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Quality Research vs Publication in High Impact Journal! What’s Important?

Research & Development has been scaled up to a commendable level since last decade. In fact, a country’s strength is now measured on the scale of how efficient its R&D is! Research has currently been inculcated into each & every field be it science or arts. Research & development in the life science area alone has witnessed a steep rise. This has helped in eradicating life-threatening diseases like polio and pox and treating morbid disorders & numerous cancers. No doubt, it has led to betterment for humanity associated with health and quality of life.
But research must be conducted beneath the umbrella of ethics and consistent with the pre-determined, acceptable rules developed by the community of scientists. Once the results are obtained, publishing them is the responsibility of every scientist, in order to spread across the word globally. This will aid different researchers to analyze further on the obtained results and facilitate clinicians to relinquish additional care to the sick.

Writing analysis isn’t solely a science but also a tough art. It needs honesty, hard work, patience, and perseverance. Increased competition in the field of good research has made it even difficult for the researchers to get their manuscript published in a highly reputed journal. Best of the journals look forward to those manuscripts which have the best quality research supported by ethical guidelines on scientific backgrounds. To each researcher, his own data/ manuscript/ finding is most important and relevant to the current world scenario. However, all of those manuscripts do not pave their ways into leading journals. Rejection obviously discourages the author/researcher. But does that mean that his research is not good quality, or is not up to the standards that are laid down internationally? We will try to find an answer to this particular question while going through views of leading researchers.
Now, anyone, who is from the research background knows that the quality of a journal is determined by its Impact Factor. The impact factor is the measure of the impact of certain journals in the scientific community that represents the average number of citations which every article in that journal has received over the last few years. The higher the impact factor of the journal the higher the reputation among those scientists. Its calculation is based on the number of times items published in that journal in previous years were cited by indexed publications in the succeeding years.
This term is also governed by other factors like H-index, self-citations, citations per document, etc. Although there are numerous available impact factors and scientific ratings, the most acceptable is one by Thomson Reuters. Leading scientific journals like Nature, science, IJR has a rating of more than 30.
Impact factor (IF) calculation has several advantages, being:
  • The most vital and up to date
  • The calculation of impact issue is well understood
  • It provides a tool for managing library journal collections
  • Gives a gross approximation of the prestige of journals (this is done in conjunction with
  • Alternative considerations like peer review, productivity, and subject specialty citation rates
There are also certain disadvantages associated with Impact Factor:
  • The journal’s impact issue isn’t essentially representative of the individual journal articles it’s extremely passionate about the number of references per article within the analysis field
  • Language barriers for journals that aren’t in English
  • Selective journal self – citation
  • Expensive costs for access to databases
  • Citations of papers in journals aren’t in correlation with the standard of the journal and
  • Even less with the scientific quality of the paper
  • Journals that are less obtainable to readers can almost ne’er come through the next impact issue regardless of the standard of papers it publishes
  • Leading to a reduction in the popularity of newly established and local journals with lesser impact factors
The use of journal IF to live the standard and impact of individual papers is invalid from a statistical point of view. The high Impact Factor of selective journals results from their ability to draw in many papers that are terribly cited. However, the publication venue could be a poor predictor of the number of times that an article is going to be cited. Thus, for many authors, the advantages of publication in high-IF journals result in a lot of from their association with different papers within the same journal that happens to be extremely cited than from their own extraordinary content.
In different words, publication in a very high-Impact Factor journal is also easier than manufacturing extremely cited work.
The journal Impact Factor exerts an amazing influence on the conduct of scientists. The obsession with IF has been compared to a medical condition, typically mentioned as “IF mania” or “impactitis.”

5 measures to fight this “IF-Mania” malady:
(i) to diversify journal club selections,
(ii) not to judge science on the publication venue,
(iii) to reduce the reliance on journal citation metrics for employment and advancement, 
(iv) to discuss the misuse of the IF in ethics courses, and
(v) to cite the foremost acceptable sources.
A news in 2013 grabbed the attention of masses, when Randy Schekman, a US biologist who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine of that year stated that his lab would not send research papers to the highest-impact journals, Nature, Cell and Science. Schekman said pressure to publish in “luxury” journals inspired researchers to chop corners and pursue fashionable fields of science rather than doing a lot of necessary work.
According to him, the matter is further worsened, by editors who weren’t active scientists but professionals who favored studies that were doubtless to form a splash.

Not only the Nobel Laureates but listening to the views of the overall scientific community, one will realize that young researchers are more interested in citation count and h-index than impact factor. Citation indexes were originally designed for data retrieval, they’re progressively used for bibliometrics and alternative studies involving research analysis. Citation information is additionally the idea of the favored journal impact issue. The impact issue (IF) of a journal may be alive reflective of the average range of citations to recent articles published in the journal. It is often used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal in its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be additionally vital than those with lower ones. The h-index is an associated index that makes an attempt to measure both the productivity and impact of the research work of a scholar. The index relies on the set of the scientist’s most cited papers and also the range of citations that they have received in alternative publications. The index can even be applied to the productivity and impact of a bunch of scientists, like a department or university or country, as well as a scholarly journal.
The citation count will automatically increase if the research paper follows ethical guidelines and contains all the relevant information. It will draw the attention of researchers, even if it is not a part of a high impact journal.
Try improving the quality of your manuscript by:
  • Being focussed on the topic
  • Giving a detailed analysis of the research work in hand
    Including novel available methods (you can even design a new method and get it patented)
  • Giving detailed research protocol for reference by others
  • Providing support data (pictures, diagrams, flow charts, tables)
  • Relating wisely with an already existing problem and suggesting a valid solution to that
  • Take requisite time to complete your work in an elaborate manner
Ultimately the whole and sole of research are to give some piece of information which can be used by others to develop something which is going to bear fruits. There is no use of such ground-breaking research that wins the Nobel Prize and gets published in Cell, Nature, Science, IJR.