A1 Journal article (refereed)
De-naturalizing the “predatory” : A study of “bogus” publications at public sector universities in Pakistan (2024)

Ali Shah, W., Ali, R., & Lashari, A. (2024). De-naturalizing the “predatory” : A study of “bogus” publications at public sector universities in Pakistan. Accountability in Research, 31(2), 80-99. https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2022.2106424

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsAli Shah, Waqar; Ali, Rukhsana; Lashari, Asadullah

Journal or seriesAccountability in Research



Publication year2024

Publication date01/08/2022


Issue number2

Pages range80-99

PublisherInforma UK Limited

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82672


Predatory publishing has recently emerged as a menace in academia. University professors and researchers often exploit this practice for their economic gains and institutional prestige. The present study investigates such existing predatory publishing practices in Pakistani public sector universities using Bourdieu’s (1991) concept of symbolic violence. For this purpose, we analyzed 495 articles published by 50 university professors in the social sciences and humanities over the period 2017-2021. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 postgraduate students to gather their perspectives on publishing practices. The study shows that 69% of the sample papers were published in predatory journals, as identified in Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) online journal recognition system (HJRS). Postgraduate students’ insights inform the study that the students misrecognize these malpractices in academia as a problem what Bourdieu (1991) calls ‘symbolic violence’. Consequently, they engage in the process to increase their publications. Such publications enable both the university professors and the students to achieve the desired benefit, such as promotions, tenure, and academic degrees. We recommend that this practice must be altered at the policy level since it not only violates the HEC’s standards for quality research but also damages the researchers’ credibility and country’s scientific reputation.

Keywordsresearch ethicsscience publishingpublicationsscientific journalsuniversitiesresearchersfinanciersqualityreputationscientific communities

Free keywordsde-naturalization; predatory publishing; symbolic violence; public sector universities; Pakistan

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-13-05 at 18:26