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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 189-191

The need for indian physiotherapy research publications: Understanding journalology and predatory journals

Department of Pediatric and Neonatal Physiotherapy, Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana, Haryana, India

Date of Web Publication11-Jun-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Asir John Samuel
Department of Pediatric and Neonatal Physiotherapy, Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana - 133 207, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_110_17

Rights and Permissions

Publishing a scientific paper can result in fruitful new scientific collaborations, and researchers, including the physiotherapists, and get recognition. The basis of publications is to create a public record of original contributions to knowledge, to encourage scientists to “speak” directly to one another, and to disseminate generated knowledge. This brief communications underlines the nuances of publication and journalology especially to get 'taught' on the principles of academic and scholarly publication, and not to get 'caught' with the pseudo-academics of 'predatory' journal publishing.

Keywords: Internet, journal impact factor, librarians, peer review, predatory journals

How to cite this article:
Samuel AJ. The need for indian physiotherapy research publications: Understanding journalology and predatory journals. Arch Med Health Sci 2018;6:189-91

How to cite this URL:
Samuel AJ. The need for indian physiotherapy research publications: Understanding journalology and predatory journals. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Mar 21];6:189-91. Available from: https://www.amhsjournal.org/text.asp?2018/6/1/189/234085

  Introduction Top

Physiotherapy researchers are recognized and valued based on their research publications. If there is no research publications produced by a researcher, then it is considered that the researcher has not involved in any research work. Researcher's research work is known to the world only by their scientific publications. Research publications in recognized journals earn them research funding by recognized funding agencies. They are entitled for international travel grant, short-term research funding, and many more are based on research publication. Unfortunately, most of the Indian physiotherapist, physiotherapist students, and scholars are unaware about the genuine scholarly publishing platforms. Their research work is wasted and not known to research community by publishing in fake journals. This article throws light on publication practices among the novice Indian physiotherapist and how not to get caught with the pseudo-academics of 'predatory' journal publishing.

  Journalology in India Top

In the age of modern communication and fast internet era, identifying research publication and journals is not a cumbersome job anymore. This makes the researcher to publish more in 'publish or perish' era which becomes 'pay and publish' era. Researchers are bound by both the pressures to publish and at same time to produce quality researchers.[1] Eventually, they end up in publishing large volume of poor quantity content, which opened the back door and allowed the entry of “predatory journals” produced by “predatory publishers.” The word, “Predatory” refers to the concept of preying on academicians for academic and research content for monetary benefit of the publisher.[2] They do not provide single benefit to the scientific community. Even this concept starts inflicting the physiotherapy community. For the past decade, the physiotherapy journal in India has seen rapid rise of predatory journals. The era in India begins from the inception of Journal of Exercise Science and Physiotherapy (JESP) in 2005. Followed this various physiotherapy journals has started mushrooming in India. Some of them are, Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy (IJPOT) in 2007, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Journal (POTJ) in 2008, Journal of Physical Therapy (JPT) in 2010, International Journal of Physiotherapy and Research (IJPR) and Indian Journal of Physical Therapy in 2013, International Journal of Physiotherapy (IJPHY) in 2014, International Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy and International Journal of Physical Therapy and rehabilitation in 2015 and many more predatory journals were tabulated by Manca et al.[3] The painful truth is that India ranks first among predatory publishing.[3]

  Pseudo-Peer Review Top

These predatory journals charge processing and publishing fees for staging the research works by academician, student, or research scholars only for gaining personal benefit by the journal publishers. They claim that they conduct genuine professional peer review by scientific experts but actually do pseudo peer-review and publish all the manuscript submitted to them without peer-review. Thus, the scientific community has lost over the published content. We, India physiotherapist should not become “prey” to “predatory journals” and beware of them. They fail to adhere to the standard guidelines related to the issues such as processing and publication charges, displaying the genuine editorial board members, managing conflict of interest, transparency of peer-review processes, archiving the journal content, and handling corrigendum or erratum, which is strictly recommended by committees and associations such as the World Association of Medical Editors,[3] the International committee of medical journal editors,[4] the Council of Science Editors,[5] and the committee on publication ethics.[6] They should also be listed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as, 'predatory' journals in their website. This will prevent novice physiotherapy researcher and academician from publishing in so-called, “fake journals.”

  Fake Journal Metrics Top

Most of our valued physiotherapy academician is carried away by the misleading metrics such as, Scientific Journal Impact Factor (http://sjifactor.com/), Global Impact Factor (http://globalimpactfactor.com/), Universal Impact Factor (http://uifactor.blogspot.in/, http://universaljournalimpactfactor.blogspot.in/), and many other. These are the nonsense metrics, and they even do not have their own websites, use blogspot.in instead. Indian physiotherapist should not publish in the journals endorsed by these journal metrics. In India, Medical Council of India (MCI) considers the journal for evaluating medical staffs for promotion on the basis of publication in Index Copernicus indexed journal. They use Copernicus metric value (Index Copernicus Value [ICV], http://en.indexcopernicus.com/) to evaluate the journal indexed by them. Another reputable fake metric is Citefactor (http://www.citefactor.org/). They use the fancy and novel terms such as, Real Time Impact Factor and Journal Impact Factor.

  Genuine Journal Metrics Top

However, Institute for Scientific Information ® does the genuine work of evaluating journals by librarians and information scientist. They have been evaluating for the past 75 years by compiling Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index and Arts and Humanities Citation Index and publishing Journal Citation Reports (JCR) by Clarivate Analytics, previously the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters, (JCR, https://clarivate.com/products/journal-citation-reports/) since 1975.[7] Recent years has seen the introduction of Science Citation Index Expanded and Emerging Sources Citation Index to cover most of standard scientific journals under Web of Science core collections (https://webofknowledge.com/).

  Consequences of Publishing in Predatory Journals Top

Publishing in predatory journals have devastating consequences for students, researchers, and academic faculty, or research scholars. It could ruin their career and tarnish their reputation in India. The consequences of publication in fake journals are tabulated in [Table 1].
Table 1: Consequences of publishing in predatory journals

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  Benefits of Publishing in Genuine Journals Top

Uncountable benefits follows by making research publication in genuine journals. It earns stable academic and research reputation. Some of the benefits could be gained by the Indian physiotherapists are listed in [Table 2].
Table 2: Benefits of publishing in genuine journals

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  Temptations among Indian Physiotherapist in Publishing Top

Indian physiotherapists are not exempted from temptations while making research publications. At present, if a physiotherapist has made a research publication in any journals, his/her E-mail inbox will start receiving junk of E-mails advertising about their publishing house. Some of the junk/spam E-mails are, “assured publication within 2 working days,” “rapid peer-review and fast publication,” “use promo code and publish 2 article with processing charge for single article,” “publish in UGC recognized journal,” “inaugural issue, your first publication is free,” “editorial board members are exempted from article processing and publishing charge,” “due to high quality publication at International level, our journal ICV and impact factor value have been increased,” “Listed in forthcoming list of MCI and UGC,” etc. Indian physiotherapist should control their mind after seeing these tempting sentences toward publishing their valuable research.

  Suggestion to Indian Physiotherapist Top

Indian physiotherapist should refrain from publishing in, “predatory journals”. Physiotherapist in the academic field should not encourage their students or research scholars to get published their article in the above-mentioned journals. Utmost care should be taken while selecting a journal. The criteria which are followed while selecting a college, likewise considering the reputation of college, years of existence, recognized by statutory body or not, should be adopted while selecting journals for publishing their research works.

  Conclusion Top

It is disheartening to note that an increasing number of scholars and researchers are being solicited by predatory journals seeking manuscript submissions without any or proper peer review. These questionable editorial practices are threatening the reputation and credibility of scholarly publishing. In this regard, scholarly and scientific physiotherapy publication in India is in a burgeoning stage. This article addresses the nuances of journalology in India especially for the novice young physiotherapist to get 'taught' on the principles of academic and scholarly publication. This will hugely enable the novice and young scholars in physiotherapy not to get caught with the pseudo-academics of 'predatory' journal publishing that thrives not only in India but world across.[8]


This article was presented as an Invited talk on, “Scientific and Peer-reviewed Publication in Digital Age: A need among Indian Physiotherapists”, PHYSICON CHANDIGARH-2017, 4th Annual Physiotherapy Conference and Scientific Meet of Indian Association of Physiotherapist (IAP) Chandigarh branch, organised by Department of Physiotherapy, PGIMER-CHANDIGARH, on 11th and 12th November, 2017. The concised content of this review was published as a conference proceedings. There were simultaneous publications by the author to disseminate this message to a wider audience especially the Indian physiotherapists. Such publications include: (1) Call for the scientific and peer-reviewed publication among Indian physiotherapists: The need of the hour. Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Journal 2017;10:137-8; (2) Journal Publishing: Separating the wheat from the chaff. PHYSIOTIMES 2017, (3) An Indian physiotherapist's suggestions to keep out of fake journals. JIAP 2018.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

The contributing author is an editorial board member of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Journal (POTJ). In addition to that the author has publications in The Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy (IJPOT), Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Journal (POTJ) and International Journal of Physiotherapy and Research (IJPR) which may be predatory journals. The author discussion were based on the evidences available regarding predatory publications.

  References Top

Haslam N, Laham SM. Quality, quantity, and impact in academic publication. Eur J Soc Psychol 2010;40:216-20.  Back to cited text no. 1
Laine C, Winker MA. Identifying predatory or pseudo-journals. Biochem Med 2017;27:285-91.  Back to cited text no. 2
Manca A, Martinez G, Cugusi L, Dragone D, Mercuro G, Deriu F. Predatory Open Access in Rehabilitation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2017;98:1051–6.  Back to cited text no. 3
World Association of Medical Editors. Available from: http://www.wame.org/. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 02].  Back to cited text no. 4
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Available from: http://www.icmje.org/. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 02].  Back to cited text no. 5
Council of Science Editors. Available from: https://www.councilscienceeditors.org/. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 02].  Back to cited text no. 6
Committee on Publication Ethics: Promoting Integrity in Research and its Publication. Available from: https://www.publicationethics.org/. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 02].  Back to cited text no. 7
University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M.PHIL./PH.D Degrees) Regulations, 2016 {In supersession of the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Awards of M. Phil./Ph.D. Degree) Regulation, 2009, notified in The Gazette of India [No. 28, Part III- Section 4] for the week July 11-July 17, 2009}. [Internet]. UGC2016;p.11. Available from: https://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/4952604_UGC-(M.PHIL.-PH.D-DEGREES)-REGULATIONS,-2016.pdf. [Last accessed on 2017 Dec 3].  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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