SCIRP – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Table of Contents of FAQs

1 General Interest
Q1.1: Does SCIRP follow a Mission Statement?
Q1.2: How is SCIRP organized? What are its imprints?
Q1.3: What is SCIRP’s market segment?
Q1.4: Does SCIRP expand in other market segments?
Q1.5: Who are the companies in the publishing group together with SCIRP?
Q1.6: What is “Inc.”?
Q1.7: Where is SCIRP Inc.’s Home?
Q1.8: Where is SCIRP’s Principal Place of Business?
Q1.9: What is a Principal Place of Business?
Q1.10: Where on the map is SCIRP’s Principal Place of Business located?
Q1.11: May I have a look at your offices?
Q1.12: Why are SCIRP’s offices located in China? Is this offshoring?
Q1.13: Why then Delaware, USA?
Q1.14: Isn’t incorporation in Delaware a little unusual practice?
Q1.15: Ok, but isn’t Delaware too much in the news with negative headlines?
Q1.16: Who is SCIRP’s registered agent in Delaware?
Q1.17: Does SCIRP pay tax in Delaware?
Q1.18: May I see older tax reports?
Q1.19: Does SCIRP have an office in California, USA?
Q1.20: What about your US Post Office Box?
Q1.21: What about your US phone number?
Q1.22: What are SCIRP’s online marketing strategies?
Q1.23: What are SCIRP’s email marketing practices?
Q1.24: How is SCIRP organized and structured?
Q1.25: What is SCIRP’s history and growth?
Q1.26: What is SCIRP’s revenue and profit margin?
Q1.27: Who are SCIRP’s owners? Who are SCIRP’s managers?

2 Submission
Q2.1: How do I find out if my paper is in scope for a SCIRP journal?
Q2.2: How do I submit my paper to a SCIRP journal?
Q2.3: Should I use the template for submission?
Q2.4: What type of file format do you accept?
Q2.5: Is there a word or page limit for papers published in a SCIRP journal?
Q2.6: Is it essential to recommend guest reviewers for my paper?
Q2.7: Can I publish a review or survey paper in SCIRP?
Q2.8: How do I know if my paper submitted to SCIRP worked well?
Q2.9: Do I need to provide a signed declaration from all authors with my submission?
Q2.10: Do I need to submit a cover letter with my manuscript?

3 Article Processing Charges

Q3.1: Is there any publication fee charged for papers published in a SCIRP journal?
Q3.2: How do I pay the article processing charges to a SCIRP journal?
Q3.3: How do I find out if my article processing charges have been safely received by SCIRP’s journal?

4 Peer-review Process

Q4.1: How long will it take to peer review my paper?

5 Publication
Q5.1: How long will it take for my paper to be available online after the acceptance?
Q5.2: Do I need to transfer copyright to SCIRP?

6 Indexing, Journal and Article Metrics
Q6.1: Do SCIRP journals have Impact Factors?
Q6.2: So, what about SCIRP’s Google-based Journal Impact Factor?
Q6.3: What are the other journal metrics used by SCIRP?
Q6.4: Does SCIRP follow DORA’s recommendations?
Q6.5: Do SCIRP journals have their citations tracked?
Q6.6: Are SCIRP journals indexed?
Q6.7: What are Article Level Metrics (ALM)?
Q6.8: Does SCIRP provide Article Level Metrics (ALM)?
Q6.9: Does SCIRP participate in CrossRef Cited-by Linking (and what is it)?

7 Journal Operation
Q7.1: Backup and Archiving
Q7.2: How does SCIRP straigthen the academic record – if necessary?
Q7.3: How do I find out if a PDF from SCIRP is still up to date? (CrossMark)

1 General Interest

Q1.1: Does SCIRP follow a Mission Statement?

A1.1: SCIRP’s management and staff is very motivated to do the tasks at hand as good as possible. To focus attention something like a Mission Statement is used internally, but it is not used on the Internet (at least not more than here where the question comes up and is answered). SCIRP does not advertise with its Mission Statement. So, the answer is yes. Here it is:

Our top priority is to make our authors and readers happy and satisfied with the publishing services provided. We promote our journals. We are continuously improving the quality of our services and processes.

All Editorial Assistants have this statement clearly in their e-mail signature lines: “If you have any complaints or suggestions, please contact feedback@scirp.org“. In this way SCIRP ensures no problem will get stuck in the Editorial Office, but will get reported outside to be solved together.

Q1.2: How is SCIRP organized? What are its imprints?

A1.2: SCIRP has several private owners who decided in 2007 to establish a company. They registered the company as a corporation in the state of Delaware, USA with the name Scientific Research Publishing Inc. (SCIRP). Its Principal Place of Business is in Wuhan, China. In general, one single publishing company may have multiple imprints. Imprints are different identities of one publishing company for readers and authors. Imprints are quite handy in marketing products to different demographic consumer segments. Imprints may appear to the public like companies, but they are really departments within one company. All this does not apply to SCIRP. SCIRP is one company with only one imprint known as SCIRP.

Q1.3: What is SCIRP’s market segment?

A1.3: SCIRP is publishing English language open access scholarly journals for academics in a global market. SCIRP’s journals cover a wide range of academic disciplines. Highest quality at an affordable price is the compromise with which SCIRP offers to serve all nations. This is SCIRP’s market and nothing else.

Q1.4: Does SCIRP expand in other market segments?

A1.4: No, SCIRP will only serve one market segment as explained in A2, but SCIRP’s owners did want to enter also into other markets. For this purpose they started so far all together three different companies each with its own registration. All three companies are co-located with their Principal Place of Business in Wuhan, China forming a publishing group.

Q1.5: Who are the companies in the publishing group together with SCIRP?

A1.5: These are the companies and their respective market segment forming a publishing group:

The identical Principal Place of Business can be found for all three companies on their respective AboutUs page (About SCIRP, About Hans, About OALib):

Building 5, Headquarters Space of Optical Valley, Tangxun Lake North Road #38, East Lake High-Tech Development Zone, Wuhan 430223, Hubei Province, China

Hans’ address is given in Chinese. As for the name of “Hans”, “Han” means China, “S” means civilization in Chinese pronunciation.

SCIRP has a little section active in (traditional) publishing of books. In cooperation with the Engineering Information Institute conferences are organized (see About Engii) .

Q1.6: What is “Inc.”?

A1.6: “Inc.” or “Incorporated” denotes the corporate status of the company. Scientific Research Publishing Inc. was formed through registration (incorporation) in Delaware, USA. Please see About SCIRP for details. A corporation is a legal entity that is effectively recognized as a metaphysical person under the law. A corporation, as a group of people, may be recognized as having some of the same legal rights and responsibilities as an individual. For example, corporations may contract with other parties and sue or be sued in court in the same way as natural persons. This concept is called corporate personhood. “While people acquire legal personhood when they are born, juridical persons do so when they are incorporated in accordance with law.” Corporations are owned by shareholders whose liability is limited to their investment. “Inc.” puts everybody on constructive notice that they are dealing with an entity whose liability is limited. The fact that SCIRP is “Inc.” has certain advantages. For readers and authors the durability of the company is of importance. “A corporation is capable of continuing indefinitely. Its existence is not affected by the death of shareholders, directors, or officers of the corporation.”  (Wikipedia; various articles) US states do not collect the names of owners – the natural persons – through the incorporation process. (Delaware Corporate Law)

Q1.7: Where is SCIRP Inc.’s Home?

A1.7: SCIRP was incorporated in Delaware, USA. Please see About SCIRP. This means the company is so to speak “born in the USA”. A corporation is a legal entity in itself like an individual. This (and only this) makes Delaware, USA the home and domestic state of SCIRP. “Home is where the incorporation is.” (Delaware Registered Agent)

More details in SCIRP’s blog post Scientific Research Publishing Inc. – A Company with Home in the USA!

Q1.8: Where is SCIRP’s Principal Place of Business?

A1.8: SCIRP’s headquarters is formally called Principal Place of Business (PPB). It’s location: Building 5, Headquarters Space of Optical Valley, Tangxun Lake North Road #38, East Lake High-Tech Development Zone, Wuhan 430223, Hubei Province, China

Q1.9: What is a Principal Place of Business?

A1.9: SCIRP’s address in China is called its Principal Place of Business (PPB). PPB is a term from US American legislation with respect to incorporation. Less formal, the PPB is called headquarters or head office. In contrast to the home of the legal entity, the PPB is where the buildings are (brick and mortar), where executives make decisions (the nerve center), and where the activities are conducted (the muscle center). (Delaware Registered Agent) Delaware Corporate Law requires to specify the physical location (city, town, street, and number) of the principal place of business of the corporation. A post office box address may not be used. At SCIRP we call our Wuhan office also Place of Customer Service or China Office.

Q1.10: Where on the map is SCIRP’s Principal Place of Business located?

A1.10: Location of Tangxun Lake North Road #38, Wuhan 430223, Hubei Province, China


View Larger Map

SCIRP is located on 汤逊湖北路. This is transliterated “tang xun hu bei lu” and means something like “soup inferior lake north road”, but the first two are the name of the lake and should not be translated. So we get in English: “Tangxun Lake North Road” or abreviated: “Tangxun Lake North Rd”. Google Maps is using another mix of translated / untranslated words: “Tangxunhu North Rd”. If we enter this into Google Maps, we get a hit and get additionally displayed: “Tang Xun Hu Bei Lu”. Click above on “View Larger Map” and you will see it.

Q1.11: May I have a look at your offices?

A1.11: Sure! If you are around, stop by. For the time being look at this:

Inside_SCIRP_1Inside_SCIRP_2Inside_SCIRP_3

Q1.12: Why are SCIRP’s offices located in China? Is this offshoring?

A1.12: The first part of the question is a classic. We have provided a longer answer on About SCIRP. Here in short: SCIRP’s offices are located in China because the company was founded by, it is managed by, and it is staffed with Chinese people. Nothing has been relocated. Therefore, it is no offshoring. SCIRP offers many young graduates with knowledge of English an interesting job with international exposure.

Q1.13: Why then Delaware, USA?

A1.13: SCIRP was started by a group of scholars trained in the USA who had the idea to offer English language scholarly OA journals globally. With US American home and jurisdiction the company is positioned in the middle of its market in close proximity with many of its business partners. Delaware offers favorable conditions for this venture:

  • Delaware does not require any business activities or offices to be located in Delaware, other than a registered agent. [1]
  • Owners and managers need not be U.S. citizens. [1]
  • For corporations, there is no state corporate income tax for companies that are formed in Delaware but do not transact business there. [2]
  • There is no personal income tax for non-residents. [2]

[1] Delaware Corporate Law, [2] BizFilings

Q1.14: Isn’t incorporation in Delaware a little unusual practice?

A1.14: No. Delaware was in 1899 the second state in the USA to adopt an enabling corporate law, with the goal of attracting more business to the state. It became the leading corporate state in 1913. [1]  Today “more than 50% of all US publicly traded companies … are incorporated in Delaware. [2]  “Today more than one million business entities have made Delaware their legal home.” Delaware is home “not only for US entities – companies around the world can take advantage of Delaware’s benefits.” “Delaware does not require any business activities or offices to be located in Delaware, other than a registered agent.” [3]

[1] Wikipedia: Corporation, [2] Wikipedia: Delaware, [3] Delaware Corporate Law

Q1.15: Ok, but isn’t Delaware too much in the news with negative headlines?

A1.15: No statement from SCIRP. Please read what Delaware has to say about itself: Facts and Myths. We do not take part in US internal debates. We just follow US law.

Q16: Who is SCIRP’s registered agent in Delaware?

A1.16: SCIRP’s registered agent can be determined from SCIRP’s registration (see About SCIRP for detail). SCIRP’s registered agent is: Similex Incorporated, 3500 S. Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19901, USA

Q1.17: Does SCIRP pay tax in Delaware?

A1.17: Yes, but very little. “All domestic corporations formed or doing business in Delaware are required to file an Annual Franchise Tax Report and pay a Franchise Tax … [and] $50 filing fee” (Royse Law Firm) Annual Franchise Tax: “5,000 shares or less (minimum tax) $175.00.” [since 2014] (Delaware Corporate Law) SCIRP has paid its annually required franchise tax ($75 up to 2013) and its annual filing fee for being incorporated in Delaware, USA. With this link together with SCIRP’s Business Entity File Number (5124220) given on About SCIRP this can be checked online for the past year.

Q1.18: May I see older tax reports?

A1.18: Sure, here are the two reports from 2012 and 2013. “CR” stands for “credit” i.e. money paid by SCIRP.

SCIRP Delaware Tax Report 2014 SCIRP Delaware Tax Report 2014

SCIRP Delaware Tax Report 2013
SCIRP Delaware Tax Report 2013
SCIRP Delaware Tax Report 2012
SCIRP Delaware Tax Report 2012

Q1.19: Does SCIRP have an office in California, USA?

A1.19: Yes and no. Please tell us how you define the term “office” and we tell you if we have one in accordance to your definition or not. We have what we consider a small office in Irvine, California. We have one employee there who is on SCIRP’s payroll and helps us to collect mail and works on marketing and public relations (PR) activities. Due to the fact that different definitions exist in the world with respect to what an office is – minimum requirements often related to taxation – we usually do not claim we have an office in California or in the USA. This is also why you do not find such a claim on our website. At SCIRP we refer to it mostly with Place of Public Relation seldom with US Office.

Q1.20: What about your US Post Office Box?

A1.20: It is P. O. BOX 54821, Irvine CA 92619-4821, USA. As explained also on About SCIRP  we have this for ease of communication with you. Business partners e.g. from the USA may rather send their mail to California, USA than to China. By the way: We are not hiding behind a PO Box as we are giving our physical address required for the Principal Place of Business by Delaware Corporate Law.

Q1.21: What about your US phone number?

A1.21: It is +1-209-266-2606. The country code “1” stands for USA. Instead of “+” you dial whatever is necessary for you to get out of your own country. We offer the US American phone number for ease of communication with you. The call is redirected and answered from Wuhan, China. The phone will be answered during our office hours 08:30 am to 5:30 pm. To facilitate conversion to your time zone we have specified times of availability in Universal Time Coordinated (UTC): 00:30 – 09:30. Considering your time zone you will find when best to call us. Please also consider during summer month the daylight saving time in case your country has it. China has no daylight saving time this means our office hours are fixed with respect to UTC. Our employees have quite a proficient command of English in reading and writing. To communicate fluently with a native speaker on the phone can be much more difficult. So, please be patient.

Q1.22: What are SCIRP’s online marketing strategies?

A1.22: Some advertisement is necessary and online marketing is the only option for an online publisher. Email marketing is only one option of online marketing. SCIRP is using email marketing in a cautious manner because also emails sent legally can annoy recipients. This is the last SCIRP wants. For this reason, the strategy is to limit email campaigns and to use alternative channels to announce author’s achievements (interesting papers with a more general focus) and publishing possibilities. SCIRP is using its own Blog, News, and various social media: LinkedIn, facebook, and Twitter. Companies affiliated with SCIRP advertise for one another on their websites with logo and link.

Q1.23: What are SCIRP’s email marketing practices?

A1.23: Email marketing can be done with solicited or with unsolicited emails. At SCIRP solicited bulk emails are sent to those users who have signed up for the newsletter on the publisher’s level or have signed up for the newsletter of a specific journal. Different mailing lists exist for users with different interests. Unsolicited commercial emails may be sent for a journal on the occasion of a Call for Papers (CFP) or for the announcement of a Special Issue. SCIRP also distributes its newsletter with links to latest published articles selected on the basis of general interest for a diverse audience. SCIRP limits the frequency of bulk email emissions. A recipient will receive no more than 2 bulk emails from SCIRP per month.

SCIRP Inc. is registered in the USA and sends unsolicited commercial emails (UCE) in strict accordance with the US CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Three types of compliance are defined in the CAN-SPAM Act. Listed here are the most important requirements of each type and SCIRP’s strategy to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act (technical details are not discussed here):

  • Unsubscribe compliance: A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails. The preview of SCIRP’s unsubscribe dialog is representative for the layout, but has not the functionality it would have attached to an actual email because some input parameters are missing in case of the preview.
  • Content compliance: a) SCIRP’s from line is accurate and gives the full name of the company. b) A relevant subject line (relevant to the offer in body content) is used. c) A legitimate physical address is used. The full address of SCIRP’s Principal Place of Business (Wuhan, China) is used in all messages.
  • Sending behavior compliance: The unsubscribe option is located below the message.

SCIRP sends personalized bulk emails as it knows not only the email address but also the name of the recipient. Recipients are addressed with given name and family name. Example: “Dear Thomas Smith,”. SCIRP has also the title of most recipients in its database. Titles are not used in addressing recipients. It was found that different styles exist, and readers are very sensitive if they are not addressed in exactly the way they are used to. Also bulk emails are always sent by a person e.g. the Editor-in-Chief, the Editorial Assistant, or the head of SCIRP’s marketing department. Their respective name is given and their functional email address. Bulk emails are sent in HTML format. A link to a related web page is given on top of the message in case the reader cannot see the email content properly. The specific content ends with SCIRP’s physical address and is followed by the unsubscribe link (which may also appear occasionally on top of the message). Please remember: You decide to receive SCIRP’s bulk emails. It’s all voluntary, only two clicks are necessary to unsubscribe!

More details in SCIRP’s blog post SCIRP Practicing Legal and Moderate Email Marketing.

Q1.24: How is SCIRP organized and structured?

A1.24: At the head of SCIRP is the president Prof. Dr. Huaibei (Barry) ZHOU and SCIRP’s director. The company is structured in different departments (periodicals department, marketing department, IT department, art department, …). Departments are structured into groups. SCIRP has almost 100 employees and is growing.

Q1.25: What is SCIRP’s history and growth?

A1.25: The history of SCIRP is its growth with respect to its numbers (collected on 2014-12-31):

  • more than 10000 articles published every year (see Figure 1)
  • 42000 articles published in total since company started (see Figure 1). Update: 46092 articles counted by CrossRef on 2015-04-21. This number is higher due to additional delivered conference articles.
  • 244 journals (Figure 2)
  • 89 employees (Figure 3)
  • more authors than number of articles
  • more than 5000 editors on Editorial Boards
  • 3 formats in which the articles are offered (PDF, HTML, XML)
  • 4 article level metrics provided (views, downloads, citations on Google Scholar, citations on CrossRef)
  • 4 journal metrics provided (2-year Google-based Journal Impact Factor, h-index, h5-index, number of citations per paper)
  • many different indexing services (for each journal)
  • many (Open Access) publishing standards applied (ISSN, DOI, CrossCheck, CrossRef Cited-by Linking, CrossMark,  )

The history of SCIRP is also mirrored by its sitemap, where all journal volumes and all issues are listed. Dividing the number of journals in each year by the number of people employed in that year gives SCIRP’s productivity in articles per employee per year (Figure 4).

SCIRP’s growth by number of articles published
Figure 1: SCIRP’s growth by number of articles published

Figure 2: SCIRP’s growth by number of journals
Figure 3: SCIRP’s growth by number of employees
Figure 4: SCIRP’s productivity measured by number of articles per employee per year

For an interpretation of these numbers see “SCIRP’s Growth“.

Q1.26: What is SCIRP’s revenue and profit margin?

A1.26: Publishers are grouped into categories according to their annual revenue. See here, here, and here. SCIRP’s falls into the revenue category “USD 1 million to USD 5 million”.

Nowadays, the idea is that Open Access and openness should not only be defined with respect to the articles, but also with respect to peer review, to the article’s underlying data, programs used, and the openness of software selected and applied in the research. The last demand for openness seems now to be with respect to the publisher’s finances.

The openness of the publisher’s finances was addressed with a couple of questions raised by the independent UK journalist Richard Poynder (here):

  1. Should not publishers be more transparent about their revenues and profits?
  2. Should not privately owned publishers make their accounts available online (even where there is no legal obligation to do so), …
  3. Should not publishers be more transparent about why they charge what they charge for APCs?
  4. Should not the eligibility criteria and application procedures for obtaining APC waivers be routinely published on a journal’s web site, along with regularly updated data on how many waivers are being granted?

SCIRP was incorporated in the state of Delaware, USA (see FAQ 1.2). As such, SCIRP is not required to make its finances public – and there are good reasons why this is not helpful. Publishers have been criticized for too much profit and for too little profit, resulting in insufficient funds to sustain the journals for longer periods of time. Any further numbers will only fuel an already heated debate and will not be provided. The profit margin can only be given once an acceptable interval for publisher’s profit margin is defined between a) unsustainable and b) unethical. One thing is clear, SCIRP’s profit margin is high enough to sustain its journals and allow for further investment for further growth. Some basic facts at this point:

  • Net profit = Revenue – Total costs
  • Revenue = Price (of product) times Quantity Sold
  • Total costs = direct costs + indirect costs + interest + tax

Profit margins:

  • Gross profit = sales revenue minus direct costs
  • Operating profit (EBIT, Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) = Gross profit minus indirect costs (e.g. overheads)
  • Pretax profit (EBT, Earnings Before Taxes) = operating profit minus interest
  • Net profit = Pretax profit minus tax

SCIRP’s revenue comes mostly from Article Processing Charges (APC) (see at ENG). A small portion comes from subscription to the printed journals, book publishing, and from conferences organized together with the Engineering Information Institute.

Let’s see how to estimate the revenue of a publisher working mainly on APC. APC differ among journals. Established journals have higher APC than start-up journals. APC may also depend on article type (see e.g. AAST). APC are published on each journal’s web site (see at ENG). SCIRP offers generous APC levels for Low- and Middle-Income Countries (only 20 % respectively 50 % of regular APC). With this, average APC can be estimated. SCIRP publishes about 10000 articles each year (see FAQ 1.25 for details). This leads to a first estimate of revenues. At a closer look we see that there may be a higher share of authors from countries to which regular APC are allocated. But there are also more concessions on APC: Efforts from Editorial Board members are partially compensated with APC reductions (see About SCIRP). Large differences in academic status are accounted for, and hence PhD students get a fair treatment (see FAQ 3.1). Management may decide to support new journals, or to invite well known scholars to submit manuscripts. Deficits can be quite substantial and can be accounted for by a correction factor. This correction factor is not a constant in the publishing industry, but varies substantially among publishers.

Publishers run more activities than often supposed. Total costs can not easily be estimated, but are anything but negligible. This is also true for online publishing: Much effort goes into the preparation of the publication from initial checks to typesetting. In addition, there are many general activities leading to high overheads.

Coming back to Richard Poynder’s questions (see above in this FAQ) with some answers:

  1. Open Access publishers working primarily with APC are all quite transparent about the annual revenue, because it can be estimated (see above). The profit margin can not be easily estimated because the exact total costs are unknown.
  2. There are limits to openness when it comes to individuals owning a company (see FAQ 1.27).
  3. Gold Open Access publishing offers service for money (APC). Publishers may position themselves in different price segments of the market where they try to offer a cost effective product. Authors make their choice for a product. It should be without debate that entrepreneurial activities (including taking entrepreneurial risk) justifies a profit margin. As soon as the debate has settled about what profit margin is acceptable it may be published. In addition to published APC and documented quality offered, authors would be given another parameter (profit margin) for their decision where to submit their manuscript.
  4. SCIRP does not want to bargain with every single author. Also, SCIRP sees the huge difference in purchasing power among nations. For this reason SCIRP introduced “SCIRP’s Open Access Publishing Fund (SOAPF)” as a means of equal access to article publishing possibilities, distributing publishing costs according to spending potential. Still, room for limited discussion remains and the individual human fate will not be ignored.

Q1.27: Who are SCIRP’s owners? Who are SCIRP’s managers?
A1.27: SCIRP is privately owned. Founder and President of SCIRP is Prof. Dr. Huaibei (Barry) ZHOU.

As stated under FAQ 1.26, the openness of the publisher’s finances was addressed with a couple of questions raised by the independent UK journalist Richard Poynder. He also asked (here):

And should not publishers whose revenue comes primarily from the public purse be entirely open about who owns the company … ?

SCIRP’s revenue comes primarily from Article Processing Charges (APC). SCIRP has no statistics about how authors refinance these APC. APC may not “primarily” come “from the public purse”. For this reason Poynder’s rquest for openness with respect to company owners may not apply to SCIRP.

Scientific Research Publishing Inc. is a registered company in the state of Delaware, USA.

Delaware explains: “Delaware is not a secrecy haven, any more than any other state or the United States itself. Indeed, Delaware has done more than most states to ensure proper transparency.” “As a general matter, U.S. states do not collect the names of beneficial owners – the natural persons who ultimately own, control, or derive benefits from a companythrough the incorporation process. But Delaware and the majority of states do require disclosure of the names of the natural persons who serve as directors (Corporation Law, § 102). Delaware also requires each Delaware corporation to disclose the names and addresses of its directors on its annual franchise tax report (Corporation Franchise Tax, § 502). All such filings with the Delaware Division of Corporations are public records.”

There are tips how to recover from Identity Theft. It is even better to exercise Identity Protection: “Protect your personally identifiable information; keep it private.”
It would be foolish to ignore these hints and warnings. Openness has its limits! Personal information should be protected in the interest of the individual.

2 Submission

Q2.1: How do I find out if my paper is in scope for a SCIRP journal?

A2.1: To establish whether you paper is suitable for the SCIRP journal, go to the website of the journal concerned, and then click on the “Aims and Scope” button to display the scope of the journal.

Q2.2: How do I submit my paper to a SCIRP journal?

A2.2: All papers must be submitted through our online submission system, in which paper status can easily be tracked. The new user should apply for a new group of Username & Password to submit. All the figures and tables should be combined with the text as a single MS Word or PDF for submission.

Q2.3: Should I use the template for submission?

A2.3: You’re suggested to format your manuscript according to our standard template. However, if you don’t know how to do it, please just prepare your manuscript as required by the Guideline. You can find basic instructions in the column of Manuscript Preparation. Papers should be submitted to us through our Online Submission System in MS Word or PDF version.

Q2.4: What type of file format do you accept?

A2.4: Papers in MS Word or PDF is the format for submitting your paper to our online submission system. After the acceptance of your paper, you can send your revised paper in MS Word or LaTex via email to us.

Q2.5: Is there a word or page limit for papers published in a SCIRP journal?

A2.5: No, quality is the most important criteria for the acceptance of a paper. However, for the benefit of peer-reviewers and readers papers should be as concise as possible. The most of our papers are about 10 pages, extra publication fee is charged for the additional pages.

Q2.6: Is it essential to recommend guest reviewers for my paper?

A2.6: Yes, recommending guest reviewers can improve the review process and publication efficiency of your paper. However, if you don’t have any candidates, we will help you to find good reviewers.

Q2.7: Can I publish a review or survey paper in SCIRP?

A2.7: Yes, there are no restrictions on the type of paper that may be published within SCIRP.

Q2.8: How do I know if my paper submitted to SCIRP worked well?

A2.8: You will receive an automatic confirmation e-mail as soon as you have uploaded the paper successfully. Your paper will then be checked and forwarded to the editors who will start the preliminary review. If there are any problems with your uploaded manuscript you will be contacted by the editors

Q2.9: Do I need to provide a signed declaration from all authors with my submission?

A2.9: Yes, an author declaration form should be signed by all authors and then please send it to the assistant via email.

Q2.10: Do I need to submit a cover letter with my manuscript?

A2.10: Yes, a Cover Letter is required. It can be submitted via the Paper Submission System together with the manuscript or sent to the Editorial Assistant separately via e-mail. The cover letter should be a headed letter from the Corresponding Author’s institution providing …

  • … background information about the author(s) and their organization(s): inculding links to personal webpages or alternatively a list of articles published in the past two years or a well maintained Author ID (e.g. ORCID),
  • … background information about the reviewers and their organizations: inculding links to personal webpages or a well maintained Author ID and an e-mail address for each reviewer,
  • … background information about the topic covered in the manuscript.

3 Article Processing Charges

Q3.1: Is there any publication fee charged for papers published in a SCIRP journal?

A3.1: Yes, every journal at SCIRP requires authors to arrange payment of Article Processing Charges (APC) also known as Publication Fees.

All SCIRP journals are accessible for free on the Internet. SCIRP guarantees that no university library or individual reader will ever have to buy a subscription or pay any pay-per-view fees to access articles in the electronic version of the journal.

There is hence no income at SCIRP that comes from selling any form of subscription to the electronic version of the journal or from pay-per-view fees. Nevertheless, there are costs involved also in an online publication process: set up and maintenance of the publication infrastructure, routine operation of the journal, processing of manuscripts through peer-reviews, editing, publishing, maintaining the scholarly record, and archiving. To cover all this, the journal depends on Article Processing Charges which are due only after the manuscript got accepted for publication.

SCIRP does not ask for any Article Submission Charges also known as Submission Fees which would be due already at submission of the manuscript. SCIRP also does not ask for page charges, color figure charges, … or any other payment sometimes claimed by other publishers.

Each journal’s web page has a menue item “Publication Fees” providing more general and all journal-specific information on the topic. Given are:

  • Regular APC and APC for authors from Low- and Middle-Income Countries
  • Related other journals from SCIRP with their APC.
  • Hints to sources for APC
    • from research funders,
    • from Open Access Publishing Funds,
    • from the author’s institution/organization or the author’s library.
  • Rules for publication fee assistance to authors from low income countries, students, or authors in financial difficulty.

PhD students or authors in financial difficulty may be given a discount on request according to the quality of the manuscript.

Q3.2: How do I pay the article processing charges to a SCIRP journal?

A3.2: You can make APC payment via PayPal, PNC Bank Transfer, credit card or Western Union. Detailed payment instructions can be found on the submission system. You can also ask the editorial assistant for any problems.

Note:

1. If you make the Wired Transfer payment, please make sure that your Paper ID (mentioned in the e-mail) is filled in the “attached statement”, otherwise we cannot tell who has remitted the money. After the Wired Transfer payment, your local bank will return a receipt to you after the remittance. Do NOT discard it.

2. If you make the Online Payment, please remember your order number or keep the screen capturing of payment if it is possible.

Q3.3: How do I find out if my article processing charges have been safely received by SCIRP journal?

A3.3: Please notify and send your payment voucher via email to the editorial assistant after your payment. The editorial assistant shall email you a confirmation letter after receiving the payment.

4 Peer-review process

Q4.1: How long will it take to peer review my paper?

A4.1: It usually takes about 2-4 weeks. Please contact the Editorial Assistant if you want to know the status of your paper.

Please find more information about the peer-review process on: Information for Authors and on each journal’s web page under the menu item “For Authors”.

5 Publication

Q5.1: How long will it take for my paper to be available online after the acceptance?

A5.1: We will try to publish your paper as early as possible, but the time between acceptance and the creation of the full text version depends on how quickly you provide your final version. Normally, it will appear online around 3 weeks after all the publication procedures are completed.

Q5.2: Do I need to transfer copyright to SCIRP?

A5.2: No, you do not need to transfer copyright to SCIRP. However, before SCIRP can publish your paper you need to sign the Copyright Form. SCIRP uses a separate form for each journal. The text is the same only the name of the journal is changed. You will find an electronic representation of the Copyright Form in the Manuscript Handling System.  There you can sign the form online. This is the preferred way to sign, because it is really easy for you. The PDF below looks very similar to the online form. If however, you prefer to sign the form in ink, you can also do so: Download the Word file (*.doc) from below, edit the journal name, sign, scan, and send the file to the Editorial Office of your journal at SCIRP.

Logo PDF file
SCIRP_Copyright_Form.pdf

Logo Word File SCIRP_Copyright_Form.doc

Let’s look at the most important parts of the Coypright Form together:

At the start, the parties are identified. The form is about you, your paper (the Work), the journal at SCIRP, and SCIRP as the publisher. You and SCIRP are the legal partners in the agreement.

As a single author you hold the copyright of your paper. If you have co-authors, you share the copyright. You will have to decide together with your co-authors what you want to do.

You are expected to grant SCIRP a nonexclusive(!) copyright. This is the big difference to many other publishers: You do not(!) transfer (give away) your copyright, but you make a copy of your rights and you give one copy of these rights to SCIRP. You keep the original set of rights. How can that be? It’s simple. Imagine you own a car, you can have it or you can sell it. With a car you can not have it and sell it at the same time. This is different for intangible entities like rights or software. Rights you can duplicate. SCIRP does not take the smallest bit of your rights away, but likes and needs to have these rights as well.

Why are copyrights important for SCIRP? Initially only the authors hold all rights in the manuscript. Initially, the publisher has no rights – not even the right to publish your paper. The publisher must be given all those usage rights in order to do for you what you came for: to get you paper published. SCIRP wants to make it simple and wants to be on the safe side. SCIRP does not want to be blamed for infringing your copyright. For this reason SCIRP asks for the full set of usage rights. The full set of rights we call the copyright. Interesting also that SCIRP gives a promise for receiving the nonexclusive copyright: SCIRP promises it will make your paper Open Access without delay (embargo).

Copyright exists not only between you and the publisher, but also between you and your readers (all other people on earth). All these others have a potential interest in your paper and want to do different things with it: quote long excerpts, burn CDs, translate the text, … They do not all want to ask you with long e-mails and you do not want to answer these many e-mails. For this reason SCIRP will publish your paper with a Public Copyright License. Here, the CC licenses are in use. In Open Access (OA) publishing we are asked to be generous. If someone uses your results, the other one should always mention your name. This is called CC BY. CC BY is SCIRP’s default and the most frequently used public license in OA. The OA publisher’s organization (OASPA) expects you to limit your paper to not more than noncommercial use (if you find it necessary). This is called CC BY-NC.

At this point it also becomes apparent again, why SCIRP needs to sign an agreement with you. If you select CC BY-NC, you grant this to all people and as such also to SCIRP, but without further usage rights SCIRP would not be allowed to publish your paper as a commercial company. Luckily, SCIRP got the nonexclusive copyright from you to publish your paper with your selected CC BY-NC restriction.

Some other publishers say: “Ok you wrote the text, but we checked it, made it nice, and converted it to PDF, we do not give the PDF back to you without restriction, you are not allowed to share it e.g. on ResearchGate.” In contrast, SCIRP says: “The paper is yours, also the final (publisher’s) PDF; do what you want.” That’s a nice statement, but you may still feel uneasy, because how can you legally know? Again it is simple. You are assured in two ways:

  1. Look at the (publisher’s) PDF you got back from SCIRP after copyediting. It says “This work is licensed … CC BY” or “This work is licensed … CC BY-NC”. All on earth (including you) were given your paper with these rights (CC BY or CC BY-NC). Just based on this you can do (almost) everything with it.
  2. But even more: Look again at the (publisher’s) PDF you got back from SCIRP after copyediting. It says “Copyright © 201x by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.”. Therefore, what you see in front of you is yours. You hold the full copyright in this PDF and you can do with it what you want.

Some publishers only allow authors certain things with certain versions of the paper. With these other publishers it is quite complicated. For this reason a database was built: SHERPA/RoMEO. It defines three stages of your manuscript/paper:

  1. Pre-Print is the version of your manuscript you submitted. It is the version before peer review.
  2. Post-Print is the final draft version after peer review before copyediting.
  3. PDF, the publisher’s version, the branded publisher PDF, or also known as the Version of Record.

At Sherpa/Romeo SCIRP is also listed with all its journals and explains what you can do with your paper from SCIRP. SCIRP is listed as a RoMEO green publisher. You read ”

  • Must link to publisher version or article’s DOI
  • Published source must be acknowledged with citation

Must” is a little strong. You own the copyright …, but SCIRP would like you to act as explained. Thanks.

6 Indexing, Journal and Article Metrics

Q6.1: Do SCIRP journals have Impact Factors?

A6.1: The journal impact factor (JIF) normally referred to is the proprietary journal impact factor from Thomson Reuters calculated based on the Web of Science (WOS) and published in the Journal Citation Reports® (JCR). We call this the JCR®JIF.

No, none of SCIRP’s journals have presently a JCR®JIF, but many of our journals have currently been accepted for Impact Factor tracking by Thomson Reuters (ISI). Please see our analysis from 05/2013.

Please also consider the information given in the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) which is also copied into SCIRP’s News. DORA is very critical about the JCR®JIF: “The Journal Impact Factor is frequently used as the primary parameter with which to compare the scientific output of individuals and institutions. [However, the] Journal Impact Factor, as calculated by Thomson Reuters, was originally created as a tool to help librarians identify journals to purchase, not as a measure of the scientific quality of research in an article.”

DOAJ is critical about the JCR®JIF and writes: “it is a proprietary measure run by a profit making organisation. It runs against the ethics and principles of open access.”

Q6.2: So, what about SCIRP’s Google-based Journal Impact Factor?

A6.2: There are many metrics, some of them claimed to be better than the JCR®JIF. Please find all the details in SCIRP’s Memorandum “Journal Metrics” (PDF).

The major problem with the JCR®JIF is that two things are mixed up at Thomson Reuters: Journal impact (an objective measure) and journal reputation (a highly subjective judgment). The JCR®JIF is by management decision calculated only for journals fully covered in the Web of Science (WOS). The WOS is a subscription based venture and must be limited in coverage to limit costs. Therefore, the WOS contains only “the world’s most important and influential journals” (with high reputation) because (as the WOS claims) “a relatively small number of journals publish the majority of significant scholarly results”. No matter if this is true or not, it means that all other journals are denied the possibility to measure their impact. To illustrate this, think of Olympic Games and the discipline of running the 100 m distance. Those elected to compete in the Olympic Games will get their time measured and reported on TV. The good thing in sports, this does not preclude any one else to measure and report the time when running the 100 m because everyone can own a stop watch. Not so for scientific journals. In the traditional view, all those not selected to compete are denied the “one and only stop watch”. Any publishing company who dares to measure on its own, risks to be expelled.

SCIRP follows a more innovative logic. There are many algorithms available to calculate journal metrics and Google Scholar can be used to provide data for selected algorithms. It is also not about just one journal metric (the impact factor), but about several metrics all with their own advantages to complement each other. Scientists are used to Thomson Reuters way of calculating an impact factor. For this reason, SCIRP applies Thomson Reuters’ algorithm as published in The Thomson Reuters Impact Factor (in the form as given there in Figure 1). This algorithm is not protected.

TR algorithm Impact Factor
Algorithm of the Thomson Reuters Impact Factor from its Figure 1.

Data is taken from Google Scholar, because it is available, has a wide coverage and is a meaningful source. Today 57 % of readers find their way to SCIRP’s articles via Google Scholar. No other open or proprietary database is directing so many readers to SCIRP’s articles. With Google’s wider coverage, the metrics calculated for a journal with Google Scholar (i.e. a 2-GJIF) will most probably yield higher numbers than the same metric calculated on the basis of WOS or Scopus and can especially not be compared with a 2-JCR®JIF calculated for another journal!

An impact factors for e.g. 2014 can only be published once this year is over (e.g. in 2015). At Thomson Reuters this is done when all 2014 publications have been processed. Once published, the JCR®JIF for a given year is fixed. In contrast, a GJIF has never a fixed value. Depending on individual activities on the Internet (self-archiving and Green Open Access), some articles published Closed Access in one year may appear online only months or even years later. This has an influence on Google Scholar’s citation count and makes it necessary to state the 2-GJIF for a given year always with the date the data was retrieved from Google Scholar. SCIRP may provide updates of the 2-GJIF during the year. Note: the 2-GJIF is a metric evaluated for full calendar years.

Journals have been criticized for trying to drive up their impact factor with articles in the journal citing each other. This is called journal self-citation. SCIRP does not want to give false testimony and provides a metric to check for excessive self-citation. The metric to use here is the Self-Cited Rate. The Self-Cited Rate relates a journal’s self-citations to the number of times it is cited by all journals, including itself (Rousseau 1999, sign in for free download). Figure 1 from above can such be extended with:

E = 1992 self-citations to articles published in 1990 – 1991 (this is a subset of B)

Self-Cited Rate = E/B

A Self-Cited Rate below 20% is considered acceptable. A higher Self-Cited Rate than this could be explained by a journal’s novel or highly specific topic, but could also reveal a journal with excessive self-citations.

Summary: SCIPR calculates a 2-year Google-based Journal Impact Factor (2-GJIF) and checks openly for self-citations with the Self-Cited Rate.

Example: 5 journals at SCIRP may be looked at for the 2-GJIF and the Self-Cited Rate. They have many citations: JMMCE, NS, JBiSE, IJCNS, and JWARP.

Q6.3: What are the other journal metrics used by SCIRP?

A6.3: SCIRP uses these metrics (parameters) to evaluate and measure its journals:

  • 2-year Google-based Journal Impact Factor (2-GJIF), see FAQ 6.2
  • h-index
  • h5-index
  • C_total/P_total which is the average number of Citations per Paper
  • some statistics and measures of journal productivity.

SCIRP’s selection of metrics. There are many possible journal metrics that could be used. A Memorandum “Journal Metrics” has been written for SCIRP  to get an overview of existing journal metrics with their advantages and disadvantages. It was found, the average reader may easily get confused if too many metrics are used. Consequently, at least for the start, SCIRP should limit itself to a selected few metrics. To calculate an impact factor was the starting point and beyond any further discussion because it is so well known. For all details related to the impact factor please refer to FAQ 6.1 and 6.2. The h-index was selected because it is well known among the more recent metrics. The h5-index was chosen because, in contrast to the h-index, it is non-cumulative (it does not favor older journals) and is also used by Google Scholar for its journal rankings. In this way SCIRP provides a metric that can be used for comparison with other journals. The average number of citations per paper, C_total/P_total, is a fundamental metric. It is easy to comprehend and gives potential authors a clear indication of the number of citations an article in the journal may receive, if it shows journal-average performance.

The current h-index of a journal considers citations from the start of the journal up to the most recent calculation of the h-index. The h-index is a cumulative index that is likely to grow each year as the number of publications and the quotes to the journal grow. The index was invented by J. E. Hirsch in 2005 as a “useful index to characterize the scientific output of a researcher”. Mathematics does not care, if quotations to a researcher or to a journal are counted, and so the h-index came also in use as a journal metric. It is very easy to check SCIRP’s calculation of the h-index with the list of “Top Cited Articles” sorted by “Times Cited – highest to lowest” which is published for every of SCIRP’s journals (on the journal page click on the link “Citations” located under the journal name). Count down the list. Stop before your counter h becomes larger than the number of citations of the article. The number h you counted up to is the h-index. h is always an integer. The procedure is visualized in figure.

Procedure of determining the h-index at SCIRP with the list of “Top Cited Articles” sorted by “Times Cited – highest to lowest”.
Procedure of determining the h-index at SCIRP with the list of “Top Cited Articles” sorted by “Times Cited – highest to lowest”.

In contrast to the h-index which is calculated up to the present day, the h5-index is calculated for a calendar year. In 2015 the h5-index for 2014 is calculated. It considers only citations of the 5 years from 2010 – 2014. Citations to journal articles from older years are ignored. This makes the h5-index a recent metric; however fluctuations in citations are sufficiently evened out. Counting the citations of these 5 years in a different list, but in the same manner as for the h-index yields the h5-index. The h5-index can also be calculated for journals publishing less than these 5 years, but it is hard for new journals to compete with older once that can draw quotes from more years. The h5-index of a journal can be used to compare the journal with the best journals in the field according to Google Scholar’s journal ranking where journals are ordered by the h5-index. Select the respective subcategory (example) in Google’s journal list to compare with competing journals in the field.

SCIRP’s Journal Ranking comprises the compilation and sorting of all results gathered from each page called “Journal Metrics / Impact Factor” of each journal. The method underlying SCIRP’s Journal Ranking is based on the h5-index and corrects for the scientific field.

It takes decades for a journal to earn such a reputation and to draw as many citations as the top ranked journals do. Most Open Access journals are quite young and need more time to get there, but have the advantage of higher visibility, which should turn into higher numbers of citations in the long run.

Further parameters shown for each journal at SCIRP are:

a) Statistical parameters (information):

  • Y_start = year in which journal started publishing
  • Y = number of full years journal is publishing *

b) Productivity parameters (amount of articles):

  • P_total = number of articles published since journal start
  • P_2014 = number of articles published in 2014 (last year) *

c) Impact (surrogate for article quality):

  • C_total = total number of citations since journal start
  • C_2014 = number of citations in 2014 (last year) *
  • C_total/Y = average number of citations per year
  • C_total/P_total = average number of citations per paper

Parameters and metrics evaluated for full calendar years are:

  • 2-GJIF
  • h5-index
  • and the parameters above marked with *

The other parameters like h-index, C_total, and P_total are counting all citations available up to the present day.

 Q6.4: Does SCIRP follow DORA’s recommendations?

Logo - DORA
Logo – DORA

A6.4: Yes, SCIRP follows the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and DORA’s recommendations for publishers:

  • Related to no 6: SCIRP does not promote the JCR®JIF. Instead SCIRP publishes an alternative 2-year Google-based journal impact factor (2-GJIF) calculated with Thomson Reuters algorithm but based on the Google Scholar’s database which is openly available. More metrics will be introduced by SCIRP in the near future.
  • Related to no 7: SCIRP offers a range of Article Level Metrics (ALM): Number of views, number of PDF downloads, number of citations on Google Scholar and number of citations on CrossRef. (See the question and answer below).
  • Related to no 8: SCIRP encourages responsible authorship practices and the provision of information about the specific contributions of each author.
  • Related to no 9: SCIRP offers the citations of each article as part of the article metadata without restrictions.
  • Related to no 10: SCIRP has no constraints on the number of references in research articles, and mandates the citation of primary literature in favor of reviews in order to give credit to the group(s) who first reported a finding.

Q6.5: Do SCIRP journals have their citations tracked?

A6.5: Yes, SCIRP journals have their citations tracked with Google Scholar. Please see our analysis from 07/2014 with an overview of 114 SCIRP journals especially strong on citations. You can find the latest analysis of citations on Google Scholar for all SCIRP journals on their journal web page. Here is an example of 5 strong journals: JMMCE, NS, JBiSE, IJCNS, and JWARP.

Q6.6: Are SCIRP journals indexed?

A6.6: Yes, our journals are indexed by many scientific databases. “Indexed” means here simply “included in the database”. The index contains the metadata of SCIRP’s articles. Most important metadata are authors, title, abstract, year of publication, and the link to the full paper at SCIRP. Each journal maintains its own list of databases where it is indexed. Please look under “Indexing” on the journal homepage. Example pages are JMMCE, NS, JBiSE, IJCNS, and JWARP. Examples of important indexing services are: EBSCO, ProQuest CSA, Index Copernicus, and CABI. Please see also SCIRP’s News articles about Indexing.

Q6.7: What are Article Level Metrics (ALM)?

A6.7: Article Level Metrics (ALM) apply traditional metrics and alternative metrics (altmetrics) at the article level.

Definitions

  • Metrics (standards of measurement) analyze entities from a data source.
  • Altmetrics (alternative metrics) are metrics based on data sources described as new, emerging, or alternative being different from traditional data sources. Altmetrics are independent of the level. They can be used on article level, on journal level, or on the level of a scholar.
  • Traditional data sources are proprietary data sources like Scopus from Elsevier and Web of Science (WOS) from Thomson Reuters.
  • Traditional metrics are for example citation counts and Impact Factor. They are evaluated based on these traditional and proprietary data sources.

Characteristics of ALM (source: SPARC)

  • ALM are an attempt to measure impact at the article level in contrast to a traditional approach measuring impact at journal level.
  • ALM offer as such a new and effective way to disaggregate an individual article’s impact from the publication in which it appears.
  • ALM provide different markers (metrics) of an article’s reach, beyond just traditional citations.
  • ALM will only be metrics not owned or controlled by any single company (like Thompson Reuters with its JCR®JIF).
  • ALM apply traditional metrics and alternative metrics (altmetrics) at the article level.
  • ALM apply „short term metrics“ (based on news coverage, blog posts, tweets, and Facebook) as well as „long term metrics“ (citations).
  • ALM have the potential to complement existing journal level metrics and add critical nuance to the tenure and promotion process.

Scholars produce artifacts. The journal article is the best known artifact, but there are many more (blog posts, books, book chapters, datasets, patents, posters. presentations, web pages …). Artifacts can be found in different data sources. Metrics are calculated based on these data sources and metrics are grouped into 5 types. (source: Plum Analytics)

There are 5 types of Article Level Metrics (source: SPARC)

  1. Citations (scholarly visibility): How many times has an article been cited? (Google, CrossRef, Scopus, WoS)
  2. Usage (scholarly visibility): How many times has an article been viewed (HTML) or downloaded (PDF) on the publisher’s site?
  3. Captures (scholarly visibility): How often has an article been bookmarked (CiteULi / Mendeley)?
  4. Mentions (social visibility): How many comments can be found? (on publisher’s site, blogs, Wikipedia)?
  5. Social Media (social visibility): What are the number of Facebook likes, shares on LinkedIn, Tweets, …?

Q6.8: Does SCIRP provide Article Level Metrics (ALM)?

A6.8: Yes, SCIRP provides 4 different metrics on article level, but follows a rather conventional approach. SCIRP provides:

  1. Views (sum of views of the article metadata page and of the article’s HTML)
  2. Downloads (of the article’s PDF)
  3. Citations on Google Scholar
  4. Citations on CrossRef Cited-by Linking (see below for more information).

The reader could also count the number of comments (with DISQUS) under the article as a 5th and alternative metric.

Example for 1 & 2 (Views & Downloads).  Example for 3 & 4 (Citations on Google Scholar & Citations on CrossRef)

Citations are downloaded for all of SCIRP’s articles and stored on the server. In this way the data is readily available for display. Data from CrossRef is update monthly. Data form Google Scholar is updated quarterly.

Q6.9: Does SCIRP participate in CrossRef Cited-by Linking (and what is it)?

Logo - CrossRef Cited-by Linking
Logo – CrossRef Cited-by Linking

A6.9: Yes, SCIRP participates in CrossRef Cited-by Linking. It is a service that allows to discover how publications are being cited. The service is built upon the CrossRef structure with DOIs. Cited-by Linking has grown steadily since its inception in 2006. It enables direct primary publisher-to-publisher linking without the use of intermediaries (like Scopus, WOS, or Google Scholar). It is not constrained by content type because CrossRef can accept reference data for journals articles, monographs, reference works, etc. It is built on top of the DOI infrastructure and, as such, is very precise. For example, it is more accurate than Google Scholar metadata. Because it is an optional service, only a subset of CrossRef members is currently participating. Therefore, CrossRef is only able to retrieve a partial list of the DOIs that actually cite the content. For this reason, CrossRef Cited-by Links are not suitable for use as a citation metric. As of July 2014, publishers participating in Cited-by Linking control roughly 40 % of the total number of DOIs deposited in CrossRef. This means 22 million articles are deposited with references.

7 Journal Operation

Q7.1: How is backup and archiving organized?

A7.1: SCIRP does backup in-house. Archiving has to be done (by definition) by another organization.

Archiving: SCIRP decided to archive all journal papers with Portico. Details are shown on SCIRP’s Page at Portico. Portico only archives the papers not how they were originally displayed online. So far (2015-05-01) Portico has only one journal called “Astronomy Education Review”, which serves as an example how Portico would display triggered Open Access content.

How backup and archiving are scheduled:

  • Articles in PDF, HTML, XML:
    • Backup by SCIRP: in real-time
    • Transfer to Portico for Archiving: weekly
  • SCIRP’s Web Pages: Backup by SCIRP: in real-time
  • SCIRP’s Blog powered by WordPress: Backup by SCIRP: in real-time
  • SCIRP’s Discussion Forum powered by DISQUS: Backup by DISQUS: in real-time

SCIRP’s Discussion Forum enables also post publication peer review at SCIRP.

For more information on backup and archiving see SCIRP’s Preservation Strategy / Archiving on AboutUs.

Q7.2: How does SCIRP straighten the academic record – if necessary?

A7.2: Writing a paper is much work and includes checks and corrections from co-authors, reviewers, editors, and copy-editors. When the paper is finally and officially online, few want to know about the “arsenal of weapons” for an unlikely, but possible next phase in scientific writing. SCIRP selected to work with – only if need should arise – these 4 measures:

  1. Expressions of Concern
  2. Correction
  3. Retraction
  4. Removal

It can always happen that something goes wrong during the research leading up to a paper, and authors may find out about it only after publication. This is called honest error and can be corrected. Unfortunately, authors occasionally try to use a shortcut e.g. by plagiarizing. This would be called academic misconduct.

COPE‘s Retraction Guidelines are seen as the authoritative text about the first three of the measures (Expressions of Concern, Correction, Retraction).

A Retraction (Wikipedia) means that a paper should not have been published in the first place and that its conclusions should not be used or cited. The text is kept online, but only for reference and it is clearly marked as retracted.

A Correction is less severe. It becomes necessary if “a small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading (especially because of honest error)”. A Correction is also necessary if “the author / contributor list is incorrect” (COPE). The Correction is also used at SCIRP to document the changes resulting from a post-publication peer review process (in case it started at all).

An Expression of Concern is issued when an article is under investigation but a judgment will not be available for a considerable time. The Editorial Board has presently only inconclusive evidence of the case but decides to alert readers already now about alleged misconduct and/or possible unreliable findings.

A Removal is a severe Retraction with the text deleted from the server and hence from the records. In making this harsh decision the Editorial Board goes beyond COPE’s Retraction Guidelines, which do not consider Removals. SCIRP generally considers removal of an article only if it is defamatory, if it endangers human health or life, or to avoid threatened legal claims. As such, a Removal may be necessary, if the same work has been published at another journal with an earlier publication date.

Logo of COPEIn a Forum Discussion at COPE use of a retraction standard template with tick boxes was proposed and further discussed. SCIRP has designed its forms based on an Advanced Proposal of the Retraction Template and has extended this also to the other three measures. These are the templates for the 4 measures as editable Word files (CLICK TO OPEN IN WORD!):

  1. Expressions of Concern
  2. CorrectionLogo Word File
  3. Retraction
  4. Removal

The templates consist of 5 major parts:

  1. identification of the paper with all of its most important metadata
  2. systematic and formalized collection of
    1. initiator of the investigation
    2. type of error or misconduct
    3. results of research (valid / unvalid)
    4. author conduct
  3. history (see below)
  4. free style comment
  5. instructions for SCIRP’s staff how to further perform editorial changes to the online publication (instructions to be deleted from the form before publication).

SCIRP follows the principle of correcting the academic record in situ (in the same location; to be reached with the same link and/or DOI).

Modifications have to be done in several places (see the Word files above for details):

  • The article page has to be modified with respect to the abstract, and (depending on the measure taken) the title, and the references. Metadata in the HTML source code of the article page is only changed with respect to the abstract.
  • The PDF document is the primary form of the publication. For this reason, the PDF document of the original paper is the file to which all the retraction history templates (see Word files above) and all corrections are consecutively added. In case of a Retraction, a red watermark “RETRACTED” in big letters is running diagonally across each page of the paper. In case of the Removal, the text of the original paper is removed and replaced by the Removal Notice.
  • The HTML page for the paper is replaced by the Short Concern/Correction/Retraction/Removal Notice copied from the article page. This Short Notice has a final text: Please see the article page for more details. The full notice in PDF is preceding the original paper. Only in case of the Removal the original paper is deleted also from the HTML.
  • The XML of the original article is deleted.

In this way (see directly above) SCIRP has correced the academic record on SCIRP’s server  including metadata in the HTML source code (crawld and ingested by Google Scholar). See the example of a Retraction.

Corrected metadata has to be uploaded to all organizations who have obtained metadata before:

  • CrossRef is informed with an XML file as part of CrossMark about the measure taken.
  • Portico (archiving) is informed by way of the weekly data transfer. Portico will have obtained the original paper. After the measure has been taken, Portico also obtains modified metadata and PDF as explained above. Both deliveries have the same DOI. Portico links data items with the same DOI. The system will consider the later version (e.g. the retraction) to be the “active” version of the article. Again: In the weekly data transfer Portico is provided with with all new published data and with all updates (coming from the 4 measure).
  • DOAJ and other indexing services have to be informed likewise.

An investigation into a publication can come to a conclusion about one final measure that should be taken (nothing, correction, retraction, removal). It is however also possible that two measures are taken one after the other:

  • Expressions of Concern => Correction
  • Expressions of Concern => Retraction
  • Expressions of Concern => Removal

Especially the Correction could add much material that all needs to be added to the original publication’s PDF document:

  • Enumeration of the corrections.
  • Corrections made directly into the paper (in case of extensive errors) and selected pages from the paper (or all pages) attached at the end of the correction notice followed by the original paper.
  • Errors can be marked (in yellow) in the original paper to ease location.
  • Copy of the online discussion that formed the post-publication peer review process

It would even be possible that a first correction is followed by a second or even third correctionn:

  • Correction => Correction => Correction …

Logo Scholarly KitchenAt this point we hit the limit of what straightening or correcting the academic record should accomplish. This philosophical limit was much discussed in the Scholarly Kitchen based on a blog post from 2015-04-16. David Crotty makes the important comments about the quick change of articles in Wikipedia versus PDF and papers correcting papers. The scholarly record carries the notion of preserving (archived!) knowledge fixed for ensuing ages. This is why every manuscript runs though a rigorous peer review process. Any attempt to change the published paper must not be done lightly and will face some resistance from the editor. Corrections have to be done with at least the same rigor as the original peer review. CrossMark (see FAQ 7.3) helps to keep track of the (few) versions.

This example shows the limits of subsequent corrections: A manuscript gets peer-reviewed, revised, and published. The author finds an error after publication that gets formally corrected (Correction No 1). One year later a group of scholars discusses in the frame of post-publication peer review some specific part of the paper on the article page(!). Following an investigation by the editor this gets corrected (Correction No 2). Three years after publication another scholar discusses another issue with the paper. The editor decides that this is now left as a comment on the article page without being taken up into the scholarly record with another formal correction. The scholar is advised to write a paper in which the new view is elaborated and the original paper is cited.


Q7.3: How do I find out if a PDF from SCIRP is still up to date? (CrossMark)

A7.3: SCIRP follows the principle of correcting the academic record in situ (in the same location; to be reached with the same link and DOI). The PDF document is the primary form of the publication and will have all information collected during a post-publication investigation. After any kind of investigation, the HTML form of the paper will only show a short notice and will link to the article page and to the PDF of the paper. Also the article page will show a short notice under the abstract or instead of the abstract (depending on the measure taken) and will link to the PDF of the paper.

Links at SCIRP to these locations are (example for paper with ID=55427):

If you have bookmarked these URLs you will always see the most recent version of the paper in these locations. There are no other locations where a more recent paper would be stored.

CrossMark logo for checking paper status
CrossMark logo for checking paper status

However, if you have downloaded the PDF to your harddrive, you would be cut off from SCIRP’s information. Here comes CrossMark from CrossRef. Each paper and each (retraction) notice will show the CrossMark logo at the top. Clicking on the CrossMark logo will compare the publication date of your document with the publication date of the last published version of the document. If CrossMark finds out a newer version got reported, it will let you know. In almost all cases you will have the newest version and you will be assured by the green tick.

CrossMark successful verification of a paper
CrossMark successful verification of a paper

8 Responses to SCIRP – FAQ

  1. Somnath Chakravorty says:

    What has been your step against Jeffrey Beall? As long as your company is listed in his list, no matter how much you try, there is a chance that authors may shy away from publishing with you. Although I find his attitude quite vindictive towards OA publishing, it is also true that some of your journals have goofed up big time by publishing complete gibberish. What are your steps towards ensuring no such future goof ups? And what about the mass resignation by editorial board of one of your journals? Such incidents are bad for your name.

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  5. Siva says:

    American Journal of Plant Sciences’ impact factor is calculated based on Thomson Reuters, but why is it not listed in Thomson Reuters of 2014 and 2015?

    • I copy the most important bits from the FAQ to answer your question:

      None of SCIRP’s journals have presently a JCR®JIF (http://blog.scirp.org/scirp-faq/#Q6.1).

      “SCIRP calculates a 2-year Google-based Journal Impact Factor (2-GJIF)”. “Scientists are used to Thomson Reuters way of calculating an impact factor. For this reason, SCIRP applies Thomson Reuters algorithm … This algorithm is not protected.” “Data is taken from Google Scholar, because it is available, has a wide coverage and is a meaningful source.” “The JCR®JIF is by management decision calculated only for journals fully covered in the Web of Science (WOS). The WOS is a subscription based venture and must be limited in coverage to limit costs. Therefore, the WOS contains only ‘the world’s most important and influential journals’ (with high reputation) because (as the WOS claims) ‘a relatively small number of journals publish the majority of significant scholarly results’. No matter if this is true or not, it means that all other journals are denied the possibility to measure their impact [if they do not learn how to calculate ‘impact’ on their own].” (http://blog.scirp.org/scirp-faq/#Q6.2)

  6. Humaira says:

    What amount will SCIRP charge for papers published in its journals in 2015. Are there any concession for PhD students?

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