A pay-to-publish chain of academic journals has been shut down and its operators now face punishment.
Between January and October 2014, a man surnamed Wang and his eight employees received more than 12 million yuan to publish stories in a series of fake academic journals.
China has a thriving market for fake academic journals that is stoked by employers who set publication as a prerequisite for promotion.
Wang’s publishing companies included Beijing Shenglinge Culture Development, founded in 2012, and Beijing Kanbo Tianxia International Culture, founded in 2013. The two companies are charged with illegally using the periodical numbers of other legal publishers.
Without authorization, Wang published, printed, copied and issued the fake journals Science and Technology Research, Power Supply Technologies and Applications, Chinese Four Precious Writing Articles, New Material New Decoration, Cenfortuna, Central China Electric Power, Delta and The Prosecutor.
Wang defended his companies in court, stating that his businesses had a cooperation agreement with the periodicals whose numbers they used. He pled not guilty to the charges of defrauding writers of 12 million yuan and illegally using periodical numbers.
His eight employees all pled guilty to the same charges.
Wang previously worked for a magazine. When he found people were willing to pay to see their articles published, he founded two companies and employed people to run a pay-to-publish business.
Wang handled the company’s management, communicated with the print house and periodicals and ran advertisements on QQ chat groups.
Employees said Wang charged for 180 yuan to 380 yuan for each article. Employees received a 10 to 15 percent cut.
Police said they have identified some 20 victims. Few have been willing to come forward as charging Wang with publishing their work for pay may harm their careers, police said.
Beijing Youth Daily reporters searched for “publishing articles” online and found many other companies offering similar services. The price ranges from 600 to 1,800 yuan according to the periodical’s reputation.