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UGC disqualifies 4,305 journals of dubious nature

A study, published in the March 25 issue of the Current Science journal, had noted a spurt in the number of predatory and dubious journals offering ‘pay and publish’ services to gullible authors. 

pune Updated: May 13, 2018 16:14 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,UGC,journals
A requirement that scholars get at least two research papers published in a University Grants Commission-approved journal before submitting their doctoral theses, coupled with pressure on university teachers to get their research published regularly in academic periodicals, has produced an unexpected side-effect: proliferation of dubious journals. (HT representational photo) 

The University Grants Commission (UGC), on May 2, disqualified 4,305 journals out of32,659 owing to their dubious nature from the UGC list of approved journals.

A study, published in the March 25 issue of the Current Science journal, had noted a spurt in the number of predatory and dubious journals offering ‘pay and publish’ services to gullible authors.

Hindustan Times, on March 25, had reported that theUGC’s norms have led to thriving ‘pay and publish’ business and that the human resource development ministry was likely to remove all bogus journals.

A requirement that scholars get at least two research papers published in a University Grants Commission-approved journal before submitting their doctoral theses, coupled with pressure on university teachers to get their research published regularly in academic periodicals, has produced an unexpected side-effect: proliferation of dubious journals.

However, in its bid to curtail the ‘pay and publish’ service, the UGC has disqualified 4,305 journals.

Bhushan Patwardhan, a professor at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), a special invitee member on the UGC Standing Committee for Notification of Journals and a member of the research paper titled A Critical Analysis Of The ‘UGC-approved List Of Journals, lauded the government’s efforts for disqualifying the journals with dubious nature.

Welcoming the decision by UGC, Patwardhan said, “It is indeed a very good step that dubious journals are disqualified by the UGC. This action of removing over 4,000 journals must be welcomed. However, there is still a long way to go.”

“Also, the attempt of few universities which misused the trust of the UGC by uploading dubious journals needs a serious consideration,”he added.

Pointing towards the solution to the problem, he said, “There is certainly an urgent need for introspection for strengthening the publication ethics, academic integrity and research culture in the Indian universities.”

For the study titled A Critical Analysis Of The ‘UGC-approved List Of Journals, which highlighted the dubious journals, a team of six researchers, in association with the human resource development (HRD) ministry, analysed 1,336 academic periodicals randomly selected from a list of 5,699 journals in the so-called university-source component.

Their conclusion stated, “Over 88 per cent of non-indexed journals in the university source component of UGC-approved list could be of low quality.”

Appreciating the UGC’s decision to disqualify journals, Shubhada Nagarkar, professor, department of library and information science, SPPU, said, “We are glad that based on the study we conducted, over 4,000 journals are removed from the UGC list.”

She further added, “We are currently working on another similar project where we are analysing another 6,000 journals.”

First Published: May 13, 2018 14:57 IST