ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Arrest on False Charges

S and T Journals THIS is with reference to DM's note 'Falling Back on Authoritarian Control' (September 10). The apprehensions expressed and the alarm sounded by DM appear, at least partly, due to a gross unfamiliarity with the subject of discussion, viz, the state of our S and T journals. Our organisation has been systematically highlighting this issue through the pages of the PPST Bulletin since June 1987. To recapitulate the central points: (a) Like academies, associations, conferences, etc, S and T journals constitute a vital institution that defines an S and T community with a distinct national identity, and reflects as well as influences the course of its progress. Our neglect of this institution has been one of the reasons for our not having evolved an S and T community with a distinct national identity, (b) The rather poor standing and prestige that our S and T journals have today (internationally as well as nationally) is not because the content and output of our S and T activity is as such so poor; it is because we ourselves, as a community, do not support them by sending the better part of our research findings to them, by editing and producing them with care, devotion and punctuality, by reading them and referring to them as much as possible, etc. Observe that, in 1973, we produced over 4,000 papers in foreign journals that enjoyed an impact factor of about 3 while our own journals languished with a figure of 1.1. The case here is one of our scientists foresaking the interests of our S and T community as such and attending only to individual interests.and prestige. Vague notions about the alleged internationalism of S and T have also contributed to this situation, (c) The question is not essentially one of limitations of resources, facilities, etc. Even at a time (during the period 1930-60) when these wen. much poorer, our S and T journals enjoyed much better standing, both internationally as well as nationally. The present situation can be improved dramatically if only the S and T community shows the desire and the discipline needed.

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