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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 97-98

Current challenges for researchers in India

Department of Medicine, KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission20-Mar-2021
Date of Decision28-Mar-2021
Date of Acceptance28-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication29-Sep-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harish Gupta
KG's Medical University, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jopcs.jopcs_9_21

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How to cite this article:
Gupta H, Verma SK, Kumar S, Gautam M. Current challenges for researchers in India. J Prim Care Spec 2021;2:97-8

How to cite this URL:
Gupta H, Verma SK, Kumar S, Gautam M. Current challenges for researchers in India. J Prim Care Spec [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 8];2:97-8. Available from: https://www.jpcsonline.org/text.asp?2021/2/3/97/327059

The most important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. –Albert Einstein, Nobel Laureate in Physics (1921), from the memoirs of William Miller, an editor. Quoted in Life magazine, May 2, 1955.

Rathi et al. conducted a cross-sectional study on research practices among doctors in India and published their results in January–April 2021 issue of the Journal. They designed an online anonymous questionnaire and drafted this original article on the basis of answers received to those posers.[1] Depending on these answers, the authors make an attempt to gauge the extent of challenges faced by medical researchers nowadays, compare it with others in other geographies and suggest a few sensible solutions for them.

There under a heading of results, the authors write that when they asked to doctors whether research papers should be one of the essential/desirable qualifications for promotion in academics, 50% replied with a “yes,” 23% with “may be,” and 27% with a “no.” However, present-day rules and regulations leave a lot of space for ambiguity which is inexplicable by worldwide standards. Newly created regulatory body- the National Medical Commission- crafted its unique desirable criteria last year for the same and notified on February 12, 2020.[2] According to these rules, only a limited types of articles are suitable for the purpose of promotion of medical teachers in teaching institutions. Moreover, case reports do not find a mention among them.

What is intriguing is the over simplistic approach of the Commission to assess highly complex nature of modern-day research. In 1610 when Italian Astronomer and physicist, Galileo Galilei, observed four moons of Jupiter encircling- actually revolving, around that planet; he challenged the then prevalent dogma- the Earth being at the center of the universe and all the heavenly bodies encircling it. At that time, he faced very stiff opposition for making public his observation. Instead of rewarding such unique reporting, if current day inspectors of the Commission dismiss such revolutionary observations as insignificant case-reports and discourage junior faculty members from doing so in future, it will make a great disservice to the cause of genuine research. History of science is replete with such examples.[3] Hence, we urge the permanent and temporary members of the Commission to rethink and review their rules. Researchers are highlighting this issue in other editorials as well.[4]

In Table 4,[1] practices of participants regarding personal ethical approach, the last question asked is if the researchers ever indulged in plagiarism. Here, we want to underscore that now various softwares are available which can detect this feature in an article. The Medical University where we work, subscribes to iThenticate software.[5] This tool highlights those parts of the text in a draft which appear to have duplicates of already available ones. Although duplication does not necessarily mean plagiarism, that issue can be resolved by other criteria. This software underlines copying detected in a researcher's work and that function may discourage beginners from presenting others' work as their own.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Rathi A, Kumar V, Majhi J, Jayaraj NP, Singh S. A cross-sectional study on research practices among doctors in India. J Prim Care Spec 2021;2:16-20.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998. Substitution in Clause 6, Schedule 1; February 17, 2020. Available from: https://www.nmc.org.in/ActivitiWebClient/open/getDocument?path=/Documents/Public/Portal/Gazette/TEQ-17.02.2019.pdf. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 20].  Back to cited text no. 2
Gupta H. One -Size- Fits -All Approach has Its Own Limitations. Rapid Response. BMJ; September 26, 2016. Available from: https://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i5002/rr-3. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 20].  Back to cited text no. 3
Bandewar SV, Aggarwal A, Kumar R, Aggarwal R, Sahni P, Pai SA. Medical Council of India's amended qualifications for Indian medical teachers: Well intended, yet half-hearted. Indian J Med Ethics 2017;1-3. doi: 10.20529/IJME.2017.104.  Back to cited text no. 4
KGMU ICMR STS Guide for Undergraduate Dental/Medical Students. Available from: https://www.kgmu.org/download/kgmu_icmr_stsguide.pdf. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 20].  Back to cited text no. 5

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