|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Ahead of print publication
Craze for publishing in foreign journals: Why not?
Basavraj S Nagoba1, Abhijit Rayate2, Ajay Gavkare3, Arunkumar Rao4
1 Department of Microbiology, Maharashtra Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (Medical College), Latur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Surgery, Maharashtra Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (Medical College), Latur, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Physiology, Maharashtra Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (Medical College), Latur, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Orthopaedics, Maharashtra Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (Medical College), Latur, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Submission||21-Feb-2022|
|Date of Decision||24-Feb-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||05-Apr-2022|
Basavraj S Nagoba,
Assistant Dean (R and D) and Professor of Microbiology, Maharashtra Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (Medical College), Latur - 413 512, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
To the Editor,
We read with great interest an editorial entitled “Craze for publishing research in “foreign” journals: Are we justified?” by Kumar. The editorial throws light on some important issues regarding publishing papers in Indian journals rather than journals of foreign origin. We do appreciate the statements made by Kumar, and we also agree regarding encouraging publications in Indian journals. With reference to the context mentioned in the above editorial, we would like to share some of our slightly different experiences and opinions.
| Our Experiences|| |
1. Rejection of novel work for petite reasons
In the year 1997, we had received an invitation letter along with journal brochure from European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (EJGH), stating that EJGH is the world's leading journal in the field of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, being indexed in topmost indexing system in the world, and the credit of discovery of Helicobacter pylori goes to EJGH.
On similar lines, regarding our then recent and novel work, we felt that the credit of our recent work should be given to an Indian journal, and hence, we had submitted our work to a reputed Indian journal. The journal retained our manuscript for 3–4 months, just to be rejected on the basis/pretext of absence of any references to back or support our work. It was heartbreaking and demoralizing to know that our novel work was rejected for a mere want of back references. The same manuscript was then submitted to one of the very good international journals indexed in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and so on, with a very good impact factor, and was accepted for publication within 8 weeks with a decent peer review and no “predatory” charges.
Our experience shows that if one chooses an appropriate journal suitable for his/her manuscript, which is competent enough, there is every chance to get positive response from the journal, despite any grammatical or typographical errors in the manuscript.
2. Discrimination and bias in manuscript selection
Author of this editorial states that there is discrimination and bias in the selection of manuscripts submitted by Indian authors and they stand a chance of rejection by a foreign journal. There is no absolute truth in this observation. Rather, our experience shows that if the research work deserves and is presented appropriately in the submitted manuscript, it does stand a chance for publication in journals of international repute and even in journals like The Lancet, British Medical Journal, British Journal Dermatology, and so on.
Contrary to this, discrimination and bias in manuscript selection is experienced by many and seen widely in matters of Indian journals. Barring a few journals, rest of the Indian journals are partial to select a manuscript of Indian origin, especially when the issues of favoritism, ties, or nexus connections are interlaced.
3. Delay in review process and publication
We sincerely feel that the time period taken for review and the processing duration from acceptance to publication are the major issues with most of the Indian journals. But in almost all journals, especially from the UK and the USA, if your manuscript does not deserve the review process, the decision is given in 1 week time after initial screening by experts in the editorial board and without an external review. Only an adequately competent manuscript is sent for further external review, and every attempt is made to give results within 6 weeks, at the latest 8 weeks.
But the scenario in many Indian journals is abysmal, where the article is not processed for many months and the review process takes up more than 6–8 months. Even after the review, if the manuscript is accepted, the post-acceptance journey (proof reading galley proofs, ahead of print and final publication) is tediously long in Indian journals. Most foreign journals are faster and the articles are available in ahead of print or online first sections at a fairly rapid pace [Box 1].
| Our Opinions|| |
Kumar states that many of the international journals have been functioning over several decades and are widely known. In this context, we would like to put forward the fact that not many, but at least some Indian journals have been available since several decades and are also widely known. For example, Indian Medical Gazette is in existence since 1866 and it had attracted attention of internationally acclaimed scientists like Robert Koch, Haffkine,, Ronald Ross, and many others, who had contributed their valuable research work to this journal. This journal was earlier included in standard database such as PubMed, but today it is not indexed in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and not even in Index Copernicus.
Considerable improvement in the quality of Indian journals has been observed during the past few decades. Many Indian journals are now indexed in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and so on and are maintaining the stringent regulations required by standard indexing systems. Majority of the old national journals published by associations or research bodies like Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) are very good journals. Majority of them have a good impact factor and are indexed in standard indexing systems.
When compared to foreign journals, these Indian journals may have a low impact factor, but how does it matter when the impact factor alone is not a deciding factor to judge the quality of a journal? The quality of accepted papers and the citations received can affect the calculations for impact factor.,
| Conclusion|| |
Many Indian journals are at par with foreign journals in terms of competency. We agree with Kumar's statement “publish in Indian journals,” but in view of the above-mentioned experiences/opinions, we or rather anybody would like to have a “craze” about preferring foreign journals and why should we not?
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
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Koch R. A further communication on a remedy for tuberculosis: Translated from the original article published in the “Deutsche Medicinische Wochenschrift,” and published as a special supplement to the “British Medical Journal” of November 15th
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Haffkine WM, Hankin EH, Owen CHIMS. Technique of Haffkine's anti-choleraic inoculations. Ind Med Gaz 1894;29:201-6.
Haffkine MWM. Vaccination against Asiatic cholera. Ind Med Gaz 1893;28:97-101.
Ross R. Indian fevers. Ind Med Gaz 1893;28:95-6.
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