From Vice-Chancellors to AIIMS directors and IIT professors, from Pulwama to Behrampur and Roorkee, the range and reach of names linked to articles and conferences organised by publishers of “predatory journals” is staggering.
Most of them figure in publications brought out by Hyderabad-based OMICS and Turkey-based WASET, which claim to organise research conferences across the world.
The home page of WASET’s website lists a conference schedule that runs up to the year 2031, with links leading to titles of papers to be presented and their authors. However, a closer look reveals a different picture.
For instance, the last listed event is the International Conference on Psychology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on July 14-15, 2026. One of the papers to be presented is Qualitative Analysis of Current Child Custody Evaluation Practices by Carolyn J Ortega and Stephen E Berger. But an attached PDF shows the paper was published in WASET’s International Journal of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences two years ago.
When contacted by The Indian Express, the Indian experts who were listed either denied any links to these publications and conferences or attributed their presence on the list to “juniors” who had sent articles for publication. Others said they were not aware that these journals charged money for publishing articles.
On July 13, a day after he was contacted by The Indian Express, Rajesh Malhotra, professor of orthopaedics at AIIMS-Delhi, filed a police complaint against OMICS for naming him as an editor of Journal of Osteoarthritis. Malhotra is also listed as the co-author of three articles on the publisher’s database. “I had no idea it was a fake journal… The moment the article was published we started getting demand for money, and I have a trail of mails that were exchanged,” Malhotra told The Indian Express.
The OMICS and WASET database includes hundreds of articles listed against the names of faculty, researchers and experts from premier institutions such as AIIMS, RML Hospital-Delhi, SGPGI-Lucknow, JIPMER-Puducherry, IITs, NITs, JNU, Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University and several other renowned institutions.
The Indian Express spoke to Vice-Chancellors, AIIMS directors and IIT professors on the list, and this is what they had to say:
* Listed as co-author in Mycobacterial Diseases, OMICS
“At the time, I was in JNU. I did not pay for this publication. The first author of the paper did part of the work with me, and put my name as co-author.”
M Jagadesh Kumar
* Listed as co-author in International Journal of Electronics and Communication Engineering, WASET
“My student made an oral presentation on this topic at the 18th International Conference on Microelectronics, Nanoelectronics and Nanoengineering in Berlin, Germany, May 19-20, 2016, (organised by WASET). I did not go to this conference. Neither me nor my PhD student Dawit Abdi submitted our paper to this journal for publication.”
Mushtaq A Siddiqe
Vice-Chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Pulwama, J&K
* Listed as author in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis, OMICS
“The journal at that time was not known to be of a predatory nature. The work was published with them after invitation by the journal’s editor without any demand for money. It was only after publication that their accounts officer demanded article-processing charges, which we refused to pay.”
K R S Rao
Vice-Chancellor, Mizoram University
* Listed as co-author in Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development, OMICS
“That was published in 2011. It was a review on invitation, not a research article and not with our findings, and we did not pay for publication. We never promote the ‘pay and publish’ policy. The article was published in the first issue and first volume with other renowned scientists. In my view, it is too early to understand the mission and vision of any newly inaugurated journal in its first issue.”
Amarendra Narayan Misra
Vice-Chancellor, Khallikote Cluster University, Berhampur, Odisha
* Listed as co-author in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics, OMICS
“It was in 2010 that we published this article, when the journal had published two issues. They had a brilliant editorial team and it was not a predatory journal at the time, as per our knowledge. We did not pay any publication fee and our article was published on invitation. We did not publish any article later in this journal and have no idea about its current standard.”
* Listed as co-author in Journal of Liver, OMICS
“At times, residents and junior faculty push for it, in spite of all your efforts. So this is just an odd slip. You regret it always later as good research work goes in vain, without any recognition.”
* Listed as co-author in Mycobacterial Diseases and Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination, OMICS
“OMICs is a predatory organisation, but this was realised nationally and internationally only about two years ago. Before that, many of the conferences and journals were managed by Indian doctors who started requesting senior professors of reputed institutes to help them and submit articles or abstracts. As emotional Indians, some of us submitted a few articles and abstracts. However, I want to make it clear that none of the two papers were published for any fee paid by me or AIIMS or anybody else on my behalf.”
Prof A Kannan
* Listed as co-author of three articles in International Journal of Chemical and Molecular Engineering, WASET
“Usually, our MS students are permitted to attend an international conference and write a paper for presentation. After this presentation, their work was published in the WASET journal. I do not use these papers in my list of referred publications, neither does my institute give any recognition for such publications.”
Prof Vinod Katiyar
* Listed as co-author in International Journal of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, WASET
“My student presented her research work at the 17th International Conference on Applied Biomaterials and Biomechanics in London on September, 25-26, 2015, organised by WASET. The organisers asked to publish the presented work in journals and consequently, published our work in International Journal of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, a journal published by WASET. We are not aware of its reputation.”