Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--3

Scientific publications from India - On the right trajectory?


Murali Chakravarthy 
 Department of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Relief, Fortis Hospitals, Bannerughatta Road, Bangalore - 560 076, India

Correspondence Address:
Murali Chakravarthy
Chief Consultant, Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Relief, Fortis Hospitals, Bannerughatta Road, Bangalore - 560 076
India




How to cite this article:
Chakravarthy M. Scientific publications from India - On the right trajectory?.Ann Card Anaesth 2012;15:1-3


How to cite this URL:
Chakravarthy M. Scientific publications from India - On the right trajectory?. Ann Card Anaesth [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Oct 15 ];15:1-3
Available from: http://www.annals.in/text.asp?2012/15/1/1/91464


Full Text

Just as the economic indices indicate the financial status of a country, the statistics on scientific publications indicate the academic temper. The scientific publication globally has hitherto been dominated by publications from the developed countries, for obvious reasons. However, in the past decade, unprecedented surge of scientific publications has been noted from developing countries. When this editor took over the editorial office of the Annals of Cardiac Anesthesia (henceforth referred to as "Annals") in the year 2007, he bewailed in his maiden editorial that despite a large amount of clinical work carried out in India, translation of the same to scientific publication was lacking. [1] A change for the better seems to have occurred in the past decade. The statistics of the number of articles received, published, and rejected by Annals is a testimony to that [Table 1]. The number of submissions to Annals shows an increasing interest among authors [Figure 1], and the trend of higher number of manuscripts under the case report and letters to editor categories is ongoing. However, the "projected impact factor" of Annals has been steadily increasing from 0.3 in the year 2008 to 1.186 in 2009 and to 1.208 in 2010. Commensurate with the international medical literature publication practice, Annals encouraged its authors not to submit "case report"; instead they were encouraged to change them to "Letter to Editor." This change in the outlook of journals may have increased the number of letters to editor in Annals during the past few years. The mean rejection rate is about 50%.{Figure 1}{Table 1}

The increase in the scientific publications from India has attracted international attention too. In an article titled "India's scientific research output increases eighty percent since 2000" [Figure 2] and [Figure 3], [2] published in 2009 by Thomson Reuters® in "Science", the prediction was that based on substantial and recent growth, India's research productivity will be on a par with most G8 nations within 7-8 years and could overtake them between 2015 and 2020. The scientific publications from India increased from about 16,500 in 1998 to nearly 30,000 in 2007, an increase of 80%. Mike Boswood, CEO, Healthcare and Science business, Thomson Reuters, in the publications said, "India's current rise in science is as impressive as its economic surge of recent years and clearly has immense potential to become the home for world-class research. As India builds on its scientific enterprise, further diversifies its research base and expands its collaborative networks, the nation is well placed to become one of the leaders in world science."{Figure 2}{Figure 3}

 The Role of Internet as a Factor in Promoting Increasing Publications from India



It is an undeniable fact that more number of Indians have been using internet from early 2000s [Figure 4]. [3] It is indeed interesting to note that the trend lines of both the internet users and scientific publications from India look analogous [Figure 2], [Figure 3] and [Figure 4]. It may not be just circumstantial. It is a common knowledge that libraries in medical institutions in India had not subscribed to a majority of the overseas journals and other reference materials such as Index Medicus. Also, the hard copies of the journal took several months to reach India from overseas. It was a hard task even for a motivated, prospective Indian author to collate data and make a meaningful publication in the pre-internet era, whereas now internet has made it possible for the Indian internet browser to browse the e-copy of the journals on the same day as their western counterparts. Not only do the Indian reader and a prospective author get the journals early, but also submission of manuscripts has become relatively easier and faster with most journals going the e-way. The pre-electronic era was unkind to the prospective authors; many journals required three sets of print-outs of the manuscript which had to be sent to the editor's office by mail. The expenses involved in this were deterrent enough to discourage a prospective Indian author.{Figure 4}

Incidentally, submissions, reviews, and proofs for annals went electronic in the year 2007, which heralded increased submissions to it. The possibility of e-submission and searching for references on PubMed expedited the submission process. The editorial offices on their part expedited the review and proof reading using the electronic route. The average duration of submission to publication was drastically cut down from about a year to a few months; Annals was no exception to this new phenomenon of reducing the duration between submission and publication.

 Publications in Cardiac Anesthesia from India



There is little data on cardiac anesthesia publications from India. Recently, Landoni and colleagues studied the pattern of publication in the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia. They observed that India led the "rest of the world" group by publishing 8% of the publications in the journal in the last 10 years. [4] Also, they observed that four authors from India figured among the ten most prolific authors in this journal. In the past 5 years, Annals received 401 articles of which 202 were published. Together with those published in the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, India stands second in the number of publications on cardiac anesthesia, next only to the United States of America. The remark by Landoni and coworkers, "The recent development of Asian countries clearly threatens North America and European countries that can no longer ignore the scientific contribution from these parts of the world," appears promising to the authors from the cardiothoracic anesthesia community in India. However, the same authors showed that Indian publications are mainly in the categories of letters to editor and articles. The described trend appears to be true for publications in annals too. This trend should change because it is disheartening to note that trendsetting articles are rarely published from India; it would herald well for the Indian authors to write more reviews, editorials, and original articles, than letters to editor and case reports. It is therefore, reasonable to believe that the scientific publication in general and cardiac anesthesia in particular is on the right trajectory.

PS: "The editor in chief has completed his tenure with this issue. He wishes to thank the board of editors, reviewers and the publisher for assisting him during the past five years"

References

1Chakravarthy MR. Anaesthetist-a scientist? Ann Card Anaesth 2007;10:93-4.
2Available from: http://science.thomsonreuters.com/press/2009/Global_Research_Report_India/ [Last accessed on 2011 Dec 19].
3Available from: http://www.internetworldstats.com/asia/in.htm [Last accessed on 2011 Dec19].
4Landoni G, Bignami E, Nicolotti D, Pieri M, Silvetti S, Buratti L, et al. Publication trends in the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia: a 10-year analysis. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth 2010;24:969-73.