Unscrupulous ‘health’ journals and plagiarised research papers by doctors under MCI scanner

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NEW DELHI: The Medical Council of India has raised concerns about thousands of doctors in the country using “shady” medical journals or plagiarised articles passed as original research work to advance their careers and has proposed to come up with a list of “credible” health journals.

Sources in India’s medical education regulator said that the practice has become more rampant after it associated publication of original research in national or international science journals with appointment and promotions in medical colleges other institutions .

“The idea to promote research work by medical teachers is that quality of teaching improves and it is followed worldwide. Such publications do not only indicate academic bent of doctors but also aid to the research ecosystem, however the scene today is not at all good,” said S P Yadav, chairman, ethics committee of the MCI.

“We have been getting hundreds of complaints that some doctors use plagiarised content or pay to unscrupulous journals to publish their papers which do not have any peer-reviewed substantial content and this is an alarming trend,” Yadav said.

“In a way, we are also contributing to the growth of a burgeoning industry of so-called journals which publish articles by doctors only for monetary considerations,” another MCI official told this newspaper. “In fact there have been instances that there have been 4-5 articles by same author and the doctors themselves do not know what papers have appeared under their names.”

The MCI, therefore, has decided that work published in only well-established and credible medical journals of national and global repute will now be considered for the purpose.

“We will constitute expert committees on various research areas that will come out with a list of journals that will be now be recognised,” Yadav said.