UGC Publishes New List Of Journals To Check Sub-Standard Research Work

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New Delhi: If you are a research scholar, make sure your PhD work is published in the new list of approved journals by UGC.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) in a notification has asked vice-chancellors to ensure that their decision in case of selection, promotion, credit allotment, the award of research degrees, among others, must be based on the quality of published work.

In other words, the higher education regulator in his communication on September 16, has underlined on giving weightage to only those research work which gets published in UGC’s new approved list of journals for recruitment and promotion.

UGC-CARE:

The UGC-CARE Reference List of Quality Journals came into vogue from June 14. The revised list was published to address widespread criticism about the poor quality of research work in the country.

One of the former UGC members told Education Bytes that the academic world was “vitiated” by the predatory journals who charged an exorbitant fee to publish sub-standard research work. He, however, refused to name the journals. Papers published in such journals do not go through peer reviews.

Reactions:

Ajay Tyagi, a retired Delhi University professor welcomed the UGC decision but sought to know the fate of the new appointees in universities and colleges. “What about those faculty members who got points for their research work published in journals which are now weeded out by UGC. The regulator has to address this issue as well.”

Explaining the rationale behind the new rule, UGC Vice-Chairman Bhushan Patwardhan told The Print, “So far, appointments and promotions were given on the basis of the number of papers published by a candidate and not the quality of those papers. This ended up giving sub-standard researchers in colleges and universities… We want to change this, which is why we are now focusing more on the quality of research work.”

According to the old UGC list, there were about 5000 approved journals. The number has now come down to about 800.

Professor Patwardhan had estimated in an article published by him in 2015 that there are more than 8000 predatory journals worldwide who together published about 4 lakh papers annually. He said that India contributed more than one-third of the articles published in predatory publications.

The medical world has been a major victim of this menace said Bhubaneswar-based Dr M R Bhuyan. “I have seen, to my horror, doctors who have prescribed medicine reading adultered journals,” he said.

Study done by Savitribai Phule Univesity Pune: 

Academicians from Savitribai Phule Univesity (SPU) in Pune, who carried out a study of the old UGC list last year, revealed that 34.5 per cent of the 1009 journals randomly selected by them from the list had no information on address, website details and name of editors.

In their findings published in Current Science journal, the academicians said that 52.3 per cent of the selected journals for study provided false information, incorrect ISSN number, false claim about impact factor and so on. SPU has a dedicated cell to weed out predatory journals.

Further revision likely: 

The former UGC member, who spoke to Education Bytes, hinted that a further review of the approved list of journals will be carried out by experts next year. In May 2018, UGC had conducted a similar exercise and had weeded out 4305 journals from its list.

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