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Sunday December 05, 2021

Editors of KU research journals find HEC’s policy confusing

September 03, 2021
Editors of KU research journals find HEC’s policy confusing

During a meeting on Thursday to review the research journals published by the University of Karachi (KU), editors of research journals complained about the policies of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) regarding research journals, terming them ‘confusing’.

The meeting was held at the KU vice chancellor’s (VC) council room. It was chaired by KU Acting VC Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi and coordinated by Prof Dr Farah Iqbal. The editors of the KU research journals were invited to the meeting to bring up the issues and problems they faced while working on their respective research journals.

Dr Farah said that the existing policy of the HEC regarding journals was confusing as it did not provide clear guidance about whether the policy was to be implemented on an issue basis or a volume basis.

She observed that although policies were notified to be implemented on a yearly basis but the HEC had implemented those on an issue basis, which created confusion. Dr Farah said that the editors of the journals must ensure not to publish articles from the same self-institution as per the guideline of the HEC. She informed the meeting that as a result of failure to comply with the rule, the HEC may derecognise the journal.

Meanwhile, the editors requested the Prof Iraqi to call an HEC representative for a meeting with them so that they could share their issues. It was said that some journals had complied with the HEC policy but the commission erroneously derecognised them.

The meeting also discussed that the journal of pharmacy department had a prominent impact factor and was listed in a Web of Sciences but the HEC degraded its category and despite the fact that an email was sent to the HEC, the commission’s response was still awaited.

On the request of editors, Prof Iraqi announced that the varsity would ask the HEC to send their representative to hear the issues of the editors. The editors also requested Prof Iraqi for the facility of Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which was a basic requirement for indexing in Directory of Open Access Journals that prepared the database of all the open access journals of the world and Scopus.

On this occasion, the technical support person for journals, Dr Ammad Zafar, informed the meeting that the KU had purchased the DOI service from Crossref that would be distributed to journals without any cost.

He shared that the annual membership of Crossref DOI had already been taken by the KU. Dr Zafar mentioned that the credential of Crossref would be shared with all the journals at their request.

During the meeting, Prof Iraqi shared copies of the Global Journal of Management and Administrative Science and informed the members of the meeting that it had been recognised by the HEC. The Global Journal for Management and Administrative Sciences is a research publication of the department of public administration.

Dr Zafar, who is also the adviser to the journal, said that only three issues of the journal had been published so far and the HEC had rewarded the Y category to it from July 1, 2021. He shared that the journal had been indexed with many national and international indexing agencies.

Prof Iraqi urged the editors of the journals for the indexing of their journals with the Web of Sciences and Scopus in order to improve their HEC category.