Indian Journal of Dental Research

: 2014  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 142-

Research, publication and reward mechanism

SM Balaji 
 Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Secretary General, ISDR/IADR-India Division, Director, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
S M Balaji
Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Secretary General, ISDR/IADR-India Division, Director, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Balaji S M. Research, publication and reward mechanism.Indian J Dent Res 2014;25:142-142

How to cite this URL:
Balaji S M. Research, publication and reward mechanism. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 May 28 ];25:142-142
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The outcome of any dental research is in its publication. There is a growing trend to study the merits and the postpublication metrics that publication brings along with it. A well-designed study, properly and ethically executed, well-presented with sufficient powers/reproducibility, often attracts many citations. Consequently, such publications are often followed with more subsequent prestigious publications, funding, and promotion besides other academic and financial perks. Current reward mechanism heavily relies on the highest statistical significance (P < 0.001) and the "newsworthiness of the results" without considering the quality of the study. Such studies and authors are also bound to have citation bias, further influencing and interfering with the reward mechanism. This in turn could fetch many appointments, promotions, awards, grants, and place in committees function under this misguided/acquired number of publications. [1]

The current concept of publication and h-index is essential; [2] the number of successful publications is still regarded as a scholarly accomplishment. This trend still places stresses on quantity rather than quality. With thousands of biomedical journals published yearly, nearly any manuscript can get published by persistent effort. In addition to this woe, in certain bureaucratic establishments, [3] the criterion for accomplishment is still judged on the basis of funding. In an effort to ensure continuous funding, the authors mislead and publish exaggerated results, introducing bias and waste in research. Until date, at least in this part of the world, no mechanism exists to identify, combat or punish such exaggerated claims. [1]

In a bid to ensure that only proper research is rewarded, an overhaul of existing reward system needs to be introduced. Programs need to be drawn where the concept, methodologies are rewarded at inceptive stages rather than at a later stage. I believe, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction can lead the change in future. Before the reward, tests such as testing of repeatability and external validation efforts needs to be carried out. Careful scrutiny of the ethical aspects of the research also needs to be pursued.

The trend of judging the scientific productivity by quantity should be discontinued. It has been reported that "publication of many low-quality articles is worse than production of none." [1] In this direction, certain welcome change has been noted. The effort of research gate (providing data sets), PLoS (external validation) and postpublication peer review (PubMed common) are a welcome change. I sincerely believe that the dental fraternity in the country will slowly shift from publishing in quantity to quality. Use of valuable/scarce resources in terms of finance, time, lab personnel, patient resources, and so on is our utmost responsibility. Hence, we should sincerely attempt to make better science out of our research and institute a proper reward system.


1Ioannidis JP, Greenland S, Hlatky MA, Khoury MJ, Macleod MR, Moher D, et al. Increasing value and reducing waste in research design, conduct, and analysis. Lancet 2014;383:166-75.
2Balaji SM. Increasing citations. Indian J Dent Res 2012;23:1.
3Joseph M, Robinson A. Policy: Free Indian science. Nature 2014;508:36-8.