VDM Publishing

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VDM Publishing
VDM Verlag.svg
Founded 2002
Headquarters Saarbrücken
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Wolfgang Philipp Müller
Key people Thorsten Ohm
CEO[1]
Industry Publishing
Employees 70 (2007)[2][3]
Subsidiaries Publishing houses:
VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, Südwestdeutscher Verlag für Hochschulschriften, Verlag Classic Edition, EUE Editions Universitaires Européennes, Doyen Verlag, Fromm Verlag, Saarbrücker Verlag für Rechtswissenschaften,
Alphascript Publishing

Betascript Publishing

Fastbook Publishing

Service industries:
International Book Market Service Ltd. formerly named VDM Publishing House Ltd.
VDM Verlagservicegsellschaft mbH, VDM IT-Dienstleistungen, MoreBooks! Publishing GmbH, VDM Verwaltung Aktiengesellschaft [4]
Website vdmpublishinggroup.com
Available in English, German

VDM Publishing is a German publishing group based in Saarbrücken, Germany, with offices in Argentina,[5] Latvia, Mauritius and Moldova.[3][4][6][7] Its book production is based on print on demand technology.

VDM publishing's imprintsAlphascript, Betascript, Fastbook Publishing and Doyen Verlag—specialize in publishing and selling Wikipedia articles in printed form via print on demand, in e-commerce bookstores.[8] Alphascript distributes publications through several on-line book retailers. At least some of the books are printed by Amazon.com. As of November 2010, around 150,000 such titles have been produced. In June 2010, VDM started its own online-bookshop: MoreBooks! Publishing.[9][10]

VDM's publishing methods have received criticism for the soliciting of manuscripts from thousands of individuals, for providing non-notable authors with the appearance of a peer-reviewed publishing history, for benefiting from the free contributions of online volunteers, and for insufficiently disclosing the free nature of their content. VDM responds that Wikipedia is a valuable, quality resource, that the company has no problem asking authors for content, that buyers are informed of where information comes from, that books are a convenient form to collect articles about interesting subjects, and that its customers are satisfied with VDM's products.[11]

History[edit]

The first publishing house of the group, Verlag Dr Müller, was founded in Düsseldorf in 2002 by Wolfgang Philipp Müller (usually named Dr. Wolfgang P. Müller) and was transferred to Saarbrücken in August 2005.[3] The Mauritian office was established in April 2007 and was managed from 2008 up until May 2011 by David Benoit Novel;[12][13] since June 2011, this office is directed by Reezwan Ghanty and Laurent Ribet.[14] In 2007, the group began distributing its publications through Lightning Source,[15] Amazon,[16] and the German company Books on Demand.[17][18] In September 2011 the original corporate websites, vdm-verlag.de and vdm-publishing.com, ceased to exist.[19][20] On 1 October 2011 Thorsten Ohm replaced Müller as CEO.[1]

Products and services[edit]

VDM Publishing specializes in German, Russian,[21] Spanish,[22] French and English dissertations, theses and research projects.[23][24] Its services are free to authors. Their business model involves a team of acquisitions editors, who search the internet for academic authors and invite them by e-mail for their manuscripts.[25][26][27] VDM sends emails to thousands of people who have written a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation and whose college library has a web-accessible catalog.[28] According to the Michigan Tech Thesis and Dissertation FAQ:[29] VDM Verlag is a legitimate publisher and their emails are not a scam; their books, however, are not peer reviewed and do not significantly enhance a student's publication record.

The Australian Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) explicitly excludes the books by VDM Verlag and Lambert Academic Publishing from meeting the requirements for submission.[30]

In April 2010, VDM started an imprint devoted to religion, spirituality and Christian theology: Fromm Verlag.[31] In October 2010, Dictus Publishing was launched to publish political texts related to the European Union.[32] In 2011, the imprint JustFiction! (also spelled Just Fiction!) began publishing novels and short stories of new, unpublished authors.[33][34] As of August 2011, there are 2 JustFiction! Kindle books listed on Amazon.com.[35]

Editorial policies[edit]

VDM claims to be able to produce a new book in six weeks: two weeks for the cover and four weeks for production. There is no cost to the author, who receives one free copy of the book. VDM, "tend[s] not to edit works" assuming manuscripts they accept "are already of a high standard". Proofreading is not performed to keep costs low.[36] In 2010, the publishing house Verlag Dr Müller claimed to publish annually more than 10,000 new titles and thus to be "one of the leading publishing houses of academic research".[23] In 2011, VDM Group as a whole claims to release 50,000 new book titles per month and to be the largest book publisher in the world.[37]

Criticism[edit]

VDM's business practices have been criticized for profiting from the sale of unacclaimed works and for insufficiently disclosing that content is available for free elsewhere. In November 2009 an article in the Swiss newspaper Berner Zeitung described VDM's practices as controversial and bordering on deception. The paper faulted VDM for not disclosing that the books it was publishing were academic dissertations, for publishing mediocre works that received just a barely passing grade, and for charging high prices.[38] American writer Victoria Strauss characterized VDM Publishing as "an academic author mill",[39][40] while Pagan Kennedy notes that VDM's practices are comparable to a form of kudzu proliferation in book publishing.[41] In January 2011, German professor Debora Weber-Wulff, in "Copy, Shake, and Paste" (a blog about plagiarism and scientific misconduct), referred to VDM as a spam publisher. Weber-Wulff recounted the experience of a former student who was contacted by VDM, in an attempt to publish the student's bachelor's thesis. Through the acquisition of student papers and Wikipedia articles, Weber-Wulff asserts that VDM lists hundreeds of thousand of publications. She cites, as an example, 230,556 publications attributed to one "Lambert M. Surhone". [42]

In a 2009 interview published on the VDM website, CEO Wolfgang Philipp Müller, explained the aggressive reputation of VDM Publishing: "We make an approach to our authors offering to publish their work. That's not good manners in the distinguished publishing sector. On the other hand, our customers are totally satisfied with our publishing service.”[43]

Wikipedia content duplication[edit]

Alphascript and Betascript Publishing[edit]

Alphascript Publishing (created in April 2009),[44] Betascript Publishing (created in January 2010), Fastbook Publishing (created in July 2009)[45] and Doyen Verlag (created in April 2010) are imprints of VDM Publishing, which publish and sell collections of Wikipedia articles as printed-on-demand books.[46] Alphascript lists amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, knv.de, libri.de, schaltungsdienst.de, bod.de, VDM, VSG, ingrambook.com, umbreit.de, reha Marketing, smartprofessionals.de, xing.de, lightningsource.com, and bischoffundpartner.de as business partners.[8] These books have been inadvertently purchased by German libraries at the request of their patrons,[citation needed] and by Flemish libraries.[47]

History of Ghana: a collection of Wikipedia articles published as a book

These titles are published as edited by Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome, and John McBrewster who are also listed as authors. As of 21 December 2011, there are 180,818 titles listed on the VDM bookshop.[48] Betascript lists "Lambert M. Surhone, Miriam T. Timpledon, Susan F. Marseken, Mariam T. Tennoe and Susan F. Henssonow" as editors, giving an additional 356,765 titles as of 21 December 2011.[49]

Alphascript defends its publishing methods: "There is hardly another platform for quick and better processing of information than Wikipedia" for customers "who want to be informed on a specific subject" in book form, though they can "have online everything free of charge."[50][51][52] In response to an interview question about whether all of Alphascript’s books take their content from Wikipedia, Alphascript responded, "Yes, since we believe that the quality of the Wikipedia-articles is so good that it is worthwhile creating books with them. Wikipedia themselves give an impulse for this. The articles published on their sites are free in every respect and without any limitations as to further use. All authors participating in texts of Wikipedia know this or should at least know it." In response to whether this should be made clear in the product description, Alphascript responded, "It is pointed out in every Alphascript book that contents are Wikipedia articles. Do we now have to write in Amazon-books: “Attention! Books contains Wikipedia!”? Then other publishing houses would have to point out in their books: “Attention! Book contains nonsense!”, or: “Attention! Book has only sex-scenario!”[53] VDM have also been criticised for "fraud" in selling printed Wikipedia articles to libraries. A further criticism is their large number of works (22,000) edited by the same editor(s).[54]

Multiplication of imprint names[edit]

In the beginning of 2011 the number of imprints suddenly increased. As of December 2011, there are 78 Mauritian imprints entirely devoted to the reproduction of Wikipedia content.

Imprint Editor names Year of creation Language Number of titles
in June 2011
Number of titles
in December 2011
Reference
Acu Publishing Evander Luther 2011 English, French 408 3651 [55]
Alphascript Publishing Frederic P. Miller
Agnes F. Vandome
John McBrewster
2009 English, French 176919 180707 [56]
Anim Publishing Norton Fausto Garfield 2011 English, French 433 3740 [57]
Aud Publishing Eldon A. Mainyu 2011 English, French 443 3829 [58]
Bellum Publishing Othniel Hermes 2011 English, French 419 3805 [59]
Betascript Publishing Lambert M. Surhone
Miriam T. Timpledon
Susan F. Marseken
Mariam T. Tennoe
Susan F. Henssonow
2010 English, French, German 319214 356765 [60]
Brev Publishing Germain Adriaan 2011 English, French 414 3720 [61]
Cede Publishing Barnabas Cristóbal 2011 English, French 481 3799 [62]
Cede Publishing Aaron Philippe Toll 2011 English, French 527 3801 [63]
Cel Publishing Iustinus Tim Avery 2011 English, French 393 3531 [64]
Chromo Publishing Adam Cornelius Bert 2011 English, French 383 3757 [65]
Chrono Press Pollux Évariste Kjeld 2011 English, French 457 3816 [66]
Civ Zheng Cirino 2011 English, French 434 3552 [67]
Claud Press Lóegaire Humphrey 2011 English, French 433 3631 [68]
Commun Stefanu Elias Aloysius 2011 English, French 421 2657 [69]
Cred Press Iosias Jody 2011 English, French 439 3908 [70]
Crypt Publishing Hardmod Carlyle Nicolao 2011 English, French 434 3659 [71]
Culp Press Nethanel Willy 2011 English, French 505 3757 [72]
Dicho Delmar Thomas C. Stawart 2011 English, French 396 3520 [73]
Dic Press Dismas Reinald Apostolis 2011 English, French 425 3694 [74]
Dict Knútr Benoit 2011 English, French 493 3878 [75]
Dign Press Kristen Nehemiah Horst 2011 English, French 391 3608 [76]
Doyen Verlag Miscellaneous names 2010 German 69 73 [77]
Duc Jordan Naoum 2011 English, French 415 3687 [78]
Duct Publishing Jerold Angelus 2011 English, French 443 3622 [79]
Equ Press Wade Anastasia Jere 2011 English, French 512 3886 [80]
FastBook Publishing Miscellaneous names 2009 English, French, German, Russian 1754 2784 [81]
Fec Publishing Columba Sara Evelyn 2011 English, French 467 3674 [82]
Fer Publishing Waylon Christian Terryn 2011 English, French 397 3664 [83]
Fidel Christabel Donatienne Ruby 2011 English, French 428 3747 [84]
Flu Press Gerd Numitor 2011 English, French 423 3616 [85]
Frac Press Harding Ozihel 2011 English, French 487 3633 [86]
Ject Press Carleton Olegario Máximo 2011 English, French 401 3582 [87]
JUNCT Emory Christer 2011 English, French 423 3768 [88]
Lect Publishing Nuadha Trev 2011 English, French 473 3778 [89]
Loc Publishing Timoteus Elmo 2011 English, French 386 3652 [90]
Log Press Terrence James Victorino 2011 English, French 464 3773 [91]
Miss Press Niek Yoan 2011 English, French 444 3673 [92]
Onym Press Aeron Charline 2011 English, German 0 679 [93]
Ord Publishing Agamemnon Maverick 2011 English, German 0 510 [94]
Part Press Ben Stacy Jerrik 2011 English, German 0 564 [95]
Patho Publishing Noelia Penelope Greer 2011 English, German 0 699 [96]
Phon Claus Matthias Benedict 2011 English, German 0 537 [97]
PlacPublishing Epimetheus Christer Hiram 2011 English, German 0 590 [98]
PlaisPublishing Jody Cletus 2011 English, German 0 680 [99]
PlicPress Janeka Ane Madisyn 2011 English, German 0 555 [100]
Plor Lennox Raphael Eyvindr 2011 English, German 0 651 [101]
Polic Theia Lucina Gerhild 2011 English, German 0 647 [102]
PON PRESS Loki Radoslav 2011 English, German 0 728 [103]
PopulPublishing Dewayne Rocky Aloysius 2011 English, German 0 650 [104]
PsychoPublishing Elwood Kuni Waldorm 2011 English, German 0 661 [105]
Rupt Saul Eadweard Helias 2011 English, German 0 554 [106]
SaluPress Klaas Apostol 2011 English, German 0 617 [107]
Salv Adélaïde Laurie Felicie 2011 English, German 0 607 [108]
Secut Press Jacob Aristotle 2011 English, German 0 554 [109]
Sent Publishing Mariam Chandra Gitta 2011 English, German 0 612 [110]
Serv Oscar Sundara 2011 English, German 0 616 [111]
Sess Press Blossom Meghan Jessalyn 2011 English, German 0 610 [112]
Solv Erwin Dee Kord 2011 English, German 0 705 [113]
Soph Press Noelene Aoide 2011 English, German 0 688 [114]
SpellPress Richie Krishna Fergus 2011 English, German 0 717 [115]
Spir Antigone Fernande 2011 English, German 0 573 [116]
StaPress Ferdinand Maria Quincy 2011 English, German 0 587 [117]
String Publishing Jules Reene 2011 English, German 0 692 [118]
StruPress Jamey Franciscus Modestus 2011 English, German 0 560 [119]
Tempor Alain Sören Mikhayhu 2011 English, German 0 651 [120]
The Indigo Theophanes Dax 2011 English, German 0 660 [121]
Tort Philippe Valentin Giffard 2011 English, German 0 595 [122]
Tract Eloi Rylan Koios 2011 English, German 0 576 [123]
TurbsPublishing Erik Yama Étienne 2011 English, German 0 589 [124]
TypPRESS Cornelia Cecilia Eglantine 2011 English, German 0 598 [125]
UtilPublishing Isidoros Krastyo Morpheus 2011 English, German 0 695 [126]
VadPress Ozzy Ronny Parthalan 2011 English, German 0 550 [127]
Vent Dagda Tanner Mattheus 2011 English, German 0 588 [128]
VerPublishing Larrie Benton Zacharie 2011 English, German 0 644 [129]
VertPress Bartholomei Timotheos Crispinus 2011 English, German 0 632 [130]
VolutPress Proteus Valère Kresten 2011 English, German 0 693 [131]
VolvPress Sören Jehoiakim Ethan 2011 English, German 0 575 [132]
VSD Ronald Cohn Jesse Russell 2012 English, Russian 0 0 [133]

VDM Group subsidiaries[edit]

VDM Group has 27 subsidiaries (the date of creation and headquarters are in brackets):[4][134]

Publishing houses[edit]

  • VDM Verlag Dr. Müller GmbH & Co. KG (2002, Saarbrücken, Germany)[135][136]
  • AV Akademikerverlag GmbH & Co. KG (2011, Saarbrücken, Germany)[137]
  • Scholars' Press Publishing is a trademark of: AV Akademikerverlag GmbH& Co. KG Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8, 66121, Saarbrücken[138]
  • LAP Lambert Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG (Saarbrücken, Germany)[139][140]
  • Südwestdeutscher Verlag für Hochschulschriften GmbH & Co. KG (Saarbrücken, Germany)
  • EUE Editions Universitaires Européennes (2010, Saarbrücken, Germany)[24][141]
  • Verlag Classic Edition (2009, Saarbrücken, Germany)[142]
  • Saarbrücker Verlag für Rechtswissenschaften (2009, Saarbrücken, Germany)[143]
  • Lehrbuchverlag (2011, Saarbrücken, Germany)[144]
  • EAE Editorial Académica Española (2011, Saarbrücken, Germany)[145]
  • PUA Publicaciones Universitarias Argentinas (2011, Saarbrücken, Germany)[22][146]
  • Fromm Verlag (2010, Saarbrücken, Germany)[147]
  • Dictus Publishing (2010, Saarbrücken, Germany)[32]
  • BB Bloggingsbooks (2011, Saarbrücken, Germany)[148]
  • Trainerverlag (2011, Saarbrücken, Germany)[149]
  • JustFiction! Edition (2011, Saarbrücken, Germany)[33][150]
  • Doyen Verlag (2010, Saarbrücken, Germany)[151]
  • GlobeEdit (Saarbrücken, Germany)
  • FastBook Publishing (2009, Beau-Bassin, Mauritius)[45]
  • Alphascript Publishing (2009, Beau-Bassin, Mauritius)
  • Betascript Publishing (2010, Beau-Bassin, Mauritius)

Service industries[edit]

  • VDM Publishing House Ltd renamed in 2011 as International Book Market Service Ltd (2008, Beau-Bassin, Mauritius)[152][153]
  • VDM Verlagsservicegesellschaft mbH (2008, Saarbrücken, Germany)[154]
  • VDM IT-Dienstleistungen GmbH & Co. KG (2008, Saarbrücken, Germany)[155]
  • MoreBooks! Publishing GmbH (2009, Chişinău, Moldova)[6]
  • Morebooks! The online bookshop (2010, Saarbrücken, Germany)[10]
  • BetterBooks! Publishing GmbH (2011, Saarbrücken, Germany)[156]
  • NicerBooks! Publishing GmbH (2011, Saarbrücken, Germany)[157]
  • VDM Verwaltung Aktiengesellschaft (Saarbrücken, Germany)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]