rigorous standards as a peer-reviewed publication? There is a reason journals frown on citing blog entries as references. If Mr. Beall’s blog does include factual errors (I haven’t personally verified), is that a greater crime than fraudulently passing other’s work off as your own in a peer-reviewed journal article?

        Even if provided with additional incriminating information, for example, Mr. Beall sometimes gets lazy and puts the recycling out with the trash, it doesn’t imply a grand conspiracy between the garbage man, Mr. Beall, and the Journal of Advances in Internal Medicine. The biggest question this has raised in my mind is why you seem to believe that Mr. Beall is somehow now unqualified to point out plagiarism to a journal after discovering housekeeping issues on his blog and his lack of a doctorate. A little nit-picking about double standards and blog corrections seems so underwhelmingly minor in comparison with the actual plagiarism charges at hand.

        1. from what i understand he is not qualified to discredit any ancient system of medicine – the point I raised above. He doesnot have scientific proof for this – period.

          1. KK, allow me to add a quantitative touch to your keen observation.

            Four Jeffrey Beall (a librarian, not a scientist) anti-Ayurveda quotes:
            1. “Ayurvedic medicine is an example of a bogus science that boasts an increasing number of pretend scholarly journals.”
            2. “Ayurvedic medicine (Ayurveda) … is medicine based on superstition and not science.”
            3. “I realize some are applying scientific methods to the study of Ayurveda, but it is still quackery.”
            4. “If my doctor were to read and apply the articles in the journals below, I would dump him and get a new primary care physician. Political correctness prevents many in the West from speaking out against superstition-based pseudo-science for fear they might offend someone.”

            Yet, in some of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals and data-bases, we find this many hits related to Ayurveda, in scientific recognition of this age-long scientific discipline:
            a) Google Scholar: 53,000 hits
            b) PubMed: 3447 hits
            c) Elsevier Science’s 3369 hits
            d) Springer Science + Business Media SpringerLink: 2045 hits
            e) Wiley-Blackwell online: 1291 hits
            f) Taylor and Francis/Informa/Routledge: 717 hits
            g) Thousands more papers published in the “Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers/journals” lists created by Jeff Beall: and
            h) Potentially hundreds if not thousands more in the other almost 6000 other publishers listed here:

            Yet, the number of references that Mr. Beall provides in defense of his false and unsubstantiated claims that Ayurveda is a pseudo-science: SIX [6]

            Now, what scientific qualifications does Beall have to make such profound statements about Ayurveda?

          2. I don’t know what the criteria are for “discredit[ing] an ancient system of medicine” (do you?), but as far as I can tell, the criteria for detecting plagiarism involve the pattern-matching abilities of a grade school student (or a Perl script). It appears that Mr. Beall is certainly qualified in this pursuit, as evidenced by the scant information in the retraction notice.

          3. It appears to me that a field that wants to be considered “scientific” should show it adheres to the scientific method. Ayurvedic medicine doesn’t and is generally considered a pseudoscience. Surely it is not on Beall to prove a negative, when the other side has not even attempted (and often even does not claim) to be a positive?

            Next you tell us that homeopathy is a real science…

        2. KH, I am happy that we are able to have rational discussion here. I want to emphasize, once again that the plagiarism Beall detected is important, and plagiarism is the central issue of this story. Kudo’s to him. I have never disputed that fact, and I keep emphasizing that that is the issue. In fact, the very first part of the first comment I made about this important issue was “Good work” and “There should always be a zero tolerance policy towards plagiarism and self-plagiarism”. HOWEVER. It is not the only issue because many things are intimately linked here. But as you also point out correctly, by RW giving Beall a Ronaldo goal-scoring status for scoring a retraction goal when the facts are still so murky or untransparent, the center of focus has shifted from plagiarism to Jeffrey Beall. Not because of the comments I posted, but because of the way in which the story glorified Beall’s deed. This heroic act (if we can eventually verify the content of the claims) needed, however, a more in-depth scrutiny of all the perspectives and angles, including the documents based on which the retraction was made, and based too on the whistle-blower, Beall, who openly decided not to stay anonymous, but rather to take credit in an open way. This is not Claire Francis. This is someone who WANTS to take credit for the retraction. So, if he wants to take credit, then of course he must also expect to be closely examined by the scientific community because he is the central and key figure in the whole request to retract the paper. So, I agree that in some ways the need to find a catchy title actually made the story focus on Beall more than on the issue of plagiarism. But we need the full report of all the cases of plagiarism that Beall reported, including the original book chapter, to assess the report. As it stands, the story indicates that a two-sentence abstract was copied. Please read the retraction note carefully instead of obsessing about what I said:

          ““Heart failure is a clinical syndrome resulting from a structural and functional disorder of the heart that impairs the ability of the ventricles to fill with or eject blood to fulfil the demands of the body, or does so in expense of increased filling pressures.” Unfortunately, this passage is not attributed and was taken from an earlier publication:”

          Now, I decided to do a small analysis, and this is what I found (the analysis is not complete because I need Beall’s report and I need the original book chapter to assess if in fact even the book chapter that was supposedly plagiarized, was perhaps in itself a case of plagiarism. Allow me to explain in more detail.

          PART 1: How did Journal of Advances in Internal Medicine emerge as being considered to be a predatory open access publisher?

          Let’s first look at how this publisher came to the attention of Mr. Beall. Yes, this background is essential and I don’t see RW or Beall or the journal making any of this analysis. Let’s track the journal on Beall’s blog and see where the crumbs lead us to. It leads here, to a very telling blog entry:

          The comments there between one blogger and Beall follow this path (these are all verbatim quotes, without any editing to content, so I have not added quotation marks because of the small phrases):

          moksha says: October 1, 2013 at 11:20 PM
          Why Ayu, JAIM and IJAR are not included? Because they are renowned publishers?

          Jeffrey Beall says: October 2, 2013 at 6:05 AM
          Please give me the direct links to those journals so I can be certain which ones you are referring to. Thanks.

          moksha says: October 2, 2013 at 6:21 AM

          These also belong to pseudo-science, as per you

          Jeffrey Beall says: October 2, 2013 at 7:39 AM
          Yes, correct.

          moksha says: October 2, 2013 at 7:48 AM
          waiting for their inclusion

          moksha says: October 5, 2013 at 12:50 AM
          waiting to see updated list

          moksha says: October 2, 2013 at 6:26 AM
          Dear Kishor, May I know valid reason behind indicating all journals listed by him are either fake or predatory? Remember he is targeting small emerging publishers otherwise he must have included IJAR and JAIM too but he is already in problem due to law suit by OMICS publishers hence wont touch renowned publishers who may take legal action against him

          CONCLUSION: In 1 hour and 18 minutes (Deillevid, I have checked the math carefully!) Beall concluded that three publisher listed by an anonymous blogger called “Moksha” were predatory because they were pseudo-publishers. So what scientific background and expertise does Mr. Beall have about topics related to medicine, astronomy, or cardiology? Allow me to answer this rhetorical question: NONE. That means that Beall decided, in the same amount of time it takes me to write this response, that three open access puiblishers are publishers of pseudo-science.

          Can you begin to understand why the focus needs to be on Beall?

          PART 2: Is the abstract of the 2007 book chapter original? The basal evidence given in this case was that the Nepalese cardiologists plagiarized two sentences from a paragraph in a 2007 book, published by Informa ( and authored by Edoardo Gronda and Daniela Pini. Now, I am also not a cardiologist, but it seemed really strange to me that a review paper would be forcefully retracted by Jeffrey Beall in a “predatory” publisher that he had determined was predatory in 1 hour and 18 minutes. And, the ONLY evidence provided to us, to RW and to the entire academic community, was this two-sentence claim of being copied without due attribution. Fortunately, the PDF file is still open access, i.e., it has NOT been retracted:
          If you ask me, this act alone is making mockery of Beall’s report and of RW’s story. If we observe that PDF file, indeed, we can see that the texts are similar, or the same.

          From the 2007 book (Chapter opening = introduction?):
          “Heart failure is a clinical syndrome resulting from a structural or functional cardiac disorder that impairs the ability of the ventricle to fill with or eject blood commensurate with the needs of the body, or that precludes it from doing so in the absence of increased filling pressure. Heart failure is the end stage of all diseases of the heart and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Although heart failure may result from disorders of the pericardium, myocardium, endocardium or valve structures, or the great vessels of the heart, or from rhythm disturbances, it is usually discussed primarily in terms of myocardial dysfunction.”

          And from the 2012 JAIM review by Sujeeb Rajbhandari et al.
          “Heart failure is a clinical syndrome resulting from a structural and func¬tional disorder of the heart that impairs the ability of the ventricles to fill with or eject blood to fulfil the demands of the body, or does so in expense of increased filling pressures. The major manifestations of heart failure are: dyspnoea, fatigue, palpitations, fluid retention and decreased exercise tolerance. Heart failure is the final common pathway of all heart diseases and is the major cause of morbidity and mortality.”

          However, I also don’t see any references or any quotations or any evidence that would suggest that the indicated text in the Informa 2007 book is in fact original. Therefore, we cannot simply accept what is fed to us at face value. We are obliged to ask more questions. And the key question or hypothesis here is: Is the text highlighted in the 2007 text original?

          So, we need to investigate. To do so, we need to fragment the sentences. Please follow carefully.

          Original Gronda and Pini 2007 book chapter abstract
          Sentence 1: “Heart failure is a clinical syndrome resulting from a structural or functional cardiac disorder that impairs the ability of the ventricle to fill with or eject blood commensurate with the needs of the body, or that precludes it from doing so in the absence of increased filling pressure.”
          Sentence 2: “Heart failure is the end stage of all diseases of the heart and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality.”
          Sentence 3: “Although heart failure may result from disorders of the pericardium, myocardium, endocardium or valve structures, or the great vessels of the heart, or from rhythm disturbances, it is usually discussed primarily in terms of myocardial dysfunction.”

          The text at the heart of this retraction has been used, verbatim, in the following sources (I provide a few cases for each sentence, but there are more if you search long and hard enough), too:

          Sentence 1.


          Reda Deyab, Cairo University, dated 5/7/2013 (no attribution to the source)
          2) Similarities with section 2.1, first sentence (which has definitions but no references):

          3) According to in 2005, the definition of heart failure is “HF is a pathophysiological state in which an abnormality of cardiac function is responsible for the failure of the heart to pump blood at a rate commensurate with the requirements of the metabolizing tissues”, as stated by Braunwald E. Clinical manifestations of heart failure. In: Braunwald E (ed.). Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1988. p. 471–484
          4) The exact same wording of the first half of the first sentence in a book chapter 13 (p. 20) by Kulaylat and Dayton ( (Elsevier, 2012) shows no quotation marks, but attributes the definition to a 2002 reference by Hunt et al. J Heart Lung Transplant 21: 189-203
          5) (Colucci WS) No attribution.

          Cuadrado-Godia et al. Current Cardiology Reviews, 2010, 6, 202-213 (Bentham Science Publishers) Line 1 of the abstract identical to first half of source abstract and then self-plagiarized in the first sentence of paragraph 1 of the second section. Sentence 2 is also partially plagiarized in the first sentence of paragraph 2, section 2.

          Sentence 2.

          1) Davis, Hobbs and Lip (2000)

          British Medical Journal 320:39­42 (in fact this review provides definitions that are not identical in words, but are identical definitions, as provided by medical practitioners between 1933 and 1995. And if the exact same sentence was used in the 2007 book, then surely it is Gronda and Pini who have plagiarized Davis et al.?
          MacMahon and Lip (2002). Interestingly, the exact same definition was used to define Congestive heart failure and not just Heart failure. In this case, is Lip, also a co-author of the Davis et al. (2000) paper, committing self-plagiarism? Or have Gronda and Pini also plagiarized MacMahon and Lip? What does JAMA think about this case?
          4) Should text be considered plagiarism, or ideas?

          Sentence 3.


          Cuadrado-Godia et al. Current Cardiology Reviews, 2010, 6, 202-213 (Bentham Science Publishers) Sentence 3 is partially plagiarized in the first sentence of paragraph 2, section 2.

          There are likely more cases if you trawl Yahoo or Google. And probably more if you decide to fork out money to pay companies for their commercial software. Does that mean that we should “partly” retract these papers or book chapters that appeared after the 2007 chapter?

          If we look at the exact words, one could say that this text is quite heavily copied or plagiarized (original source not acknowledged). But if we look at the idea, or concept, one could say that the idea is a very old one, going back a few decades. Thus, what would be the truly ORIGINAL source of these “facts” stated in the abstract of the Gronda and Pini chapter? Would Gronda and Pini themselves not be “plagiarizing” the CONCEPT or IDEA that they describe of heart failure (because it is not a concept they invented) and they do not offer any source or quotation marks in their abstract ether. Thus, where does one draw the line?

          I believe that because the line is not clear, that a retraction in this case was possibly unfair, and unjustified. Justice was not served, only some act of random and substantiated attack (perhaps to “score” a hit) in the world of “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers”. What is “potential, possible, or probable” if not total speculation?

          One of the problems with retractions and the fairness / unfairness debate is that it is difficult to prove intent, or malice, unless it is declared by the authors. Therefore, one should never assume guilt before proof. Thus, assuming that the authors (any author) is innocent of malice or harmful intent, then once could safely say that maybe, just maybe, a mistake was made.

          As far as I can tell, the exact wording that was used from the 2007 book chapter was copied without due attribution by the Nepalese group. In all fairness, a slap on the wrist should be given. But should the entire review be retracted? Isn’t it more of a learning curve for all parties involved if the journal and publisher issues a corrigendum that explains exactly what text was copied and from what source, and then indicate that this was a case of textual plagiarism that plagiarized XYZ% from source(s) ABC. In that way, the academic achievements of the paper can still be valuable provided that there is no other case of misconduct, the authors are served a public warning and notice which will at least make them proceed extremely cautiously in the future, and it will alert any other journals or publishers in the future that these authors have a history (1 case) of plagiarism. This is what I would refer to as fair and just justice.

          a) When drawing conclusions about the supposedly plagiarized text, one should also investigate the plagiarized text for plagiarism.
          b) Where does one draw the line? This is a renewed call for quantification.
          c) Who should be in charge of quantifying and establishing rules as to what plagiarism is? The publishers? COPE that charges money for membership? Psychologists?
          d) Is plagiarism only restricted to words, or is it also applicable to ideas? If so, in the case above, how far back does one have to go in history to claim that the facts indicated in the 2007 book chapter on heart failure are the “original source”?

          CAN the skeptics and critics now see the importance that Beall provide the original document and that Gronda and Pini provide us with the original book chapter PDF?

          Part 1 indicates that the selection of this journal as predatory was, at best, suspect. It also indicates that that decision was made based on Beall’s unqualified academic curriculum, although I can support and agree with the argument that one does not have to be qualified to detect plagiarism.
          Part 2 indicates that based on the evidence provided (namely two plagiarized sentences) that there is serious doubt about even the originality of the 2007 book chapter that Beall claims the Nepalese cardiologists plagiarized. That indicates that Beall’s assessment is, at best superficial, and POSSIBLY inaccurate.


          Then, I would say to my critics: if, with all the available information on the table, and with all that we know about the background of Beall, Beall’s scientific qualifications and Beall’s blog-related practices, and if indeed we find that there was substantial plagiarism, and also if we find the 2007 book chapter content to also be free of plagiarism, then I say, whole-heartedly, retract the paper and consider this case closed.

          As far as I ca see it, based on the skeletal evidence provided to us (two plagiarized sentences and the hidden evidence “There are additional instances of plagiarism in the article. Given the weight of evidence offered in the report by Jeffrey Beall…”, I would say that a retraction is way overboard (an erratum and an apology by authors in a written letter published with the erratum is sufficient and proportional punishment) and seems to be an academically motivated act of revenge against a “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publisher.”

          1. Dr. TdS, I believe the most enlightening post that could be made would be a direct disclosure of your own personal interests in Mr. Beall’s activities. Honestly, I don’t have a dog in this fight, beyond a desire to see that plagiarists are exposed and that scientific research and publishing follows the highest ethical standards. Is a journal that you own or are affiliated with on Mr. Beall’s infamous list? Do you have a personal or financial interest in any of these journals, or have you published in them? The amount of time you must have devoted to creating these posts would be astonishing for one without a direct interest of some sort.

  3. It seems a number of commenters have a “Beall in their bonnet” but back onto the topic of the post, well done to JB for nabbing a plagiarised paper.

    He’s not the only person hunting these fish in the murky waters of predatory OA. I have recently identified a whole cluster of cases and these will be revealed very soon (retractions will follow – I have little doubt).

    1. Though I have no medical qualifications whatsoever, being just a miserable PhD, I suspect it is not advisable that you hold you hold your breath while waiting for retractions!
      In my limited experience, journals on Jeffrey Beall’s most useful list take action even more slowly than other journals. With the latter one often needs considerable effort to even obtain an acknowledgement that there is a problem. From that point, depending on the visibility of the problem you are most likely to be a (mega)correction rather than a retraction.

  4. For the record, though he claims to be a plant scientist, Dr. Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva is not currently affiliated with any university. He was affiliated with a lower-tier university in Japan, but is no longer. He also was the sole-proprietor of Global Science Books, an STM publisher that failed. Miserably. Mr. Silva’s successes as an academic and as a scholarly publisher are nil, and his incessant and impertinent comments serve only to poison reasonable discourse. (And I am sure Mr. Silva will copy and send this comment to my university counsel).

    1. I would like to address what I perceive to be Beall’s incorrect statements and biased facts with my own personal response (I hope that this satisfies Beall and his followers and/or my critics). My dissection follows:

      a) “claims to be a plant scientist”

      I do not claim to be a plant scientist. I am one. I obtained my BSc (Hons) at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. I obtained my MSc at Kagawa University, Japan. And I obtained my PhD at The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Ehime University, Japan. I have 20 years of research and publishing experience and have held several posts in industry and in academia, but all related to plant science. Mr. Beall, I am a plant scientist. This much I know. Please check some academic data-bases to learn more. I can however advance in a little bit more detail that my passion is plant tissue culture, having initially worked with cassava (Manihot esculenta) back in the days when we had a fantastic CGIAR-derived collection of African cultivars. Work experience in the Nylsvlei Nature Reserve showed me the delicate ecological balance between organisms living in a restricted space and competing for the same resources (perhaps spurring my return to derive the term Predatory Score to describe predation and predatory publishers in ecological terms:, particularly the interaction between bush pigs and wild rice (Oryza longistaminata). My passion for plants led me to work with a sub-group of the Enrico Coen project based in Oeiras, Portugal at the ICTQB, on the genes regulating flower colour and development in snap-dragon (Antirrhinum majus). As you may know, snap-dragon is one of the most important model plants in plant molecular biology and an inspiring ornamental plant. Unfortunately, when I graduated, at precisely the same time, the great Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and it was ironic that in the land of so much new freedom and liberty that I should become the victim of anti-apartheid (euphemistically referred to as affirmative action) and be actively discriminated against because of my nationality and colour. In this climate, which few outside of South Africa are actually aware of, it was impossible to find a job as a graduating biologist. I emigrated to my home country, Portugal. And there, I worked at the Faculty of Science, University of Lisbon, for several years, with an exceptional team of world leaders who had given me an excellent opportunity to fulfil my passion for plant science. It is in those years that I became a professional in organic chemistry, working with dozens of medicinal plants, primarily working on the fragrances and essential oils from medicinal plants of Madeira and the Acores. I also served as the production manager of a landscaping and gardening company, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula, giving me valuable hands-on experience that was so missing when one is dedicated to lab-based research. My desire to seek a higher education in Kagawa University was to learn more about orchids, for which I had always had an interest my whole life. Turns out that the Professor who was one of the world’s leading orchidologists, Prof. Michio Tanaka, was away on conference at the time when my application had to be signed, and approved. But it was another specialist, Prof. Seiichi Fukai, also one of the world’s respected leaders in chrysanthemum, who decided to take me in based on my experience and ability. Only two people were selected from Portugal to do a MSc/PhD course in Japan under the then Monbukagakushou programme. One of them was me. For several years during my MSc and PhD, I not only worked with my target plant germplasm, I also worked, having been given the relative freedom of research, on several other ornamental plants and expand my contacts and involvement with other scientists around the world. Having obtained a JSPS post-doc scholarship to continue studies on orchids, I spent the next few years working on orchids and on several other plants, networking with leaders and establishing essential contacts and partnerships in research as I went along. I should note that in the 100+ history of Kagawa University, only one person has obtained a JSPS scholarship to do research there. There sit several years of intense day-and-night research to advance plant science. The rest is history and the results, well those sit on data-bases somewhere which, as a librarian, I am sure you can access easily. I hope, Mr. Beall, that this may erase some of your thoughts as to whether I am a plant scientist, or not.

      b) “is not currently affiliated with any university”

      Yes, this is correct, but the way in which Mr. Beall phrases it makes it sound like a person or a scientist who is not affiliated with a university is somehow wrong, or of questionable quality. I elaborate further in the next point.

      c) “He was affiliated with a lower-tier university in Japan, but is no longer.”

      There are two issues here. My contract terminated automatically with Kagawa University, Faculty of Agriculture, at the end of March, 2013 after almost 15 years of wonderful memories, excellent research and academic opportunities and extremely positive, memorable moments. Once my contract had ended, I made a conscious decision to retire from any research post or to serve on the board of any journal, or to be affiliated with any publisher. The purpose was to be free of conflicts of interest, actual or perceived, as I pursued my science writing career and my collaborative projects, as well as my exploration of issues in science and publishing. Once again, it is the demurring and derogatory tone that Beall uses to describe the situation that makes it look as if I was somehow thrown out of the university. No, this is simple. A contract ended. I followed my new path.

      As for the absolutely absurd characterization of Kagawa University as being lower-tier, I am not sure on what basis he bases his facts on. Mr. Beall has to clearly differentiate Kagawa University from the Agriculture Faculty of Kagawa University ( Here, yes, I could agree that they operate on quite different quality-related tiers. One of the reasons why I selected to do higher studies in this tiny (yes, Kagawa university has the smallest campus in Japan) university was because some of the professors at the Agriculture Faculty were among the top level horticultural scientists in the world, including people like Prof. Ikuo Kataoka, Prof. Takejiro Takamura, Prof. Seichi Fukai, Prof. Michio Tanaka, Prof. Masaharu Kyo, Prof. Kazuya Akimitsu and Prof. Shigeyuki Tajima. Allow me to say that these individuals and many more at the TINIEST agricultural campus in Japan, are amongst the highest and most respected scientists in the world. A search on some main science data-bases will perhaps enlighten. So, yes, even though I was associated with the smallest campus in Japan, and even though Kagawa University is definitely no Tokyo University, in terms of size, reputation or almost every demography, it is still an incredibly enlightening and respectable higher institute of learning. In fact, possibly the top university in Japan doesn’t have such a stellar record, does it ( Actually, I think you might be pleasantly surprised at how efficient, polite, professional and well-organized the librarians and the library is at Kagawa University, Faculty of Agriculture in fact is. This is to say that I am very proud of my association for such a long time with this Faculty, and grateful for the opportunities afforded in my scientific career. You see, Mr. Beall, size isn’t everything.

      d) “He also was the sole-proprietor of Global Science Books, an STM publisher that failed. Miserably.”

      In one of my post-doc periods at the respectable (but tiny) Kagawa University, I had been approached by an Indian Editor, who invited me, based on my experience in plant science, to edit a book on ornamental biotechnology. The “editor” was D. Thangadurai and the publisher was Regency Publications, New Delhi, India. Very soon, after I had basically single-handedly managed to recruit the participation of almost 100 chapters, I was bitterly disappointed by the lack of ethics and quality control displayed by this editor and publisher, who simply wanted to publish the chapters as quickly as possible, without appropriate QC checks, peer reviews or attention to details. This was probably my first negative experience with a “predatory” publisher back in 2004/2005. Not feeling right about this business set-up, but left with a massive responsibility on my shoulders, I approached the then leader of scientific book publishing, Springer (before it became Springer Science + Business Media). The project has accumulated, in my estimates at that time, over 10,000 pages of publishable, peer reviewed work. Springer said that the project was not doable. It is at that moment that I realized two things: a) there appeared to be dishonest publishers out there; b) even the most prestigious publisher was afraid to publish what could possibly have been the most exclusive and comprehensive collection of ornamental plant research after Elsevier’s great 2003 book series on roses ( I felt this “gap”, and I decided to establish a publisher. At that time OA was not quite that established, there were still many unknowns, technical and other, and following the extensive advice by peers and individuals in business and industry about all related aspects. The result, yes, I am proud to have established Global Science Books (GSB), Ltd. ( and used this platform to launch the first book project, the Floriculture and Ornamental Plant Biotechnology (FOPB) series, because it was unique ( I spared no money in my new endeavor. I had no angel investors or access to venture capitalists, but I had sufficient capital to initiate a project following financial the advice of publishing, science, business and web-designing consultants. After the 4-volume series was published, which unfortunately saw my then printer commit suicide because the task of printing 20 tones of high quality books using the best available paper in full colour, was too daunting. That was my first tragedy to strike GSB. Unknown to many, printing in Japan is extremely costly, but we had decided on the traditional print model, what Beall refers to as an STM publisher (scientific, technical and medical). Many scientists were extremely pleased with the high quality work that we had done and we received hundreds of requests to establish a fleet of journals. The project was exciting and the niche was there. So, we started with a modest 18 journals, primarily in plant sciences, but with one or two broader titles to expand the base. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the base increased to 24, then to 31 ( I decided as the then CEO that this was the limit and that any further titles would dilute the effect that we had wanted to create, a unique portal for plant science publishers who could not publish in the top tier journals (i.e., with high Impact Factors), but neither wanted to publish in “suspect” journals by suspect publishers. The term “predatory” had still not yet been defined by Beall, but “predatory” publishers with shady and poor editorial quality were already operational. There are a few key events that I believe as EIC and CEO of GSB led to the eventual closure of GSB after 7-8 years of publishing: a) a obsessive desire by plant scientists to publish in Impact factor journals since they could only get salaries, raises and research grants in journals published in IF journals; b) The fact that we had not been able to secure inclusion in PubMed because the conditions for inclusion were unclear and the PR by the NIH was horrific; c) the fact that we could not get included in the Thomson Reuters selection process; d) an explosion in OA journals that dragged many of our highly specialized authorship elsewhere because they now had a better option than traditional print; e) my decision not to enter the world of OA publishing because I felt that it was too volatile, that it was too risky and because I had started to observe, through sites like Beall’s blog, that many OA publishers were awash with academic misconduct, fraud and lack of publishing scruples; f) I was struck by a car that left me in critical condition and hospitalized for months; g) the latter led me to realize that GSB was on shaky ground. I informed the authors of the realistic situation and the risks ad I approached over 200 publishers, including all the greats that are now seeing floods of retractions, to purchase or take-over GSB. Unfortunately, those who have run a traditional print publisher will know that the costs are exorbitant, especially if one focuses on high quality, full-colour print. Even more so when there is no in-house printer and printing has to be outsourced. We shifted operations from the UK to Japan, to stream-line costs and minimize staff and essential operations. We got no successful bids also because I did not like some of the attitudes of some candidate publishers who were (understandably) focused exclusively on profit. My vision for plant science publishing, my detailed analysis of the market and the perspectives surprised quite a few managers and directors, even of some of the top publishers, who found the thinking and vision to be exceptional. Yet, the risks for them were large. Needless to say that all the visionary documents that were shared in non-disclosure agreements surely were used to fortify their own publishing and journal fleets. In March, 2011, a mega-tsunami hit Fukushima, and with it, it brought tragedy and mayhem. GSB lost, too. The only reliable printer that was based in Tokyo suffered irreparable damage and went bankrupt, leaving GSB frail, and close to bankruptcy, too. It is with great, great sadness that I had to inform all authors, who I had always had a one-to-one relationship with, that GSB was to terminate its operations. And that is where we stand.

      This is why it is absolutely incomprehensible to me why a person like Jeffrey Beall, who has absolutely no information about me, or GSB, about establishing or running a company, let alone a publisher, and the great sacrifices and pressures that it entails, to coldly and simplistically state “that failed. Miserably.” Yes, it failed because sometimes good will, vision and skill are not enough to see a project retain sustainability. But what it represented and what I taught many plant scientists about publishing skills, ethics, and the dangers of the publishing world, which many other publishers or editors-in-chief do not do, is a reality that is overlooked. I continue to finance the sustained web-site with access to the main information and all requests for PDF copies are met, without profit. We hope to open up the collection as password-protected OA, but in 8 months we have received 30 US$ in donations. No need to explain further.

      e) “Mr. Silva’s successes as an academic and as a scholarly publisher are nil”

      Mr. Beall, you may refer to me as Dr. Teixeira da Silva. My family name is Teixeira da Silva, not Silva, and my academic title is Dr. Not because I am arrogant, but because this is the base protocol that people use in communicating with one another in professional situations. Please provide proof that my academic success is nil. Please provide proof that my success as a scholarly publisher is nil.

      f) “and his incessant and impertinent comments serve only to poison reasonable discourse.”

      I agree that perhaps my comments may appear impertinent to you, but this is a free world and provided that we make comments responsibly, we can state whatever we want. Fortunately, there are some who actually do appreciate my comments, even if they are long. My posts contain quite a wealth of information, and revelations. Many have been enlightened by my comments, I believe, and some yes have been irritated because I can be verbose, but only because I like to make my ideas crystal clear. Regarding reasonable discourse, I have ample evidence, as screen-shots, that you have shut out my comments (in the last months of 2013 in fact 100% of all of my comments were wiped out minutes after posting them) and most likely the comments of any of your critics, in an act that cannot be described as moderation. My experience of over two decades growing up in South Africa tells me that such blanket wiping out doesn’t work. It shuts down communication. It repeals valid criticisms. It breeds mistrust. I believe that even though some of my ideas or comments might not be the most popular, it is not for popularity that I am here. I am here for clarity and insight and to share of my views and experience, even if they are not always main-stream. We respect the comments and length of the comments of other bloggers in the same way that we would like them to respect ours, even if the opinions may differ radically. This is called freedom of speech. You can do what you like on your blog, but it is unfortunate that in order to have a rational and intellectual conversation about “predatory” open access publishers, we are forced to do it elsewhere. Reasonable discourse comes from knowledge. Knowledge comes from open, honest, frank and civil conversation. And when there is knowledge, there can be change. Many of the policies practiced with great effort no doubt and effectiveness at Retraction Watch serve as an example of how to treat your bloggers with respect, and to acknowledge that in this public forum, no one is king, and all are equals. I am not sure if silence and lack of transparency are less poisonous than rational, evidence-based and factual discourse.

      g) “(And I am sure Mr. Silva will copy and send this comment to my university counsel).”

      I contacted Jeffrey Beall’s university to lodge a complaint some months ago. The complaint I had was that he was not allowing free and fair commentary on his blog, that possibly several entries were factually incorrect or even possibly libelous, and that his “criteria” were insufficient to classify a publisher as being predatory, or not. I also wanted to indicate to Beall’s higher authorities, that factually supported comments were being discriminated against. I went through the proper channels, first through the online contact form. The PR staff at University of Colorado Denver (UCD) were understanding, courteous and professional. They immediately archived my complaint, they then redirected me to UCD’s legal counsel. Mr. Beall has twisted the facts to portray a situation as if I had actively sought his lawyers. No, it was your university, Mr. Beall, that placed me into direct contact with your legal counsel, not the other way round. It is important not to manipulate the facts as you have because the false impression you give to bloggers is that I was perhaps seeking legal retribution, which is of course totally incorrect. Now, I expressed my ideas to legal counsel and explained that it would be important to resolve this issue, not legally (because I simply wanted to talk to his superiors not legal counsel) but rather rationally and diplomatically and reach a peaceful solution. May I say that legal counsel was rather blasé about the situation, taking many weeks to resolve the situation, and only after having to remind the UCD authorities that my complaint had not yet been dealt with, that I received an incredibly unsavory response that UCD had nothing to do with Beall’s blog. The only times I ever contacted Beall’s legal counsel, which doesn’t actually want to represent him, was on extremely selective occasions. So, if I may be frank, Mr. Beall, I find that approaching your legal counsel will be counter-productive. Also, honestly-speaking, I have no interest in taking any legal action. Moreover, the massive investment I made in almost a decade trying to advance plant science publishing, and bringing enlightenment at least to a very exclusive niche of biologists, has left me penniless. So, even if I wanted to lodge another complaint to legal counsel – which I don’t – I believe that it would not be the most effective way of actually trying to communicate with you or to communicate my ideas about you.

      I hope that I have been able to clarify why I believe Jeffrey Beall’s one paragraph comment in response to my evidence-based critique of his blog, is simply an oversimplification and poor and skewed representation of the truth. Of course, anyone who may have any more queries can easily find how to contact me. I would be happy to provide any details about any of my comments or claims made on this blog or in any medium or form.

      1. KH, would my explanation above satisfy your requests about any conflicts of interest I may have with Jeff or his blog? I can confirm that Global Science Books’ journals were not listed on Beall’s list of journals or publishers, so in that sense, the reason for my stream of criticisms, is not based on COIs, but rather on the need to balance the discussion, which is always excessively in favor of Beall, especially in the “Western” media. The weaknesses of Beall and his blog need to also be revealed. You are right, it has taken a tremendous amount of time and effort to write these posts and to investigate all these facts. And this is just the tip of the ice-berg. But it has been worthwhile because I feel now that at least I have opened up the possibility for a balanced argument. The real work I have now is to prove or disprove, using my own independent quantitative system (, that the publisher’s on his list are predatory, or not. This will be an extremely painful and time-consuming exercise, so I encourage anyone who shares the same concerns about Beall’s lists, to use my Predatory Score, to start to discover HOW predatory a publisher (or journal) really is. In fact, I have decided to release one critical analysis per day about Beall’s blog (and his errors) until he comes forward with a full explanation to address the criticisms, and to also provide the FULL report of plagiarism that he single-handedly conducted. If there is no powerful or rational balancing factor, then Beall can think that he can just send some loosely quantified report to a “predatory” publisher, and force (or score) a retraction. In this case, victory would be bitter, or at best, bitter-sweet. We need two critical documents to validate this RW story: a) Beall’s report (unedited); b) the 2007 book chapter. Although I feel really embarrassed to say this, I simply cannot afford to pay for the access to the PDF file because for me, 30 or 40 US$ is 2-3 days of food on the table for me and my family. I have made kind requests to the authors and to Beall and to JAIM for the PDF files, but still nothing. It is an academic request. I do not plan to sell their PDF!

        1. KH, it’s been another all-nighter, so I forgot to address one more request you made of me regarding, as you correctly characterize, journals on “Mr. Beall’s infamous list”? You asked me “Do you have a personal or financial interest in any of these journals, or have you published in them?” This is an extremely important question to ask and a very valid one. I can confirm that I am not affiliated in any way with any of these publishers in terms of finance, or editorial boards, or editorial-related issues. However, I do have (fortunately, or not?) a few papers in some journals by some publishers. But I have always refused to pay any of their publishing fees. For example, you may find some of my collaborative work in some Academic Journals’ journals (use their search function to find the papers). In some of these cases, for example where I work, for example, with Tunisian or Iranian plant scientists, they are under quite considerable pressure to publish open access, and quickly. Ideally, they need JCR- or Scopus-listed papers, but so many of these journals take 6-12 months to complete per review, that the reality on the ground in several countries is incompatible with the real world of science publishing. So, in several cases, I have not been too pleased with the choice of journal, or publisher, precisely because of the association with Beall’s lists, but in most cases, the final choice has been a mutually decided consensus, of course, among co-authors. However, one factor that can outweigh others is the fact that we could get the work published at no cost, which is an important, and real (economic) consideration for researchers in developing countries, for whom 450-600 US$ is a small fortune, enough to feed their families for a few months. Just to put this into perspective, an average-tier Indonesian or Vietnamese scientist working at a Government institute will earn a monthly salary of 300 US$. So, whereas a US, EU, or Japanese/Chinese scientist can easily fork out anything between 400 and 3000 US$ for one PDF (which I myself consider to be a predatory / exploratory practice), many, many others cannot. So, these types of factors were unfortunately overwhelming when deciding a target journal. I should add that I have been a fierce critic of the very same publishers that I published in. So, I have been extremely critical of several aspects of Academic Journals, including the failure to retract papers that contain duplicated figures, that retract papers that suddenly disappear off the radar, etc. Of course, these analyses are in preparation and will take time to publish. It is not easy to get such whistle-blowing case studies published because there is still too much hard-headedness and traditionalism (and fear of legal consequences). Those who know me know that I am as fervently critical of Academic Journals on Beall’s list as I am of Elsevier, or Springer, with whom I publish extensively, whenever I feel that my complaints are valid. The choice of publishing venue is based on ample considerations as those who publish will know. That is why we need quantified discourse about the journals on Beall’s lists to start separating the true predators from the weakly predatory from the truly valid OA publishers/journals. In Portuguese, we would say “separar o joio do trigo” (From Wikipedia separate the wheat from the chaff (to select only that which is of value)). I think that this should address all of your requests for transparency related to COIs, but I would be happy to take more questions if it leads to clarity about Beall’s personal and publically acclaimed involvement in this particular retraction at JAIM.

  5. Sure are a lot of people bashing Beall here. Am I to assume that a lot of shady journal publishers are visiting Retraction Watch?

    1. Of course, because no one could possibly disagree with the manner in which someone does something without disagreeing with whether it needs to be done, right? I don’t have a strong opinion on Beall one way or the other, except that I feel that his list is a serious attempt to solve (or at least counter) a serious problem. However, I don’t see why honest criticism of him is impossible, or even why criticism of him should be initially assumed dishonest.

      I have noted, though, that the posts here that have “bashed” him have been far more substantive overall than those who have been on the opposite side. I also have noted that his deportment on this page hasn’t been stellar.

  6. I can’t help but feel there’s something very peculiar about many of these Beall-hostile comments. The criteria for ‘predatory publisher’ designations are compelling. False addresses, false claims about indexing and impact factor, ‘pretend’ issues, blatant plagiarism and several other criteria take only minutes to recognize. Most of the journals on Beall’s predatory list make minimal effort to disguise their deceptions (or don’t understand how pitiful their attempts are). You only need to be able to use a keyboard and a mouse to do this research, although a library science degree no doubt helps track down publisher details and claims. All designations can be appealed, but they can’t and shouldn’t be overwhelmed without evidence. Is there some other agenda in these posts? The academic community badly needs this service and it is surprising to see so much aggression directed toward it.

    1. Dear Maureen, I wish to vouch for my critiques. As you read, there are a few key-words that I urge you keep in mind: balance, transparency, honesty, factual claims, euphemisms, qualifications, quantification. Your support of and appreciation of Beall’s work are understandable. Make no doubt about this, Beall’s work is tremendously important and his blog is essential for the scientific community, because it raises questions and awareness. These are my sincere words of praise for him and his dedicated efforts. So, in that sense, I agree with you. We need this service. But we need a service that is balanced, free from bias, open to balanced discussion and prepared for criticism from all parties. At the moment, Beall’s blog lacks these aspects but has the weight of sensationalism on his side. But, like every issue and every story, opinions must be balanced. I speak only for myself and from the approximately 12-18 months of intense interaction with Jeff on this issue and about his blog. It’s not as if I have just jumped out of the blue with my criticisms or my observations. They are based on at least 2 years of detailed assessment and analysis of Beall’s blog. And considering that predatory publishers, whether OA or not, and retractions are intimately related, I think it is fair to say that a FRANK and BALANCED debate on Beall, and his blog, is long overdue. This is also because Beall does not allow frank and open criticisms about his blog or about him, or his criteria, on his blog (I have evidence of his comment removal and excessive moderation). I even called him Big Brother Beall more recently to reflect his inability to allow free speech and expression of both sides of the isle on the issue of predatory publishing on his blog. I can personally indicate that I know scientists from developing countries who feel strongly against Beall’s characterization of their efforts to rise to the same level as “the West”, or developing countries, and this issue frustrates them. Also, their inability to express their ideas on blogs like Beall’s or on RW frustrates them further, because they feel passionately about these issues, too, but are unable to express themselves clearly, or succinctly. Therefore, my opinions represent, I believe, in some ways, a collective voice, even though each one must take personal responsibility for what they say and think, of course. I speak not for any of the journals or publishers listed on Beall’s blog, but I can sense their anguish, especially if some of them are actually making a valid attempt at doing the right thing. I am one of those, believe it or not, that actually provided considerable insight and support to Beall to develop those lists, and to point out several new factors that could make OA publishers predatory. But my road split from Beall’s when I realized that the lack of actual quantitative criteria was missing. And that is why I devised the Predatory Score which I hope to apply this year to test his lists in practice. I also indicated to Beall that just because he found grammar mistakes or some plagiarism on a OA publisher’s web-site didn’t qualify the publisher as being automatically predatory, no matter how many euphemistic adjectives (potential, possible, or probable) he uses to characterize his list. At the end of the day, even though he uses these three adjectives, he knows, as do scientists and publishers and journals on that list, that automatically a damaging and negative stigma is associated with being on that blog, or its lists. And with almost 90,000 hits a month, his blog cannot be ignored, so it should be equally criticized just as he criticizes publishers. If Beall can so freely criticize scientists and publishers, then why can’t the scientific community and publishers also level criticisms about Beall? One may argue that a retraction reflects the willingness of a publisher to correct the academic record. True. But that’s not the only valid argument. Retractions also indicate failure by the publisher, the editors and the peer reviewers to detect fraud, lack of ethics, plagiarism, duplication, etc. Whether this is a personal or system-related weakness is irrelevant.

      1. Another aspect of the retraction note that is unclear is WHO exactly formulated the wording of that retraction notice (Beall, the publisher or a third party) and were the authors given an opportunity to explain themselves, give their fair perspective or to apologize in the retraction note?

        1. I wish to bring to your attention a new case of moderation by Beall. I was reading his post about Dr. Gashi and how Gashi is being pressured to resign. I posted the first half of the comment below (but not a) to i)). 13 minutes after I posted my questions, which I believe are extremely valid because they stoke important questions about this story, my comments were white-washed. As I promised above, I will expose one action by Beall on his blog every few days, in a bid to add pressure on him to release his quantification of the plagiarism related to this story on RW and in fact the report that has spurred that retraction and his “goal-scoring” achievement. Until he does this, I believe that we should continue our own critical analysis of Beall, because it is absolutely clear that the persona has a great influence on the process, in this case, the influence of Beall and who he is, on the retraction from JAIM.

          I am not sure if the correct angles of this story are being focused upon and if all the information is being provided. I wish to question some other aspects. This is not an exhaustive analysis, but it provides angles and aspects that were, very oddly, not mentioned by Beall. This thus calls into question the journalistic and investigative skills and ability of Mr. Beall and his judgment based on only limited evidence.

          The decision to fire Gashi, or any other person, should not be determined by the location of their publications. Rather, it should be determined by whether academic peer review has taken place, or not and whether the process has followed fairly common industry standards of academic quality control, or not. Thus, in such cases where a person’s job, position, or grant, is at risk, then that person has the responsibility of showing the peer reviewer comments to prove their innocence, even if the publisher is unwilling to provide those documents. If valid and constructive peer review has in fact taken place, if the journal is willing to prove that the peers are truly peers, and if the editorial decision to publish the paper was based on a peer-based decision, free of bias and/or manipulation, then I would say that the paper is valid, and that punishment based on the choice of target journal is unfair. If, however, any of these criteria cannot be proved, either by the journal, or by the author, then I think it is a valid conclusion to claim that the journal demonstrates some unscholarly and/or false aspects (what Beall refers to as “predatory”) and that the author has taken advantage of the system to his/her advantage. If in fact the journal may have conducted valid peer review, but may have been victimized by the unprofessional and unethical activities of “sting operations”, for example the false “Filan Fisteku”, then this is a further reason for concern because then the system (and journal) has been abused. One should note the underlying ethical problem with the “Fisteku” submission: a submission was made with a false name, a false identity, possibly a false e-mail address and institution (I presume) and with false data. In other words, “Fisteku” disrespected every possible basic ethical rule associated with publishing – upon the act of submission – to prove a point. In any other circumstance, if “Fisteku” were a real author, that person would face serious academic and possibly even legal repercussions. In other words, unethical behavior and fraud were used by “Fisteku” to frame a journal. It is unfortunate that the journal was a victim of such an irresponsible person and that they did not detect the fraud (possibly their screening methods, inexperience, or tools) were too weak to detect it. I am of the opinion that the real elephant in the room here is “Fisteku” and not necessarily Gashi. Who is “Fisteku” and has anybody taken responsibility for that paper? Has that paper been retracted yet, or not?

          I do not see any questions being asked in Gashi’s defense, and he is being incriminated for selecting a less-than-acceptable outlet for publishing his ideas and data. Surely, in some ways, this could be a smart decision? Please do not think of my interpretation in any way as being in defense of a “predatory” publisher, but rather as looking at things from a pragmatic point of view. Let’s assume that Gashi had wanted to publish his paper in an impact factor journal by a main-stream non-OA publisher that would not have charged him anything, but which would have resulted in a publication being behind a pay-wall. How many would have been able to have access to his ideas and information? Probably much less than those that would have been exposed to it through the open access movement. Perhaps the only crime that the author was guilty of was of bad judgment or poor journal choice. Now, whether we should vilify the author, or vilify the medium of expression of that author’s choice is a matter of profound debate. But for now, until the academic community has quantify predation and the predatory nature of a journal or publisher, all that Gashi seems to be guilty of is exercising his freedom of choice and expression. He seems to have chosen these easy-to-publish journals to meet his requirements, but unless this is academically banned by University of Pristina in any official documents, then there should be concern about an overly aggressive or unfair response here (i.e., foul play).

          I believe that we do not have enough information and that quite a few aspects and angles are missing in order to be vilifying this individual and this OA publisher publically in this way.
          a) Beall refers to a site that he claims is a report. However, if we examine that “report”, it looks nothing more than a three-paragraph summary of the story. The public would need to have access to the official University of Pristina report that indicates that 5 papers in peer-reviewed international journals is required. Moreover, there would have to be a specific clause in that report that states that publishing in “predatory” journals is not a valid choice of journal. In other words, if Dr. Gashi is being vilified by the masses of discontent, but in fact no official document clearly states that he cannot publish in journal A, B or C, or in publisher D, E, or F, then why should he be forced to resign? In that case, surely a university academic council needs to re-evaluate the criteria for selection and to then make adjustments that are then applicable to everyone, including the rector? We need those official documents released into the public for examination (preferably with a translation into English).

          b) How predatory is predatory? Beall states that “This publisher [Society for Science and Nature] is included on my list of predatory publishers here.” Note how Beall does not refer to the publisher as a “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publisher”, but is quite certain it is predatory. Can Beall provide the full analysis of the publisher that led him to this conclusion? Can he quantify his claim with a value, for example? If not, then may I suggest create a value using the Predatory Score ( The same principle applies to Scientific Research Publishing, which Beall refers to in the same story as follows: “Gashi also appears as a co-author on an article in Scientific Research Publishing’s journal Energy and Power Engineering. This publisher is also included in my list.”

          c) “I also found an EBSCO HOST metadata record for an article co-authored by a “Gashi, Ibrahim” and published in the scandal-plagued journal Metalurgia International. The target of a sting operation last year, Metalurgia International had its impact factor removed, and then it disappeared from the internet.” An important question is EBSCO still deriving profit from sales related to this retracted / terminated journal, including all of its “scandalous” papers? Would EBSCO be willing to provide comment on this, and to elaborate on its business model using documents and prof, that it is not deriving profit from the sales of any product, or from licensing, of any products related to this “predatory” publisher or any other predatory publisher listed as “potential, possible, or probable predatory”. Can EBSCO confirm that it is not linked in any way to Beall, and would Beall also indicate that he not in any way associated with EBSCO that could make his comments about EBSCO here and elsewhere to be perceived as a conflict f interest, financial, or other?

          d) It appears as if Gashi could secure his contract (and with it his position and salary) because of these papers. Can we get documents confirming all of this, or on what documents is Beall basing this information and claims? Does Beall have an informed or whistle-blower? If yes, then we respect the privacy of course of the whistle-blower, but we demand to see the documentation proving the innocence, or guilt, of this individual.

          e) “Another published report said students were planning a protest to demand the rector’s resignation. The protest was scheduled for 1:30 PM Friday, January 24th. This report did not directly link the demands for resignation to publications in predatory journals, however, citing only “recent scandals,” according to a translation from Google Translate.” It seems as if that protest is over. I wonder if someone can provide an update from as many angles as possible, or perhaps they need the weekend to recover?

          f) Beall does bring up one extremely revealing point and one that works against Dr. Gashi: “Gashi deflected the criticism by explaining that he is not the first author of any of the questionable articles and the first author has the responsibility of selecting which journal to submit to.” First, can Beall please provide an unedited copy of the e-mail as proof? If true, then this is unacceptable of Dr. Gashi. Submission of a paper should always be with the understanding that all authors have seen, and approved, the final version of a paper, that they have all collectively decided on the venue for publication and that they all take responsibility for their paper, and its content. At least, these are some of the conditions as defined by the ICMJE: However, are these publishers using the ICMJE definition of an author’s responsibility? If not, is Dr. Ghashi being unethical according to the journal’s rules, or only in the academic opinion of academics that use ICMJE-like definitions?

          g) Why has Beall not provided a link to the 5th paper that would be part of the official report that states “A published report states that promotion to full professor at the university requires at least five publications in international, peer-reviewed journals.” I wish to confirm the existence of links here (at least on Jan. 26, 2014) to what appears to be 4 out of the 5 papers that are in question in this Beall analysis. I noticed first of all that none of them have been retracted and that their links are valid:

          I have not examined the scientific content, but this should be done as a post-publication peer review and the results of that analysis should be published by an independent committee. I did notice that the English could have been improved and that the analyses were quite qualitative and weakly quantitative, so I would rank them as broadly “weakly scientific”. But that classification does not refer to their validity. We also need independent analysis of the level of or existence of plagiarism, self-plagiarism, whether figures, text or tables.

          h) Dr. Ibrahim Gashi is not only the rector of this university, he is also the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic at Kosovo (,126). Incidentally, that site lists Dr. Gashi as being at the “University of Prishtina (Department of Political Science) 1994-present”. This suggests that Beall has made a serious spelling mistake in characterizing this university (as has Wikipedia: His blog should contain a corrigendum. Confirmation here: (as UNIVERSITETI I PRISHTINËS) and in English ( Incidentally, the Wiki entry lists people, including Bill Clinton (Former President of USA), Tony Blair (Former Prime Minister of UK) and Recep Tayyip Erdogan ( Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey), to have obtained a Doctor Honor from this university…

          i) in such a high profile case, a post-publication peer review should also involve a thorough examination of Dr. Gashi’s academic record, including publications, as well as positions on editor boards.

          1. The Globeedu Group analysis by Jeffrey Beall: emphasis on tone and language


            I wish to continue to ask Jeffrey Beall and to the JAIM Nepalese journal to please release the documents related to this story and the quantification of plagiarism detected and other requests for explanations. As time passes by, the list of things that Beall needs to explain increases. Today, I wish to bring my analysis of the latest story, published on Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 11:20. At the outset, I should praise Beall for bringing this case to our attention. In fact, several of the issues he has raised about the Globeedu Group are valid, and this publisher could be predatory, but, once again, Beall needs to explain exactly how many criteria on his list this publisher met for them to be included on his list. Although it is not the analysis itself that I wish to critique today, because in fact several of Beall’s claims are factually correct, it is the language and tone that Mr. Beall has published publically on his blog that I think deserves the greatest criticism and attention.

            Allow me to quote Mr. Beall:
            “Really bad journals”
            “ridiculous publisher”
            “The word “technoledge” does not exist in English, so I don’t know if this word in the third title is a stupid mistake on the publisher’s part or an attempt to be clever.”
            “Together, the three journals rank among the dumbest I’ve seen.” (and what ranking system would that be, Mr., Beall?)
            “This publisher is a sham.”; “Learn how to spell.”
            “This publisher is a total joke, and I recommend against submitting papers to the three journals. Let’s hope it dries up and goes away.”

            False or unsubstantiated claims:
            “The publisher does not have its own website.” It does, simply the journals he lists are not listed there.
            “Aiming to deceive.” and “displaying this bogus metric” (while describing the IIFS impact factor score) In fact, such a site does exist, and even though the IIFS impact factor might not be Thomson Reuter’s IF scoring system, it does exist nonetheless. How exactly does Beall measure, and prove, deceit?

            Beall’s objective is (purportedly) to bring knowledge and understanding to the scientific community. Yet, publically he decides to use language that is not fitting for a critical analysis, especially one that is meant to gain the respect and following of the very people he claims to be protecting and assisting. Indeed, euphemistic or even hyperbolic language is always welcome in the public debate, as often RW uses in its stories, with witty or pun-filled analogies. Such language makes critical analysis interesting to read, it makes it civil to discuss and critical to analyze when all parties can be critical, but respectful. However, as clearly indicated above, the language that Beall uses inflames the tensions between parties, and may hypothetically even turn the very people he thinks are supporting him, against him. Of course, Mr. Beall has the right to use whatever language he wishes in private, or in private communications, but should such insulting language be used to describe the publishing entities he is purportedly trying to critically evaluate? By using this language, Beall is in fact causing damage to the OA movement rather than bringing clarity, and even though awareness blossoms from Beall’s blog, it is not without its fair share of teeth gritting. What lesson do young scientists (the publishing community, librarians, and the public) learn by calling a publisher “stupid”, “ridiculous”, “a sham”, “a joke”, and hoping for its death (“Let’s hope it dries up and goes away.”)?

            Finally, all three journals that Beall has listed by the Globeedu Group, which actually stands for Globe edu (probably to group global + education) all received an ISSN number. Even the one title with a serious spelling mistake, The International Journal of Science & Technoledge’ (ISSN 2321 – 919X), received an ISSN. It is here that I wish to indicate once more that part of the problem in the “predatory” open access movement lies partially with the ISSN. How could the ISSN approve the assignment of an ISSN number to this journal with such a crass spelling mistake. So, although Beall has reason to be irritated with Globeeda Group, is his analysis and critique also not biased? Why does Beall also not critically evaluate the failure of the ISSN as I have done here?:

            I posted some comments, as diplomatically and party-neutral as possible to Beall’s blog. As usual, my comments were wiped off within 3 hours. It is very unfortunate that the suppression of voices that can actually enrich the conversation and provide new insight is taking place. This is not moderation. This is not freedom of speech. This is not fair treatment, even if by a critic. This is not the way to move critical analysis forward and to resolve the problems facing us. I claim that Mr. Beall is now starting to do more harm than good to science and I call for a wider and deeper critical analysis of his blog. There is only so much analysis that one human can do alone.

          2. Although I promised to provide a critique a week, it is now more than evident that Jeffrey Beall does not wish to provide the critical evidence of plagiarism. This is very unfortunate, because he had a real opportunity of “scoring points” with the academic community by simply providing, openly, the evidence. He could have scored his goal but now the crowds are booing because he is allowed to play the game despite a red card. In this particular case, the editors and the journal are also at fault since they have displayed zero transparency or responsibility in responding to the criticisms of their journal and their editorial policy. The authors are also at fault for hiding in silence. Science is in a terribly complicated state of chaos at the moment and publishing is the veritable battle-field because a scientific paper is the ultimate return on an experiment or an investment in time and effort in the laboratory. It is not helpful when those who purportedly claim to be specialists, or are heralded as such, make claims that they cannot support, cannot quantify, or are unwilling to defend. This doesn’t help the cause, it doesn’t allow us to better understand the process, and it casts shadows on processes that are already shady. Some of the serious problems we are facing in science publishing are: lack of honesty by certain players; increasing lack of trust by certain players; failure to be plain and simply honest; failure to transmit essential information; a gross lack of accountability and transparency. If there are so many fundamental flaws with or in so many players, then what use is a retraction? It serves only as a superficial Band-Aid to try and cover up what is now seemingly an extremely rotten apple with an incurable disease. I still believe that all players should be critically analyzed, including Jeffrey Beall, and his blog, because we have this responsibility. Just as equally as we are judged daily by editors, peers and publishers, so too should scientists critically evaluate all aspects of all players in the field of science and science publishing, because they are so intractably related, and linked. Seeing this pseudo-justice in science publishing is worrisome, and seeing biased criticisms in unchecked or unregulated blogs that can sway the masses is also equally worrisome. And, somewhere in between this giant pull of power and fame, lie the scientists, who are pulled to-and-fro in the “game”. Something radically different is required, but is not easy to picture this “thing” with so much noise in science publishing. For this story, at least, I’m over and out.

  7. Gutierrez, F.R.S., Beall, J., Forero, D.A. (2015) Spurious alternative impact factors: The scale of the problem from an academic perspective. Bioessays 37: 474-476.
    DOI: 10.1002/bies.201500011

    I have published my views on this paper by Beall and his colleagues.

    Teixeira da Silva, J.A. (2016) Assessing the potentially misleading nature of metrics and of those who assess and create them. Self-published 4 pp.

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