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For a long time, Hindawi journals had a semi-good reputation in my field. Many Hindawi journals used to be on Beall's list in the past. With the merging with Wiley, however, Hindawi now also falls under the DEAL agreement, making it more attractive for many researchers that are short on open access funding (including me). Finding information on the current reputation of Hindawi on the internet is difficult and many discussion in various forums stem from the years 2016 - 2019. May I ask whether the merging with Wiley may increase the reputation of Hindawi and could potentially influence the overall quality/merit of their journals?

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    Project DEAL is a thing in Germany, is it relevant for other counties, too? Apr 23, 2023 at 13:23
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    @Snijderfrey I am sorry, I did not clarify. As far as I am concerned, it is a Germany-specific consortium. DEAL allows you to publish OA in Wiley / Springer / BMC journals - paid by the corresponding author's institution.
    – Dr.M
    Apr 23, 2023 at 13:42

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Over the last year or so, there have been several reports of problems with Hindawi's peer-review process, particularly for special issues, which have been targeted by papermills. See for example this blog post dated March 30, 2023 from Scholarly Kitchen:

As explained in detail by Retraction Watch, Hindawi’ Guest Editor model was exploited by paper mills, leading to more than 500 retractions from November 2022 to March 2023. In a random sample of 20 retracted articles, half of them were submitted in 2021, meaning that the paper mills were at work as soon as Hindawi ventured into the Guest Editor model.

The timing was most unfortunate for Wiley, which acquired Hindawi in January 2021 for the hefty price of $298m. In response to the paper mills, Wiley not only retracted the articles of concern, but also paused Hindawi’s Guest Editor program, resulting in a $9m decline in quarterly revenue, which is expected to reach $30m for the full year. As soon as the results were announced, Wiley’s stock value dropped by 17% to its lowest level since 2009 (except for a year-long slump during COVID). The decline translates to a $420m reduction in market capitalization.

...

Last week, Clarivate announced the removal of more than 50 journals from the Web of Science, including 19 journals from Hindawi. The delisting came after Wiley announced its Q3 results, and its repercussions may not have been fully appreciated by analysts, given that Wiley’s stock value did not drop any further.

More recent coverage on RetractionWatch.com includes the removal of Hindawi's Mathematical Problems in Engineering from a Norwegian register of scientific journals, as well as Wiley and Hindawi to retract 1,200 more papers for compromised peer review.

My interpretation is that Wiley is trying to improve the processes and quality of Hindawi. In the long-term this may improve the reputation of Hindawi journals. However, at least in the short-term it has exposed lots of issues and, as far as I can tell, lowered the reputation. Whether this is a temporary effect from swallowing the bitter pill or a more lasting effect remains to be seen.


On Dec 6, 2023, Wiley announced they will be sunsetting the Hindawi brand and plan to integrate Hindawi journals under the Wiley banner during 2024. See reporting by Retraction Watch or slides and transcript from an earnings call. Presumably, this move is intended to help shield the less recognized journal titles from negative connotations with the Hindawi brand.

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  • @ Anyon Where could I find the names of these 50 journals? I have read this number at several homepages but have not encountered a precise list.
    – Dr.M
    Apr 23, 2023 at 17:11
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    @Dr.M This page claims to have the full list: predatoryreports.org/news/f/… RetractionWatch has a list of the affected titles they identified at retractionwatch.com/2023/03/21/…
    – Anyon
    Apr 23, 2023 at 17:16
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@Anyon's answer is pretty good from a big picture perspective. I will say, from my personal experience, the papers I have read from Hindawi almost as a rule are...not good. I think Wiley will have an uphill battle cleaning up Hindawi's portfolio. Even if they shutter the most egregious journals/retract the most suspect papers, the reputation will not change overnight. And they can't go back and retract every subpar paper.

Many of the journals that were not outright predatory are just not great - the ones that are good I think are the exception. Those are the journals that are likely to come out the other end more "prestigious" now that they are tied to Wiley. The other journals still are low impact, have questionable papers, and are just not super desirable. Truthfully, I think most of the okayish journals (that will soon ditch the Hindawi brand) will stay just okayish, at least for now. Hopefully there won't be a question about whether they are predatory though...

So to answer your question directly, eventually. But probably not in a predictable way and probably not overnight. Especially since so much has come to light since the merger that might have been only suspected prior.

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  • May I ask how the following: How would you explain why Wiley actively transfers journal to Hindawi. To me, that is contradictory to your comments.
    – Dr.M
    Dec 7, 2023 at 17:28
  • I have no idea. I'm not sure it contracts my comments though. Wiley is trying to increase their market share - they didn't buy Hindawi out of the goodness of their hearts. Cleaning up the portfolio is a means to an end I suspect and not the primary goal of the acquisition.
    – sErISaNo
    Dec 7, 2023 at 21:34

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