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Before approving any Journal, UGC should check the originality and quality of the particular Journal like Journal check the originality of the article using Anti-plagiarism tool.
That's not the problem. A firm is known for its product more than its name. Hence, UGC can't do that what you are suggesting. Quality and existence have to be ensured by the Publishers.
Maybe lower quality is driven by following reasons.
1 - Its a routine of printing the articles.
2 - Editors to these journals are very senior professionals of the domain. Predatory journal publisher put their names and get the attention. I don't think that those senior professions do the editing.
3 - Most of the journals publish the bibliometric, trend/uses pattern analysis and the similar study which is of 'no use'. There is lack of innovation and scoping new research ideas in these journals.
4 - It's paid, hence author would never like the rejection of their article.
5 - There is no such standards are made except the writing manuals. That is also not followed for all types of documents referred.
6 - Journals do not encourage the innovative ideas and effective ways or shortest way of doing a work and do not accept for publication.
7 - Survey-based research is key entry input to these journals which leads no-interest.
8 - Many other similar to these.
Dear Sri Manoj Jagannathan,
Thanks for your post and your concern on quality dilution of of journals.
As I personally feel, with the introduction of API system where points are provided for scholarly activities like publications, gaining higher degrees, writing/editing books and linking it for promotion to higher pay scales, this trend came into effect to a very large extent. I mean to say that the practice (or should I used the word malpractice?) was there since long but not in such big way!
I think that in the first place, the philosophy behind this process by the UGC was quite noble and absolutely justified theoretically but unfortunately, they failed to apprehend the aftermath of the process. You will see that after the announcement of UGC, a large number of College & University Dept started publishing their own journals and a large number of those are pathetically poor in standard. The issue is more pronounced for non STEM subjects. I am citing an example to explain the issue. There is one Indian Indexing Journal called GUIDE TO INDIAN PERIODICALLITERATURE which includes nearly 350 Indian Journals in non STEM subjects and around 29% of them have frequency of two issues per year and 61% are quarterly as such only 10% are published 6 times or more in a year and number of papers per issue of those 90% journals are 8-13. That means submission of papers ( or alternatively speaking writing by the academicians) are too low in comparison to the number Academic persons in of Colleges & Universities in India while this was the trend (during 1995-2010) sudden upsurge of no. of journals lately speaks about the reality of the scenario. Most of these journals do not adhere to the practiced norms and quality factors. Asking for money is not big issue. As I understand the ASM (American Society of Microbiology) used to ask for publication charges ( probably $30/page) during late 80's but they have very very strict review process besides they used to charge at the same rate for 100 Reprints. The ASM has a bunch of highly important journals like Journal of Bacteriology, Journal of Virology, Clinical Microbiology Review, Applied & Environmental Microbiology, Infection & Immunity, Journal of Clinical Microbiology etc.etc. all of them had good impact factors as per the JCR (in those days there was no Scopus!!) They charged money to accommodate cost for printing & Publication and incidentally they were quite cheaper than their European Counterpart FEMS (federation of European Microbiological Societies) which were marketed by Elsevier and around 3 to 4 times costlier but they did not ask for any charges for publication &/or Reprints.
Coming back to this context, the UGC should have made a panel of experts to prepare a list of Journals in different subjects with a warning that if the journals are found to be spurious or of low grade, it will seriously affect the API/Academic/Research Prospects of the Panel members. I am virtually sure that the situation would have been entirely different altogether and they should have asked to stick to just two sources, the ISI/JCR & Scopus only for foreign journals and for for certain front line publishers for the Indian Journals.
Siddhartha S. Ray