BeAware: PREDATORY JOURNAL are Dangerous

Predatory Journals

A predatory journal not only hollows the roots of the entire education system but hampers research and its methods through unethical and deceptive publishing practices as well.

Wish none of us would have got trapped with Predatory Journals…But unfortunately, that’s not the reality. 

Reality is the immense increase in the count of dubious or Predatory Journals worldwide. It is hollowing the roots of the whole education and research world through unethical and deceptive practices in publishing.

In recent years, thousands of researchers have published in the predatory journals. The increasing number of such journals is leading to difficulty in their identification. 

The term predatory journal was first coined by a librarian name Jefferey Beall, at the University of Colorado in Denver. 

Our wish of not being trapped with Predatory Journals is far from reality.  Without providing peer-review or copy editing, predatory Journals take advantage of the author. They ask the publisher to publish the journals for free. 

A longer time is taken by high-quality academic journals. This is because they go through a proper peer review and copy editing process in order to publish the articles. 

Although there is no standardized definition of a predatory journal, and this is one factor that contributes to the rise of predatory journals. The characteristics of predatory journals have neither been delineated nor standardized and broadly accepted. 

It is difficult for stakeholders such as funders and research institutions to establish explicit policies in order to safeguard work they support from being submitted to and published in predatory journals in the absence of a clear definition. It is difficult to take an evidence-based approach towards educating researchers on how to avoid them if characteristics of predatory journals have not been delineated and accepted likewise. 

READ MORE – Research revealed in pay-and-publish journals won’t count: UGC panel

Establishing a consensus definition holds the potential to inform policy and to significantly strengthen educational initiatives such as Think, Check, Submit, etc.

Predatory Journals

Let’s learn What are Predatory Journals??

These are a type of journals that actively asks the researchers for manuscripts. 

They neither have a true editorial board nor a peer review system. They are found to publish average or even worthless papers. 

A predatory journal is an academic publishing business model. It involves charging publications fees to authors without quality and legitimacy checks of the articles. A predatory journal does not provide the other services (editorial and publishing) connected with legitimate journals. It’s Publishing  (predatory publishing) is also known as Deceptive Publishing. 

The model of a predatory journal is exploitative in nature and typically has open-access. Such journals are generally referred to as predatory because of the perception that academics are tricked into publishing with them, despite the fact that some authors might be familiar of the journal being poor quality or even fraudulent.

A predatory journal not only hollows the roots of the entire education system but hampers research and its methods through unethical and deceptive publishing practices as well. From various developing countries, especially new scholars are considered to be more at risk of being deceived by such predatory practices. There is an immense increase in the count of Predatory Journals worldwide.

Statistics of Predatory Journal

Statistics of Predatory Journal Worldwide

According to a regularly updated report by Jefferey Beall, until January 2017; criteria for categorizing publications as predatory was set forth. He gave the predatory journal list and took the list offline in the same year. A lot of journals were added to this list by him. 

This predatory journal list included journals like MAGNT Research Report (BRIS Journal of Advances in Science and Technology), National Journal of Commerce and Management (NJCM), Research on Modern Higher Education (published by Asian Academic Press), Pharmacognosy Reviews (published by Phcog.Net), etc. 

This predatory journal list was launched in support of advancing research, the predatory journal publishers, and for investing in the integrity and relevancy of the published record. Where the trustworthy publishers make significant investments and are deeply committed to disseminating research information that can be trusted, the predatory publishers do not show their interests. 

READ MORE – ‘Avoid Publication In Predatory Or Dubious Journals’: UGC To Academia

The need of the trustworthy publishers is always spreading the research information which is relevant, supports quality research and is showcased in ways to serve efficient knowledge transfer.

Predatory Journals

How to Identify a Predatory Journals?

In the UGC CARE (Consortium of Academic and Research Ethics) List, new journals will be added. The academic community was asked by the national higher education regulator University Grants Commission or UGC, to avoid publication in predatory journals. Participation in predatory conferences was also asked to be avoided. 

According to the Commission, “it has been observed that unethical/deceptive practices in publishing are leading to an increased number of dubious/predatory journals worldwide”. The Commission has also said that it has been reported that in India, the percentage of research articles published in predatory journals is high.

The journals which will be added include journals from social sciences, humanities, culture, arts, language, Indian knowledge systems, etc. These will be recommended by Statutory Councils/Government bodies in respective disciplines. The UGC will also identify the proposals for inclusion of new Journals submitted by Regional Universities. 

The CARE members will provide the basic information and will submit journals to be recommended on CARE only.

With no formal editorial/review board or the same editorial board for more than one journal, no individual is identified as a specific journal’s editor. 

READ MORE – Research revealed in pay-and-publish journals won’t count: UGC panel

The predatory journals can be identified in the following ways. 

  • If the editor and/or review board members do not have academic expertise in the journal’s field. 
  • If insufficient information is provided or information about author fees is hidden, offering to publish an author’s paper and later sending an unanticipated ‘surprise’ invoice; in the journal.
  • If there is no proper indexing and the name of a journal is unrelated to the journal’s mission.
  • If there is an adequate reflection of the origin of the name of a journal and there are poorly maintained websites, including dead links, prominent misspellings and grammatical errors on the website; by the publisher.
  • If unauthorized use of licensed images on their website is made by the publisher. Images were taken from the open web, without permission or license from the copyright owners.
  • If the journals re-publish the papers already published in other venues/outlets without providing appropriate credits.
  • If boastful language claiming to be a ‘leading publisher’ even though the publisher may only be a start-up or a novice organization is used.
  • If the journal provides minimal or no copyediting or proofreading of submissions.
  • If papers are published which are not academic at all.
  • If the publisher hides or does not reveal its location.
  • If the journals that are excessively broad or has combined two or more fields which are not normally treated together in order to attract more articles and gain more revenue from author fees are published by the publisher.

All about UGC CARE list

  • It is only through the CARE portal that the proposals for the submission of new journals for consideration of inclusion in the CARE List can be done. 
  • Only the CARE members and CARE Universities can access the CARE portals for the submission of journal proposals.
  • Requests for submission of new journals in any other manner will not be entertained by the UGC office or UGC Cell at SPPU. 
  • CARE Universities should be contacted by the publishers who wish to submit their journals for consideration of inclusion in the CARE List. 
  • To receive proposals from publishers, the CARE Universities will identify a nodal person.   
  • The contact details of such nodal persons will be available at the CARE portal. 

A group of researchers performed a study last year and came to the conclusion that over 88% of the non-indexed journals in the university source component of the UGC-approved list, included on the basis of suggestions from different universities, could be of depressed quality. The Commission in its notification further advised the stakeholders that ‘they must not get associated (as Editors /Advisors or in any other capacity) with journals/publishers/ conferences involved in fraudulent/dubious/deceptive practices’, regarding ‘academic integrity’. Now, you all can watch out names of journals in the list mentioned in the worldwide stats of predatory journals before submitting your publications.

Do you know how new journals may be added to CARE List?
The UGC Cell will analyze the journals submitted by CARE Members and CARE Universities. There will be four groups in the UGC CARE List. They are:
1. Group A:
The Group A in the CARE List will include Research Journals in disciplines under Science, Engineering, Technology, Agriculture and Biomedical Sciences indexed in SCOPUS or/and Web of Science (WOS). In this group, no analysis will be done by the UGC cell for journals.
2. Group B:
Group B in the CARE List will include the Journals qualified after analysis as per the protocol from the existing UGC List.
3. Group C:
The Group C in the CARE List will include the journals from social sciences, humanities, languages and Indian knowledge systems recommended by the CARE members, qualified as per the protocol.
4. Group D: 

Group D in the CARE List will include the new journals submitted by CARE Universities which are qualified as per the protocol.
For inclusion in the CARE List, journals scoring more than 6 out of 10 as per the protocol will be qualified. The journals will be kept under observation for three years which will score between 4-5. These will be kept as the ‘Emerging List’ and might be subsequently included in the CARE List, only if the protocol is qualified by them. Where the addition/deletion of journals will happen on a continuous basis, the CARE List will be dynamic. Regarding journal entries in the CARE List, the CARE Portal will have a provision to receive complaints/grievances. CARE-EC shall vest with CARE List for the decision regarding inclusion or exclusion of journals. These decisions will be treated as final. Now, you all can watch out names of journals in the list mentioned above before submitting your publications.

 Prof. Dr.S.B. Siwach
 Prof. Dr.S.B. Siwach

READ MORE – ‘Avoid Publication In Predatory Or Dubious Journals’: UGC To Academia

To recognize the challenge of defining predatory journals has been achieved. A variety of potential definitions is highlighted by the recent discussion in the literature. In the early definitions by Beall predatory publishers are described as outlets “which publish counterfeit journals to exploit the open-access model in which the author pays” and publishers that were “dishonest and lack transparency”. However, every education system needs to stay aware and get rid of the predatory journals as it is hampering the education and knowledge level as a whole. This can only be done if more and more awareness is spread through about predatory journals and everyone starts valuing and respecting the deserved papers and researches. But yes let us wait and watch… of what the future has in stock.

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