Research articles published in the journals indexed at the Scopus and Web of Science (WOS) will be now considered for “all academic purpose” in disciplines under science, engineering, technology, agriculture and bio-medical sciences, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided.
To check the publication of research articles in the dubious and sub-standard journals, percentage of which is believed to be very high in India, the higher education regulator has also decided to set up a consortium of academic and research ethics (CARE) which will prepare a fresh list of approved journals for publication of papers in the non-science disciplines.
“The percentage of research articles published in poor quality journals is reported to be high in India which has adversely affected its image. Over this background, with a view to redefine and strengthen UGC approved list of journals, the whole issue was reconsidered by the commission at its meeting on November 14,” UGC secretary Rajnish Jain said.
The UGC decision to re-look at the issue afresh comes months after the higher education regulator had to remove over 4000 journals from its list of those approved.
The regulator's action came in May after a group of researchers conducted a critical analysis of the UGC's list of approved journals and came out with their report, saying, “Our results suggest that over 88% of the non-indexed journals in the university source component of the UGC-approved list, included on the basis of suggestions from different universities, could be of low quality.”
In 2017, the UGC had approved over 35,000 journals for publication of papers for all academic purpose including promotion and direct recruitment of the university teachers. The number of approved journals currently stands a little over 30,000
For the non-science disciplines, the higher education regulator secretary said, the commission's current list of approved journals will remain valid till the CARE (the consortium) releases a new reference list of “quality journals”
The CARE will prepare a fresh list of approved journals for the disciplines like social sciences, humanities, languages, arts, culture, Indian knowledge systems.
The consortium, comprising various government bodies, statutory councils, the association of Indian Universities (AIU) and INFLIBNET (Information and Library Network) centre as its members, will also formulate a procedure for submission of proposals by the academic institutions for the inclusion of new journals in its “reference list of quality journals.”
“The CARE reference list of quality journals will be regularly updated and published by the UGC and the members of the consortium at their respective websites,” Jain said.