OpenPsych pseudojournals

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Openpsych (and it's [sic] constituent "journals" Open Behavioral Genetics, Open Differential Psychology and Open Quantitative Sociology & Political Science) is a pseudojournal serving to validate the racist content of the owner/editor.
—Caution where you publish (OpenPsych)[1]
OpenPsych is a pseudoscience factory-farm, and Noah Carl is its prize hen.[2]

OpenPsych is a webshite masquerading as publisher of journals (its publications are actually pseudojournals) in psychology, sociology and population genetics. The webshite promotes racist, pseudoscientific bullshit masquerading as legitimate research in pseudojournals entitled Open Behavioral Genetics, Open Differential Psychology, and Open Quantitative Sociology & Political Science.

Emil Kirkegaard, academic fraud

The pseudojournals were created by Davide Piffer and Emil O. W. Kirkegaard as an alternative to "conventional" peer-reviewed journals such as Elsevier's Intelligence[3] because mainstream science journals refuse to publish their pseudoscience. Kirkegaard and Piffer serve as both its editors and referees, along with Gerhard Meisenberg, editor of Mankind Quarterly and a number of external reviewers, including the anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald.

Kirkegaard and Piffer publish their own papers in the journals, while white nationalist John Fuerst also regularly publishes in them. Virtually all individuals who have published in OpenPsych hold right-wing to far-right[4] political views and are proponents of hereditarianism, eugenics and racialism.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

OpenPsych publications show typical signs of a pseudojournal, i.e. Kirkegaard has authored over half of the papers submitted.[note 1]

In April 2019, Noah Carl was stripped of his fellowship at Cambridge University and sacked from his job, over his publications in OpenPsych and links to far-right extremists, including Emil Kirkegaard.[12][13]

In December 2020, Kirkegaard merged OpenPsych's three journals into a single journal OpenPsych and updated the website claiming as editor he is accepting new submissions after a hiatus of 2 years.[14] The review team of OpenPsych is the same group of people including John Fuerst, Noah Carl, Davide Piffer, Kenya Kura, Gerhard Meisenberg and Heiner Rindermann.[15]

Because OpenPsych has such a toxic reputation, some of its recent authors and reviewers such as Joseph Bronski, Marc Dalliard, Arjen Gerritsen, Sebastian Jensen and Heiner Pieter are pseudonyms.[16][17][18][19][20]


In a nutshell:

OpenPsych is not peer-reviewed. It is a vanity press, run by one eugenicist who claims to have psychic powers and one eugenicist who doesn't.

Lack of peer review[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Peer review

The OpenPsych about page describes the journals as the following:[22]

  • Open access — everybody can read the published material.
  • Authors retain rights — whatever copyrights authors had before, they keep; granting only the rights for OpenPsych to publish the papers online as well as to search indexers to index the publications.
  • No author fees — running journal websites is cheap and fees are unnecessary.
  • Open forum peer review — traditional peer review is anachronistic and does not take advance of modern technology (graphical explanation below).
  • Mandatory data sharing — so that others can verify and extend your results as well as use the data for other purposes you didn't think of.

Open access, author rights, free science, and mandatory data sharing are all good goals. However, that doesn't mean anything if the papers submitted are not properly peer-reviewed. OpenPsych — and Kirkegaard's other journals — do not use traditional peer review, which is used by all professional academic journals (open and otherwise). Formal peer-review involves independent referees (usually, but not always anonymous) providing detailed critiques of article submissions, usually taking between two and four weeks to fully scrutinize; sometimes longer. In contrast, referees for OpenPsych journals review submissions within a much shorter space of time, while referees are not independent or anonymous; instead, they communicate with each other on the same message board and on each other's blogs. Another concern is OpenPsych referees aren't impartial, i.e. they are strongly biased towards hereditarianism; this resulted in a referee for an OpenPsych journal leaving after complaining about this issue:

One problem with OP is that most (if not all) reviewers have an "hereditarian side". I would like to see reviewers hostile to the genetic theory. Otherwise, people may think OP looks like a Mankind Quarterly bis. I have nothing against MQ, if there is no conflict of interest or something of this sort, but it's clear most people won't see it like this. What's more, concerning John Fuerst, Dalliard or myself, it's worse, see we co-blog on Human Varieties, and either one of us reviewing the other... that looks weird. Obviously, you'll say that because the reviews are open, everyone can see what is happening. If an hereditarian like me does not accept a publication from another hereditarian, no one will accuse me of anything. But each time I accept, they will suspect something from me, no matter how thorough and how deep my argumentations and justifications are.[23]

The same individual, Meng Hu, also criticized the issue of lack of anonymity:

Lack of anonymity and conflicts of interests This is the weakest point. For instance, John Fuerst (Chuck), Dalliard, and myself, we are co-bloggers at Human Varieties, originally created by Chuck, although now it’s Jason Malloy who is the administrator. The three of us are reviewers at OP journals. Dalliard and I, we have reviewed some of Chuck’s papers. No one says anything, but I think everyone knows that other people may not necessarily trust our opinions, even if the review is open-access. Everyone knows who is commenting, and some people, such as Chuck, may fear retaliation if they disapprove (see above; Kirkegaard & Tranberg 2015). This is especially true if the person X is reviewer of person Y and then Y becomes reviewer of author X. One possible way to attenuate (somewhat) this problem is to have reviewers who are not authors at OP and are somewhat independent with regard to the authors. As far as I know, I saw Gerhard Meisenberg, Peter Frost (publishes very little, almost nothing, at OP), and Kenya Kura to a lesser extent. But all of them are friendly (at least not hostile) to the hereditarian position regarding racial differences.[24]

Unqualified referees[edit]

OpenPsych lists the following referees or peers for its journals:

Of these, only Rindermann and Protzko have PhDs in Psychology; Kirkegaard's qualification is a mere BA Linguistics; Meisenberg is a biochemist; Frost, an anthropologist. Williams's only qualification listed is "independent researcher."

Of these none have any qualifications or a scientific background in genetics; Kura is an economist.

Of these only Noah Carl has a PhD in Sociology.

Far-right external reviewers[edit]

OpenPsych has allowed far-right external reviewers to referee paper submissions, including Kevin MacDonald who reviewed John Fuerst's The Nature of Race. MacDonald is a notorious anti-Semite[25] and white nationalist who is editor of the Occidental Observer which the ADL calls "a primary voice for anti-Semitism from far-right intellectuals".

Carl et al. (2018)[edit]

In November 2018, OpenPsych published a "Editorial: A Response to Criticisms of the OpenPsych Journals" co-written by Noah Carl, Emil Kirkegaard, Gerhard Meisenberg and 6 other OpenPsych referees partially in response to this RationalWiki article.[26] Despite the title of the paper, it rebuts none of the criticisms on this page and doesn't even respond to the main criticism about lack of impartiality and that all referees are biased proponents of hereditarianism (note also that all 9 co-authors of the paper identify as "race realists").

Political bias of OpenPsych[edit]

Kirkegaard is quoted as saying he co-founded OpenPsych because of "politically motivated article rejections" (when he submitted to mainstream science journals); no mention is made of the fact Kirkegaard is himself politically motivated. Of the 9-co-authors, almost all of them are known to hold right-wing to far-right political views e.g. Heiner Rindermann spoke at a Property and Freedom Society conference in 2016, delivering an anti-immigration talk; Meisenberg is former editor-in-chief of the racist Mankind Quarterly; Carl is a conservative who "likes" Nigel Farage and Enoch Powell on his Facebook profile; Kirkegaard is a white nationalist who wants to increase white fertility rates, is pro-Trump and supports the xenophobic Sweden Democrats party, writing he thinks Muslim immigration to Sweden is "self-destruction of their country",[27] similarly Peter Frost supports far-right and right-wing populist parties and believes in the white genocide conspiracy theory, writing on the alt-right website The Unz Review: "We must act now to bring anti-globalist parties to power: the UKIP in Britain, the Front National in France, the Partij voor de Vrijheid in the Netherlands, the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany, and the Sverigedemokraterna in Sweden... I wrote the above last January, fearing that Europe would see an acceleration of the massive demographic change already under away—the Great Replacement."[28]

Bad experiences at OpenPsych[edit]

A number of people have had bad experiences at OpenPsych, who all arrived at the same conclusion they're pseudojournals and Kirkegaard is a dishonest individual:

  • Meng Hu wrote a critical blog post "Bad experience at OpenPsych journals" and notes Kirkegaard "refused to answer my objections, and he has been extremely dishonest".[29]
  • A user named jsmith wrote about his bad experiences: "I no longer feel comfortable associating myself with OpenPsych and therefore would like this submission to be withdrawn." He also noted OpenPsych is a "hereditarian echo chamber".[30] He was always somewhat uneasy about submitting anything to any of the journals, but originally thought that it would be OK in that he might be able to improve the journals' standing and reputation by getting something uncontroversial published in one of them, and by giving advice on how the journals could be improved. He also found the concept of open, transparent peer review, as well as the low threshold for participation, appealing. But while one of his papers was under review, he decided it wasn't worth the damage it would probably do to his reputation if he actually had a paper published in one of their journals and so changed his mind, asking for his still-under-review paper to be withdrawn from review, a request that was soon granted.
  • Krom,[31] a RationalWiki sysop debated John Fuerst at OpenPsych in 2015; he soon realised the journals are racist pseudoscience and Fuerst is a white nationalist. After criticising most of the people publishing in the journals as far-right cranks and pointing out flaws in the peer-review, Kirkegaard banned his account and doxed his IP. Later Krom, described Kirkegaard as obnoxious and dishonest. Kirkegaard has since engaged in a stalking and harassment campaign against Krom, writing multiple articles attacking him.

Journal articles[edit]

Open Differential Psychology[edit]

  • Country of origin and use of social benefits: A large, preregistered study of stereotype accuracy in Denmark
  • The OKCupid dataset: A very large public dataset of dating site users
  • Putting Spearman’s Hypothesis to Work: Job IQ as a Predictor of Employee Racial Composition
  • ICAR5: design and validation of a 5-item public domain cognitive ability test
  • Country of origin and use of social benefits: A pilot study of stereotype accuracy in Denmark
  • Crime among Dutch immigrant groups is predictable from country-level variables
  • Validating a Danish translation of the International Cognitive Ability Resource sample test and Cognitive Reflection Test in a student sample
  • Immigrant GPA in Danish primary school is predictable from country-level variables
  • Discounting IQ’s Relevance to Organizational Behavior: The “Somebody Else’s Problem” in Management Education
  • A Standardization of the Standard Progressive Matrices in Egypt
  • Increasing inequality in general intelligence and socioeconomic status as a result of immigration in Denmark 1980-2014
  • A Study of the IQ in Sudan
  • Fluid g in Scandinavia and Finland: Comparing results from PISA Creative Problem Solving and the WAIS IV matrices subtest
  • The personal Jensen coefficient does not predict grades beyond its association with g
  • Crime, income, educational attainment and employment among immigrant groups in Norway and Finland
  • The international general socioeconomic factor: Factor analyzing international rankings
  • The Elusive X-Factor: A Critique of J. M. Kaplan’s Model of Race and IQ
  • The Canadian IQ calculated from the standardization of the WAIS IV
  • Ethnic/Race Differences in Aptitude by Generation in the United States: An Exploratory Meta-analysis
  • Nyborg’s ‘The Intelligence-Religiosity Nexus’ and the Benefits of Consilience
  • Parents’ Income is a Poor Predictor of SAT Score
  • Reassessment of Jewish Cognitive Ability: Within Group Analyses Based on Parental Fluency in Hebrew or Yiddish
  • Educational attainment, income, use of social benefits, crime rate and the general socioeconomic factor among 70 immigrant groups in Denmark
  • Do National IQs Predict U.S. Immigrant Cognitive Ability and Outcomes? An Analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshman
  • Semantic discussions of intelligence and the (un)importance of the study of race and g: A comment on Hunt and Jaeggi (2013)
  • Intelligence in Jordan: Norms for the Standard Progressive Matrices
  • The personality and cognitive correlates of creative achievement
  • Criminality among Norwegian immigrant populations
  • Rule dependence and Flynn effects: some elaboration
  • Criminality and fertility among Danish immigrant populations

Open Behavioral Genetics[edit]

  • The Nature of Race: the Genealogy of the Concept and the Biological Construct’s Contemporaneous Utility
  • Genetic and Environmental Determinants of IQ in Black, White and Hispanic Americans: A Meta-analysis and New Analysis
  • Sexual selection as a mechanism behind sex and population differences in fluid intelligence: an evolutionary hypothesis
  • Negotiating the gap
  • Opposite selection pressures on stature and intelligence across human populations
  • The genetic correlation between educational attainment, intracranial volume and IQ is due to recent polygenic selection on general cognitive ability
  • L.L. Cavalli-Sforza: A bird in a gilded cage

Open Quantitative Sociology & Political Science[edit]

  • The Political Attitudes of British Academics
  • Net fiscal contributions of immigrant groups in Denmark and Finland are highly predictable from country of origin IQ and Muslim
  • A global analysis of Islamist violence
  • Cognitive ability and political preferences in Denmark
  • Immigrant crime in Germany 2012-2015
  • Net opposition to immigrants of different nationalities correlates strongly with their arrest rates in the UK
  • Some new methods for exploratory factor analysis of socioeconomic data
  • Does sub-European genomic ancestry predict outcomes for US states?
  • An analysis of Islamist terrorism across Western countries
  • Inequality across US counties: an S factor analysis
  • Inequality across prefectures in Japan: An S factor analysis
  • Inequality among 32 London Boroughs: An S factor analysis

Recent authors[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Psych — the apparent successor journal.

External links[edit]


  1. As of July 2018, Kirkegaard wrote 18 out of the 32 papers in Open Differential Psychology, 1 out of the 7 papers in Open Behavioral Genetics, and 8 out of the 12 papers in Open Quantitative Sociology & Political Science. That means Kirkegaard is the (co)author of 27 out of all 51 papers published in the journal, i.e. 53%.


  3. Emil Kirkegaard's website
  4. Exposed: London’s eugenics conference and its neo-Nazi links. Archived from the original at, 10 January 2018.
  5. How Toby Young Got Where He Isn't Today. The Guardian.
  6. Support for eugenics never really went away, but this is how it's becoming mainstream again. The Independent.
  9. UCL launches probe into eugenics conference held on campus. Oxford Student.
  10. Secret Eugenics Conference Held on Prominent U.K. University Campus For Years. Complex.
  11. Last Week In Politics. UK Blasting News.
  15. OpenPsych (OP).
  16. Joseph Bronski (pseudonym).
  17. Marc Dalliard (pseudonym).
  18. Arjen Gerritsen (pseudonym).
  19. Sebastian Jensen (pseudonym).
  20. Heiner Pieter (pseudonym).
  22. About OpenPsych[a w]
  24. Bad Experience at OpenPsych Journals
  26. Editorial: A Response to Criticisms of the OpenPsych Journals. in Open Differential Psychology, 2018.
  32. Joseph Bronski (pseudonym).
  33. Where did all the geniuses go?. Aporia Magazine.
  34. Edward Dutton.
  35. George Francis.
  36. Does Africa need larger condoms?. Aporia Magazine.
  37. Marco Del Giudice.
  38. Marco Del Giudice vs. transgender people.