December 2013, Volume 63, Issue 12

Editorial

Standing of Science Journals in Pakistan

Sultan Ayoub Meo  ( Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). )

Research in science and social science sectors plays an important role in the country's communal and economic growth along with long-term viable development. The research originations and innovations in science and technology contribute to improve the living standards and quality of life.1 Scientific publications reflect the scientific progress, and science journals play an essential role in broadcasting and the exchange of knowledge.1 In Pakistan, there are 85 science journals;2 amongst them only 13 are indexed in a leading indexing institute, Thomson Reuters, Institute of Scientific Information (ISI)3,4 (Figure).

However, the average number of ISI Indexed journals in all the Asian countries is 17.97±7.35.1
The Pakistani science journals are peer reviewed, published in English language with aims and objectives to promote science, bring an awareness, understanding of current scientific information and focus on recent advances in basic, clinical, bio-medical and social sciences. The national and international contributions have resulted in the journals attracting a large number of manuscripts from the global science community especially from Asia, Europe and Africa and to some extent from United States and Australia.
The total number of research papers published from Pakistan during the period 1996-2012 is 58133, citable documents 55915, citations per documents 6.22.2 However, the aggregate number of papers published in global ISI indexed journals are 36923 and from them 30980 are original articles. Pakistan produced 6012 papers published in worldwide ISI indexed journals only in the year 2012.3 Based on the number of research publications, the current ranking of Pakistan in global science is 46 and the country Hirsch Index (h-index) is 111.2 Certainly, in this achievement, Pakistani science journals particularly the ISI indexed journals contributed their role in publishing research papers which are cited globally.
The highest h-index among Pakistani science journals which are ISI indexed is 23 of the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association. However, the second, third, fourth and fifth highest standing with respect to their h-index is 19 of Journal of College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (JCPSP) and also Pakistan Journal of Botany (19), Pakistan Journal of Pharmacological Sciences (17), International Journal of Pharmacology (16), and Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences (13).2 The gradually rising h-index of these journals is definitely due to the quality of research papers, their indexing and wide exposure for sound and insightful contents cited by researchers throughout the world.
It is a well acknowledged fact that countries that have more ISI indexed journals produced more in research outcomes including total number of research documents, citations per documents and h-index in various science and social science subjects.1 The ISI indexed Pakistani journals with highest h-index have gradually achieved a reputable ranking in Pakistan and also worldwide science community. Still there are certain measures to be needed to further increase the scientific ranking of these journals. Pakistani journals must have on-line access and should be indexed in major bibliographic, citations databases and have a stable presence in popular scientific databases. Moreover, these journals timely review, accept or reject the manuscripts and minimize the timings from submission to publication. This will further increase the usage and visibility of the journals as well as attract high quality submissions. These measures will further enhance the weight and height of these journals as well as country ranking both at national and international levels.

Acknowledgement

The author is thankful to the College of Medicine Research Centre, Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

References

1. Meo SA, Al Masri AA, Usmani AM, Memon AN, Zaidi SZ. Impact of GDP, spending on R&D, number of universities and scientific journals on research publications among Asian countries. PLoS ONE 2013;8:e6649. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066449.
2. SCImago Journal & Country Rank. (Online) (Cited 2013 August 16). Available from URL: http://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.php.
3. ISI Web of Knowledge. Journal Citation Report. (Online) (Cited 2013 August 16). Available from URL: http://admin-apps.webofknowledge.com/JCR/JCR?RQ=LIST_SUMMARY_JOURNAL.
4. ISI Web of Knowledge. Journal Citation Report. (Online) (Cited 2013 August 16). Available from URL: http://admin-apps.webofknowledge.com/JCR/JCR?RQ=RECORD&rank=74&journal=J+PAK+MED+ASSOC.

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association has agreed to receive and publish manuscripts in accordance with the principles of the following committees: