It has come to light that several Pakistani university lecturers are committing academic fraud by publishing substandard research papers in clone research journals for a few hundred dollars.
The indifference of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and other educational institutions to such dubious teachers getting awards and promotions on the basis of their substandard ‘research papers’ is a cause for concern.
It is not difficult for concerned authorities to identify and act against these academics as reliable global research watchdogs, including Beall’s List and the Retraction Watch Database, and the indexing agencies Scopus and Web of Science have cut the latter’s work out for them by exposing the journals in which numerous Pakistani researchers have published substandard papers.
HEC’s apathy and detachment are also affecting honest researchers who are unknowingly citing these fake researches in their work and are publishing genuine research papers in the clone journals.
Retraction Watch Database has claimed that more than three dozen faculty members of a number of Pakistani universities are involved in fake reviews, duplications, and other malpractices, as a result of which their papers were retracted from reputed research journals.
Beall’s List has also listed two groups of potential predatory publishers — the websites Pakistan Science Mission and Pak Insight, both of which have published nearly 60 journals, and the HEC Journal Recognition System has not included any of them in any category of recognized journals.
Despite this, no action has been taken against misleading websites publishing questionable journals that are destroying Pakistan’s international academic repute.