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Research Integrity

India must change how it evaluates researchers, Indian National Science Academy says

by K. V. Venkatasubramanian, special to C&EN
July 6, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 28

 

The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) is deeply concerned about the absence of consensus criteria in India for assessing scientific excellence, it says in a policy statement that criticizes a “publish or perish” culture that dominates evaluation of scientists’ work.

“Inappropriate guidelines about assessment by different agencies and their misuse have seriously vitiated the research output and assessment scenario in the country” and led to the mushrooming growth of predatory journals and conferences, INSA says in the statement.

INSA’s recommendations to address the problem include:

Evaluating researchers based on the impact of what instead of where they publish, including categorizing research as confirming previous knowledge, advancing science incrementally, or resulting in a significant breakthrough.

Identifying the specific contribution of each author of a paper.

Giving additional weight to papers published in established Indian journals if citations of the papers significantly exceed the average citation rate of the journal.

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