Dr Cristopher Leonard, editorial director, QScience. PICTURE: Jayaram
By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
The number of journals from Qatar is on a gradual increase as various organisations have embarked on a number of researches. Over the recent years, the country has witnessed significant growth in journals especially in the fields of health sciences and biomedical research.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of a symposium organised by Sidra Medical and Research Centre and BioMed Central held at Four Seasons hotel yesterday, Dr Cristopher Leonard, editorial director, QScience, said that 2013 was the record year for Qatar in the number of journals published from the country.
Leonard said: “In 2013, there was a record publication of 980 journals from the country. Out of them 350 were on health. This was followed by journals on engineering and computer science. This shows a marked increase over the previous years. Most of the health journals were from Hamad Medical Corporation.”
He, however, pointed out that the country has to do a lot more in this field.
He observed: “There are only 12 organisations from Qatar which are affiliated to Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer reviewed literature. We must think of ways to improve the quality and quantity of the journals from the country.”
The editorial director said that QScience aims to promote the journal standards of Qatar by providing necessary tips and tools to the contributors. He stated: “Qatar-based researchers will have the option of having their manuscripts edited before submission. QScience will also polish the language, structure, grammar, spelling and formats before they are presented before a publisher.”
The official added that there was no guarantee that all the journals submitted will be published. “Some may get published and others may not. But there is increased chance that they all go through the peer-reviewing process.
This will bring more recognition for Qatar as a hub of health and biomedical research.”
During the day-long symposium, a number of experts on the topic of medical journals and their publications spoke on different aspects of the topic.
It was highlighted during the symposium that only 1.5% of scientific papers published every year originate from the Middle East. The speakers suggested different ways to overcome this issue.
Sidra partnered with BioMed Central, a leading open access journal publisher with over 260 titles, for Sidra Symposia Series event on “Trends in Biomedical Research & Scholarly Publishing”
During the event, BioMed Central editors presented the latest trends in global scholarly publishing, touching upon areas such as the growth of open access publishing and the importance of the internationalisation of regional journals. Speakers also reviewed best practice for authors to present their research to journals and capitalise on the publication of that research.
“Sidra wanted to link the tremendous scientific expertise bred in the Middle East with the international research community and offer support to scientists in Qatar and the region to see their research shared with colleagues from around the world. Collaboration is a key success factor for any scientific endeavour and research publications are a vehicle for that,” said Sidra’s Chief Research Officer Dr Francesco Marincola.