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Publications in pseudoscientific journals damage reputation of Kazakhstani scholars 17 августа 2014, 11:59

The Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan has acknowledged that a significant part of the articles of Kazakhstani scientists published abroad in the past two years appeared in psedoscientific journals.
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One of the largest bibliographic databases of abstracts and citations in the world Scopus released a list of 13 pseudo-scientific journals that have either been removed from the database or never been a part of it, Tengrinews reports referring to the site. The Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan said that a significant part of the articles of Kazakhstani scientists published abroad in the past two years appeared on the pages of those academic periodical.

According to the database, one of the journals - British Journal of Education and Science (ISSN 0309-1114) - was never covered by Scopus, other 12 titles have been discontinued from being covered by Scopus.

"13 journals that have been excluded from the Scopus database are the so-called “predatory” publications that actively offer our scientists to publish their works for money,” Deputy Director of the Research and Development Center of Almaty Management University Daniyar Sapargaliyev said. “In 2013, a third of all the articles of our scientists were published in such "predatory" publications. According to my estimates, about 50 percent of all the articles of Kazakhstani scientists published in foreign publications in 2014 were and will appear in such journals.”

The scientist believes the period from 2013 to 2014 was catastrophic for the Kazakh science in terms of international status and reputation. "We began publishing articles in magazines that lack reputation, have a low rating or are simply a fake,” the expert said.

More than 1686 articles of Kazakhstanis were published in international journals in 2013 – an unprecedented rise from previous years, Sapargaliyev said. He explained this by the fact that on 31 March 2011 a rule came into force by which publications in journals listed in Scopus and Web of Science were necessary for obtaining a PhD degree in Kazakhstan. In other words, a doctoral degree now requires being published in journals with high impact factor (citation index).

The Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan also commented on the sharp increase in the number of publications of Kazakh scholars in international journals in the last two years: "Scopus database includes 3794 Kazakhstani publications added during the period of 2011-2014, that is more than 40 percent of all publications of Kazakhstanis abroad, beginning 1923. Of these, nearly 30 percent of works were published in the Life Science Journal, World Applied Sciences Journal and Middle East Journal of Scientific Research ". These three journals are among the 12 excluded from Scopus for “malpractice”.

The Ministry also notes that most of the articles published by Kazakhstanis in such journals are not on demand by their foreign counterparts, as evidenced by the absence of any references to them.

Director of the Department on integration and scientific and technical information from the National Center for Scientific and Technical Information Tamara Kubeyeva said that albeit the negative impact on the scholarly reputation of the Kazakh science, there will be no ban on being published in these journals: "We will just make it known that, starting from this particular issue, these journals will not be listed in Scopus. However, we cannot prohibit anyone from publishing their work in there because it is everybody's own business. After the Committee [for Control in Education and Science] updates the information on its website, publications in “predatory” journals would simply not count for awarding of degrees.”

By Dinara Urazova

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