(Translation of “Falso professor edita revista selecionada pela Capes”, March 6)
The bimonthly academic engineering journal IJET (International Journal of Engineering and Technology) has been since 2013 in the Qualis Periódicos selection, of CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel), which serves to guide researchers, professors and Brazilian graduate students to select scientific journals to publish their articles. However, yesterday (Mar/5/2015) the publication’s name was temporarily removed from the site of its own publishing group, that today recognized that their work can not yet be compared with renowned academic publishers.
The exclusion happened after the publisher IACSIT (International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology), based in Singapore, learned that the journal’s Editor-in-chief, the Pakistani Abdul Razaque, a PhD student at the School of Engineering at the University of Bridgeport, United States, and not Professor of this institution, as he identifies himself at least since 2013 on the journal’s website that he runs.
“We are really shocked to learn the truth”, said Yoyo Zhou, executive director of IACSIT, in replying to the message of this blog, who informed him about the divergence between the form that Razaque identifies himself on the IJET website and his true academic qualification at the graduate students webpage in the School of Engineering of that university.
Razaque also identified himself as a university Professor when filling the form sent to IACSIT to apply for the post of Editor-in-chief. “We apologize for not checking the information carefully”, Zhou said yesterday in the message sent to this blog with a copy of the document. “If all that is in the form is not true, we will disqualify him of our committee and we will discontinue our partnership”.
But it was not quite this that the publisher ended up doing according the message sent this morning by Ron Wu, another executive director of IACSIT.
“Based on the information that you provided about the IJET Editor-in-chief, Abdul Razaque, the research we did about him, and in his evasive attitude, we decided to remove the information about him from the journal’s website to eliminate any negative influence that can be caused to the IJET and the public. We will strengthen our assessment and our check to ensure that in the future things like this will never happen again. Thank you for providing this important information to us. Because we are a new publisher, we must admit that we do not have any comparison with the renowned publishers, who have better presentations, published articles and more mature review process in all aspects of the journals. The IACSIT is still growing, and I think we will do better in the future”.
The IACSIT publishes 18 OA academic journals that charge a fee of $ 350 USD from authors for each paper accepted. Since January 2012, the publisher is included in the list of “predatory publishers” of the “Scholarly Open Access” blog, edited by Jeffrey Beall, Professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, USA.
The list relates publishers who exploit without scientific rigor journals that charge fees from researchers to publish their articles in OA. Both in free and paid access, reputable journals take over a year to review and accept articles, or to reject them. Predatory publishers reduce this time frame to few months or weeks, and rarely reject papers.
“The more articles they accept and publish, the more money they make” Beall said in an interview for my report “Slot machines” scientific events worries Brazilian scientists”, published by Folha de S. Paulo on Tuesday (Mar/03/2015).
Despite IACSIT being in Beall’s list since 2012 and having editorial difficulties that his own executive director acknowledges, the IJET and two other of their journals —”International Journal of Modeling and Optimization” and “International Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering“— were selected in 2013 by four CAPES committees, each with one Coordinator, two Assistant Coordinators and about 20 consultants.
Two of these committees are about Engineering, one is about Architecture and Urbanism and another is about Computer Science.
Nothing to declare
Sought since Tuesday (Mar/3/2015) in order to explain why IACSIT journals were selected for the Qualis and also other publishers from the list of predatory publishers, CAPES informed Thursday (Mar/5/2015) that will not make more comments about this issue. According to the agency, everything that they could say is already in the note sent last week in response to questions about the aforementioned report.
The CAPES note was evasive. It explains that the inclusion of journals in the Qualis is done based in the Brazilian academic production during the period of the quality evaluation of graduate programs. In other words, the three IACSIT journals entered the Qualis because professors and Brazilian researchers published articles in them during the period from 2010 to 2012 and about 200 coordinators and consultants of the four sectors involved did not see objections to select them.
The full text of this response, that omitted itself about irregularities in the inclusion of other journals, is available in the online version of the aforementioned report.
Just as IACSIT, I was unable to contact Razaque. The messages that were sent to Razaque were rejected by the e-mail server at the University of Bridgeport. The US phone number provided by him in the form sent to IACSIT is out of service.