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|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 138
Publication of research articles: Definitely desirable
R Patnayak1, A Jena2
1 Department of Pathology, Department of Surgical Oncology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Surgical Oncology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Date of Web Publication||15-Apr-2016|
Department of Surgical Oncology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Patnayak R, Jena A. Publication of research articles: Definitely desirable. J Postgrad Med 2016;62:138
The recent circular by the Medical Council of India (MCI) regarding original research publications for the purpose of academic promotion seems to have opened the Pandora's box. , If the widespread continuing debate is anything to go by, then there are more unsatisfactory voices than contended ones. There are definitely some points that need further discussion and modification as brought out by Bavdekar et al.  In our Indian scenario, there are many factors that hamper research activity. The financial aspect is one of them. It is, indeed, a very good concept that the students should be able to develop a research question and be familiar with basic, clinical, and translational research pertaining to patient care.  But with their busy curriculum, it is difficult for them to carry out research work in a proper manner. For this, we need a group of dedicated researchers and teachers to plan accordingly and identify students who will carry on the work and reach a conclusive result that will ultimately result in better care of the patient. In the current scenario, the time available during postgraduate training may not be sufficient for meaningful results to emerge from a well-directed research project. This results in inconclusive outcomes and often the research is abandoned midway unceremoniously. To avoid this, the junior researchers, senior researchers, and students with aptitude and dedication should form a team and work to find an answer to a relevant research question.
As regards the requirement for papers to be published in journals indexed in certain selected indices for the purpose of faculty promotions, there is a need for greater deliberation as in the future, print journals are going to be less as we move toward an energy saving conservation mode. , It is indeed surprising that even a well-established indexing system such as INDMED, maintained by the Indian Council of Medical Research, an apex body for medical research in India, is not included in the MCI list of recommended indices. Likewise, all authors listed in a publication should be given credit and permitted to quote their paper for the purpose of promotion, irrespective of their position in the sequence of authors (not merely the first and second author as currently required by the MCI). These sentiments have been echoed by various prominent authors in several journals. ,
Instead of discarding case reports and other features like brief communication, letter to the editor etc., a scoring system may be devised, giving different weightages to these types of publications, with highest score for original research publications.  So, publication of research papers would be desirable but not on mandatory, at least for the time being, till we find an answer to some of the above issues. As opined by Azer et al., for top academic positions, additional criteria could include leadership, evidence of international impact, and contributions toward medical education. 
We feel that with inclusion of positive criteria, the basic intention of promoting quality result will be fulfilled.
Revising and expanding the list of prescribed journal indices and giving credit to all authors and to all types of peer-reviewed publications through a scientifically devised weightage system should help achieve the original intention of promoting and recognizing quality research at the time of faculty promotions.
| :: References|| |
Aggarwal R, Gogtay N, Kumar R, Sahni P; Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors. The revised guidelines of the Medical Council of India for academic promotions: Need for a rethink. Indian J Anaesth 2016;60:1-5.
Bavdekar SB, Tullu MS. Research publications for academic career advancement: An idea whose time has come. But is this the right way? J Postgrad Med 2016;62:1-3.
Banerjee A. Case reports: The ideal weaning food: Food for thought. Med J DY Patil Univ 2015;8:697-9.
Azer SA, Holen A, Wilson I, Skokauskas N. Impact factor of medical education journals and recently developed indices: Can any of them support academic promotion criteria? J Postgrad Med 2016;62:32-9.