Users Online: 2412 Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size


Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 328-329  

Publish or perish: Are indians catching up?

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Consultant, Department of Dermatology, Apollo First Med Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication17-Nov-2015

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Sarkar
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, 7 Works Road, Chromepet, Chennai - 600 044, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.169674

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Sarkar S, Seshadri D. Publish or perish: Are indians catching up?. Indian J Public Health 2015;59:328-9

How to cite this URL:
Sarkar S, Seshadri D. Publish or perish: Are indians catching up?. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Mar 30];59:328-9. Available from:


Publications seem to be the cardinal measure of scientific contribution among academic circles all over the world. In addition to researchers, teachers have been encouraged to demonstrate adequate publication output to retain their tenures. The number and impact of publications have become the benchmark in deciding selection for research grants, faculty positions, and promotions though disquiet about such developments have been expressed. [1],[2] Academic institutions aim to produce larger numbers of high impact factor peer-reviewed articles, which is reflected in the substantial increase in the volume of scientific published literature. Whether it actually translates to scientific breakthroughs and clinical utility may be a matter of debate.

Not to be left behind, Indian academic establishments and the scientific community have embraced the culture of publication. Publications are increasingly becoming the key factor for obtaining grants and recognition. The volume of medical scientific articles authored by Indians is steadily rising, as evidenced by the fact that India has crawled up in the global medical publication rankings from the 14 th position in 2003 to the 11 th position in 2013. [3] It must be noted that China has ascended from the 11th to the 2nd position in the same time period while the United States has retained its supremacy. In this period, the contribution from India to published medical literature worldwide has risen from 1.70% to 2.86%. Indians produced 22,949 medical citations in 2013 compared to 7,296 in 2003, which reflects an increase of 215%.

For India, several positives have come out of this increasing trend of scientific publications. Such a focus has stimulated a culture of promoting research and has encouraged academicians to be more updated about their fields. To catch up with the West and to improve their chances of being published in international journals, Indian researchers are also paying more attention to scientific rigor and ethical considerations. It has helped to make the selection process for faculty positions and research grants more objective. Also, it has paved the way for inclusion of newer technologies and thought processes in research work.

The rapid expansion of the publication culture has created some questions and dilemmas as well. The increasing priority given to publications for career growth has resulted in the relative neglect of teaching activities because of the considerable time demands of research work. The increased production of potentially publishable material has resulted in the mushrooming of online journals from India, with some having questionable editorial standards. [4] Also, the "pressure to publish" might lead to the use of unscrupulous methods, as has been observed elsewhere. [5] In the field of medicine, the humanitarian aspect of patient care may suffer at the cost of research. Moreover, researchers feel impelled to work upon "current fields of interest" internationally, resulting in the possible neglect of scientific inquiry into more regionally and culturally relevant topics.

The way forward in the future lies in slowly changing gears from the "publication race" of the present times to a more progressive and inclusive "publication march." During policy-making and fund allotment, authorities need to give greater consideration to the quality of research and also its utility and relevance to the Indian scenario and cultural milieu. At the same time, strict safeguards need to be in place to promote responsible and ethical research work.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Vale RD. Evaluating how we evaluate. Mol Biol Cell 2012;23:3285-9.   Back to cited text no. 1
Patra BN, Sarkar S. Should publication be the only means of assessment? Indian J Psychol Med 2013;35:107-8.   Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
SCImago. SJR - SCImago Journal and Country Rank. Retrieved May 05, 2015, Available from: [Last accessed on 2015 May 5].  Back to cited text no. 3
Chauhan R. Race for publications: Isn't it killing the real purpose of research? Indian J Public Health 2015;59: 158-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Qiu J. Publish or perish in China. Nat News 2010;463: 142-3.  Back to cited text no. 5


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded203    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal