Hyderabad: Science academy tightens rules

INSA wants studies published in UGC- backed journals to curb copycat researches.

Hyderabad: To get published in high-impact/reputed journals there is pressure on scientists to ‘manipulate’ their focus and interpretation of their research study. This has been strongly condemned by the Indian National Science Academy.

Scientists state that the quality of research has to improve and the focus has to shift from popularity which is taking centre stage.

Research output has increased rapidly in the country but 80 per cent of the material churned out is copied from other research papers, says R. Gangadhar of Breakthrough Science Society, a private research organisation.

He explained, “There is a lot of research presently being done in science but the problem is that a lot of work is being copied from other international papers.

For this reason, the scientists insists on research publication in journals that are recognised by the University Grants Commission, so that their research will be taken seriously."

To verify the originality of the research, software that detects plagiarism is used. This scrutiny is now being carried out regularly at institutes to deter research students from resorting to such means.

Another problem being noted is the question of whether the research work is actually leaving any impact on science. Scientists Subhash Chandra Lakhotia of INSA explained, “The impact factor is being completely wrongly perceived. These factors are merely reducing research to numbers and that is not what research is all about. It is collecting the right evidence to prove a reaction or an action.”

The need for research is to understand the phenomenon in a better manner. The repetition of various models is done to understand whether the same situation works all the time. But researchers find that the young students are being wrongly misguided to publish in journals which is creating an unhealthy environment.

The focus has to be more on basic research and also working on new niche subjects which require attention. The publication metrics as a standard for assessing scientific merit is burdening the students who are in the beginning of their journey in science and the pressure is found to take a toll on them.

Science, research is an evolving subject and it can’t be buried in a published paper and forgotten. Scientists state that most of these journals are hardly read except by those in the scientific community.

Hence they have to rework the system and evaluate works based on ‘what is published’ rather than ‘where it is published’.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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