Journal of Water Chemistry and Technology – unpleasant news from Scopus

February 05, 2018

In social networks and on official websites, we often encounter news related to scientific journals, their rankings, indexing, publication invitations, etc. At the same time, most readers are not deeply concerned with the content of the news and perceive it as a statement of fact, which may need to be shared with friends across the network. However, if we strive to develop our journals and bring them closer to the best world practices, the news should be analyzed and certain conclusions should be drawn.

Here is the unpleasant news from Scopus that Journal of Water Chemistry and Technology has appeared in the list of journals whose indexing has been discontinued since 2018. The news is really unpleasant. Let's try to answer the question: Why?

As early as in 2017, Scopus made known the fact of some journals indexing suspension to the scientific community. At the time, five Ukrainian journals were found to be in the list. It was rather lively to be discussed in the academic circles, but no thorough analysis was provided. In Ukraine, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy's library  and Pan Bibliotekar (Mr. Librarian) wrote about it.

The versions as to journals' exclusion (including information from editors of the journals) were the following: a sharp increase in the number of publications; organization of a large number of conferences in order to submit manuscripts for publication; narrow geography of published articles, etc. Naturally, one should also pay attention to the list of reasons for the exclusion from the database provided directly by Scopus, namely high self-citations by the journal itself and the low citation level of articles published in the journal.

What's wrong with the Journal of Water Chemistry and Technology? It is the fact that the journal is published not by some small commercial publisher or by some unknown university, but by Springer – one of the monopolists of this market. The Journal is also WoS indexed and its impact factor is 0.334.

To be absolutely fair, a journal titled "Chemistry and Water Technology"  is published by A. V. Dumansky Institute of Colloid Chemistry and Water Chemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (KV 13594-2568PR, founders – NAS of Ukraine and A. V. Dumansky Institute of Colloid Chemistry and Water Chemistry). And the Journal of Water Chemistry and Technology is its translation and is really published by Springer through  Allerton Press, Inc. (USA). The company is associated with Pleiades Publishing Inc., which is in symbiosis with the aforementioned Allerton Press, Inc. and MAIC Ltd.  publishes more than 200 journals of the Russian Academy of Sciences ( and

But back to the journal. We thoroughly considered it in the Journal's International Compliance Index (JIC Index). Its rate is 0,300. The rate is good enough since Springer digitizes the articles archiving in modern digital archives and provides an opportunity to pay subscription fees and access to a closed article through the site. That's what added a certain number of points. But, despite the fact that experts actually combined indicators for two sites (which is not exactly correct), it is still not very high for Springer journal from Scopus.

Let's talk about journal.

On the Ukrainian journal of "Chemistry and Technology of Water" (which is given only in Russian) site we can read the following: "The journal is published in both Russian and English. English language version titled the Journal of Water Chemistry and Technology is published and distributed by Allerton Press, Inc. (USA), in collaboration with Springer (Germany). Authors collect a fee in freely convertible currency for English-language articles publication in the journal".

But on Springer we read: "Many of the articles originate from the Institute of Colloid Chemistry and Water Chemistry (Ukrainian Academy of Sciences), which is well known for its contributions to the study of chemical and physicochemical water treatment processes." That is, someone misleads the academic community because the English-language journal fully duplicates the Ukrainian language version.

The journals have the same editor-in-chief and the same editorial board. The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine has registered a journal with titles in three languages, namely "Хімія і технологія води" [Khimiia i tekhnolohiia vody] (Ukrainian), Journal of Water Chemistry and Technology (English), and "Химия и технология воды" [Khimiya i tekhnolohiya vody] (Russian).

Journal of Water Chemistry and Technology has ISSN: 1063-455X (print), 1934-936X (online). The country of registration is USA. "Хімія і технологія води" (Khimiia i tekhnologiia vody) has ISSN 0204-3556, and it is pointed out that this is Ukraine. In both cases, The ISSN International Centre points out that the journal is indexed in Scopus.

It is impossible to read the latest issues of the "Хімія і технологія води" [Khimiia i tekhnolohiia vody] journal, because they are not open accessed. The Vernadsky Library website offers an opportunity to look through the issues till 2015.

We can observe interesting statistics on publications by the Director of the Institute of Colloid Chemistry and Water Chemistry (founder and publisher of the Ukrainian version), editor-in-chief V. V. Honcharuk. In 2014, he co-authored the following articles: issue No. 1 – 1 article, No. 2 – 1, No. 4 – 3, No. 5 – 3; № 6 – 3. In 2015: No. 1 – 5, No. 2 – 3, No. 3 – 4. This appeared to be a problem. Besides, some more scholars have published in the journal several times a year. Then, the overwhelming majority of the journal's authors are the institute-founder`s members with a very high self-citation level. Moreover, the Institute of Colloid Chemistry and Water Chemistry (Ukrainian version publisher) is not registered in Ukraine as a publisher.

More than likely, Scopus experts warned about checking the journal and had other reasons for such a radical solution.

It happened, but some questions still remain open. Under what terms is a journal created by a public institution for public funds issued abroad? Are "Хімія і технологія води" [Khimiia i tekhnolohiia vody] journal and the Journal of Water Chemistry and Technology multilingual versions of one journal, or are they different journals? When the support programs of promising domestic journals will appear in the system of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine to prevent them from publishing in foreign publishing companies?

Serhii Kozmenko

blog comments powered by Disqus
blog comments powered by Disqus