The phrase “publish or perish” was coined late back 1932 by Coolidge to describe the pressure that academicians faced to place research articles in scholarly periodicals. But now, almost nine decades later, it has become a harsh truth. Publication is now a scale by which universities judge the value of scholars for hiring and promotion. Publication still plays an important part in academic and research career.
For me my first experience of writing a scientific paper came in the early part of second decade of 21st century. I was in my final years of graduation when one of my super seniors contacted me and said are you interested in publications. By that time a close friend of mine was already having an authorship in a research paper which was published in an international reputed journal. So, I was very keen to collaborate with my senior in this regard. My first work was not particularly about manuscript preparation but it was more related to editing and formatting of the paper into a submission format of a particular journal. I did the same for three more articles without any authorship. But by that time, I was very familiar with the scientific papers, their formats and the publication processes. I was contacted by the same senior to contribute contents for the literature review part of another paper. It was my first encounter where I came face to face with the writing part. My supervisor was humble enough to make me learn the tricks and trims of finding the appropriate content for my paper. After three months of rigorous data collection and compilation we came up with an article which was submitted to a high impact renowned international journal. And yes, this time I was one of the authors. It took almost 7 months and two revisions for that article to come online. But by then I was so involved in this work that I wanted to opt it as a career. Where I was confronted with the second phase of publishing. During my service I was involved in getting manuscripts peer reviewed on timely basis, editing, proof reading and writing promotional content. My love for publication helped me in my professional growth and within one year of my service.
There is a huge lack of reviewers. An article may easily take up to 6-9 months for getting comments. The question is: whether an academician or a researcher is ready to wait for a year to get their article published? Some may and some may not. Some of the publishers have adopted a strategy of Fast Track Peer Review Process, in which there is an in-house team of reviewers which are able to provide authors with comments within 4 weeks of time. Some may consider that with this approach the quality will be compromised. I believe that every author is a learned person. He clearly understands the status of his article and where it can be published. As for him it is mandatory to get it published time to time. Yes, for the survival cause!With my experience I firmly feel that governing body of institutions, colleges and universities should come up with a list of journals with grades rather than marking them as good or bad journal. It may be like Tier-1 journal or Tier-2 journal as so on. The credit to the academic point will be added based on which Tier journal an author is publishing. Publishing in Tier 1 journals will fetch you more points that publishing in Tier 3 journals. In the current scenario, both the parties namely the researchers and publishers are putting blame on each other working protocols. However, none of them is actually discussing about the root cause. Hopefully, we may see a better context of this discussion in the near future.