MDPI’s founder, Dr. Shu-Kun Lin, is a chemist who was passionate about the long-term preservation of rare chemical samples. From the very beginning, he has been determined to help scholars publish their findings as quickly as possible and make their research results available to as wide a readership as possible.
It all started in the very early days of the digital age, when Dr. Lin launched the chemistry journal titled Molecules—one of the first online scientific journals in the chemistry field.
Fellow chemists met during the “First International Electronic Conference on Synthetic Organic Chemistry” (ECSOC-1) in September 1997.
The Editorial Board for a second journal, the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (IJMS), took shape. The following year, our third journal Entropy was launched.
IJMS started publication with Prof. Jerzy Leszczynski as the founding Editor-in-Chief, as well as the inclusion of two Nobel Laureates on the Editorial Board (Dr. Jerome Karle, Naval Research Laboratory and Prof. Yuan-Tseh Lee, Academia Sinica).
Sensors was founded in 2001, and is now a staple in the area of physical, chemical and biochemical sensors.
Our first Editorial Office outside of Switzerland was set up at Ocean University in the seaside city of Qingdao, in Shandong Province, China. The office had to be closed again in 2003 due to the spread of the SARS virus from November 2002.
There, MDPI’s first in-person conference was held, entitled the “International Symposium on Frontiers in Molecular Science” in July 2002 (ISFMS2002).
Marine Drugs began publication, a journal publishing research on biologically active compounds from the ocean.
MDPI published the first two papers that were based on experimental software which had been developed and tested in the previous year to convert manuscripts to XML (Extensible Markup Language). The XML conversion system was further improved to produce standardized HTML and PDF versions from 2011, and this code continues to be used today.
Our portfolio of journals quickly expanded from twelve to two dozen. Among the key journals established that year were Nutrients, Remote Sensing, Cancers, Viruses, and Polymers.
SuSy, MDPI’s article submission and handling system, was built in-house and has become the cornerstone of our company’s submission and peer-review processes.
MDPI reached a milestone of 20,000 papers published by 20 February 2012.
In 2013, MDPI launched its own content aggregator platform called Scilit. The database uses sourcing and merging of publication metadata from various databases and platforms, such as DOAJ, CrossRef and PubMed, to provide a comprehensive and convenient tool to search through scientific literature. New articles are cataloged within hours, providing an up-to-date and complete resource for scholars.
Sciforum.net, a platform for open scholarly exchange and collaboration, was expanded, and features such as discussion groups, commentaries and conference hosting were introduced.
MDPI’s total number of publications surpassed 60,000 in December 2015. With Gold Open Access gaining recognition, it was a time of rapid expansion for MDPI, resulting in the launching of 13 new journals.
Our conference team organized two international conferences in collaboration with the University of Basel (“The 4th International Symposium on Sensor Science” and “5th World Sustainability Forum”). A total of 350 employees were employed at MDPI by the end of the year.
We opened a second European office in Barcelona, Spain, through which we have been able to offer continuous service and support to more than 50 institutions in Spain, including the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
Additionally, Preprints.org was launched as a multidisciplinary platform for early showcasing of publications in all research fields and disciplines.
We continued to strengthen our ties with scholarly communities by sponsoring academic events and hosting conferences on Sciforum.net, holding Editorial Board meetings, and offering our own Journal and Article Management System (JAMS) to institutional publishers.
MDPI ranked first among publishers listed in DOAJ, in terms of the number of articles published in a year. The number of peer-reviewed publications increased by 80% compared to 2017, and by 175% compared to 2016.
By the end of the year, the Institutional Open Access Program (IOAP), our membership program, included more than 500 academic institutions from around the world. A total of 63 scholarly societies were affiliated with one or more of our journals.
The MDPI website underwent a redesign, with the objective of providing an enhanced user experience on article pages. This redesign was driven by user feedback, through which we continue to look for new ways to improve the look and usability of our website.
Between 2017 and 2019, a total of 42 journals were accepted for inclusion in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) or Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) of Web of Science—a major recognition of MDPI journals’ contribution to scientific research and the result of outstanding collaboration between academic editors and in-house journal managers.
We published more than 160,000 peer-reviewed articles in 2020, an increase of 51% compared to the previous year.
The cancellation of in-person academic events led to an incredible amount of activity online. In addition to 4 in-person conferences that were still able take place, MDPI ran 31 online conferences, 3 virtual conferences that were originally planned to be held in person, and a total of 53 standalone webinars.
We continue towards our goal of having a truly global presence. MDPI currently has offices located in 11 countries worldwide, spanning three continents. Our global workforce totals more than 5700 employees, with more recent offices being established in Manchester (United Kingdom), Toronto (Canada), Krakow (Poland), Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest (Romania), Tokyo (Japan), Bangkok (Thailand), Singapore, and Tianjin and Nanjing (China).
The number of publications increased by 47% compared to 2020. Article views continue to increase year after year, from 226 million in 2020 to almost 350 million in 2021.