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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 152-153

India's combat against predatory journals

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 Submission30-Aug-2020
Date of Decision09-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance31-May-2021
Date of Web Publication2-Aug-2021

Correspondence Address:
Umesh Wadgave
Department of Public Health Dentistry, ESIC Dental College, Kalaburagi, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_173_20

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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

How to cite this URL:
Wadgave U, Khairnar MR. India's combat against predatory journals. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jul 6];19:152-3. Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2021/19/2/152/322858

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] Subsequently, several surveys confirmed the global dominance of India in both the predatory journal publishers and predatory article authorship.[4],[5],[6],[7] 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.[8] 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.[4],[5],[6],[8] One of the possible reasons stated behind the dominance of predatory journals in India is that English is commonly used in this country.[4]

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.[9] 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.[8] 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.[10] All these are reliable databases and the possibility of predatory journals under these databases are less.[11],[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

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.

  References Top

Challenges for science in India. Nature Mater 2009;8:361.  Back to cited text no. 1
Raju NV. How does UGC identify predatory journals. Curr Sci 2013;104:1461.  Back to cited text no. 2
Bohannon J. Who's afraid of peer review? Science 2013;342:60-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
Demir SB. Predatory journals: Who publishes in them and why? J Informetr 2018;12:1296-311.  Back to cited text no. 4
Shen C, Björk BC. “Predatory” open access: A longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics. BMC Med 2015;13:230.  Back to cited text no. 5
Xia J, Harmon JL, Connolly KG, Donnelly RM, Anderson MR, Howard HA. Who publishes in “predatory” journals? J Assoc Inf Sci Technol 2015;66:1406-17.  Back to cited text no. 6
Moher D, Shamseer L, Cobey KD, Lalu MM, Galipeau J, Avey MT, et al. Stop this waste of people, animals and money. Nature 2017;549:23-5.  Back to cited text no. 7
Seethapathy GS, Santhosh Kumar JU, Hareesha AS. India's scientific publication in predatory journals: Need for regulating quality of Indian science and education. Curr Sci 2016;111:1759-64.  Back to cited text no. 8
Patwardhan B, Thakur A. UGC-CARE initiative to promote research quality, integrity and publication ethics. Comment Curr Sci 2019;117:918-19.  Back to cited text no. 9
National Institutional Ranking Framework Methodology for Ranking of Academic Institutions in India Ministry of Human Resource Development. Available from: https://www.nirfindia.org/Parameter. [Last accessed on 2020 Jan 07].  Back to cited text no. 10
Savina T, Sterligov I. Potentially Predatory Journals in Scopus: Descriptive Statistics and Country-Level Dynamics [NWB'2016 Presentation Slides]. 2016. Available from: https://figshare.com/articles/Potentially_Predatory_Journals_in_Scopus_Descriptive_Statistics_and_Country-level_Dynamics_NWB_2016_presentation_slides_/4249394. [Last accessed on 2020 Jan 07].  Back to cited text no. 11
Demir SB. Scholarly databases under scrutiny. J Librariansh Inf Sci. 2018;52:150-60.  Back to cited text no. 12
Aggarwal R, Gogtay N, Kumar R, Sahni P, Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors. The revised guidelines of the Medical Council of India for academic promotions: Need for a rethink. Indian J Anaesth 2016;60:1-5.  Back to cited text no. 13
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
ICMR Policy on Research Integrity and Publication Ethics 2019. Available from: https://www.icmr.nic.in/sites/default/files/upload_documents/ICMR_policy_ripe.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Jan 07].  Back to cited text no. 14


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