Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Quality Assurance and Quality Control of PhD theses/dissertations

A few years ago #UGC came up with a regulation of having #mandatory journal publications for #PhD scholars. Most likely the intention of #UGC was to encourage the relevance of the research work done through the process of thorough peer-review and quality check. Consequently, the ordinances of PhD for several public (and perhaps private) Universities were modified to account for this requirement. 

However, people found several #loopholes in this #regulation. The positive intention of #UGC  resulted in the rise of several #predatory j#ournals. It turned out that in these journals the papers were indeed #open #access, but without the customary and thorough peer-review. Interestingly, new terminologies of #paid and #unpaid journals were noted in #academia. 


Eventually, this turned into an industry, until pretty recently there was a list of several journals which were taken off the UGC care list.  It was found out (also by me), through thorough SCOPUS and Web-of-Science based investigation there several predatory publishers used the ISSN numbers of no-more-existent journals to cut a video demonstrating their existence in the SCOPUS list.  

Recent reports suggest that the requirement of #publication of research papers would be removed in the near future. Several academicians of top-ranking institutes are rueing this decision. 

It is really a dilemma, but is there an ethical solution to this issue? 

The UGC might consider developing a panel of "well-qualified" researchers e.g. from IITs, IISc, IISER, NITs and other institutes desiring involvement, for peer-reviewing the research work. Every student who would be working for the research degree will have the opportunity to visit an institution, where he / she may present the work, and look for evaluation and if possible upgradation. 

This process of peer review may be divided into three (or even more) different categories - scientific validity, statistical validity and technical validity. I am suggesting a feature like ArXIV where a researcher may upload the work, and get it peer-reviewed and commented on. 

This process will surely require an honor code, since this process is not fool-proof against possible misuse. Let us assume that 95% of the people would be fair, and safeguards shall be required for the protection of the Intellectual Property Rights. 

I hope this madness against blaming the system for everything stops and constructive processes begin regarding the evaluation and value addition of the work starts. 

#research #publications #people #quality #like #opportunity #work #science #video #qualityassurance #intellectualproperty #universities #future 

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