If you’re reading this article, we’re assuming you’re in academia, and by extension you know the high value assigned to publishing research. You can probably relate to at least one of the following experiences:
- I’ve been pushed by my advisor to publish in the journal in my field with the highest impact factor (and needed to Google what an “h-index” is to understand).
- I’ve complained to my friends about a paper being rejected from yet another journal for “lack of significance” or “poor English”.
- I keep a mental tally of the number of papers I’ve been an author or co-author on: not out of pride, but because my university has a minimum count for published papers in order for me to get my graduate degree or tenured position.
The logic behind using publications as a measure of success is based on good intentions: as a member of the academic community, you must contribute to it in a tangible way. Publication output is an easy way to quantify this “contribution”; measures like impact factor and h-index are ways to quantify and refine that idea. But with intensified competition accompanying more and more students reaching higher and higher levels of tertiary education, and your reputation and professional career and job security depending on your output, you’ve surely felt overwhelmed at times. As members of the academic publication industry, we at Uni-edit too know the system is unsustainable.
Isn’t there another way?
The short answer is yes indeed there are many other ways, since many bright and like-minded people have been working on solutions.
Let’s take a minute to review the state of the industry as well as its origins, to better understand. After all, we have to understand where we’re coming from, to understand where we’re going.