The proliferation of predatory open-access publishers has created several new and expanding markets. One of these is the market for journal rankings. Because few predatory publishers are able to earn legitimate journal rankings, companies have emerged that — for a fee — award bogus impact factors to low-quality journals.
Predatory publishers compete intensely among themselves for the article processing charges that authors pay. Authors are their customers, and they want to get as much money from them as possible. In this competitive market, publishers want to stand out from the crowd and attract the author fees. One way to effectively earn these fees is to boast high journal rankings. Many predatory publishers lie about having an impact factor, but this tactic is easily confirmed as fraudulent. These new companies will, for a fee, bestow a high and “official” impact factor on their clients’ journals. Here are three of the companies: