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Environment for Scholarship and Journal Impact Factor in Thailand

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An increasing number of institutions, internationally, are requiring their faculties publish in journals with high impact factors (IF), and providing various types of rewards to motivate scholars to do so. The literature describes appropriate and inappropriate uses of such policies. Thus, this study, as part of a five country study, aimed to explore, in Thailand: (a) the extent to which institutions are requiring faculty to publish in high impact journals, and (b) how the pressure of publishing in high impact journals influences a nurse scientist’s choice of topic for investigation, and the development of nursing science. The design was qualitative, using a questionnaire designed to obtain respondent views. One senior faculty member, from each of the seven nursing doctoral programs in the country, was invited to participate; five did so. Objective responses were summarized and descriptively presented. Content analysis was used for narrative responses. Results indicate that faculties were expected to publish in high IF journals. The faculties stated this led to: competition instead of cooperation; and, authors wanting to publish in journals of other countries, so as to bring prestige to their institutions. However, they felt this does not contribute to resolving health problems of the country, and further enumerated the hurdles and positive outcomes of the policy. They said Thai scholars study health problems of the country, and frame the practical applications of their work, in terms that might be of interest to their country, as well as to other countries. Results were discussed and interpreted in view of current realities in Thailand.

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