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Good practices

Predatory journal training

The University Grants Commission (UGC), the government agency that regulates higher education in India, has decreed that universities in the country must train all PhD students in the ethics of scientific publication. One of the objectives is to teach young researchers how to distinguish between reputable periodicals from predatory journals—those that publish papers in exchange for money without conducting a genuine peer review.

According to the UGC’s new guidelines, the training should take the form of a 30-hour course, with theoretical content on scientific integrity and the use of metrics for assessing research impact, in addition to practical sessions on predatory publications. Anup Kumar Das, from the Center for Studies in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, told the Times Higher Education website that the strategy has been welcomed as a uniform and structured means of training Indian researchers. “These short courses should be extended to professors and support staff,” he said.