Inside India’s fake research paper shops: pay, publish, profit

Despite UGC blacklist, hundreds of ‘predatory journals’ thrive, cast shadow on quality of faculty and research nationwide 

(19 July 2018, Indian Express) In the world of academia, getting published in an international research journal is almost the holy grail, it helps bump up the CV for hiring and helps in the competition for tenure or promotion. It takes rigorous research, an original contribution, exhaustive peer or expert reviews, and dogged persistence.

But then, there’s also an easy way — pay and publish.

An investigation by The Indian Express shows that India has emerged as one of the biggest markets for a business in which over 300 publishers manage what are called “predatory journals” that claim to be international and publish papers for a listed “charge” or “fee” that ranges from $30-$1,800 per piece.

From a plush office in the heart of Hyderabad, home to one of the world’s largest such publishers, to a one-room, one-man, one-laptop office at Richha in Bareilly, The Indian Express found that most of these publications exist online, claim to have a list of experts as editors, and employ minimal or no editorial checks before publication.

Hyderabad-based OMICS is, in fact, facing legal action by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US for fraudulent claims — a charge the company denies.

The Indian Express investigation is part a global project involving 60 reporters led by German broadcasters NDR and WDR, and Suddeutsche Zeitung, with 18 partners, including Le Monde and The New Yorker.

The Indian Express has the full story by Shyamlal Yadav.