off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Research must include
a publication strategy

Those planning and conducting research must ensure that they have included a publication strategy because unless it is published, it has never happened and they won’t get any credit. Yet another most important aspect which they must remember is that their research findings must be published within five years otherwise no good quality peer reviewed standard journal will publish their manuscripts.

Usually what happens is that people doing Fellowship of College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan or those doing PhD or M.Phil do write their dissertations, thesis and then once they get the degree, they are least bothered to publish their research findings. However, when after couple of years they need Publications for academic promotion, they try to extract papers from that research but by that time many years have passed. When they submit their papers, they are rejected by standard biomedical journals. Then they have to publish them in other journals which have very little standing with the result that they do not get any citations as well.

The Pakistan Medical & Dental Council Journals Committee in its recent meeting while reviewing the renewal applications of some journals also looked at the timing of the study and its publication by the journals. Any study which is published after eight to ten years, its findings become questionable since lot of changes have occurred during this period. Hence, the researchers, authors as well as the editor of biomedical journals must be careful and keep these aspects in mind. However, in some special cases old studies can be considered provided there are some genuine reasons like the condition by a university not to publish the results of the Thesis before the award of the degree. However, in the changing scenario in fact now some universities have made it mandatory to publish atleast one paper form the study before they can appear in the final examination.

Tail Piece: Pakistan Medical Association Lahore in a press release issued on April 9th 2019 (PMA/LHR/50) signed by its General Secretary Dr. Malik Shahid Shaukat has strongly criticized the politician form Okara who forced the Health Officials to visit his house and then distribute the appointment letters of Women Medical Offices himself personally to the candidates. This, it says is not only illegal and immoral act but also direct interference in government functioning and amounts to humiliation of government officials. Such an attitude on the part of politicians is not at all acceptable in New Pakistan. The PMA has called for an enquiry in this incident.

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