MDPI is an organisational acronym used by two related organisations,
Molecular Diversity Preservation International and Multidisciplinary
Digital Publishing Institute, which were both co-founded by Shu-Kun
Lin. The first organisation, Molecular Diversity Preservation
International, founded in 1996, is primarily a chemical sample
archive, with some scholarly publishing and conference activities. The
second organisation, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute,
was founded in 2010, primarily as a publisher. As of 2018 MDPI
publishes 193 peer-reviewed academic journals. of which 27 have
received an impact factor.
MDPI was included on Jeffrey Beall's list of predatory open access
publishing companies in 2014 and was removed in 2015. Beall's
list was shut down in 2017; Beall later wrote that he had been
pressured to shut down the list due to pressure on his institution
from various publishers, specifically mentioning MDPI.
1.1 Molecular Diversity Preservation International
MDPI AG (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)
2.1 Controversial articles
2.2 Inclusion in Beall's list
3 See also
5 External links
Molecular Diversity Preservation International
Molecular Diversity Preservation International was founded and
registered as a non-profit association (Verein) by Shu-Kun Lin and
Benoit R. Turin in
Basel in 1996 to enable the deposit and exchange of
rare molecular and biomolecular research samples. The goal was to
preserve the diversity of chemical compounds through the collection
and storage of samples that could be made available to the scientific
community for research purposes. This collection of samples was
permanently transferred to the
MDPI Sustainability Foundation in 2013,
and Molecular Diversity Preservation International was dissolved. The
collection of chemical samples is now operated by Molmall Sarl on
behalf of the
MDPI Sustainability Foundation.
The journal Molecules was established in 1996 in collaboration with
Springer-Verlag (now Springer Science+Business Media) in order to
document the chemical samples of the
MDPI collection. Several other
journals were established by the
MDPI Verein, including Entropy
International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2000),
Marine Drugs (2003), and the International Journal of
Environmental Research and Public Health (2004). The publisher
(see below) was spun off from
MDPI Verein in 2010.
MDPI Verein co-organized several academic conferences, including the
International Symposium on Frontiers in Molecular Science. It also
runs virtual conferences, such as the Electronic Conference on
Synthetic Organic Chemistry, which was started in 1997. In 2010 MDPI
launched the platform Sciforum.net to host virtual conferences. In
2014, various virtual conferences were hosted in the areas of
synthetic organic chemistry, material sciences, sensors, and
sustainability. In 2015,
MDPI co-organized two physical conferences
with and at the University of Basel, the 4th Internationational
Symposium on Sensor Science and the 5th World Sustainability Forum.
Since 2015, scholars can organize their own conference for free on the
MDPI AG (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)
MDPI AG, a publisher of open-access scientific journals, was spun off
from the Molecular Diversity Preservation International organization.
It was formally registered by Shu-Kun Lin and Dietrich Rordorf in May
2010 in Basel, Switzerland, and maintains editorial offices in China,
Spain and Serbia.
MDPI relies primarily on article processing
charges to cover the costs of editorial quality control and production
of articles. Over 280 universities and institutes have joined the
MDPI Institutional Open Access Program; authors from these
organizations pay reduced article processing charges.
MDPI is a
member of the Committee on Publication Ethics, the International
Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers, and the
Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association
Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA).
MDPI currently publishes over 180 peer-reviewed scientific journals.
As of November 2017, 32 journals have been selected for coverage in
the Science Citation Index Expanded, while 69 journals are indexed
Thomson Reuters products, such as the Emerging Sources
Citation Index, BIOSIS Previews, and The Zoological Record.
A total of 49
MDPI journals publishing in biomedicine, life sciences,
and related areas are archived in PubMed Central.
can also be found in other relevant indexing services, such as Scopus,
which currently includes over 79
MDPI journals, and Ei Compendex,
which covers 13
In line with OASPA's recommendation, all articles published by MDPI
since 2008 are released under the CC-BY Creative Commons license
and preserved with the
Swiss National Library and CLOCKSS.
In December 2011, the
MDPI journal Life published Erik D. Andrulis'
theoretical paper, Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of
Life, aiming at presenting a framework to explain life. It
attracted coverage by the popular science and technology magazines Ars
Technica and Popular Science, which characterized it as "crazy"
and "hilarious". A member of the editorial board of Life resigned
in response. Publisher Lin defended the journal's editorial
process, saying that the paper had been revised following lengthy
reviews by two faculty members from institutions different from the
In 2013, another
MDPI journal, Entropy, published a review paper
claiming glyphosate may be the most important factor in the
development of obesity, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder, autism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple
sclerosis, cancer, and infertility. The paper itself does not
contain any primary research results. It was criticized as
pseudo-science by the popular science magazine Discover. With
regard to the same controversial study,
Jeffrey Beall has rhetorically
MDPI publish anything for money?".
When publishers like
MDPI disseminate research by science activists
Stephanie Seneff and her co-authors, I think it’s fair to
question the credibility of all the research that
MDPI publishes. Will
MDPI publish anything for money?
A third instance of controversial publications is documented in the
MDPI has published a statement in December 2013 as a response and
defense on publishing controversial papers.
One of its journals had been targeted in the Who's Afraid of Peer
Review? sting operation and rejected the fake paper. In 2014,
MDPI's Life journal started featuring open peer review (optional,
at the authors' discretion), which has been advocated as a
transparency measure to combat predatory journals.
Inclusion in Beall's list
MDPI was included on Jeffrey Beall's list of predatory open access
publishing companies in February 2014, and removed in October 2015
following a successful appeal. Beall's concern was that "MDPI's
warehouse journals contain hundreds of lightly-reviewed articles that
are mainly written and published for promotion and tenure purposes
rather than to communicate science." Beall also claimed that MDPI
used email spam to solicit manuscripts.
MDPI characterized Beall's
comments as "an incompetent general critique" and alleged that the
MDPI on his list was motivated by a hostility towards
open access publishing in general, noting that he had recently
published a commentary on that theme. Peter Murray-Rust, a
chemist currently working at the
University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge and an
editorial board member of the
MDPI journal Data, criticized
Beall's critique of
MDPI as being "irresponsible" and lacking
Among the reasons Beall gave for adding
MDPI to his list of
questionable publishers was the accusation that the company listed
Nobel Prize-winning geneticist
Mario Capecchi in one of the editorial
board without his knowledge. This was later revealed as the result
of an inaccurate communication by Capecchi's assistant. MDPI
has compiled and posted emails claiming to document the acceptance by
the following Nobelists as members of the board in
Robert F. Curl, Richard R. Ernst, Jerome Karle, Harold Kroto,
Yuan-Tseh Lee, Rudolph A. Marcus, Eric S. Maskin, Steven Weinberg,
Kurt Wüthrich and George Smoot.
Following Beall's criticism of MDPI, the Open Access Scholarly
Publishers Association (OASPA) conducted an investigation in April
2014 and concluded that
MDPI meets the OASPA Membership Criteria,
stating that "Based on our findings we feel satisfied that MDPI
continue to meet the OASPA Membership Criteria".
Further critique was raised by
Martin Haspelmath who argues that the
publication model employed by
MDPI "creates a strong incentive to
create journals and book imprints that function like 'vanity presses,'
allowing authors to publish their low-quality work without significant
risk of rejection." In response to Haspelmath,
MDPI published a
commentary in the same journal disputing a number of points.
MDPI was removed from Beall's list in 2015. In a 2017 article in
Biochemia Medica, Beall wrote that he had been pressured to remove his
list due to harassment from predatory publishers, and mentioned MDPI
specifically as a publisher that had "tried to be as annoying as
possible to the university so that the officials would get so tired of
the emails that they would silence me just to make them stop."
Journals published by MDPI
MDPI Journals A-Z". www.mdpi.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
^ "Updated Impact Factors for
MDPI Journals". www.mdpi.com. Retrieved
^ Gillis, Alex (January 12, 2017). "Beware! Academics are getting
reeled in by scam journals". University Affairs.
^ a b
Jeffrey Beall (18 February 2014), Chinese Publisher
to List of Questionable Publishers Archived 2014-03-06 at the Wayback
Machine., Scholarly Open Access: Critical analysis of scholarly
^ a b "Predatory Publishing: The Dark Side of the Open-Access Movement
- ASH Clinical News". ASH Clinical News. 1 January 2017.
^ a b Beall, Jeffrey (2017). "What I learned from predatory
publishers". Biochemia Medica. 27 (2): 273–279.
^ a b "History of MDPI". Retrieved 2014-03-17.
^ "Chemical Museum and Samples Exchange". Retrieved 2011-07-24.
^ "MolMall About us". MolMall. 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
MDPI Offer Any Discounts or Waivers of the Article Processing
Charges (APCs)?". MDPI. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
^ "Membership Institutes". MDPI. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
^ "COPE Members". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
^ "STM Members". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
^ "OASPA Members". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
^ "Journals indexed in SCI-E (Web of Science)". MDPI. Retrieved
^ "Journals indexed in ESCI (Web of Science)". MDPI. Retrieved
^ "Journals indexed in PubMed". MDPI. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
^ "Journals indexed in Scopus". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
^ "Journals indexed in Ei Compendex". MDPI.
MDPI Open Access Information and Policy". MDPI.
^ "CLOCKSS". MDPI.
^ "About MDPI". MDPI.
^ Andrulis, Erik D. (2011). "Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and
Nature of Life". Life. 2 (1): 1–105.
^ Timmer, John. "How the craziest f#@!ing "theory of everything" got
published and promoted". Ars Technica. Retrieved 17 January
^ a b Nosowitz, Dan. "Hilarious "Theory of Everything" Paper Provokes
Kerfuffle". Popular Science. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
^ Zimmer, Carl. "Life turned upside down". Discover Magazine.
Retrieved 17 January 2014.
^ Lin, Shu-Kun (2012). "Publication of Controversial Papers in Life".
Life. 2 (1): 213–214. doi:10.3390/life2010213 .
^ a b Samsel, Anthony; Stephanie Seneff. "Glyphosate's Suppression of
Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut
Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases". Entropy.
Bibcode:2013Entrp..15.1416S. doi:10.3390/e15041416 .
^ Kloor, Keith. "When Media Uncritically Cover Pseudoscience".
Discover Magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
^ Beall, Jeffrey. "Anti-Roundup (Glyphosate) Researchers Use Easy OA
Journals to Spread their Views". Scholarly Open Access. Archived from
the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
^ "Controversial Articles". MDPI. December 2013. Retrieved 9 February
^ "Data and Documents".
^ Rampelotto, P. (2014). "Opening up Peer Review in Life: Towards a
Transparent and Reliable Process". Life. 4 (2): 225.
^ "Instructions for Authors — Editorial Procedures and Peer-Review".
^ "Is this peer reviewed? Predatory journals and the transparency of
^ Beall, Jeffrey (28 October 2015). "
MDPI removed from publisher list
following successful appeal. #OA #MDPI". @jeffrey_beall. Retrieved 27
^ "Chinese Publisher
MDPI Added to List of Questionable Publishers".
Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March
Jeffrey Beall (11 June 2015), Guest Editing a
Special Issue with
MDPI: Evidences of Questionable Actions by the Publisher Archived
2015-06-16 at the Wayback Machine., Scholarly Open Access: Critical
analysis of scholarly open-access publishing
^ Beall, Jeffrey (2013). "The Open-Access Movement is Not Really about
Open Access". tripleC. 11 (2): 589–597.
^ "Response to Mr. Jeffrey Beall's Repeated Attacks on MDPI". MDPI.
February 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
^ "Data — Editors". Retrieved 17 March 2014.
^ Murray-Rust, Peter (2014-02-18). "Beall's criticism of
evidence and is irresponsible".
^ Beall, Jeffrey (18 February 2014). "Chinese Publisher
MDPI Added to
List of Questionable Publishers". Scholarly Open Access. Archived from
the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
^ "Open access critic has major publisher in crosshairs - Page 3 of 3
- eCampus News". eCampus News. Archived from the original on 10 March
^ a b "Response to Mr. Jeffrey Beall's Repeated Attacks on MDPI".
MDPI. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
^ "Editorial Board of Universe" (Online access).
2016. Retrieved 2016-10-22.
^ "Conclusions from OASPA Membership Committee Investigation into
MDPI". Retrieved 14 April 2014.
^ Haspelmath, M. (2013). "Why open-access publication should be
nonprofit—a view from the field of theoretical language science".
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 7: 57.
^ Rittman, M (2015). "Commentary: "Why open-access publication should
be nonprofit-a view from the field of theoretical language science"".
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 9: 201.
doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00201 . PMC 4543888 .
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