Predatory publishing

Open access has made life easier for readers by giving them a hassle free ability to read any article they choose. It has also made publishing of academic journals such an easy job that a new journal can be started by the click of a button! In this scenario, a whole jungle of research journals have emerged with the sole aim of earning money for effectively only putting some of the authors’ write ups on a web page. Authors with limited understanding of research publication process and those willing to compromise on the quality of their output with no real or perceived reputation to defend in the top of the academic community are easily attracted to a quick publication with little scrutiny of their work. National bodies such as UGC have not done their homework well and have often included such spurious and frivolous journals into their lists of “approved journals”. Apparently these agencies have tried to include everything that they could lay their hands on, because selecting journals based on their merit is a huge task for which they may have not had enough resources.

This situation presents challenges to the authors as well as readers. While, the authors are quite likely to take the course of such publications willingly, the non-specialist readers, young research students and beginners may be led to believe in an unsound scientific knowledge contained in these articles. After an initial group of such misinformed academics takes shape, they can reinforce each other and even outshout and out-cite good research and true scientific knowledge propagated by serious workers.

There is an urgent need to address this menace and save science from yet another threat looming over its horizon.