Predatory journals find most of their prey in developing countries, and in particular, among emerging economies where research output is rapidly growing. Bhushan Patwardhan is a biomedical researcher and Professor of Health Sciences at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) of India, and the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, published by Elsevier. He is also the current Vice Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) which plays a key part in India’s anti-predatory journals efforts. In this interview, Professor Patwardhan tells us about India’s battle against predatory journals.
Can you tell us about the UGC and its mission?
Great interview from February 2020 about India’s renewed fight against the questionable publisher industry. We have included links to 47 related items.
As a researcher and professor, how did you get involved in the UGC?
As a member of COPE, I have been keeping track of predatory publishers. It was noticed in 2015 that a large number of faculty members from Indian universities were falling prey to predatory publishers, and hence an effort to prepare ‘Guidelines for Research Publications’ was undertaken at SPPU. In 2017, a Center for Publication Ethics was established. We created a group of like-minded academicians and developed a robust protocol to analyze the UGC list, and found that over 88% of journals recommended by universities for inclusion in the UGC list were of poor quality. The results were published on 25th March 2018 in Current Science and attracted attention from media, the academic community, and regulators. Our efforts to curate the UGC approved list of journals resulted in the removal of over 3,000 predatory journals from the original list of nearly 5,000 titles. As of now the UGC approved list of Journals stands canceled and is replaced with UGC-CARE Reference List of Quality Journals (UGC-CARE List).