Accelerating access to biomedical evidence

What’s new with the predator InTech? Not much…apparently

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I have well over 5,000 page views for my posts about the open access publisher InTech. More than 80% of them come from internet users that do a google search for InTech and find my postings that I have effectively tagged.   That would lend credibility to the idea that InTech is continuing to use direct email marketing to find authors, and some authors want to know more about InTech and start searching.

intech-webReading Richard Poynder’s interview with Intech’s Nicola Rylett back in October, I had some hope that the issue of insufficient editing, a form of non-service for authors and a poor publishing practice that could reflect badly on all open access publishing,  would be addressed in the future  books to be released.   As I have said in my previous posts on InTech, I stick to looking at biomedicine and health topics in my blog.  In the first week of the new year, I decided to see what was new at InTech.

I found a number of biomedical titles released in December 2011, including one that I decided to take a closer look at: Medical Imaging, edited by “Okechukwu Felix Erondu”.  Dr. Erondu has certainly published a few articles on medical imaging, and his editorial role is featured on the cover image:

Medical Imaging (2011)

My concern starts when I see no editorial introduction or preface to this field, other than the 75-word  blurb on the title page, and no chapter authored by Dr. Erondu.  Here are my other observations:

  • There are 18 chapters, a few suitably general to what seems like a general textbook, but several on specific topics such as “Fast MRI Methods for the Clinical Evaluation of Skeletal Disorders” or “Assessment of Human Skin Microcirculation and Its Endothelial Function Using Laser Doppler Flowmetry.“   Comparing this to a general textbook on medical imaging, Handbook of medical imaging: processing and analysis (not an open access book, but previewed in Google Books and subscribed in my library), we find in the typical medical imaging text 53 chapters and 900 pages.  My conclusion:  there is no apparent intent by the InTech editor or publisher  to define the true content with a realistic title for this volume.  Instead, there is a general title which misleads or obscures the nature of the content from potential readers.
  • I looked carefully at one chapter, Safety of Interactive Image-Guided Surgery, by Alain Beaulieu.  The author relied on research sources from the 1990′s, nearly exclusively, with only two references out of more than 50 being 2006 or after.   Other evidence of outdated research was the term “image-guided”.   The MeSH term established in 2002 for image-guided surgery is Surgery, Computer-Assisted.  There are hundreds of articles on this topic in the year 2010 alone.
  • I actually found, with a little digging around. that the author Alain Beualieu had created a very similar presentation in 2008 for a IEEE symposium, A Process Control System Model for Interactive Image Guided Surgery, with identical figures and some very closely resembling descriptions.  In 2011, the InTech chapter does not cite this article at all, so what we have [and what an editor with curiosity could have discovered] is a kind of self-plagiarism.   As long as the IEEE doesn’t mind…

So I think I can confirm that as far as I can tell from looking at this recent open access book from InTech , we have not seen a changeover to more effective and honest editorial practices.  These still seem to be packaging disparate submissions into a convenient hodge-podge, calling it an electronic book, and encouraging readers to take advantage of something free, something that would be hard to sell.  The only person paying and subsidizing InTech are authors. This is not credible open access, when the content is just so questionable.



Thu, January 5 2012 » Uncategorized

3 Responses

  1. Chris Rust March 9 2012 @ 05:56

    I found your post when searching for information to support a review I was asked to do of a chapter in an InTech book from 2008.
    I was quite disturbed by the quality of the chapter, although it was outside my immediate field I could see that it was extremely complex and confused in its presentation and it failed to describe the most significant technical aspect of the experimental work that was done.
    I was led to conclude that there was little or no editing or review and no evidence of a coherent editing strategy, this particular chapter was a simply a research report as might be found in a journal paper. I was particularly concerned that InTech appear to have published two large books with the same title in the same year, each with a large number of “chapters”
    So thanks for confirming my suspicions.

  2. Andrew July 15 2012 @ 23:09

    InTech are completely fraudulent and should be ashamed of themselves. I find it hard to believe that any publisher, who claims to be reputable and world class can publish papers without a strict and thorough peer-review process in place. The assigned editor-in-chief was a no-body in our field of study; in fact he was a recent PhD graduate from a low-tier University. Their business motto is to publish in high volumes without due consideration to the quality and relevant impact of the papers to the associated field. InTech rely on young researchers for revenue who are easy victims to their fraudulent schemes; the company brings a bad name to the concept of open publishing.

  3. Mark Trent July 20 2012 @ 05:40

    There are numerous fields covered by Intech chapters. I am sure there are many which are not of good quality. However, I found many of the Computer Science and Biometrics chapters to be of reasonable quality (to say the least).

    Intech just go about OA the wrong way. Huge fees for authors.

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