Research of Pakistan under SCImago Journal Rank | By Abid Hussain


Research of Pakistan under SCImago Journal Rank

THE SCImago Journal & Country Rank is an online portal that can be accessed via the internet.

It includes journals and scientific indicators developed from the information of Scopus (world largest indexing agency).

These indicators are used to analyse the published records in the scientific realm. This platform compares journal productivity from subject to subject and country to country.

Citation data has been drawn from 34,100 titles, more than 5000 publishers and 239 countries worldwide.

It is an excellent source for journal metrics, and its name is taken from SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), a widely known algorithm by Google Page-rank.

SCImago is a research group at the University of Granada (Madrid) which gives information analysis in visualization techniques.

It has changed the shape of science and the Atlas of Science. In other words, the shape of science is an information visualization that aims to reveal the structure of science.

Contrary, the Atlas of Science project proposes creating an information system aiming to show a graphic representation of Ibero-American Science Research that provides navigation through semantic spaces formed by the maps.

Pakistan Stands with serial 45 among all countries with approximately 244476 documents and 2798976 citations with an average of 11.45 per citation.

The High index publications are 353, which is a good omen; however when comparing our country with India and Iran, the neighbouring countries of Pakistan.

India stands in 7th position ranking with a total of 2353482 documents and 26332969 citations.

The position of Iran in the ranking list is 21st, with a total of 733080 documents and 8788390 citations. However, the question arises whether Pakistan is poor in research contribution.

The answer is no. Pakistan is a country with 225.2 million (2021); nevertheless, the population of India is 1.393 billion (2021). Iran’s population is estimated at 85.03 million (2021).

In the research scenario, Pakistan’s position is slightly better than other countries of South Asia.

As we know that South Asia is the region of eight countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and, among them, Pakistan stands second after India.

What is the way forward for Pakistan in terms of research contribution in SCImago and similar indexing agencies? A country with talented brains can grow if 60% youth bulge were engaged in research.

The government should educate these youngsters in the right direction; otherwise, we could spoil them in the years to come.

According to the website report of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, there are 244 public and private sector universities.

The majority of them offer higher degrees in various disciplines like Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Medical and Health Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Social Sciences and humanities.

These disciplines produce quality research to earn the degrees, stakeholder should bound them to extract scientific publications from theses.

Albeit, Higher Education Pakistan has made a mandatory step in this regard, but that is limited to PhD level programmes.

The second aspect of promoting research is Pakistan’s education standard, which is far behind from international standards.

Old and outdated curricula at universities level is yet distasteful in quality research. It is the moral duty of HEC to reinvigorate curricula with research oriented tasks.

There should be a regulatory authority to oversee the quality of research in government and private sectors.

The ill-equipped tools like Project Management Tools, Grammar Checker Tools, reference management tools, Plagiarism Checkers, social networking for academics, journal finders and above all, the old items in laboratories and libraries are few impediments in quality research.

Latest equipment and information are crucial for advanced research. Lack of funding for research and development is yet another bottleneck, especially for PhD Programmes.

Higher Education commission of Pakistan should grant allowances for the scholarly productions.

Research culture in Pakistan is declining for many reasons. One of them is lacking counseling and mentoring of our youth. Those who come from abroad with higher degrees should train our youth.

Most of our Foreign Qualified staff make endeavour, nevertheless, the sub-standard government policy, poor infrastructure, low budget for Research and development are few impediments that needs to be addressed.

Research is an exhaustive endeavour that requires time, high skills, and quality tools to undertake.

Success of Pakistan depends on quality and scientific research to make a better place in Scimago and similar indexing agencies, the government should take one step ahead.

Philip George Zimbardo, an American psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University, rightly said, “Academic success depends on research and publications”.

—The writer is Deputy Director Library Services at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad.