UGC’s revised white list has 111 more predatory journals

Elephant with stripes-Optimized
Predatory journals have several tell-tale signs that researchers should look for.

The increasing number of predatory journals spotted in the UGC list of approved journals is a clear indication that UGC is not equipped to produce and sustain a journal white list. And allowing universities to recommend journals to be added to the list has only made things worse. It’s time it scraps the list and adopts the DOAJ list instead.

The University Grants Commission’s (UGC) approved list of journals or white list appears more grey than white. In June this year, the UGC released a revised list of 33,112 approved journals in which university/college faculty and students may publish papers. It has now come to light that UGC’s revised list contains 111 potential or possible predatory or fraudulent journals.  Last week, I reported that the revised list contains 84 predatory journals that are found in librarian Jeffrey Beall’s (University of Colorado, Denver) list of “potential, possible, or probable” predatory journals, bringing the total to 195.

Of the 586 journals that the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) had recently removed from its directory on grounds of “suspected editorial misconduct by publisher”, the UGC list contains 114. Three of the 114 journals have an overlap with Beall’s list.

By all accounts, the probability of the revised list containing more predatory journals cannot be ruled out. For instance, the UGC list has included a few journals which have all the tell-tale signs of predatory journal. They are neither found in Beall’s list nor are they among the DOAJ’s rejected journals.

The journals from the UGC white list (45,925, including inactive journals at ugc.ac.in) were “web-scraped” and individually “string-matched” with the list of journals in the DOAJ list flagged as “suspected editorial misconduct by publisher”. Earlier, the same list was compared with Jeffrey Beall’s list. An exact string match between the names of journals in the lists was taken as the criteria to flag the journal as predatory. The full list is maintained here.

“[Compiling the list] is not an easy task. The definition of predatory journals is different from one person to another. We are aware of predatory journals and will remove them from the list if we are provided with details,” Dr. V.S. Chauhan, who is the Head of the UGC committee that prepared the list had told me earlier.

Clear indicators

A few of the predatory journals that have been removed from the DOAJ database want the authors to assign copyrights to the journals, which goes against the grain of open access, while a few others offer an E-certificate to authors of published papers and a hard copy of the certificate for a fee. One journal has an open invitation to researchers to “propose a journal”. It also offers authors a unique payment option — by paying a registration fee of Rs.3,000, authors will be allowed to publish multiple articles without paying any article processing charge (APC), it says. While one journal on engineering and technology accepts papers in 30 engineering disciplines, another journal accepts papers from almost all engineering and science disciplines. And one journal carries agriculture and cancer-related articles in the same issue of the journal. Most journals have fake impact factors to impress naive researchers the importance of the journal; the Index Copernicus Value is cited as impact factor.

Sting operation

In a sting operation in late 2012 by John Bohannon of Science, a “mundane paper with grave errors” was sent to 167 journals included in DOAJ database and 121 from Beall’s list. While 82% publishers in Dr. Beall’s list accepted the questionable paper, nearly 45% of DOAJ publishers did not reject the paper.

About six months after the results of the sting operation were published in October 2013 in the journal Science, the DOAJ began its mammoth exercise of weeding out the bad apples. The DOAJ has cleaned up its database by removing nearly 3,800 journals.

Following the introduction of new criteria for listing in March 2014, DOAJ has received 1,600 applications from Open Access journal publishers in India, which is the “highest number” in the world. But of the 1,600, only 4% (74) were from genuine journal publishers and accepted for inclusion in the DOAJ directory, while 78% were rejected for various reasons. One of the main reasons for rejection is the predatory or dubious nature of the journals.

The journals removed from the DOAJ list due to “Suspected Editorial Misconduct by Publishers” that match with the UGC list

S.No Journal Name
1 Asian journal of Sports Medicine
2 American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
3 American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
4 American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
5 Applied Physics
6 Archives of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
7 Archives of Trauma Research
8 Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research
9 Advances in Environmental Biology
10 Advances in Geosciences
11 Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
12 Advances in Psychology
13 African Journal of Agricultural Research
14 African Journal of Biotechnology
15 African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
16 Applied Mathematics
17 Advances in Fixed Point Theory
18 Business and Economic Horizons
19 Bioscience Discovery
20 Core Evidence
21 Chinese Medicine
22 Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health
23 Engineering
24 European Journal of General Dentistry
25 Global Journal of Health Science
26 Health
27 Hepatitis Monthly
28 International Business and Management
29 International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism
30 International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
31 International Journal of Environmental Sciences
32 International Journal on Computer Science and Engineering
33 International Research Journal of Pharmacy
34 Iranian Journal of Pediatrics
35 Iranian Journal of Radiology
36 Indian Journal of Computer Science and Engineering
37 Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
38 International Journal of Future Generation Communication and Networking
39 International Journal of Geomatics and Geosciences
40 International Journal of Hybrid Information Technology
41 International Journal of Nanomedicine
42 International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research
43 International Journal of Physical Sciences
44 International Journal of Medicine and Public Health
45 International Journal of Computer Science and Management Studies
46 International Journal of Phytopharmacy
47 International Journal of Communications, Network and System Sciences
48 International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics
49 International Journal of Computer and Electrical Engineering
50 International Journal of Research and Development in Pharmacy and Life Sciences
51 International Journal of Materials, Mechanics and Manufacturing
52 Internet Journal of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology
53 International Journal of Advances in Computing and Information Technology
54 International Journal of Research Studies in Management
55 International Journal of Anatomy and Research
56 International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
57 International Journal of u- and e- Service, Science and Technology
58 Journal of Young Pharmacists
59 Journal of Computer Science
60 Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics
61 Journal of Social Sciences
62 Journal of Management Research
63 Journal of Agricultural Science
64 Journal of Pharmaceutical and Scientific Innovation
65 Journal of Scientometric Research
66 Modern Management
67 North American Journal of Medical Sciences
68 Nephro-Urology Monthly
69 OnLine Journal of Biological Sciences
70 Open Agriculture Journal
71 Open AIDS Journal
72 Open Anesthesiology Journal
73 Open Atmospheric Science Journal
74 Open Biochemistry Journal
75 Open Bioinformatics Journal
76 Open Biomedical Engineering Journal
77 Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal
78 Open Catalysis Journal
79 Open Civil Engineering Journal
80 Open Colorectal Cancer Journal
81 Open Cybernetics and Systemics Journal
82 Open Dentistry Journal
83 Open Dermatology Journal
84 Open Ecology Journal
85 Open Fuels and Energy Science Journal
86 Open Immunology Journal
87 Open Infectious Diseases Journal
88 Open Materials Science Journal
89 Open Mechanical Engineering Journal
90 Open Medical Imaging Journal
91 Open Microbiology Journal
92 Open Neurology Journal
93 Open Nutraceuticals Journal
94 Open Obesity Journal
95 Open Ophthalmology Journal
96 Open Ornithology Journal
97 Open Pain Journal
98 Open Petroleum Engineering Journal
99 Open Psychology Journal
100 Open Public Health Journal
101 Open Respiratory Medicine Journal
102 Open Rheumatology Journal
103 Open Sports Sciences Journal
104 Oriental Journal of Chemistry
105 Open Journal of Forestry
106 Open Analytical Chemistry Journal
107 Pharmacognosy Magazine
108 Pharmacognosy Research
109 Pharmacognosy Reviews
110 Sustainable Development
111 Scientific Research and Essays
112 Smart Grid
113 Trauma Monthly
114 Tactful Management

 

Journals that match with Beall’s list:

1 Bioscience Discovery
2 International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research
3 International Research Journal of Pharmacy

Published in The Hindu on September 14, 2017

One thought

  1. The informative reviews of the status of predatory journals in India by Prasad show that the efforts of the UGC to identify the “white” journals are not effective. The cancer has infected the system so deeply and extensively that it is not possible to cure it in the short term. We need large groups of dedicated, committed scientists/researchers and academicians in many disciplines to help the UGC to sift the corn from the chaff. Many in responsible, decision making echelons in the universities themselves seemed to have encouraged predatory publishers. Predatory publishers may be very pleased with the unexpected turn of events. They will boldly advertise their newly gained honorable mention in the UGC “white” list, along with other claims and attributes. By closing our eyes for too long, we have done irreparable damage to the system.

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