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How Predatory Claims and Libel Attacks Threaten the Academic Careers of More Than 100,000 International Scholars

IGI Global’s Response to “Wikipedia: Vanity and Predatory Publishing” Essay

By IGI Global on Apr 22, 2020
Fake-Predatory-Publishing-Website

Just like many other publishers, IGI Global has recently been dealing with unprovoked attacks by anonymous individuals (oftentimes bloggers, online trolls, and/or predatory researchers) who are making false claims and accusations about our publishing practice and ethical stance. Sadly, this is primarily because they are severely misinformed and/or are acting to suit their own personal agendas above principled behavior. In the process, they are working to discredit their peers’ efforts, negatively impacting the lives and careers of more than 100,000 scholars who have collaborated with IGI Global and offered their professional services as reviewers and editors on a voluntary basis to help advance scientific discourse through quality vetted research.

Historically, we have remained silent in addressing these false claims and have relied on our integrity as an honorable publisher serving the academic community with quality publications published through the utilization of rigorous peer review, and top-notch customer service. Unfortunately, we must now address these false claims and refute these predatory statements on behalf of our 100,000+ authors and editors to ensure that the research and reputation of our collaborators are protected. We consider this action as our moral responsibility and will no longer stay silent toward these types of unprofessional and unprovoked behaviors.

In this specific instance below, an anonymous Wikipedia editor has created an opinion-based Wikipedia:Essays page where they claim our publishing house is a “vanity publisher”. Here we strive to set the record straight and present the facts to allow the academic community the opportunity to formulate their own conclusions.

An Overview of the Wikipedia: Vanity and Predatory Publishing Essay

There is currently a “Wikipedia” page, Wikipedia: Vanity and predatory publishing that references IGI Global as a vanity publisher; however, this is not an actual Wikipedia page. It is an essay page on Wikipedia*, which means that it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community and contains opinion-based material.

*Per Wikipedia:Essays Definition, as used by Wikipedia editors, typically contain advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. The purpose of an essay is to aid or comment on the encyclopedia but not on any unrelated causes. Essays have no official status, and do not speak for the Wikipedia community as they may be created and edited without overall community oversight. Following the instructions or advice given in an essay is optional.

The “Wikipedia: Vanity and predatory publishing” essay page states:

In vanity publishing, the author usually pays for the publication of the material, which is usually these days delivered via print on demand, incurring little to no cost to the publishing house. Vanity presses often have no selection criteria and provide none of the normal services of a publishing house, such as legal review, proofreading, copy editing or fact checking. There is a list of vanity presses and self-publishing houses at Wikipedia:List of companies engaged in the self-publishing business. The best known is probably lulu.com.”

Facts for Why IGI Global Cannot be Deemed a Vanity Press:

  • There are no fees for any author or editor choosing to publish with IGI Global under the traditional publishing model (as opposed to an open access publishing model, which incurs an article processing charge after the article is formally accepted from the peer review process). IGI Global incurs all costs for the development, production, printing, distribution, and hosting of the work. A rigorous proposal review process is undertaken for every proposal submitted to IGI Global in order to ensure the merit and soundness of the research and to vet the credentials of the editor/author, as well as to ensure that it meets our publication criteria (not previously published, not a thesis, not a textbook, etc.). A double-blind peer review process is upheld for every work submitted to any IGI Global publication.

  • To correct the false claims and unfortunate misunderstanding regarding “self-publishing” channels, IGI Global offers each publication through print-on-demand, which is now the industry standard as virtual inventory doesn’t require mass production and overstocking. Every publication’s mandatory repository copy is submitted to the Library of Congress and then an additional copy sent for library profiling and cataloging by the industry’s most trusted library suppliers, including GOBI and OASIS. All IGI Global publications are available electronically (EPUB and PDF) and offered through the industry’s top aggregated platforms, such as ProQuest’s Ebook Central, EBSCOhost, Gale Virtual Reference Library, CREDO, Percipio, Dawson Books, CNPIEC’s iReading platform, CEPIEC’s iResearch Platform, as well as IGI Global’s InfoSci®-Databases.

The essay page then attempts to further define vanity publishing:

“In academia, vanity publishing has also been referred to as "write-only publishing". There may be no charge to the author, and the publisher may make their money by selling copies at high prices solely to libraries of record (large university libraries, the Library of Congress etc). Publishers called out for this practice include Lambert Academic Publishing, IGI Globall[1][2][3] and Edwin Mellen Press. These books may publish fringe thought and may be used to inflate the reputation of otherwise mundane authors.”

Facts:

  • Two of the sources that are cited to add further claim that IGI Global is a vanity press are two blog posts: Ian Bogost’s “Write-only publication: IGI Global and Other Vampire Presses” posted in November of 2008 and Debora Weber-Wulff’s “Write-only publications” posted in December of 2007. Both are opinion-based pieces that question IGI Global’s practices and call it a possible “vanity publisher”. Both pieces received comments from other academicians and researchers that refuted their claims, and thus, rendered them unproven, unreliable, and potentially biased primary sources. Unfortunately, these two blog posts have been widely and repeatedly used to label IGI Global as a vanity press, despite being outdated and questionable. It's also important to note in reference to these two blog posts authored by Ian Bogost and Debora Weber-Wulff, that there are more than 220 established academicians, researchers, and students from these bloggers’ universities (Bogost - Georgia Institute of Technology; Weber-Wulff – HTW Berlin) who have published with IGI Global or serve in an editorial capacity on an IGI Global journal, and continue to contribute with work published as recent as 2020. So these bloggers are actually discrediting their own colleagues’ work without any true credible information or scientific data to back-up their claims.

  • The other source cited is a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Perish even if you Publish? The Problem of ‘predatory’ publishers”. The presentation never actually claims that IGI Global is a predatory publisher within its slides.

  • All three of these referenced pieces would be considered unacceptable on a normal Wikipedia page as user-generated content (personal and group blogs, internet forums, personal websites, etc.) are not permitted as reliable sources (see Wikipedia:Reliable sources).

  • Also, although libraries comprise the majority of IGI Global’s customers, IGI Global, like many other STM (Scientific Technical and Medical) publishers, not to be confused with textbook or trade publishers, does not generally sell directly to libraries and certainly does not sell to the Library of Congress, which is not a practice anywhere, and also showcases the lack of knowledge and research conducted in the compilation and writing of this essay page. (For clarity, repository copies are submitted to the Library of Congress for cataloging at the expense of the publisher.)

  • IGI Global’s pricing of its publications is carefully assigned based on industry averages and publishers can only provide suggested pricing (MSRP), it is sellers/distributors who then have the authority to “mark-up” as they wish. When selling directly to its customers, IGI Global offers a number of discounts and programs to make resources affordable and accessible to the research community.

  • The scientific and scholarly merit of IGI Global publications is backed by the prominent institutions worldwide who use them to advance current studies, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Tsinghua University, the Australian National University, and many more. These highly respected universities are also represented among IGI Global’s more than 100,000 prominent researchers it collaborates with on journal and book publications. By these predatory individuals labeling these authors and editors as “mundane” they are clearly seeking to discredit and destroy the reputations of researchers, publishers, and scholarly institutions all over the world, many of whom have done their due process to ensure ethical guidelines have been properly followed and volunteered their time and expertise to contribute to the body of knowledge within their respective fields.

It’s also important to note that on individual journal Wikipedia pages created by a few editors of IGI Global, if a user enters the “talk” portion they will see that several researchers heavily disputed any claims that the publication and IGI Global as the publisher are predatory and/or vanity.

This Wikipedia essay page that is being falsely portrayed as a true Wikipedia approved page, has not undergone the standard Wikipedia vetting and approval, is rogue and predatory in nature, and should not be utilized in any decision making processes as it lacks depth, scientific data, merit, and is entirely opinion-based.

References

Bogost, I. (2008, November 24). Write-Only Publication: IGI Global and Other Vampire Presses. Retrieved April 20, 2020, from http://bogost.com/writing/blog/writeonly_publication/

Weber-Wulff, D. (2007, December 31). Write-only publications. Retrieved April 20, 2020, from https://copy-shake-paste.blogspot.com/2007/12/write-only-publications.html
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