NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 29: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has come up with a slew of measures to get rid of dubious sub-standard journals and promote quality research in Indian higher education institutions. It has decided to create a Consortium to prepare a list of ‘credible quality journals’ for Social Sciences, Humanities and languages.
The Commission has allowed journals indexed in SCOPUS and Web of Science (WOS) related to Science, Engineering, Technology, Agriculture and Bio Medical Sciences for all academic purposes.
In May this year, UGC reportedly struck off as many as 4305 journals from its list of approved journals. The existing ‘UGC approved list of journals’ will remain valid till the new reference list of quality journals approved by the Consortium is released.
UGC- approved list of journals was created with an intention to help academic fraternity to bring measurable parameters, for the purpose of various academic evaluation of individuals and institutions.
The quality mandate of UGC emphasizes the importance of promoting quality research by the faculty and creating new knowledge. “Number of research articles published in reputed journals is one of the globally accepted indicators considered for various academic purposes including institutional ranking, appointment and promotions faculty and award of research degrees,” reads the UGC Notice.
It further reads, the percentage of research articles published in poor quality journals is reported to be high in India, which has adversely affected its image.
The Consortium of Academic and Research Ethics (CARE) will comprise of all the statutory Councils from the related fields of Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts and Fine Arts, Science, Medical, Agriculture and Engineering and the Association of Indian Universities chaired by the UGC Vice-Chairman.
The CARE has been entrusted with the responsibility of analysing Journals from all disciplines and to submit recommendations. Based on the recommendations, a dynamic ‘Reference List of Quality Journals’, will be created and maintained by CARE (henceforth referred as “CARE Reference List of Quality Journals”), which will be used for all academic purposes.
According to UGC Notice, to begin with, the Journals published by government/councils/ national academies/ scholarly societies of long standing in India and abroad may be also considered for inclusion in the “CARE Reference List of Quality Journals” provided they meet the required quality criteria.
The UGC action in May happened after a report, ‘A Critical Analysis of the UGC- approved list of journals’ done by Bhushan Patwardhan from Savitribai Phule Pune University suggested that over 88 percent of the non-indexed journals were of ‘Low Quality’.