Indian University Grants Commission remove 4305 sub-standard journals from its approved list


 Indian University Grants Commission remove 4305 
sub-standard journals from its approved list

United States is the second largest contributor
to predatory journals after India

NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission of India which funds and overseas higher-education in India has removed four thousand three hundred five sub-standard journals for a list of 30,000 publications which are used for weighing academic performance. According to reports the UGC Standing Committee on notification of Journals evaluated the subset of journals originally submitted for inclusion by universities or listed in Indian Citation Index, and found them to be of poor quality or to contain incorrect or insufficient information.

These journals were evaluated after complaints about their credibility were received. Recently in March 2018, researchers in Indi and Canada published a per in Current Science which found that the vast majority of the university recommended subset were of low quality. Academic institutions are required to refer to this list while appointing faculty, evaluation staff performance and granting doctoral degrees. The UGC is currently reviewing an additional 191 journals on the Indian Citation Index. Bhushan Patwardhan the first author of the Current Science paper and a biologist at Savitribai Phule Pune University says that the decision to remove such journals “is a good one, although a little late”.

The researchers during their research analysis got help from clinical epidemiologist David Moher at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Moher had previously analyzed 1907 papers in more than two hundred supposed predatory journals in the biomedical sciences and found that most of the articles came from India while the United States was the second largest contributor. Of the journals evaluated, only 112 which is just 11.1% met the basic criteria for good publishing practice. One third of the journals were disqualified for not providing essential information like address, website and editor of the journal. The remaining journals that did not pass the equality threshold made incorrect or misleading claims about their indexing, contract details and affiliation of editors, or peer review process.

Some blame that the growing prevalence of dubious journals is on institutional regulations which mandate publication for career success. In 2010 the IUGC introduced point-based Academic Performance Indicators for the recruitment and promotion of teachers and academic faculty in colleges and universities which included a category for research papers. In 2013 it also required that PhD candidates publish two papers before submitting their thesis. This has created a “desperation” to publish says Patwardhan a special invitee to the UGC Committee. Now it is learnt that the UGC is considering to eliminate the mandatory publication requirement for college teachers.

Members of the medical profession feel that there is a need to create awareness about good publishing practices because many researches today publish in dubious journals out of desperation. There is a need to build academic integrity in the academic community as well.

Ref: accessed on May 5, 2018

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