Academics have long been concerned about the proliferation of predatory journals that publish substandard papers with little or no review in return for a substantial fee. In recent years a number of predatory conferences have made their appearance.
Some researchers have now noted the appearance of what is described as a predatory ranking. An article in Retraction Watch reports that Tanvir Ahmed has noted news stories about “predatory rankings”, referring to AD Scientific Index, which is published in Turkey. This publication requires a profile processing fee of $30 for scientists from high-income countries and $24 hours for others. Institutions can request subscriptions for groups of scientists at a discount. The article observes that the standard university rankings do not charge a fee for inclusion.
Ahmed claimed that the ranking uses inappropriate data and that the methodology is not clearly explained. Other commentators noted that the Index is becoming popular in some emerging economies and has received a significant amount of publicity.
It should be noted that while the well-known global rankings do not charge fees for inclusion, they do offer a variety of benchmarking, consulting, auditing, and reputation management services.