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SOUTH AFRICA
Subsidy withdrawals may follow predatory publishing probe

The Department of Higher Education and Training will probe claims about predatory publishing, and could withdraw subsidies paid out for the academic articles in question, writes Bekezela Phakathi for BDLive.

An analysis by Stellenbosch University researchers found that from 2005 to 2014, South African academics published more than 4,200 papers in 47 journals that were either "probably or possibly predatory". Predatory publishing involves unscrupulous open access publishers who publish articles with little or no real peer review. The government pays a university about R100,000 (US$7,300) for an academic article, which has to be published in a journal accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

In a written reply to a question from the opposition Democratic Alliance in parliament last week, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said his department was concerned about unethical publishing and had already initiated mechanisms to curb this behaviour before the analysis by Stellenbosch University researchers was published.
Full report on the Business Day site
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