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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 120-121

Reduce burden of questionable publication from Indian authors: Young academicians' perspective


1 Department of Physiology, Kalna SD Hospital, Kalna, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Physiology, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore, Odisha, India

Date of Web Publication27-Nov-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Himel Mondal
Department of Physiology, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore, Odisha
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjmsr.mjmsr_33_18

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How to cite this article:
Mondal S, Mondal H. Reduce burden of questionable publication from Indian authors: Young academicians' perspective. Muller J Med Sci Res 2018;9:120-1

How to cite this URL:
Mondal S, Mondal H. Reduce burden of questionable publication from Indian authors: Young academicians' perspective. Muller J Med Sci Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 11];9:120-1. Available from: http://www.mjmsr.net/text.asp?2018/9/2/120/246170



Dear Editor,

India, second most populated country in the world, is experiencing huge shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas.[1] To combat this situation, central government and state governments are building new medical colleges. It is ultimately the number of medical colleges and number of doctors passing out each year that matters for policymakers. However, it frequently happens that although the existing medical colleges are lacking infrastructure and teachers, new medical colleges are being opened. It is unfortunate that in many cases, a college opens and then closes before completion of its first undergraduate batch.

For functioning of a medical college, proper infrastructure and optimum number of teachers are prerequisites. After commencement of mandatory research paper publication, many teachers faced rejection of their promotion. It is undeniable that an average medical teacher gets limited time and weak settings for conduction of research in India. However, research publication has been made mandatory![2] After some years of experience in research and publication, we felt that Indian authors face three major obstacles during publication of their manuscript as shown in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Three major obstacles faced by Indian authors in publication of articles in journals

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The first one is the lack of experience in research writing [Figure 1]a. Good research may get rejected from a journal due to poor write-up. Hence, authors need extensive training program about research writing. The training should be offered to all academicians (not only for senior faculty members). If we keep the publication aside and think about conduction of research, we still feel the need of proper training about study protocols, statistics, ethics, and lots more.

Many national and international journals take article processing charge (APC) which is huge for an average Indian author. In [Figure 1]b, the APC in Indian Rupees is that of the journal British Medical Journal. To avoid high APC, the author may find reputed journals published from India which does not charge the author. However, manuscript acceptance rate of reputed journals is commonly very low. If we consider this journal (Muller Journal of Medical Sciences and Research), the current acceptance rate is 41% till date for 2018. Then, what those 59% authors would do? Perhaps, some authors from this 59% would publish in some questionable journals. These journals, though declared as peer-reviewed, do not feel necessity of peer review. Furthermore, they commonly publish the manuscript without any copy editing. To reduce this practice of questionable publication, the “research work,” not the “published research paper,” may be considered for the promotion of teachers. This would promote actual research work, reduce pressure of publication, and reduce production of substandard research output from India. The institutional review board may review the research and may peer-review it externally and evaluate it.

Another obstacle is the long-time interval between submission and publication of a research paper. The screenshot in [Figure 1]c has been taken from an article published in the current issue of the “Indian Journal of Medical Research.” It shows that the manuscript took almost 3 years to get published. For this issue too, consideration of “research work” as a parameter for promotion would solve the problem. Even if the publication of the paper requires long time, the timely promotion would not be affected. Institutional review board approved research work would be better than published article in questionable journals.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Rural Health Statistics. Health Management Information System. Government of India. Available from: https://nrhm-mis.nic.in/SitePages/HMIS-Publications.aspx [Last accessed on 2018 Aug 28].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Mondal H, Mondal S. Pressure to publish: Index copernicus and predatory journals are helping (?) academicians. Indian Dermatol Online J 2018. [Epub ahead of print].  Back to cited text no. 2
    


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