Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) currently covers 4000 Journals including 1046 in Science and Technology-Prof. Jafar Mehrad

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Second Int. Conference of Editors of Scientific Journals

Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC)
currently covers 4000 Journals including 1046
in Science and Technology-Prof. Jafar Mehrad

Funding is no problem but major hindrances are
Human Resource training and development of software’s

Muslim World must achieve self sufficiency in Science,
Technology and Economy- Dr. Abbas Sadri

From our special correspondent

SHIRAZ (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN): Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) which is the third major database after ISI and Scopus at present covers four thousand journals from OIC as well as non-OIC countries which include 1046 journals in Science and Technology. Journal Citation Report are published in English, Persian and Arabic while it plans to cover French language as well in the near future since French is spoken in many Muslim countries. This was stated by Prof. Jafar Mehrad President of Islamic World Science Citation Center while speaking in the inaugural session of the second International Conference of Editors of Science Journals held here at the ISC campus on December 1-2nd 2014. It was attended by invited Editors of Science Journals and representatives from many Muslim countries including Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Islamic Republic of Iran.


Prof. Jafar Mehrad President Islamic Science Citation Center photographed with some of the foreign
delegates at the Second Int. Conference of Editors of Scientific Journals organized by
ISC in Shiraz from December 1-2nd 2014.

ISC, Prof. Mehrad stated will remain at the cutting edge all the time. He also talked about  historical background as to  how the idea of ISC was conceived at a meeting of Ministers of Higher Education, Science and Research in Kuwait in 2006 which ultimately materialized at the 4th conference at Baku in Azerbaijan in October 2008. Iran was given the responsibility to establish it. Assessment of Research, Prof. Jafar Mehrad said was a very complicated phenomenon.  ISC, he further stated was a bit different from other two important databases i.e. ISI and Scoups since they both cover English literature and ignore other languages. Maintaining a database is a time taking process. While funding is not a problem, the hindrance is human resource training and development of software. He also disclosed that ISC has started an MS programme in Scientometrics to train human resource needed to develop software’s. ISC plans to establish branches in member ISESCO countries and it will require training of expertise.

ISI, Scopus and ISC, Prof. Zafar Mehrad further stated  undertakes  various types of assessments and rankings through a number of indicators including researchers, scientific journals, subject fields universities, research institutions and countries. Both ISI and Scopus are well known citations systems embodying a number of interesting products and services of which the scientific community can avail it. Despite this they fail to cover local languages but despite its short history, ISC has endeavoured to cover languages other than English as well. Giving details of the journals at present covered by ISC he mentioned 1117 Arabic Journals, 1056 English, 403 from other languages which are indexed in ISC. The number of journals covered from Iran includes 1046 affiliated to the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, 331 journals from Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Training while 250 Journals which are affiliated with the Islamic Azad University.

ISC software, he said has been developed by our own staff. We consistently improve and enrich it by adding new features and new products.  At present twelve students are studying in MS in Scientometrics stated at RICeST and hopefully in the coming few years this will fill the gap of the required manpower. Establishment of ISC branches in Muslim countries will accelerate the enlargement of ISC database.  However, it will require training of expertise. To improve the quality of journals, he suggested that Editor-in-Chiefs and Members of the Editorial Board should be picked up from outstanding medical personalities and researchers. The status of academic journals should also be enhanced through peer review process. Qualified and experienced reviewers can guarantee the quality of manuscripts and their originality, he remarked. Referencing mechanism used in journals also needs to be looked into as studies have revealed out-text citation standards. Inconsistencies have also been observed in journals even between different issues of the same journal and even at time within the different articles in the same journal.

Continuing Prof. Jafar Mehrad said that because of developments in e publishing, majority of the journals are easily accessible. Use of Online submission system by various journals website will help them develop their own archives. Plagiarism is yet another important issue which he opined needs to be taken seriously. He also proposed establishment of a Publishing Agency which should publish journals, get them indexed for which he assured financial assistance. Out of four thousand journals covered by ISC, about one thousand, he stated, have got an Impact Factor. ISC indexed journals should visit ISC regularly and ISC conferences should be organized in different countries for which it will provide financial assistance.  He urged to promote and use ISC Citation, hold regular workshops at National, International level to publicize research to highlight scientific potential of the Muslim countries.

Earlier Dr. Razmjoo Director General of Fars Governorship, Education and Research Office in his speech highlighted the importance of Shiraz the cultural capital of Iran which has a rich historical background.  He mentioned the Shiraz University, famous poets like Hafez and Saadi besides Persepolis which attracts tourists to Shiraz. It is also famous for Center of Excellence for Science and Technology. Speaking about the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, he said that it has 2, 50,000 students and ten thousand faculty members which includes 250 Professors, 300 Associate Professors. There are more than one hundred training centers in the Fars Province. In addition there are fourteen universities and Research Centers including SUMS, Arts, FASA, Jahrom University, Payam Noor University, College of Technology and Islamic Azad University. He also disclosed that the top five authors from Iran with maximum citations are also from Shiraz University. Shiraz University of Medical Sciences has a well established Liver Transplant programe.

Some of the strategies which the government, he said, has worked out were linking research centers with other institutions and organizations. We intend to establish knowledge based companies to produce wealth. We are also establishing Science and Technology Zone besides working on the scientific development of the province. We have plans for implementing comprehensive Map of Science, development of Applied Nano Technology and connecting university academicians with industry.  We also plan to connect university research centers with Islamic countries overseas. He suggested that the participants should give suggestions to promote indexing of journals in ISC. We also need to penalize those who indulge in plagiarism as it involves various important ethical issues. He concluded his presentation by offering complete support of Fars Province to the ISC.

Dr. Abbas Sadri, Director of ISESCO Regional Office in his speech emphasized the importance of achieving self sufficiency in Science, Technology and Economy. Islamic countries, he opined, must evaluate Science and Technology and ISC can help these countries in this regard. ISC he further stated has an important role to play. Government, Policy makers, University Managers all needs reliable science and technology. Production of scientific literature and number of publications from different conies are some of the important indicators. He also emphasized the importance of quality journals, evaluation of individuals and institutions, Citation Database and who have cited these papers matters a lot. He commended the contributions of Prof. Jafar Mehrad and said that we are going to develop Science and Technology as we need quality research and quality information. He also highlighted the importance of Science Database, Citations, steps taken to promote Science and Technology. ISESCO, he said has organized over one hundred conferences and workshops this year. ISC has achieved international recognition and credibility within a span of just six years and it is an important asset for the Muslim World, he remarked.

Dr. M.R. Falahati from the Regional Information Center for Science and Technology (RICeST) welcomed the guest speakers and the conference participants hoping that they will benefit from the conference deliberations. A number of important issues related to Journal Publishing and Data Bases were discussed by various speakers in the two scientific sessions which was followed by lively discussions. In the concluding session Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid from Pakistan presented a summary of the conference proceedings highlighting the salient features and important points from all the seventeen presentations during the conference. An Executive Committee meeting of ISC was also held during the conference under the chairmanship of Prof. Jafar Mehrad which took some important decisions to promote ISC. Detailed report to follow.

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