Be aware of bogus impact factor sitesPosted: September 20, 2013
Along with spiders, bathroom mould and predatory publishers, here’s something else to add to your ‘Things to Watch Out For’ list: bogus impact factor sites.
Last month we gave you the lowdown on predatory publishers – Open Access publishers with poor ethical, editorial and peer-review practices who exploit the ‘author-pays’ model. A Colorado Librarian, Jeffrey Beall, has compiled a blacklist of these suspicious journal publishers. Beall has since flagged another threat authors need to keep an eye out for – bogus impact factor sites.
The growing list of predatory publishers has consequently sparked a rise in the number of companies that, for a fee, award bogus impact factors to journals that would otherwise struggle to earn a legitimate ranking. Predatory publishers pay these companies to bestow their journals with an “official” impact factor to boost their ranking, all in an effort to attract more authors and higher author fees. Many of these companies base their impact factors on criteria such as publishing quality, presentation quality, manuscript quality and editorial quality – all important things, yet not related to impact or number of citations.
Beall discusses this further on his blog and lists three bogus companies he’s discovered:
- Journal Impact Factor (Global Institute for Scientific Information)
- Global Impact Factor (Institute for Information Resources)
- Universal Impact Factor