Over 400 Pakistani Researchers Caught Publishing In Fake Journals

Over 400 Pakistani Researchers Caught Publishing In Fake Journals
Over 400 Pakistani academics and researchers have been submitting research papers to a fake academic journal with approximately 150 falsified studies published since 2019, it has emerged.

The papers were published in a so-called 'clone journal,' deceptively named, '‘International Journal of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity' (IJDRBC), as reported by The News.  A 'clone journal' refers to an academic publication which mimics or copies the name of a reputable journal in order to gain credibility and help academics garner their much sought after publication credits.

While some academics may have been truly deceived, others apparently were aware that the journal was a counterfeit. Standard practice dictates that researchers should verify the authenticity of any journal through the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan’s (HEC) Journal Recognition System (HJRS) before submission. Additionally, the journal often published four to five papers written by the same author, a practice frowned upon in academia.

Researchers from both the public and private sector were found published in the pirated journal, including the legal director-general of the Pakistan Procurement Authority, as well as academics from the Bahria University, Riphah University, University of Peshawar, University of Sargodha, Punjab University, Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar, Islamic International University Islamabad, University of Swat, University of Sindh, among others.

In October, the HEC came under criticism for failing to monitor the proliferation of 'clone journals' among researchers in the country.  At the time, the HEC responded by saying it would 'strengthen' the HJRS.