Wiley Closes a Crop of Journals

Wiley closes more journals, a signifier of how publishing has become about commodities, not communities

Wiley’s troubles continue, more than a year after their stock cratered with news that fraud among Hindawi special issues had forced the publisher to retract thousands of articles. This threw their revenues off with a negative swing of $105M, and caused their stock to plummet in minutes. It was the beginning of a very bad stretch for Wiley, with its stock in “a downward channel pattern,” an OA brand in the trash, and a CEO sent packing.

The bad patch grows longer still, as a story in the Wall Street Journal disclosed that Wiley announced it is closing 19 journals due to large-scale research fraud caused to some extent by paper mills — but to a larger extent by the APC business model, which enables and incentivizes bad behavior on both sides of the table, full stop.

The announcement wasn’t made via any standard Wiley outlet, such as their newsroom page. Instead, it was made via a special page set up under the Hindawi.com URL, leading the reporter from the Wall Street Journal to admit via email that “it’s confusing,” and that she would “flag it for the desk.”

The story made the front page, so any concerns that our embarrassments aren’t making a splash can go by the boards: