Scholarly publishing has undergone a paradigm shift over the last three decades
Scholarly publishing has undergone a paradigm shift over the last three decades. The Internet has overcome the earlier barriers to the rapid circulation of ideas. It has given rise to new forms of academic communication.The written word remains vital to academic life, and more published scholarly material is being produced than ever before.The Internet provides only one of the reason for this growth in the volume of written material. Another major influencing factor is the use of performance-based research funding schemes in assessing scholarly work.Such schemes have a powerful influence on researchers, changing their views of themselves and the reasons for undertaking scholarly publishing.With their tendency to encourage the relentless, machine-like production and measurement of outputs, such approaches lead to decline of quality and rigour of academic publishing.The possibility of systems based entirely on metrics, and ‘impact’ lower the standards of scholarly publishing.The attitude or practice existing within academic institutions, whereby teachers, academics and researchers are put under pressure to produce journal publications in order to retain their positions or to be deemed successful in their profession is generally referred to as ‘publish or perish’.The mad ‘publish or perish syndrome’ is also creating havoc tempting not-so-serious academics and researchers to publish ruthlessly and perish thereby. Unethical publishing, predatory journals, fake journals, fake publications, fake conferences and their proceedings, undue and illegitimate co-authorship and the like are the disastrous results of this crazy race for getting published, come what may.This leads to literally a state of “publish and perish”. The major reason for the spurt in mushrooming of such self-styled journals is the demand created by the added emphasis on the number of research publications as a significant determinant of the academic performance of teachers/researchers for appointment or promotion.In this context it is worthwhile examining the salient features of state-of-the-art quality academic publishing, peer-reviewing, healthy and ethical practices in research publishing. The lecture intends to throw some lights on these matters contributing to the Faculty Development Domain as a whole.
Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Gist of my talk during FDP, NIT – Trichy