19 June 2019
Response to MDPI Wikipedia Article

Wikipedia is an important source of community-based knowledge and MDPI supports the endeavor to openly disseminate knowledge, which closely matches the goals of MDPI. Unfortunately, some editors of the Wikipedia page about MDPI lack objectivity. This leaves the article heavily biased and uninformative about the majority of MDPI’s activities. Any potential improvements added to the page are quickly removed. We have made a number of attempts to discuss with Wikipedia editors to improve the quality of the article, but without success. Thus, for the time being, we do not recommend Wikipedia as a reliable source of information about MDPI.

For a comprehensive history of MDPI, see https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/about/history. In addition, there are third party sources of information about MDPI journals such as Publons (https://publons.com/journal/?order_by=num_reviews_last_one_year).

Almost three quarters of the Wikipedia article covers controversial topics, mentioning 4 out of over 200,000 published papers, one instance where 10 editorial board members resigned (in 2018 we had over 43,000 Editorial Board Members and Guest Editors), and inclusion on Jeffrey Beall’s list, known as a source biased against open access and from which MDPI was removed (see our response here). While we do not object to these topics being mentioned, the way in which they are presented is misleading.

Responses to some of the topics covered can be found at:

Australian Paradox (Nutrients): https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/2072-6643/4/4/258/htm.

Andrulis paper (Life): https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/2075-1729/2/1/213/htm.

Editorial board resignation (Nutrients): https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/about/announcements/1389.

Comment on Park, B., et al. Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports Behav. Sci. 2016, 6, 17: https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/about/announcements/1616.

WASH Blog on failures: https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/about/announcements/2215.

The Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals is mentioned on MDPI’s Wikipedia article. According to a January 2022 update, based on a meeting held by the "National Board of Scholarly Publishing", the Register lists 196 MDPI journals of which 182 have the scientific rating "Level 1” (93% of journals), nine "Level 0", and one remains in the "Level X" category, pending further discussion among the scientific board.

The National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences-Center of Scientometrics released an updated "Early Warning Journal List (Trial)" at the end of 2021, which could not represent the attitude of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and furthermore the attitude of the academic community of China. Among the criteria mentioned for inclusion in the list are the supposed lack of an international readership and limited international dissemination of China's academic achievements; as well as article processing fees which are deemed “unreasonable”. However, there is no transparency about how these criteria are applied to arrive at the current list of 35 titles, of which seven are MDPI’s.

All MDPI journals are open access, and are supported by Article Processing Charges (APCs). MDPI is committed to keeping journals' APCs at a fair level. APCs make free and open dissemination to a global readership even possible. APCs fund teams who, among other services, manage the review process, handle coordination across editorial teams, copyedit, perform ethics checks, format manuscripts, handle marketing and promotion, ensure database coverage and support the journals’ scientific editors. APCs are only charged to accepted papers after full peer review. Article acceptances can only be made by independent editorial board members and cannot be made by MDPI staff. For more details on article processing charges, please see the following page: https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/apc.

A data breakdown by the initiative on "Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges" (ESAC) lists MDPI's average APC for 2020, the latest year available, at USD 1,437 (accessed on 27 January 2022). That is between 20% and 40% lower than the average APC charged by other main publishers for Gold OA journals, and 50−60% less than the average amount charged for the OA option by hybrid journals.

Last updated: 9 June 2022

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