Congrats .., for the discoveries. But my question is… why do we publish taxonomic records of Indian plants,
that too endemics, in some foreign journals,
and why do we feel proud of it?!
The users will have to pay even to read the article about our own Indian plants.

Little difference of opinion…

I think publishing a new species in some foreign journal with good impact factor is not bad. They can be reached more easily to the scientific community than those published at the local level. Still most of the Indian plant taxonomy journals are not available online. You’ve to face a lot of trouble to find articles published in journals
like Indian Forester, Indian Journal of Forestry or many more. Thankfully, Nelumbo (Bull. Bot. Surv. India) and Rheedea are available online for a couple of months but still they cannot be found under the SCI Index or other databases like Science Direct or Scopus. And as far as the payment to read an article is concerned….even the most popular Indian taxonomy journal JETB (J. Econ. Taxon. Bot.) is not available freely.
But, yes,, I would be happy if somebody publishes the new distributional records or anything related in particular context to India to the Indian Journals.

I am happy that my thread has lead the members to another discussion on Indian journals.
Let me tell my experience..
When I had attended few interviews, international papers where much favored than those papers published in Indian journals there. Let me tell you that our first priority was “the reachability of the findings to the scientific community” when we tried to publish these. Unfortunately none of our Indian taxonomy journals are available online( except Nelumbo & & Rheedea..!!).

Also I would like to add..
I found it difficult to collect those papers published in Indian journals than foreign journals during my literature survey. Still I am in search for some papers published in some Indian journals from Bengal Botanical Society.
I couldn’t even find a copy of them in CAL too. when I wrote to the librarian of www.biodiversityheritagelibrary.org about including Indian journals in their website, she told me that they do not have much access to Indian Journals.. Anyway, I came to know that, all the volumes of Rheedea will be available through biodiversityheritagelibrary soon.
I hope the scenario will be changed soon..
Anyway, …, am considering an Indian journal for my next paper, which is under progress..!!! [?][?]
For those who need the reprints of the paper, please drop me a mail..
Am out of station now. Will be sending the reprint soon, when I am back to my lab.

You know when we go for interview they ask us how many publications do you have in an international journal. Our own institutes in India doesnt give much value to the Indian journals, when there is need.
Current Science is the only one which is said to be on the top, but actually it doesnt even have the IF of .5 and then there are internal politics too. Secondly, how many journals of ours come on time and how many of them are available online?
Thirdly when you publish a new species, are you sure if you do it in Indian Forester then any one in Kew knows about your articles? I would say , NO!!
Are Indian journals very well reviewed? I would say, NO!!
If you have good information then its always advisable to bring to the notice of greater audience by publishing it in a journal of international repute, which we dont have it in India. I am specifically talking about journals of our (botanist’s) interest. I am not against Indian journals, just that I find it more convenient to access and able to publish on time in an international journal than any of Indian journals.

I agree with ….. Since tax dollars (or Rupees) via grants pay for the research and researchers’ salary…
why does the public have to pay for reading what we/they already paid for….
AND I HAVE FELT THIS WAY WHEN I MYSELF WAS RECEIVING GRANTS AND DOING BASIC RESEARCH !!!! SO ITS NOT JUST FOR YOU….PLEASE dont take this completely personally… this is something to think about…
CAN YOU FOLKS PUT UP YOUR PAPER’S PDF here so we can all benefit from the knowledge… by the way many faculty members in USA put up their papers as part of their curriculum vitae….. may be you can do the same…
DID you have to submit the descriptions originally to some botany clearing house written all in LATIN>>>

Nice reading the discussion.
Few more points to add
1. How can we say that the new sps identifiedin Africa is not having relevance in Indian Context? Isnt it the world biodiversity we have to consider? In evolutionary links dont we take the geographical distribtion into consideration and try to give the evlutionay significance?Can we name differently the sps discovered in India than the same discovered in Africa? then we are not following the rules of Binomial nomenclature.
For this the taxanomist in India must know the sps existing not only in Africa but in entire world. Then only new sps can be claimed.
2. As what mentioned International publications are having weightage not only to get jobs but to maintain jobs also. Even UGC has given different marks for International journal publications and Indian Journal publications in the new payscale, NAAC experts when visit college for accreditation look into these details too.
3. All the other difficulties faced by all who have written are true but in addition when we think of getting a copy of the paper Forien authors respond promptly to our mails or letters and many a times send the copy of their papers free, Indian many of the athors dont access mails, or dont respond to mails neither posts. So unless the journal is available online the publication remains hidden.
4. Many a time in Indian journals not only the one related taxanomy but other too. the journals are not peer reviewd. So the quality of journals also matters.
Not that i have published many papers in International journals but when my students or colleuges send their papers these are the difficulties we face, If the paper is lying in one of the journals office for years togather and if someone else publish the paper on the same line who gets the credit?
Tese are my few thoughts, No way i want to give higher credits to International publications but we have to improve,

Thank you all for your nice responses and opinion.

Dear .., first of all I am not against publishing in intl. journals. The context here is very specific, about the relevance….and of course its my personal opinion only. Imagine a new species discovered in Africa or Europe
getting published in an Indian journal. It may not be wrong….but what about the relevancy here. It may be searcheable in those journals, but what about accessible of full articles. And these impact factors are just to
compare the efficiency of journals and not to judge the capability or knowledge of the author or the institution, i guess. How the impact factors matter in the field of taxonomy in India. I understand its importance in other fields such as chemistry etc. Impact factor is mainly based on number of documents and number of citable items published in a particular journal. If all scientists want to publish their high quality papers in foreign journals, how Indian journals will get citations and impact factors? Leave alone the money part… Is it not important what we publish…rather than where we publish?!…
Thanks .. for taking this in a right spirit, and also for sharing your experience. Best wishes for all your future publications. [Please check with the journal’s policy before circulating / sharing the pdf files. If it allows, I would like to read the paper, as I have published a new sp in Eriocaulon, too:) ].
Dear …, you are right. Sadly, two of my articles sent to one of the most reputed journals in India, were accepted for publication in 2005 and 2006 respectively, but they are not yet published. But the happy news is that the authorities are coming forward to make their journal online with free access to full articles. We have best examples for that. Hope to see much more positive developments in our Indian taxonomic journals par with
their foreign counterparts.
Thanks .., for supporting my view and also adding to the discussion.

A really interesting discussion on patriotism, relevance and reality. There can be no two opinions on the fact that whenever an aspirant for getting into job, seeking promotion or award has to face an interview, the Indian
experts on the panel tend to ask this perennial question. How many of your published papers are International journals?, and for them Indian Journals big or small (including Bulletin Botanical Survey of India, JBNHS, Journal
of Indian Botanical Society) are not to be counted in International Journals, whereas any journal published outside India, big or small is an International Journal.
This is a reality that was there 30 years back, and that still exists, and till it continues we can’t blame our researchers. This is where we have to learn from Russian or German workers. But only the people who matter and
not the emerging scientists have to take a lead.
I hope this is taken purely as expression of my experience and nothing to support one or the other viewpoint.

Dear .. I agree with all your points. I do remember when i had send my first paper to one of the International journal they had made it fully red by marking on many pages and points. It was disgusting to see. But that is how we learn to be better and better,
The point is the papers are really previewed, checked and published. Probably that is why they get high raning in marking, because those who are decision makers also know the condition of our journals.
I do agree marks are to be given for work, but there has to be some baseline to work on . It just cannt be left to interview committees otherwise i dont have to tell the mockery of interviews too. Hence these guide lines of markings are decided by UGC, NAAC.
There are other criterias like citation index, Peer reviewed journals,etc for marking.
when we think of the paper making available to public, it is now really essential that the paper should be available on net. i remeber when i was doing my Ph.D.I had to travel about three hours to and fro for reaching a library, minimum eight hours in library to copy the research papers(photocopier was not afforded by all libraries and researchers then).
Can the present day researchers spend that much time in writting the research references?
Can you think of it ? No.
Then in that case how many research journals from India are ready to come or have come online? So how will get any citation index? who among us now will go in hunt of Physical journals unless absolutely needed?
In my college we get around 30 research journals in physical format. We also have free access to Jstor.can all institutes afford it.
I mean once we start thinking there are too many angles to the point.
Any way I agree that marks are to be given for the work. But here .. I will like to tell you that a person like you who is really a hardworker get much more than marks that is the International recognition. and we are proud of it. Because it is absolutely needed now to show that we are no less in research.
but there are very few who are hard core researchers too.
thanks for the responce. Am i writting too big mails/ Generally I dont, because I dont want to heart anybodies feelings. I can as well keep my opinions to myself. So if some one dont want any discussion further on this matter, pl let me know, so that i will not answer the further mails

Thanks a lot for the mail. I think this is surely going to be a fruitful discussion, though we may not be able to change patterns of UGC or journals but hopefully we would be able to change our perceptions for the betterment of students.

Yes if you ask me, if I did it, yes I did it. I went to multiple libraries as much as I can. Still if I go anywhere the first thing I do is to look for whatever i can find on my plants. I work 20hrs a day on average and sometimes didnt sleep for 3 days on average. Where my colleague did his PhD in 3 years, I finished it in 6 years.
I do believe that many good workers dont get recognition and thats really sad, especially indian researchers, it like outsiders dont trust their work. It is the perception based on some of the fake researches in India which created bad impression about the good people too. I hope such perception changes with time. I always believe in
hard work and the second thing which a researcher should have is patience for sure. People running after money cant do good research!!
but thats the fact of life in India, where a good job is considered better than a good education. People can leave research in the middle to get a simple job just because its permanent.
But still we have good researchers available in India who can raise the quality of research and hence recognition of indian researchers to higher level. I am always hopeful for a better life, better perception, better output of researchers in India in future.
My best wishes to all, and dont forget I am also a researcher :)) so you all should give your good wishes to me too :P…

Reminding of hard work by researchers, I remember when we did our Ph.D., we used to take photograph on film camera, wash the film ourselves in the dark room, purchase kodak rolls of photographic paper, cut this and develop prints ourselves in the dark room. Those were the days when research meant doing every thing yourself. There was no printing available. Type the whole manuscript on manual type writer, three or four times, after every proof correction, and when final draft was ready, get 4-5 copies of this and for this you had to use 4-5 carbon papers, press each stroke of type writer hard so that impression reaches to all the copies, and then get it bound after inserting the photographs (mounted on A4 sheets). Luckily the things are much easier now.

Thats really interesting. I also used film roll cameras too but yeah i never processed the rolls myself. Those were the times when with one shot I used to pray to god that I please give me a good shot :))
Thanks for sharing these informations….

I am against giving points to articles from international journals.
Marks should be given on the quality of the paper, language and the effort put in for the results. When I described my first new species of Orchids, it took me 3 years nearly to confirm the genus because flowers were too small and then I put in more effort to add as much information as I can and then I sent it to Kew Bulletin. The best thing is, when you send to these journals of high repute, these are instantaneously catalogued at Kew and the checklist.
Another example, I know of some people, who send there mediocre articles to international journals, they get rejected and then publish it in a very mediocre indian journal.
There is totally lack of confidence on the thing presented in the papers in both cases. Many such indian journals are now a days very badly misused for publications of irrelevant informations which no one can stop.
I still say I am not against Indian journals, I just prefer them to be properly reviewed and properly published on time. They need to have a good panel of reviewers and not just the names. I know of journals who put names of international reviewers who actually never review any papers for them.

to project the slides used to be slide projecter. slide role used to be costly. so negatives sometimes were mounted in two carboards.
no cut paste, no excell, the grafs were drawn by a draftsman or we have to learn it.
The last carbo copy which could not be read by anybody was in students costady because the best three had to be submitted to University.
what evolution and with what speed. really mind blowing.
the photographs stuck many a times were stolen!
Any way Still research was carried out and is still continued, but now People like you, Tanay and many more on this as welll as other yahoo groups will have to bear the responsibility to gain dignity to research in India!

Heartiest thanks to the senior members for sharing their experiences…!!!
I feel lucky…!!! knowing the constraints faced by you people..
I must say, I feel great being a researcher, who have chosen myself to this arena of plant taxonomy.. During the course I had to let go a permanent government job also..
E-flora India has been giving so much positives to me..
Thanks to all the members..
Let us discuss…, argue..[?].. and fight…[?] only for the future of plant taxonomy[?] in India and abroad….
Hope everybody will take it in a right spirit, as the members have been doing so far in this thread..

NB: Let me add one more thing… Having coming from a local village near Wayanad District of Kerala, I was not much exposed to the scientific community and was not able to communicate with the people easily. Now I
feel, a transformation is happening within me, feel confident in communicating with people, and the great contribution from E-flora India, can not be ignored.
I know, I have to go miles again..
Hoping for a great support from the eflora India members


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