Success in publishing: The answer lies in training and improving research infrastructure
SB Bavdekar1, MS Tullu2,
1 Department of Pediatrics, TN Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
M S Tullu
Department of Pediatrics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
|How to cite this article:|
Bavdekar S B, Tullu M S. Success in publishing: The answer lies in training and improving research infrastructure.J Postgrad Med 2016;62:139-139
|How to cite this URL:|
Bavdekar S B, Tullu M S. Success in publishing: The answer lies in training and improving research infrastructure. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Apr 23 ];62:139-139
Available from: https://www.jpgmonline.com/text.asp?2016/62/2/139/180579
The issue of requirement of a certain type and number of publications for eligibility for promotions in medical colleges has led to lot of debate on the topic of the need for publications for faculty promotions. Patnayak and Jena  have commented on the Medical Council of India (MCI) circular that expects medical teachers to publish certain number of research articles before they can be considered for promotion to a higher post.  While generally agreeing with views expressed in our editorial,  Patnayak and Jena  have made two important observations. They have enlisted the difficulties that students and teachers face in undertaking and completing worthwhile research projects and have expressed the opinion that other attributes such as leadership, international impact, and contribution to medical education should also be considered while selecting teachers for the top academic positions. As medical research is just one of the duties of a medical teacher (besides patient care and undergraduate and postgraduate teaching) there can be no criticism of the need to consider other attributes while assessing the performance of medical teachers.
We agree that staff shortage, paucity of resources, heavy workload, and lack of time for research constrain the teachers (and students alike) in undertaking (and completing) worthwhile research projects. However, we think that lack of motivation and absence of formal training in research methodology and medical writing also hamper teachers' and students' ability to do quality research and publish quality papers. Postgraduate students enrolled for degree courses are anyway conducting research projects for their dissertation/thesis under the guidance of medical teachers. However, many of these dissertations do not get published  and remain as hidden/invisible research. A lot of effort goes into the preparation and submission of these dissertations and clinical research involves patients as well. Unpublished research is a disservice to the society and patients who have participated in the study. The students and medical teachers need to introspect and determine the reasons for such voluminous research remaining unpublished. It is possible that the MCI nudge about research publications may motivate teachers to improve the quality of their research so that it can be easily published. This will also ensure that resources invested in these research projects are considered worthwhile and pay dividends in terms of research publications. Improvement in research infrastructure in terms of better access to current national and international research, provision of research scholarships, and better equipped laboratories will have to be provided and will need resources. However, research is being conducted at all medical colleges and some of it is getting published, and as medical colleges attached to public hospitals have a huge clinical material, improvement in research infrastructure can be achieved without having to spend humungous amounts of money.
We can conclude by stating that medical teachers will require assistance in the form of training for enhancing skills required for research and publication, to enable them to perform the duty of conducting good quality research effectively. Formal and practical training will boost their confidence, too. The availability of research funds and institutional help in payment of author fees/processing fees or reprint charges (for prestigious indexed journals) can act as a positive reinforcement. Although MCI Guidelines need to be modified,  these requirements will motivate medical teachers to undertake quality research and publish research articles in reputed indexed journals. Medical colleges and university administration will need to do their bit by organizing training courses and improving the research infrastructure.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
|1||Patnayak R, Jena A. Publication of research articles: Definitely desirable. J Postgrad Med 2016;62:138.|
|2||Medical Council of India. Minimum qualifications for teachers in medical institutions regulations, 1998 (amended up to May 2015). Available from: http://www.mciindia.org/Rules-and-Regulation/ TEQ-REGULATIONS-16.05.15.pdf. [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 5].|
|3||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.|
|4||Dhaliwal U, Singh N, Bhatia A. Masters theses from a university medical college: Publication in indexed scientific journals. Indian J Ophthalmol 2010;58:101-4.|