FAQs

Question 1: Will those local journals which do not appear in this list, be considered as 'recognized' by HEC?

Answer: No. From July 2020 onwards, only HJRS enlisted journals are considered as HEC Recognized Research Journals. The journals which are available in previous lists of HEC recognized journals available at www.hec.gov.pk/site/journals, are valid only till June 30, 2020.


Question 2: Why categories of certain journals have been changed from W to X or Y?

Answer: As per revised policy framework implemented from July 2020, criteria for accreditation of research journals has substantially been changed. W, X and Y categories of HJRS are determined on the basis of relative JPI score of a Journal in each Subject Area. Thresholds for different disciplines/subject areas are determined by the Scientific Review Panels of HEC. The good thing about JPI is that it is computed as a cumulative index of 6 internationally recognized journal prestige measures.


Question 3: HJRS has become effective from which date?

Answer: HJRS has been implemented w.e.f. 1st July 2020. Before this date previous policy/SOPs stands intact. Publications up till June 30, 2020 will be dealt as per previous policy/SOP. Detailed information including revised SOPs and notification of new policy is available at http://hec.gov.pk/site/journals


Question 4: What will be the status of journal publications which are published before July 1st, 2020?

Answer: The recognition of journals according to HJRS has become effective from July 1st, 2020. All journal publications before this date will be recognized as per previous HEC policy in vogue. Discipline-wise lists of HEC recognized research journals prior to the launch of HJRS are available at www.hec.gov.pk/site/journals.


Question 5: What was the policy of HEC for recognition of international journals before July 01, 2020?

Answer: All the previous policies/SOPs/Criteria for recognition of national and international journals applicable till June 30, 2020 are given at www.hec.gov.pk/site/journals. However, the criteria for recognition of international journals applicable till June 30, 2020 is reproduced as under;

"The International Journals having an impact factor and are listed in Journal Citation Report of ISI (Clarivate Analytics) are considered as HEC Recognized Journals in “W” category. In addition, all the research journals enlisted in ISI (Clarivate Analytics) Master List are valid for publication of PhD research work/award of PhD degree"


Question 6: Can we currently use this site in order to decide about the international journals where we intend to submit our future publications?

Answer: Yes. However, maximum care should be taken keeping in view JPI of particular journal. Journals with better JPI are advised to be selected because they have low probability of losing their category/recognition status. In addition, the authors are advised to read ‘guidelines related to Medallions given in “About” Section of HJRS


Question 7: Is the given HJRS website authentic for journals at HEC? I don’t find it on the official page of HEC.

Answer: Yes, the official web page under HEC domain is available at https://hjrs.hec.gov.pk


Question 8: What is the status of journals which exist in Master Journal List (MJL) of Web of Science?

Answer: The Journals that appear in following core collections of Web of Science are included in HJRS only.

1. Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE)
2. Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
3. Arts & humanities Citation Index (AHCI)
4. Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)


Question 9: Why impact factor journals listed in Science Citation Index are in X category? To give you an example, Journal of Applied Statistics has 0.76 impact factor but it is X category journal. Similarly, Pakistan journal of Statistics was previously derecognized but now it is listed as Y category journal. Please clarify this.

Answer: W, X and Y categories of HJRS are determined on the basis of relative JPI score of a Journal in each Subject area. Thresholds for different disciplines/subject areas are determined by the Scientific Review Panels of HEC. The good thing about JPI is that is computed as a cumulative index of 6 internationally recognized journal prestige measures. That’s why, a journal with low parameters as compared to other journals in the same scientific discipline/subject area can fall in X or even Y Category.


Question 10: It is good news that HEC has developed a new web site for seeking the categories of the journals. The alarming situation is that those reputed journals which have impact factor, are shown under X category. Please rectify these issues.

Answer: Please see answer to the Question No. 11


Question 11: As a researcher, I have serious concerns over "HJRS" journal ranking system. Even, Journals ranked "A" category in ABDC are categorized too low in HJRS system. For example, Journal of retailing and consumer services is "A" in ABDC but in HEC ranking it stood at "Bronze"

Answer: HEC Journal Recognition System (HJRS) is a collection of research journals that are categorized into three different categories – W, X and Y -- within their respective knowledge areas on the basis of a number of internationally bench marked and recognized parameters that measure the quality of a journal. The relative position and category of each journal is computed by a proprietary algorithm that is designed with the objective of promoting quality research across various disciplines. Please click on “about HJRS” tab to read for an in-depth understanding


Question 12: Before this current HJRS categories, every journal having an impact factor was considered as W category. But in this current HJRS system, an impact factor journal might not be in a W category. So, is the current categorical system different from the one of the past?

Answer: Please read the answer to Question No.9


Question 13: Can you please tell me the status/category of journals in MJL that are not impact factor journals?

Answer: Please read answer to Question 08.


Question 14: Which category of journal W, X or Y in HJRS are acceptable for promotion and appointments on BPS and TTS in universities, colleges or institutes.

Answer: Queries regarding appointment /promotion pertain to Faculty Affairs Division of HEC. Detailed information is available on https://hec.gov.pk/english/services/universities/QA/Pages/default.aspx


Question 15: Which category of journal W, X or Y in HJRS are acceptable for PhD publication / Award of PhD Degree.

Answer: Queries regarding Ph.D Publications pertain to Faculty Affairs Division of HEC. Detailed information is available on https://hec.gov.pk/english/services/universities/QA/Pages/default.aspx


Question 16: Can a journal enlisted on HJRS be de-recognized during the currency of period for which it was recognized?

Answer: Yes. A recognized journal can be de-listed/ de-recognized during a fiscal year after conducting proper investigation as and when necessary e.g. in case it does not meet eligibility criteria/ qualify standards as per HEC policy or if it is listed/ reported to be a predatory journal or found to be unethical in academic/research practices adopted by the editorial team of journal. In the following cases, a journal will be treated/marked as de-recognized;

1. An international journal ceases to remain indexed with Scopus
2. A journal is included in removed/black list(s) of Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) or of Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
3. A journal is found involved in dubious/unethical publishing practices


Question 17: If a journal is enlisted in Scopus at the start of a financial year and later on it is removed from Scopus during the year, would it continue to appear in HJRS?

Answer: No. HJRS will be updated at different intervals (normally on quarterly basis) during the year from the financial year 2021-22 and journals; the coverage of which is discontinued from Scopus, will be treated/marked as de-recognized from the date of such discontinuation even if a journal is visible in HJRS.


Question 18: If a journal is removed from ABDC or DOAJ during the current year, would it continue to appear in HJRS or not?

Answer: As per policy of HEC, if a journal is removed by Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) or from Director of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), it shall be treated as de-recognized from the date of such removal.


Question 19: Should an author consult only HJRS before submitting a paper or some other databases also need to be consulted along with HJRS”

Answer: Before selecting a journal for publishing an article, the author(s) need to ensure that only quality journal is selected. Those journals which are involved in predatory publishing/unethical activities may be avoided. Such journal(s) can be de-recognized as and when noticed by the Higher Education Commission. For the convenience of authors, Medallions have been given against international journals from which prestige of the journals can be ascertained.