Evaluation of Periodicals Journals and Community of Medical Sciences in Iran

Article excerpt

Abstract

Background: Medical journals are scientific resources where utilization of knowledge is availed and create an environment of competitiveness. To speed up the growth and increase scientific production and in order that the rank of Iranian journals be defined regionally and globally, journal standardization is necessary. This study was done to evaluate the country's medical journals from 2004-2006.

Methods: This is a descriptive/analytical study. Evaluation was based on the following; scientific credibility, registry and year of service, journal management, technical quality and accessibility. The number of journals evaluated during 2004- 2006 were 86, 103 and 93, respectively and the process involved 3 phases 1) defining the journal's structural indicators and designing the evaluation form 2) collection, sharing and final confirmation of information with the publication staff 3) data entry, analysis and ranking

Results: Improvement and growth of publication depends largely on 5 parameters and its development were based on the following; publication management (61.62 points), scientific credibility (43.80 points), quality of accessing the journals (37.05 points), quality of publication (14.80 points) and registry and year of service (0.02 points). Based on the study, an upward developmental trend of the country's medical journals can be seen and the tools were sufficient in terms of validity and reliability. A revised and more comprehensive checklist that would evaluate all aspects of a publication basing on latest indicators is developed.

Conclusion: Evaluations of the country's medical journals not only promote compliance to international standards but also led to more indexing of journals in accredited international indices.

Keywords: Medical publication, Medical journals, Community of medical sciences Iran

Introduction

The growing range of sciences and the enormous growth of information produced in minutes and the speed in the development of the internet and network technologies, research needs, financial constraints and the need for specialized scientific groups; these factors have forced us to integrate in the immense world of information. And for the reason that countries' develop, produce and circulate information with speed, scientific publications play an important role in the national development, in policy making and in applied research as well (1). Taking into consideration the important and valuable role of journals in producing and propagating knowledge, perhaps the most important reason for the lack of simultaneous change in the journals process of publication despite changes in information and communication technology, is the absence of a unified information system in publication. In fact, integration of information at the nationwide level is the only possible way of creating a collective agreement especially in strategies concerning changes in the process of publication printing towards electronic publishing.

What has been an issue of concern is the fact that there exist a wide gap between the developed and the developing countries in terms of biomedical publications and the possible reasons behind are; only few health researches are undertaken in the low-income countries due to lesser research priorities or lesser resources or limitation in research capacities and or problems regarding communication specially in reporting research works and the lack of observance on international standards (2).

Of the more than 130 titles approved by the medical commission, unfortunately these researches did not adhere to international standards and indicators, the difference in the choice of publication processes that would definitely result to indifference (some of these indifference is inevitable) and most importantly, the important role that the journals play in the production and dissemination of knowledge, and based on the 4th development program as undertaken aiming at achieving the first place in the Southwest Asian region in terms of economics, science and knowledge production, the need for continuous evaluation basing on local standards has been considered a necessity. …