HEC Denies Turning a Blind Eye Towards Fraudulent Research Practices in Pakistan

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has denied claims that it has been indifferent towards fraudulent research practices in Pakistan.

In response to news reports stating that HEC’s apathy and detachment have led to fraudulent research practices in Pakistan, the commission said that it is working continuously to improve the monitoring of unfair means used by academics to publish research in order to enhance the credibility of HEC Journal Recognition System (HJRS), developed for the recognition of international and local journals.

“The HEC approved the local journals after reviewing by relevant experts and international journals indexed with Scopus and Web of Science,” the commission responded.

“[The] HEC also delists the journals which are included in Global research watchdogs i.e. DOAJ removed list and ABDC as per policy. Furthermore, the journals delisted by Scopus and Web of Science are also delisted by HEC,” it added.

Besides, HEC revealed that HJRS has no system in place to recognize when and for how long any journal or its specific issue is de-listed by the indexing and impact finding companies like Scopus and Web of Science.

“Currently, the HEC is not considering Beall’s List as that list is de-activated since 2017 due to defamation lawsuits against Beall, as well as official complaints against Beall’s work to the University of Colorado. As a result, Beall deactivated his blog and the list in January 2017,” the commission said.

This statement does not match with the information on the website of Beall’s List which claims to have updated its section on hijacked and predatory journals in 2020.

“HEC will take care and strengthen its monitory role during the revision of policies of research journals on the recommendations of the Committee already constituted for this purpose,” the commission said.