By Arshad Yousafzai
In a significant revelation via email received to this scribe, a concerned researcher has drawn attention to a journal listed in the HEC HJRS System, exposing discrepancies and raising suspicions about its legitimacy. The researcher’s email highlights an alarming situation surrounding the “Journal of Xi’an Shiyou University, Natural Sciences Edition,” shedding light on the presence of multiple websites and possible predatory practices.
The researcher, inspired by their readings on predatory journals, decided to contact authorities to address a matter of utmost importance. The email unveils an unusual discovery regarding the verification of the aforementioned journal, accompanied by comprehensive details.
The journal in question is known by two names: “Journal of Xi’an Shiyou University, Natural Sciences Edition” and “Xi’an Shiyou Daxue Xuebao (Ziran Kexue Ban)/Journal of Xi’an Shiyou University, Natural Sciences Edition,” both sharing the ISSN: 1673-064X.
The concerning aspect is the existence of two separate websites associated with the journal, each hosting entirely different content. The URLs provided are as follows: https://www.xisdxjxsu.asia/ and https://xianshiyoudaxuexuebao.com/KNavi/JournalDetail1.html.
Delving further into the matter, the researcher refers to the HEC-HJRS system, which categorizes the ISSN: 1673-064X under the “X” category, emphasizing the need for verification and scrutiny (https://hjrs.hec.gov.pk/index.php?r=site%2Fresult&id=1001653#journal_result).
However, a notable discrepancy arises when consulting BEALL’S LIST of potential predatory journals and publishers (https://beallslist.net/hijacked-journals/). The email correspondence claims that the journal associated with the URL https://www.xisdxjxsu.asia/ is flagged as a hijacked journal, while the original journal is now defunct.
The evidence presented in the email suggests a disconcerting scenario: both websites, namely https://www.xisdxjxsu.asia/ and https://xianshiyoudaxuexuebao.com/KNavi/JournalDetail1.html, appear to be operating as hijacked copies of the journal, which itself may no longer be active. Furthermore, no substantial evidence of the journal’s existence was found on the official website of Xi’an Shiyou University.
In light of these findings, the researcher urgently requests a thorough review of the facts. If a genuinely legitimate journal with a valid URL is identified, the researcher urges the relevant authorities to share this information. Conversely, if the suspicions regarding predatory practices are substantiated, immediate action is sought to remove the journal from the HJRS system and disseminate this crucial information for the benefit of the academic community. The email further emphasizes that more than 50% of publications in this journal involve Pakistani authors, underlining the potential impact on their academic careers.
This email serves as a wake-up call to authorities and researchers alike, highlighting the need for vigilance in the face of predatory practices within the academic publishing sphere. As the investigation unfolds, the academic community eagerly awaits a thorough examination of the claims made, with hopes for a swift resolution to this disconcerting situation.
The author is associated with The News and covers education related issues across Pakistan. He tweets at @arshadyousafzay and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.