According to 2015 estimates, more than 8,000 predatory journals churn out more than 400,000 items a year, and India — which has also seen a spurt in high-quality scientific publications — contributes more than one-third of the articles in predatory publications.
Last month, India launched its latest salvo against the ‘pay and publish trash’ culture that sustains predatory journals. Over several months, more than 30 organizations representing universities and academic disciplines have vetted journals to release a reference list of respectable titles. Predators sabotaged our last attempt. We hope this better-curated list will help to cut off the supply of manuscripts to the unscrupulous operators that profit financially by undercutting academic quality.
This dynamic reveals the protracted battle that research integrity requires. Like drug-resistant microbes, which continue to thrive despite new antibiotics, predatory journals develop new ways to survive: inducting fake editors, devising fake indexing agencies and fake impact factors, and even making online attacks. This is why CARE plans to update its list quarterly and to monitor the list closely for both unintended consequences and attempts to game the system.
Our foe is determined and adaptable. We must be, too.
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