“A strange phenomenon has transformed the world scientific system. Suddenly, academic journals that were previously weekly or biweekly have started publishing several special issues each day. There are unusual cases, such as the hyperprolific environmental and health research journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), which last year published 17,000 scientific studies, 13 times more than in 2016, according to engineer Pablo Gómez Barreiro’s calculations. The theoretically biweekly journal has reached an output speed of six special issues per day and in recent years has been the preferred journal of Spanish scientists seeking to publish their work. The publishing house that owns it, MDPI, was founded in Switzerland by the Chinese chemist Shu-Kun Lin and has multiplied its income, thanks to a transfer of millions of euros of public money budgeted for science. It is a bubble that is about to burst, as a study by Gómez Barreiro and three other colleagues suggests….
Gómez Barreiro gives an extreme example: Professor Elsayed Tag Eldin, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the Future, a private institution in Cairo (Egypt) had barely published studies before, but this year he has already published 418, more than one every day, on all kinds of topics: Covid-19, solar panels, nanofluids, agriculture, even cyberattacks. He publishes more studies than anyone other scientist in the world….”