The University Grants Commission’s (UGC) National Cell for Journal Analysis to weed out dubious journals was inaugurated by UGC’s vice-chairman Professor Bhushan Patwardhan on Saturday.

Located in the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) campus, the cell will be headed by Shubhada Nagarkar, assistant professor, department of library and information science, SPPU.

In May, the UGC had disqualified 4,305 journals out of 32,659 from its list of approved journals owing to their dubious nature.

This action followed a study published in the March 25 issue of Current Science journal which had reported a spurt in the number of predatory and dubious journals offering ‘pay and publish’ services to gullible authors.

Patwardhan said that the incidence of research articles published in poor quality journals is very high in India, which has adversely affected the academic reputation of the country. “The UGC national cell in the SPPU will analyse all such journals and then the UGC will give final approval,” he said.

The UGC national cell will have representations from four zones with the north zone represented by the Jawaharlal Nehru University, south zone (Hyderabad University), west zone (Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda) and Tezpur University in the east zone.

In November, the UGC had formed a consortium of academic bodies to prepare and maintain a list of credible journals.

This consortium which is a body of over 20 council members such as Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), will recommend the list of journals to the monitoring committee of the UGC cell for further action.