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  Table of Contents  
CORRESPONDENCE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 392-393
 

Predatory publisher and impact factor: The murky landscape of scholastic publication


1 Department of Microbiology, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati, Assam, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati, Assam, India

Date of Submission16-Jun-2015
Date of Acceptance05-Feb-2016
Date of Web Publication12-Aug-2016

Correspondence Address:
B Thakuria
Department of Microbiology, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati, Assam
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.188372

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How to cite this article:
Thakuria B, Saikia P. Predatory publisher and impact factor: The murky landscape of scholastic publication. Indian J Med Microbiol 2016;34:392-3

How to cite this URL:
Thakuria B, Saikia P. Predatory publisher and impact factor: The murky landscape of scholastic publication. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Jun 18];34:392-3. Available from: http://www.ijmm.org/text.asp?2016/34/3/392/188372


Dear Editor,

The commentaries by Jain are invaluable for the readers of this widely circulated journal, more so for a fresher in the field of academic publication. [1] It will surely sensitise the stakeholders, involved in the process of scholarly publication, to the menace of predatory publishers and counterfeit impact factors (IFs). However, we feel that a glimpse of the other issues associated with them is also essential.

Academic publication has experienced a paradigm transformation since the introduction of the concepts of open access publication (OAP) and non-conventional peer review process. One cannot deny the unambiguous need of cost-free availability of knowledge to every humankind. Even many 'traditional publication houses' have embraced the concept of OAP within their realm. However, recently, the model of OAP has seen its fair share of criticism. Publication of the 'Lists of Predatory Publishers' has garnered much discussion in both white and grey literature and social media. [1],[2],[3] * The 'sting operation' by Bohannon, where he sent 'credible but mundane scientific paper' to many open access (OA) journals, pointed out that Beall credibly charted out the predatory journals. [2] Although this list may be of value in making an informed decision by everyone involved in generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge, we must remember that this list includes only OAP. [3] In fact, non-OA journals have also published 'non-sense' articles. [3] Moreover, the scepticism of Beall for OA model is noticeable. [3] It is in fact very interesting to read the viewpoints of both Beall and his criticisers. [2],[3],[4] We think that referencing to both the sides of the coin will help the readers to form an informed decision. Although it is a daunting task, we definitely need to learn to distinguish the predatory from the legitimate OA journals.

IF, provided by Journal Citation Reports® , is commonly used as an evaluative tool for a journal and may be one of the major deciding factors behind submission of research findings to a particular journal. [1],[5] Such is the fascination with the IF that many spurious matrices have come into front, exploiting the need of having a legitimate looking scientometric/bibliometric indicator for journals with questionable publication ethics. [5] However, we must also note that because of certain inherent shortcomings of IF, other well-accepted journal-, author- and article-based matrices have been developed. [5]

Until all the collaborators engaged in scholarly publication accepts the pitfalls of IF and devise a unanimous evaluative tool, it may not be possible for many of us to resist the temptation to get published in a journal with high IF. However, we must recognise that the academic value of a journal should not be ascribed based only on its IF. The same is true for an article published in a journal with high IF.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
 ~ References Top

1.
Jain NC. Predatory journals. Indian J Med Microbiol 2015;33:426.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.
Bohannon J. Who′s afraid of peer review? Science 2013;342:60-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.
Berger M, Cirasella J. Beyond Beall′s list better understanding predatory publishers. Coll Res Libr News (Serial Online) 2015;76:132-5. Available from: http://www.crln.acrl.org/content/76/3/132.full. [Last accessed on 2015 Jun 14].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Beall J. Response to "Beyond Beall′s List". Coll Res Libr News (Serial Online) 2015;76:340-1. Available from: http://www.crln.acrl.org/content/76/6/340.full?sid=13a2afb6-bc7a-432c-9158-90cf0b491001. [Last accessed on 2015 Jun 14].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Gutierrez FR, Beall J, Forero DA. Spurious alternative impact factors: The scale of the problem from an academic perspective. Bioessays 2015;37:474-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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