More on the “Australasian Journal of…” series.

On the basis of the evidence below, I believe the entire “Australasian journal of…” series from Excerpta Medica to be either nonexistent or fake, in the same sense of “fake” that Elsevier has already admitted applies to the following six titles from that series:

  • Australasian Journal of General Practice
  • Australasian Journal of Neurology
  • Australasian Journal of Cardiology
  • Australasian Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
  • Australasian Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine

WorldCat lists a further thirteen titles in the apparent series:

  • Australasian journal of asthma
  • Australasian journal of bone & joint medicine
  • Australasian journal of dentistry
  • Australasian journal of depression
  • Australasian journal of gastroenterology
  • Australasian journal of hospital pharmacy
  • Australasian journal of infectious diseases
  • Australasian journal of musculoskeletal medicine
  • Australasian journal of obstetrics & gynaecology
  • Australasian journal of paediatrics
  • Australasian journal of pain management
  • Australasian journal of psychiatry
  • Australasian journal of respiratory medicine
  • Australasian journal of sexual health

I believe these all to be either nonexistent or fake because:
1a. Although WorldCat lists ISSNs for all titles, all but two include a note saying “ISSN prepublication record”. The two entries which do not carry that note are also the only two titles listed as being held in any library:
1b. Only the “Australasian journal of musculoskeletal medicine” and the admitted fake “Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine” are listed as being held by any library in WorldCat.  Both are listed at the State Library of New South Wales:

Australasian journal of bone & joint medicine.
Chatswood, N.S.W. : Excerpta Medica Communications, 2002- 
v. : ill. ; 30 cm.
State Ref Library
NQ617.7005/1
Vol. 1, issue 2 (2002)-v. 4, issue 1 (2005)
Australasian journal of musculoskeletal medicine.
Chatswood, N.S.W. : Excerpta Media Communications, 2002. 
v. : ill. ; 30 cm.
State Ref Library
NQ617.7005/1
Vol. 1, issue 1 (2002).

I’ve written to the library to ask for a copy or photograph of either journal.
2. None of the series titles have websites that I can find.
3. None of them are listed in PubMed, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, Elsevier’s own Science Direct or Scopus (I’d be obliged if someone with access could check Web of Science). Update: Peter Murray checked, and couldn’t find any of the titles in the WoS “publication name” field. Thanks Peter!
4a. A phrase search in Google Scholar returns hits only for the Australasian journal of psychiatry; all of these are citations, three of which are apparent self-citations to the same article:

Mellsop GW, Menkes DB, El-Badri S. Releasing Psychiatry from the Constraints of Categorical Diagnosis. Australasian Journal of Psychiatry. 2007;15:3-5. doi: 10.1080/10398560601083134

That DOI resolves to an article of the same name and with the same page numbers in Australasian Psychiatry, which is published by Informa Healthcare for The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.  I’ve written to the communicating author, Dr Mellsop, to ask for a reprint.
Of the remaining three hits, two are citations to other articles in the Australasian Journal of Psychiatry and one I cannot decipher without paying a fee to see the references of an obscure paper.  Of the two I can decipher, one resolves to a paper in Australasian Psychiatry from 2003; the same article is available from Informaworld.  The other is to an “in press” citation from 2007 (which also appears in 4b below).
4b. The same search on Google returns a number of hits, including the following:

  • from this page:
    M.I. Loh., & Restubog, S.L. (2007). Lecturers’ and Students’ Perceptions of Current Teaching Methods about Schizophrenia. Australasian Journal of Psychiatry, 15, 347-349.
    This does not seem to be related to the Informaworld journal Australasian Psychiatry since vol 15 p 347 is this, and I could only find these two papers by Jennifer Loh on the informaworld site. 
  • from this page:
    Langdon, R. (2003). Theory of mind and psychopathology: autism versus schizophrenia [Abstract]. Australasian Journal of Psychiatry.
    from this page:
    Griffiths, K., Farrer, L., & Christensen, H. (2007). Clickety-Click: the e- trains on track. Australasian Journal of Psychiatry, 15(2), 100-108.
    also from here and here:
    Griffiths, K.; Farrer, L.; and Christensen, H. Clickety-click: The e-trains on track. Australasian Journal of Psychiatry, In press, accepted 10/06.
    This appears to be the same paper in the Informaworld journal, Australasian Psychiatry.
  • from here, here and here:
    Tarantola D (2007) The interface of mental health and human rights in Indigenous populations: triple jeopardy and triple opportunity Australasian Journal of Psychiatry, 15(Suppl):S10-S17
    Again, here’s the same paper in Australasian Psychiatry.
  • from here and here:
    Cornes, A., & Napier, J. (in press). Challenges of mental health interpreting: Therapy has taught us that it’s all our fault Australasian Journal of Psychiatry.
    And the same paper seems to appear in Australasian Psychiatry.

I’ve written to Drs Loh, Langdon, Griffiths, Tarantola and Napier to ask for copies.

5 thoughts on “More on the “Australasian Journal of…” series.

  1. Nice work Bill.
    So, those “pre-publication ISSNs” held by no libraries — you think those were titles that Excerpta Medica “reserved” for future fake journal use, but never ended up using?
    Although, if the primary purpose of these fake journals is to send freeby throway copies to physicians, then it seems like it would be possible that they could have been published but never mentioned on the web or acquired by any library.
    The interesting question is how the State Library of NSW ended up acquiring them at all!

  2. Jonathan, I think that’s probably just what happened. I’m talking to WorldCat by email to find out how the provisional records ended up there; I’ve also written to the Aus national ISSN center but no reply yet. Since you can apply for an ISSN on a simple web form, my guess is that Excerpta Medica got the provisional ISSNs that way and then found some way to have records added to WorldCat.
    The way to have provisional ISSNs confirmed is to snail-mail a hard copy of vol 1 issue 1 to the National Library. My guess is that Ex Med did this with the fake journals they actually printed, and that the National Library (which surely cannot hold every serial it gets sent for ISSN confirmation purposes) registered the ISSNs and shipped the hard copies out to a State libary — probably the one closest to the publisher’s offices.
    As for the self-cites, I suspect that’s not quite what it looks like! Dr Mellsop sent me a reprint, and it’s from the (bona fide!) journal Australasian Psychiatry. Two other authors have also sent me reprints, and it’s much the same story — the actual articles are in Austral Psych, or were just an abstract and the author sent me the full paper, which was published elsewhere. I suspect that all the cites to “Australasian Journal of Psychiatry” may be simple mistakes — it only takes one addition of “journal of” to a cite and then it propagates.

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