Fake or Predatory Journals List

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Fake/Predatory Journals Vs UGC & Beall’s Criteria

We know that what the importance of publishing research papers in reputed journals is and getting higher degrees (like PhD). Recently there is a big debate is going on, especially, on fake or predatory journals. Because of this negative impact on journals, almost all the countries they are trying to shortlist the reputed journals country wise and India has already shortlisted (They are still screening to avoid the fake/predatory journals from their master list).

How this issue has been pointed out?

Mr. Jeffey Beall, American & Librarian at Auraria Library in Denver until March 2018, is well known for his blog Scholarly Open Access which monitors the “Predatory Open Access Publishing” (the term coined by Beall).      

He has done some experiments on open access publishing scheme of journals and pointed out that most of the open access journals publishing the papers for money. He has developed two models for open access (OA) publishing, namely, 1. Gold Model (Where authors must pay for papers to be published), 2. Platinum Model (In which authors don’t want to pay for publishing). He noted that Gold Model may prone to abuse and journals giving preference to the money but for quality of the work.

When he listed out the predatory journals in 2009 which consists of only 18 publishers but now it’s beyond the thousands of journals. From his investigations, we came to know that 5-10% of total open access articles are predatory and at least 25% of open access journals are predatory. Especially, he has been well known for the criticism on Omics Publishing Group which he described as “the worst of the worst” in a 2016 Inside Higher Education article.   

What UGC (India) has taken the steps?

After consideration of all these types of issues, UGC has decided to announce the Approved journal’s list to get qualified for higher degrees, promotions etc in India. In 2016, UGC had taken the step to list out the journals for setting of greater standards in research era. UGC had announced the UGC Approved list of Journals based on the indexing in standard databases, namely 1. Web of Science; 2. Scopus; 3. Journals recommended by the Standing Committee on Notification on Journal and Language Committee and 4) Journal recommended by Universities.

Why still UGC updating the list?

When UGC has decided to announce the list, UGC offered online application with minimal requirements in its portal (This information gathered from some admin(s) of journals) for inclusion of journals in UGC list. During this time, most of the journal got listed in UGC Approved list and later on, UGC has received lot of complaints against of predatory journals inclusion in UGC list. For avoiding the predatory/fake journals and implementing the greater standards in research, appointed the high standard committee to screen all the UGC listed journals. While screening, they came to know that UGC list has many predatory/fake journals which are not following the standards in publication process (no peer review process etc) and those journals were removed from the UGC list.

Recently, the well known news papers in India pointed the same issue that still UGC Approved list of journals possessing fake or Predatory journals and they brought this issue to the central minister for rectification of these issues. Those news papers pointed the some of the publishers namely, Omics Group, Science Domain International (SDI) and IOSR are not following the peer review standards. Central minister instructed the UGC officials to concentrate on the UGC list of journals for predatory/fake journals by considering the indexing of journals in reputed databases namely Scopus & Web of Science. Government officials also instructed the committee appointed for screening of predatory/fake journals to consider the Beall’s list too. Some of the officials brought one more issue to the minister that some of the journals included in Scopus or Web of Science are also not following the standard peer review process or standards. Same they notified to the database(s) such as Scopus & Web of Science.

Scopus has already started the screening of journals indexed in its database, specifically, those were originated from India. Scopus removed the journals belongs to the Science Domain International from its list by 2018 and still screening is going on.          

Beall’s list of journals/publishers

Last updated January 9, 2017


Here we include journals that were not originally on the Beall’s list, but may be predatory.

Why Beall’s website removed from public domain?

After disclosing the fake/predatory journal’s list, he has received lot of life threatening calls and some external pressures etc, he has removed his site from public domain but still this list is available in some other domain with latest updated list.  

Whose mistake?

UGC has to implement the strict criteria to avoid the fake publishing and maintaining the research standards in India. At the same time, for addition of upcoming journals, UGC simplify the application process because upcoming journals can not apply directly to include in the UGC list and they have only chance to apply through universities recommendation. All journals may not have contact & proper communication with the university(s). This criteria causes loosing of some scientifically sound journals, hence, journal admin(s) is/are expecting to have simplified application process.         

What researchers have to do?

We know that how hard the doing research and how much we are spending for our research. At the same time, it is also important to publish our research in right journal to attract the greater audience and getting good recognition to our research. Before publishing, just check whether the journal has indexed properly in reputed databases or not. Be careful with UGC approved list because still it is having some of predatory journals and those also frequently removing by UGC. It may take some more years to get final UGC approved list with quality journals.   

Good luck Researchers!


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