Promote Good practices in publication and authorship by its inclusion in course curriculum

“Plagiarism”, “undue authorship in publications”, “data manipulations” etc are capturing more and more space in science in the recent yeas. Like a corruption it has also established its deep root in the science society worldwide. As a result, very basic essence of truth seeking through science is becoming a matter of the past. More and more people are falling prey of this disease. Recently, an eye opening paper has been published in Nature (2018) entitled “Thousands of scientists publish a paper every five days”.  (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8).  All though we often talk about “Good Practices” to be followed in our life but ironically very basic of good practices are slipping down in our all activities. And it is also fast vanishing form our science and publications.

To establish a good practices in publications, perhaps the most widely established requirements for authorship are the “Vancouver criteria”  established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in 1988. These specify that authors must do all of four things to qualify: (1) play a part in designing or conducting experiments or processing results; (2) help to write or revise the manuscript; (3) approve the published version; and (4) take responsibility for the article’s contents.

When I discussed about this with the young researchers, I am utterly shocked to know that this was not known to them because either there is no such curriculum in their formal learning process or there was any example set by their peers.

I, therefore, urge before the UGC and also all higher learning institutions to introduce a course curriculum for what is good practices in science starting from Good practices for learning; Good practices for experimental design; Good practices for laboratory maintenance; Good practices for data analysis; Good practices for publication and authorship, etc. Education system must give importance to these learnings to avoid manipulations in science.

I also urge to various scientific societies to take this matter seriously and promote and educate their members about what is right in science.

5 thoughts on “Promote Good practices in publication and authorship by its inclusion in course curriculum

  1. Excellent Satya. I am also guilty of including names, specially in my articles and reviews of those whose contribution was nothing to negligible. That was nearly 2 to 3 decades ago. May be the the likes of us left a wrong message for subsequent generations.
    However, I strongly feel this blog should be in Twitter or. FB for greater reaction and the other side of the story, if there are any

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  2. Sir, I don’t know about what you did to others. But I always give your example to my coworkers. I still remember the way you taught me the ethics in one case. Myself and Dinesh-da did a small work and went to you with a manuscript including your name. You almost rewritten the manuscript and cut your name and told us that you have not contributed in planning and execution of that work. That was the training which guided me so long.

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  3. I strongly agree with Dr. Satyabrata Maiti​. Yes there should be a design of curriculum on good practices of publications. Plagiarism check software is only to penalize but not to educate them. We never taught them what is a good practice and now we want to penalize them! We introduce the API scores and ask them to publish in number and do not contribute for the development of a good paper. Its all we together can fix this broken system and clean it. Lets advocate for #Preprints sharing and public #peer-review to make a good paper.

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  4. Excellent Dr. Sridhar. Majority of the problem lies on our education system. We have eroded so much that one can not name a role model of their life. System needs revamping but I don’t know how and where it should start. I wish some one form the young generation should take lead to clean the system.

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