Written By Jeff Graham on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 | 2:03 AM
Its awards are frequently denounced as scams by politicians, journalists, and others.
The ABI invites individuals to purchase various honors as a commemorative in their inclusion for a specific biography. Such honors include "International Man of the Year," "Most Admired Man of the Decade" or "Outstanding Man of the 21st Century" (see list below), or to be included in ABI publications, such as 500 Leaders of Science or The World Book of Knowledge, in exchange for a contribution fee. Those who accept, who sometimes write their own biographies, are offered books or certificates at prices as high as US $795.
On its website, the publisher describes itself as "one of the world’s leading biographical reference publishers and authorities on global contemporary achievement" and claims that "inclusion in an ABI reference title is based on personal achievement alone and is not available for purchase." The ABI shares an address and P.O. box with the United Cultural Convention, another purveyor of for-profit awards.
The President of the ABI, Janet M. Evans, also runs another vanity press, Pentland Press (d/b/a Ivy House Publishing Group).
The ABI is also the co-host with the International Biographical Centre of a yearly World Forum, (previously the International Congress on Arts and Communications) which invites a group for a week of professional seminars, artistic displays and performances, and culture sharing. Host cities over the 31 yearly meetings have included: New York; Washington D.C.; New Orleans; San Francisco; Edinburgh; Cambridge, UK; Nairobi; Madrid; Lisbon; Cambridge, Mass. USA; Oxford, UK.; Singapore; and Sydney. The Maitre Artiste of Ethiopia, Afewerk Tekle was a regular attendee. No proceedings of these forums are produced except from the ABI which includes these in a newsletter. The often prestiguous location is then quoted on their literature as if to add gravitas. According to the current promotional papers, the 2012 forum is to be at St Catherine's College, Oxford.
In 2007, referring to the International Biographical Centre, the American Bibliographical Institute and Marquis Who's Who, Jan Margosian, consumer information coordinator for the Oregon Department of Justice, warned consumers to be wary and called the companies "pretty tacky", adding "I don't know why they would put you in there if they weren't hoping to get you to buy the book.. "You truly have to look at how they are marketing and what the spin is. It's something you might want to watch out for."
Awards and titles
New awards are continually created and marketed. Most awards are available for between US $195 and $495, payable by the recipient, depending on their level of prestige and the quality of the printing on the certificate and the material in the frame or mount. In 2005 the Institute awarded 200 "Man of the Year" awards at between $195 and $295 each.
American Biographical Institute gives awards like Man of The Year, Scientific Award of the Excellence to many people in a year and the person may be same at a time.[clarification needed] Every award can be purchased from them.
The ABI does not provide a consolidated list of all the awards, medals, diplomas and certificates it issues, but the titles of the honors may be identified through the recipients' use of them in their résumés.