Editors’ and Reviewer’s Conclave

Editors’ and Reviewer’s Conclave

1 st December, 2016

Publishing one’s research in peer-reviewed scholarly journals is relatively a new phenomenon in the field of Ayurveda. For that matter, rigorous research in Ayurveda on the basis of accepted scientific standards itself is a new phenomenon. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is taking shape when the integrity and scientific rigor of the entire scholarly publishing sector itself has become questionable. One of the reasons for this perceived loss of credibility is the mushrooming of scholarly journals the sector has witnessed in the recent years.

The reasons for mushrooming of scholarly journals are manifold: the academic regulatory bodies such as UGC, Universities and research councils are making it compulsory to have certain number of publications in scholarly journals for either being eligible for recruitments or for the career progression. This makes authors feel compelled to publish. Journal editors often misuse this situation to make easy money by offering publication in a very short period without any peer-review. Further, the journals use the terms such as ‘peer reviewed’, ‘international’, ‘indexed’, ‘impact factor’ and so on, in a very lose manner. In a nutshell, commercial interests taking over the scientific rigor is the most obvious reason behind this situation. Ayurveda too has opened its doors to many such scholarly journals, however, many of the journal editors and reviewers are not aware of the extent of damage these journals are actually causing. Many of these journals may not be intentionally indulging in unethical practices, but may be simply ignorant about the consequences of such practices. This situation is of serious magnitude considering the image of ‘Ayurveda’ that is being damaged all over the world. There appears to be a lack of awareness among the journal editors and reviewers regarding the expected standards and other protocols of publishing.

There are supposedly more than 40 peer-reviewed journals that publish predominantly Ayurveda and other related research. If the editors and reviewers resolve to follow certain protocols, guidelines and apply some filters while publishing the papers, the situation is still correctible. Many of these problems could be resolved by simply educating the editors and reviewers.

Objective

  • The major objective of the meet would be to discuss, educate and spread awareness among editors and reviewers about the norms, guidelines and standards of publishing
  • The secondary objective of this meet would be to chalk out a timeline-based strategy to improve the quality of publishing in Ayurveda-based scholarly journals, especially those based in India
  • About 15 editors and reviewers of various reputed Ayurveda-based scholarly journals will be invited as resource persons and lectures will be arranged
  • Editors and reviewers of various journals will be trained and will be the audience
  • WAC recommendation will be drafted which will be communicated to CCIM/AYUSH/UGC regarding the minimum standards of publications, journals in the AYUSH sector.

Schedule

A. Editor’s Session:

  • Editor’s advice to CCIM/AYUSH
  • Best practices adopted by editors and Journals
  • Common problems faced by Editors
  • Guidelines such as ICMJE and COPE

B. Reviewer’s Session:

  • Ethical considerations in peer reviewing
  • Norms and guidelines for good review
  • Tools and resources available for reviewers

C. Discussion/ Question and Answer Session

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