|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 90-91
Postgraduate student research publication and scientific misconduct: An Indian scenario
Department of Physiology, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
|Date of Submission||29-Nov-2017|
|Date of Decision||05-May-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||08-Nov-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||21-Dec-2021|
Department of Physiology, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Manjareeka M. Postgraduate student research publication and scientific misconduct: An Indian scenario. Educ Health 2021;34:90-1
Presently, our country is focusing on the importance of providing good health services as well as better health research. As per the National Medical Commission (NMC) (erstwhile Medical Council of India), it is mandatory for all faculty members working in NMC-recognized medical colleges to have a certain number of publications for promotion to each stage of an academic level. Previously, academic promotions were time bound, and this approach to promotion remains in the mindsets of many academicians who still feel teachers cannot be promoted on the basis of research activities. The argument is that research may be a promotion-marker where there is research interest, but passion and role as a teacher is completely different, which should also be considered during the promotion. Although we cannot deny that research and publications in premier institutions in our country are of world repute, we would agree that in medical institutions in the rest of the country, proactive research and publications are not frequent outcomes. Nevertheless, the NMC has put in place rules for some degree of research, at least in academic health institutions.
In this transition phase, we can anticipate publications from different authors just to satisfy the specifications of the NMC. Sapatnekar has pointed out that the “Publish or Perish mantra” adopted by researchers in the medical field leads to a large amount of plagiarism. Publishing a part of original research or even the full original work of others as different articles in different journals also conveys a similar sense. MD/MS/MDS/PhD work published in a thesis during the postgraduate curriculum is usually not published immediately in journals. Those original works are kept by the researchers to be published in the future at the required time of promotion to the next academic level. Those few researchers who are interested in publishing also do not immediately publish, under the advice of guides or co-guides, to publish at the time of the promotions process. This long gap in time leads to not only scientific misconduct but also to intellectual dishonesty as the accepted theses are readily accessible to all. Within this context, not only the person having done the original work suffers, but also, if plagiarism is proved, the reputation of the journal is at stake. Similarly, if such manuscripts are submitted to journals, it becomes a time-consuming issue for both editors and reviewers.
Many guides, co-guides, and researchers will argue the fact that their original work can be published whenever they deem it appropriate. If there are no ethical issues, original work done a long time ago getting published is not of much relevance. Thus in the current context, we would encourage all MD/MS/MDS/PhD researchers and their guides and co-guides to publish their work as soon as possible after degree completion, with authorship being given to the appropriate contributor(s). Ethical issues arising from the NMC mandate must be kept in the forefront, and be addressed by guides, co-guides, authors, and journals alike. Mindsets must change to ensure future enthusiastic students for honest research.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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