UGC Announces Penalty For Publishing Research Paper In De-Recognized Journals
The Indian Higher Education Regulator – University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all universities and colleges in the country to appoint and promote faculty members based on its new list of approved journals. The body has de-recognized names of all predatory papers.
The List is called as the UGC-CARE (Consortium for Academic Research and Ethics) list. Around 800 verified and genuine journals have been included in the list after rigorous quality checks.
It has been compiled by a team of experts including scholars and subject experts from various academic councils. The previous list had over 5,000 journals, and nearly 88% of them were found to be predatory by the UGC. Consortium for Academic Research and Ethics is a government-appointed body.
The education regulatory body sent a notice to all universities on 16th September’19 asking them to appoint and promote faculty using the new UGC Journal Publishing list as a reference point.
According to the official press release, The UGC Journal Publishing list is valid from 14th June 2019. The UGC has asked the universities to follow the new list for appointing and promoting faculty strictly.
For appointments in universities, the academic credentials of faculty members are determined based on the journal in which their research paper has been published.
UGC Vice-Chairman Bhushan Patwardhan said that appointments and promotions were given based on the number of papers published by a candidate. The quality of the papers was not taking into consideration. This resulted in the appointment of sub-standard researchers in colleges and universities. The UGC Journal Publishing rule will now focus more on the quality of researchers being appointed in the Universities.
Mr. Bhushan added that only those who have published their papers in the new list of approved journals would be promoted and appointed in the universities. Occasionally if it is noticed that some good research paper has been published in an unrecognized journal by mistake, it will be reviewed by an expert committee appointed by the UGC.
According to the UGC Journal Publishing Rule, faculty members who have published their research papers in de-recognized journals might be denied promotion if the quality of their papers is found to be below the benchmark set by the UGC.
The new list was created after the UGC received complaints about the low quality of academic research. This also affected faculty appointment in educational institutions.
In 2018, academicians from Savitribai Phule Pune University conducted research. They found that over 88% of the journals in the previous UGC-approved list were predatory.
They conducted extensive checks on the already UGC Approved List. The academicians analyzed 1009 journals after excluding 327 indexed in Scopus/Web of Science. According to the report, about 34.5% of the 1009 journals were disqualified under the essential criteria. They were found to have incorrect or non-availability of critical information such as an address, website details, and names of editors.
Another 52.3% of them provided false information such as incorrect ISSN- International Standard Serial Number. This is meant to identify a serial publication. Some of the Journals had False claims about impact factor, including had credentials of editors.
Mr. Patwardhan, one of the authors of the research, added that over 88% of the journals assessed by them were found to be of low quality.
The paper had suggested that the UGC-approved list needed severe re-consideration. The UGC has considered this suggestion and came up with this new UGC Journal Publishing list.
Do you think this move by the UGC will help escalate the research quality in Indian Universities? Do share your opinions in the comment section.