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India updates rules to curb predatory journals

by K. V. Venkatasubramanian, special to C&EN
July 29, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 31

India is taking steps to constrain publication of predatory and substandard journals. The country has become a hub where more than 300 publishers manage predatory journals—fake journals that exist to steal money from authors by charging publication fees of $30 to $1,800 per article, according to an investigation by the Indian Express. To combat the problem, India’s government has directed universities to review recommendations for journals to be included on a list of approved publications maintained by the University Grants Commission (UGC), to ensure predatory journals are not among them. UGC rules stipulate that doctoral candidates must have at least two publications in a recognized journal before submitting their theses. Also, a minimum number of publications in research journals were compulsory for appointments and promotions of teaching faculty in colleges offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The Human Resource Development Ministry will no longer require such teachers to pursue research, reducing the need to publish. Lastly, UGC will also now require that doctoral theses be scanned by software to identify plagiarism, a move that officials believe will deter publishing in predatory journals.


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