Suspicious research

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 6: Kuwait University is still struggling with the file of suspicious research – which has been open since 2017 – regarding the publication of research in suspicious academic journals, reports Al-Qabas daily. A memorandum submitted last Thursday stated that it is necessary to warn the scientific departments to exclude research published in the journals – which are deemed as “predatory” or “exploited” – by the Omics Publisher Foundation and other publishers, when considering promotions for professors.

The official correspondences addressed to the concerned committees in Kuwait University revealed that there are many institutions similar to the Omics Foundation that publish research papers and are called predatory journals. The daily had taken the initiative to open the file of suspicious research papers, which were published in the Indian magazine Omics in its issue of December 17, 2017, with a news article titled “A suspicious Indian magazine that relies on 84 research papers in Kuwait written by the late journalist Walid Al-Abdullah at the time. Based on this, the then Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Hamed Al-Azmi had announced on January 5, 2018 the formation of a fact-finding committee.

Based on the committee’s decision, followed by the University Council’s decision in April 2018, the research papers published in Omics journals were not approved, and those published in open-access journals were not counted unless they are listed in approved databases in accordance with Kuwait University’s academic standards. The daily learned that the Ministry of Education, represented by the Legal Affairs Sector, terminated the services of a Kuwaiti teacher after it was proven that she had forged bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from an Arab university.

According to an informed source, the Ministry of Education’s decision was based on the teacher’s conviction by the Court of Cassation in May, and after the forgery charge was proven, and an official letter was received by the concerned authorities to implement the ruling. The Ministry of Education also recovered about KD 90,000 obtained illegally by the teacher in form of rewards and allowances during the years of work, after adjusting her job status based on the dummy certificates she submitted after they were approved by the Ministry of Higher Education.

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