Nick Newcomer, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for IGI Global’s Late Removal from Webinar as a “Rogue Publisher”

By IGI Global on Jan 21, 2022
denied stamp Nick Newcomer, IGI Global’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, was removed from a recent Research Information Webinar due to false accusations against IGI Global. He was only notified of his abrupt removal the morning of the webinar. This exclusion came as an affront following multiple weeks of diligent work and preparation. It is unfortunate that Mr. Newcomer was removed from the panel due to IGI Global’s strong and statistically backed stance on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and ethical publishing. Due to this removal, our voices were silenced, leaving us unable to share valuable facts and insight on the importance of DEI within the academic publishing community.
Regrettably, IGI Global has been falsely labeled as a “vanity,” a “write-only,” and a “rogue” publisher, among other fake, inaccurate labels, as many independent publishers are. These accusations of IGI Global being a predatory publisher largely stem from the way in which we publish content outside the euro-centric and colonial norm, and from our support of early-career academicians alongside the many tenured experts that routinely contribute to IGI Global publications. IGI Global strongly believes in taking action to dismantle outdated industry standards and to support and give a voice to underrepresented researchers all over the world. The prejudice within the academic publishing industry is detrimental to the advancement of knowledge. As Mr. Newcomer has stated in a previously published article:
Nick Newcomer “Unfortunately, for so many years, DEI has not been prioritized within the academic community and through the current standards of scholarly publishing the entire landscape has been created through a euro-centric lens. As part of a medium-sized international independent publisher, I have seen this lens suppress not only underrepresented researchers but stifle the distribution of quality research due to biases and discrimination within the industry (2021).”
In recognizing this ongoing issue, we have continued to address DEI in the publishing industry while maintaining our primary focus on the merit of research, rather the sole focus on profitability. This practice provides publishing opportunities for researchers from all over the world, which is demonstrated by the fact that over 40% of the scholars we work with hail from non-western countries. This merit-focused research approach and double-blind peer-review process does not favor research from specific nations, decry valuable research due to a lack of prestigious affiliations, nor does it challenge the nuances of language that can alter the meaning of the research if changed. This is an approach IGI Global pridefully takes as an ethical publishing house and member of the international group, Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We maintain these practices by providing full transparency of our publication processes and strictly adhering to our rigorous double-blind peer review process to ensure that only quality, properly vetted research is published.
Despite this, our efforts are targeted by a small representation of researchers and publishers who do not share the same ethical notion. Mr. Newcomer stated:
“Where regardless of the facts that IGI Global is a full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and all of our titles are fully double-blind peer-reviewed, we are seen as not credible due to the opinions on a few scholars. The reality is that many of our processes are ahead of the industry in terms of monitoring the publishing process and rigor but are being overshadowed by the prejudices against us a publisher or our network of 150,000+ academicians and researchers (2021).”
Unfortunately, these false accusations by a few academicians negatively impact the careers of over 150,000 scholars who have worked with IGI Global and volunteered their professional services and expertise to assist in reviewing and editing quality research. It is our belief that protecting the reputations of our collaborators is our moral responsibility. These unprecedented attacks on IGI Global stem from prejudices that are deeply ingrained in the academic publishing community. This ivory tower mentality is taking away opportunities from credible researchers and severely limiting their ability to contribute their valuable research and insights to the world of academic knowledge.
IGI Global is not the only publisher facing these attacks against our researchers’ merit and our processes. In an interview with the Charleston Hub, Dr. Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, CEO of IGI Global, said:
Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. “Over the past decade, our publishing house and so many other publishers globally have been dealing with these unprovoked attacks by many individuals (oftentimes bloggers, online trolls, and/or predatory researchers) who make false claims and accusations about our publishing practices and ethical stance. Sometimes it is an author that had a work rejected and is dissatisfied with the outcome, or even a competitor of the publisher that is fueling this. Sadly, they do this because they are either severely misinformed and/or are acting to suit their own business agendas above industry values and standards. In the process, they are working to discredit their peers’ efforts, negatively impacting the lives and careers of millions of researchers and scholars who have collaborated with these publishing houses and research organizations as reviewers, authors, and editors on a voluntary basis to help advance scholarly discourse through quality vetted research (2021).”
These false accusations have persuaded some individuals against working with us despite the transparency of our processes, ample evidence to the contrary, and our COPE membership. This is exhibited by IGI Global’s unfortunate, aforementioned last-minute removal from a Research Information webinar, titled Academic publishing and a quest for diversity, in late November. Despite these incidents, IGI Global remains transparent about the stance we have maintained. We have built our foundation on DEI since our inception in 1988 and have remained strong in our commitment to continually implement ethical publishing practices. These damaging allegations are unwarranted, defamatory statements against IGI Global and our contributors, and they hold no authenticity or merit, nor do they sway us from our path.
As Mr. Newcomer has said,
“If publishers are bullied into limiting opportunities solely to established and career authors from select institutions, research will become repetitive and stale with nobody challenging it to become more forward thinking, disruptive, and inventive. Should the content not be held under greater scrutiny than a person’s name or affiliation? (2021)”
skyscraper Although research is published regarding academic biases and solutions, putting into practice actions that eliminate biases is key and should be standard practice throughout the scholarly publishing industry. Despite the fact that “multiple books could be written about the biases in academia and potential solutions to combat them, it is important for everyone in the academic community to question the standards of the current industry and educate yourself on how in each of your areas you can optimize to achieve this change,” because the pursuit of growth in academic fields also requires the pursuit of growth in publishers to further these fields (Newcomer 2021). To be able to make progress happen, people also need to be able to recognize flawed systems in place, including systems that exclude scholars and their worthy research from publishing in the name of supporting the ivory tower.
While IGI Global acknowledges that DEI practices are not so simple and easy for many, promotion of DEI and quality of research are not mutually exclusive. To think so indicates one such colonialist viewpoint that DEI practices have been striving to combat. These limitations continue to withhold opportunities for underrepresented researchers to contribute their diverse research, innovative ideas, and valuable viewpoints to the academic community. Without a consistent influx of new information to challenge existing research, the pool of knowledge cannot improve and will become stagnant and repetitive. It is crucial to create and maintain space for the voices of credible researchers from all over the world, regardless of identifiers such as race, religion, gender, and country of origin. We will continue to maintain our stance on DEI and our ethical publishing practices while combatting these unprecedented and defamatory attacks. If anything, these attacks only continue to exhibit the need for us
to continue.
Works Cited

Gilson, T. (2021, April 29). ATG Interviews Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, President and Publisher, IGI Global. Charleston Hub.

IGI Global. (2021, August 4). A Critical Analysis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Publishing Industry.

IGI Global. (2020, April 20). IGI Global’s Response to the Irresponsible Vanity Press Claim by the New Fake

Newcomer, N. (2021, August 31). Malicious mislabeling at the expense of embracing DEI. Research Information.

About IGI Global

Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is committed to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically advanced publishing process. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 150,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging, peer-reviewed research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. Learn More About IGI Global >

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