Researchers from national institutes publish in predatory journals

Study analyses 3,300 papers that recently appeared in bogus publications

December 14, 2016 11:00 pm | Updated 11:06 pm IST - CHENNAI:

India not only publishes the most number of predatory journals in the world but researchers based in India are one of the biggest contributors to such bogus journals; an earlier study found that researchers in India accounted for 35 per cent of publication in bogus journals.

Predatory journals very often trick authors into submitting papers, rarely peer-review manuscripts thus allowing sub-standard papers and even those that contain plagiarised content and falsified and fabricated data to be published, rarely index papers with standard indexing bodies and are more focussed on the article processing fees.

Based on 3,300 papers published between September 2015 and mid-February 2016 and randomly chosen from 350 predatory journals, researchers found that 51 per cent of papers in predatory journals were published by researchers from colleges affiliated to universities and autonomous colleges. It was followed by private universities/institutes (18 per cent), State universities (15 per cent) and national institutes (11 per cent). The results were published in the journal Current Science .

What is more surprising is that researchers from ICAR, CSIR, and ICMR labs, and national institutes such as IITs and NITs too published papers in such junk journals. Of the 11 per cent publications from national institutes, ICAR institutes has the most number of publications in predatory journals (17 per cent). It was closely followed by CSIR labs at 15 per cent, NITs (11 per cent), IITs (9 per cent) and ICMR (6 per cent).

Based on the answers provided by 480 researchers who responded to a questionnaire, 20 per cent claimed that they were unaware that their paper was published in a predatory journal. While 10 per cent said they knowingly published papers in these journals, the remaining 70 per cent were not willing to answer the question.

How well the funding bodies that provide research grants monitor the quality of publication comes in the cross hairs as 112 research grants were documented in the papers published in these journals. Nodal bodies such as DST, DBT, UGC besides AYUSH had provided most of the research grants.

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