Fair recognition sought!
May 8th, 2012 | Technology Times | No Comments
Thought the government has placed the research activities amongst its top priorities, yet there are still a lot needs to be done to regulate the whole procedure of assessing the nature as well as quality of research work being done by scholars, research and academia. The Impact Factor, as published by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia in its Journal Citation Reports (JCR), is used by some department heads in some countries in faculty assessments. But nowhere in the world is the Impact Factor used as a criterion for rating and ranking scientists across the board nationally, as has been done in Pakistan. Majority of scientists in Pakistan prefer to get their articles and research papers published in international journals against the local research journals considering that it would enhance their ranking and standards. This notion absolutely carries no weight rather this irrational practice puts the local journals in bad patches. Manipulation of Impact Factor can also be possible on a certain level. A journal can adopt editorial policies that boost its impact factor. These editorial policies may not solely involve improving the quality of published scientific work. The researchers are increasingly being measured by the impact of their research, currently often using a tool such as impact factors of the journals they publish in. The scientist, who has more number of published articles in impact factor journals, is considered as more qualified. So there is an increasing trend among researcher to earn impact factor value, to prove them qualified. But the evaluation of the research work or researcher by using impact factor tool is problematic. This situation, no doubt triggers concerns of the stakeholders. This irrational criteria discourages young Pakistani mathematicians and they are now reluctant to do research in mathematics. They feel that publishing papers in top mathematical journals is not only difficult but receives no recognition or appreciation due to low Impact Factors and citations as has been with the journals of science and technology. This trend is thus damaging for mathematics as they feel that their research will go down the drain if not recognized properly on the international level. Here comes the major role on the part of the government to rise to the situation. The government needs to take some remedial measures by sensing the gravity of the situation as it would increase the credibility of these journals on the international level. It should bind the scientists to get some of their research papers published in local journals. Currently, the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology classifies the scientists on the basis of Impact Factor, that needs to be immediately corrected.
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