|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 152-153
India's combat against predatory journals
Umesh Wadgave1, Mahesh Ravindra Khairnar2
1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, ESIC Dental College, Kalaburagi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Bharati Vidyapeeth Dental College and Hospital, Sangli, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Submission||30-Aug-2020|
|Date of Decision||09-Sep-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||31-May-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||2-Aug-2021|
Department of Public Health Dentistry, ESIC Dental College, Kalaburagi, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Wadgave U, Khairnar MR. India's combat against predatory journals. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2021;19:152-3
A decade back, scientific research in India was lagging and even the pharmacological companies were focusing on generic drugs fabrication rather than discovering new formulations. To endorse the research culture in the nation, University Grant Commission (UGC) in 2010 made research publications mandatory for tenure promotions of teachers working in universities and colleges. The implication of this regulation has led to an alarming upsurge in predatory journals in India. In 2013, a research uncovered that most of the open access journals which accepted the fatally flawed manuscripts without or little scrutiny were situated in India. Subsequently, several surveys confirmed the global dominance of India in both the predatory journal publishers and predatory article authorship.,,, Another survey in 2016 revealed a disappointing fact that about 30% of the research obtained grants to pay for publication in predatory journals and about 11% of the authors publishing in predatory journals belong to reputed national research institutes of India. These facts have unfailingly tarnished the trustworthiness of Indian research, authors, and research institutions.
Several scholars analyzed and identified the following reasons behind the drastic rise in predatory publishing, especially in developing nations; changes in research regulations such as mandatory research publications for job and promotions, imbalanced supply-demand between increasing researchers and inadequate publishing venues, inexperience, and publication pressure among junior researchers, lack of resources to conduct quality research, culture of valuing quantity of research than the quality, commercialization of research publication, incentive allowance system for publications in academic institutions, and mandatory criteria for PhD student to have publications to be eligible to submit his/her PhD thesis.,,, One of the possible reasons stated behind the dominance of predatory journals in India is that English is commonly used in this country.
Today, India is at a juncture where it has to promote research culture and at the same time keep a check on growing research misconduct. To regain the lost reputation, several national institutes of India are making efforts to tackle the malignant growth of predatory publishing. UGC in the last 2 years has shown strong determination in addressing this issue and came up with the following strategies, formulated Consortium for Academic Research and Ethics (CARE) to improve the quality of research in Indian universities, they have also published dynamic UGC-CARE list of quality journal titles which will be updated quarterly, issued public notice on Academic Integrity to all institutes and universities to reject the publications published in predatory journals and recently, in 2019 they made “Research and Publication Ethics” credit courses mandatory for all PhD students. The Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Science and Technology celebrates Open Access Day every year during the International Open Access Week by organizing sensitizing lectures, programs, workshops and taking new open access initiatives. The Ministry of Human Resource Development developed the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in 2015 to rank institutions across the country. The research parameter of NIRF considers only those publications which are published in journals indexed in Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed/Medline and Indian Citation Index. All these are reliable databases and the possibility of predatory journals under these databases are less., Medical Council of India (MCI) a statutory body that regulates medical education in India also considers journals indexed in Scopus, PubMed, Medline, Embase/Excerpta Medica, Index Medicus, and Index Copernicus and it also excludes E-journals (journal that do not have a print version). However, the problem with MCI regulation is that it considers Index Copernicus which seems to have potentially predatory journals and it excludes E-journals which will lead to the elimination of several high-quality journals that publishes only electronic format. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has also formulated guidelines “ICMR policy on research integrity and publication ethics” which recommends the appointment of Research Integrity Officer who will ensure that all research publications are free from all forms of research misconduct including publishing in predatory journals.
We hope that these incessant efforts by various organizations will be able to control the menacing rise of predatory journals and facilitate the rise of quality research in India. However, it is unreasonable to expect these measures will completely eradicate predatory publishing in India. It's the researchers and the institutions who should take responsibility of publishing their research in legit journals and restricting jobs/promotions to the faculty with bogus scientific credentials respectively.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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