It will be merely stating the obvious to say that the overwhelming majority of researchers in the leading scientific and technological institutions, laboratories and universities of our country have a rather poor opinion of our Science and Technology (S and T) journals. Most of them would not think of publishing their findings in Indian journals .if they have any way of getting them published in journals abroad. It would be generally believed that if someone has published a paper 1n an Indian journal, it is because the same could not be published in any foreign journal; in other words the quality of the paper should be quite poor. While there undoubtedly are exceptions to the above would generally be the opinion about Indian S and T journals shared from-the junior most research scholar to the senior most professor. It also seems to be the case that many of our better-known scientists would not at all think of it as an honor to be associated with most of our journals as a referee or member of the editorial board. No data or analysis is needed to establish the veracity of the above statements as a rule, and it is something of a mystery as to why we continue publishing these journals when most people Involved with it - those who write for it, those who edit it, those who publish 1t and finally those who read it - have such a low opinion of it!

This is not to say that we have done nothing significant in this regard so far. Like in most other fields, India since independence has made, in quantitative terms, remarkable strides in the area of S and T journal publishing. S and T journals in India are published largely by Academies, Institutions, Universities, Research Laboratories and Government Departments, and this is believed to be an important activity of our S and T community as a whole. From about 725 in 1964, the number of S and T periodicals in India has steadily grown to 1593 in 1975, and 1891 in 1982. It is believed that we were publishing about £000 of them in 1985 [1]. This number includes popular science magazines, reports of R and D establishments etc, and by a stricter definition of scientific periodicals India produced 488 of them in 1985. These journals are the ones covered by Indian Science Abstracts (ISA). The 22,000 papers published in them in 1984 have a break up as follows; 29% in agriculture, 21%. in medical sciences and 1656 each in biological sciences, physical sciences and engineering sciences. India alone produces about half of the S and T output of the entire third world in terms of publications. And unlike many third world countries, India's research publications covered all areas in which research was being conducted in the advanced countries. A recent publication of the CSIR [1] notes:

India accounts for about 3% of the world's scientific literature output, and about half of the entire Third World's. In terms of the number of papers published in more than 4000 of world's leading scientific and technical periodicals, India occupies the eighth rank after the USA, the UK- the USSR, Japan, France, West Germany and Canada. Clearly, India is not merely the undisputed leader of Third World Science, but also occupies a respectable place in the world of science as a whole.

There is no doubt that we have built up considerable expertise and infrastructure in the area of publication of S and T journals; it can be said' that we have become quite mature in this field. We can now take stock of our -performance in this field by asking certain questions: How good are our S and T journals as compared to those of other countries? How do our S and T workers as well as the worlds and T community evaluate them? What is the picture of India's S and T activity that these journals portray? To what extent do our S and T workers communicate with one another through the medium of our journals? Do these journals help in giving a national identity to our S and T community? And so on. The present situation is that, unfortunately we do not possess any satisfactory answers to these questions at all; we have done very little analysis and investigation in our country on these questions. We have not even built up a data base of our own regarding the output of our scientific research in various areas. Even the Indian Science Abstracts only give data about publications in Indian journals, and there is no way to know as to what has been the two output of research work done in India in any given field. In the absence of a comprehensive data base we do not have a realistic assessment of what it is that we have achieved in scientific research so far. While pointing out the urgent need for building! up such a data base and undertaking extensive analysis of such data, the purpose of the present paper is limited to a critical examination of the conclusions that seem to, follow from the already existing data and analysis on the question of Indian S and T journals.

Scientific and Technological journals are universally accepted to be a vital element of modern S and T activity. This is the single most important medium through which researchers communicate and interact with one another, and they have great influence on the nature and direction of S and T research being carried out. They play a major role in defining a community of research workers - according to their field of specialization, language and nationality. As the journals are,, like Academies etc, organized largely on a national basis, they also serve the purpose of giving a national identity to the different scientific communities. It is generally the case that the productivity, purposefulness and originality of the S and T research done in a country can be quite reliably gauged from the S and T journals in a country. Thus an analysis of the quality of journals in a country is a very important way of comprehending certain vital aspects of the S and T activity of that country. It is with this purpose in mind that the present investigation of Indian S and T journals is being attempted.

The present study deals primarily with the question of how good our S and T journals are, and what can be done to make them better. We are not addressing ourselves here to questions of the relevance or otherwise of much of the S and T research work being undertaken in our country at present. While such questions are undoubtedly important and. should be dealt with in detail, we are here limiting ourselves to looking into the question of how well we have been doing in whatever we seem to have set out to do - specifically on the issue of our S and T journals.


As mentioned earlier, there are only a few studies that, to our knowledge, deal with the question of our S and T journals [2-9]. All these studies have been patterned after the methodology of citation analysis evolved by Eugene Garfield and his Institute for Science Information (IS I), U.S.A., who are also the publishers of "Current Contents" and "Science Citation Index". In fact it is not only the methodology that has been supplied by Garfield, but also the data base used in these studies of our journals is largely the one assembled by ISI. The methodology of citation analysis relies primarily on three parameters for the evaluation of an article or a journal - the impact factor, the immediacy index and the percentage cuteness. ISI makes it clear that the primary purpose of its analysis is to determine how well a paper or a journal or a country is able to make contributions to what it calls the international body of scientific knowledge. It should also be clear at the very outset that ISI is not concerned primarily with S and T in the third world; its concern is with what it calls the international science. A look at the 1973 data base of the


1973 ISI Data Base: Data from [2]

or Region

% of articles
by country of

Impact of Journals

% of authors
by nationa­lity

Impact of











Western Europe




















Eastern Europe





Third World





ISI, for example, makesrth1s quite clear. During this year, the ISI scanned a 'total of 3000 journals, of which only 52 (less than 2%) were, from the third world; of the 353,000 articles it analyzed in that year only 16,000 (less than 5%) were from the third world. Columns 2 and 4 of Table 1 give the composition of the ISI data base as of 1973, and-it is quite certain that there would not have been any major change 1n this pattern since then. As seen from this table, about 80% of the articles came from the USA, the Developed Commonwealth, Western Europe and Scandinavian Countries - it is the science done in these regions that is termed international science. As far as the representation of India in this data base is concerned, it amounted to about 30 journals out of a total of 52 journals from the third world; of the 16,000 articles from the third world included in this data base, 7888 were from India, thereby making India the eighth largest country in terms of scientific output. It is significant that only about 35% of the 16,000 third world articles were actually published in third world journals; the rest were published in journals of the developed countries.

Whatever be the criterion used in generating it, it 1s a fact that the ISI data base under represents the scientific output of India (and also of Japan, USSR and the entire third world) and is skewed in favor of the USA and .UK. This should be borne in mind while evaluating Indian S and T journals on the basis of this data. The important conclusions that seem to have been arrived at on the basis of analyzing this data are briefly summarized below [2-9]:

1. India stands eighth in the world in terms of the quantum: of scientific output and contributes about 3% of the world scientific output. Half of the scientific output of the entire third world comes from India; India also accounts for more than half of all scientific journals published in the third world. The range and scope of problems tackled by Indian scientists are way ahead of those done by other third world countries and comes very close to those of the "advanced countries'.

2. In terms of its impact on world science, India's scientific output 1s of rather poor quality. An impact factor of 2 (calculated for the period 1973-78) that an average Indian paper had, was not only low in comparison with advanced countries (US had 6.9, UK 6.3 FRG 4.6 and Japan 4.1), it was even lower than those of about 30 other third world countries. There were over 27 countries from the third world whose output, though numerically small, had an impact factor of more than 2.5.

3. Even though Indian journals had the highest impact factor (1.1) amongst' all third world journals, it was quite poor compared with most journals of the developed countries. U.S. journals had an impact of 6.9, Developed Commonwealth journals 5.5, West European journals 3.4 and Japanese journals 2.9 (see column 3 of Table 1).

4. The poor quality of Indian journals was also evident in may other respects. For example, (i) most of the references made to Indian journals are only by Indians, and the rest of the world S and T community hardly seemed to take any serious notice of them, (ii) more than half of the references made in Indian journals are to papers that are more than 10 years old and (iii) Indian journals have very poor inter-disciplinary content.

There are two broad aspects to these conclusions - one, that the quality of our scientific output is itself quite poor, and two, that our journals are quite poor. Regarding the first point - from what has been said about the nature of the data base and the methodology of analysis employed, it should be clear that the above judgment of India's scientific output is only from the point of view of contributions made] to the so called international science. That our scientific research or our scientific journals do not have any significant impact on world science, tor that the world scientific community does not perhaps think too high of our work, need not by itself have caused us much "worry if our S and T community had seen itself as working towards some other identified goal. For example, if it were the case that our S and T community saw itself primarily as working towards ; fulfilling our country's needs and not being overly concerned with making contributions to world science, then such an evaluation could perhaps have been dismissed as being of no greet consequence. But as 1s well known, this is perhaps not the case, and being a part of the International scientific enterprise and making significant contributions to it have all along been claimed to be a vital dimension of all our S and efforts. It is for this reason that our S and T community has all along stressed the need to have English as the language of S and T education, have Intimate links with Western S and T establishments, have our scientists pay frequent visits to foreign S and T institutions and laboratories, have foreign experts to advise us on our S and T matters and train our scientists, have the latest facilities' imported from, abroad, publish mainly in foreign journals, etc. For the sake of being considered a part of the international S and T community, we even choose most of our research problems from abroad Such being the case, an assessment that our contribution to international science is of rather poor quality ought to be a matter of serious concern. It ought to make us take a fresh look at our notions about modern S and T being a truly international activity in which all can participate equally and from which all can benefit equally. It certainly calls for efforts to have a proper comprehension of the true nature of the modern S and T order so that we .ire able to work out ways and means by which we can participate in H: on not so unequal (and even disgraceful) terms as exist now.

There is one thing however that, needs to be pointed out regarding such conclusions on the quality of India's scientific output. Even though the' 8000 Indian papers as a whole had an impact factor of only 2.0, about half of them were in Indian journals with an impact factor of only 1.1. This means that the nearly 4000 Indian papers appearing 1n foreign journals had an impact factor of about 3. In a similar way, it can also be seen from data given in Ref.(2) that even though Indian articles as a whole had a percentage citedness of only 58, those published in foreign journals alone had percentage citedness of over 66. Thus our research output as such is perhaps not as bad as it is often made out to be. Moreover the extent to which these factors are adequate measures of the worth of the S and T output of a country is also an open issue. For example, it will be seen that on the basis of such an analysis, the scientific output of say USSR is shown to be of much poorer quality than those of even the entire third world! (See table 1). Further, the fact that countries like Bermuda, Liberia, Jamaica and Thailand had impact factors higher" than those of US and UK would not possibly be interpreted to mean that these countries are doing better modern science than US or UK. It is quite evident that the ideal internationalism and democracy ,of science, devoid of any bias, do not perhaps operate here, and the question of who cites whom is obviously influenced by considerations other than "pure merit. It is necessary to remember these limitations and biases that are inherent in such analysis while interpreting their results.

The second conclusion, viz. the one relating to our S and T journals, should however be examined more seriously.


As far as the third world journals are concerned Table 1 again has an interesting message. It shows that even though about 5% of the research work came from the third world, duly 2% appeared in third world journals. That is, about 60% of the scientific output of the third world finds its way to journals of the advanced countries. In contrast, only 5%, 12%, 20% and 33% of the scientific outputs of France, Western Europe as a whole, Japan and Germany were sent to journals published outside these countries [11]. No other country or region suffers such high a drain of its scientific output. A consequence of this drain is also" evident from Table 1. While the third world scientist as such had an impact factor of 2.3, the third world journals had an impact factor of only 0.8. Data ,for central and south America is even more revealing [11] - 85% of the output of these regions went to foreign journals and this resulted in their own journals having a poor impact factor of 0.6 while the scientists from these regions themselves had an overall impact of 2.9.

As far as India is concerned, our journals received only 44% of our scientific output – the rest went to foreign journals [2]. The consequence of this was that while Indian research output published abroad achieved an impact ''factor of about 3 our own journals could achieve only 1.1. Studies have consistently shown that more than half of Ind1a's scientific output is sent abroad. Rangarajan and Gupta [7] or example have shown that in Physics, about 62% of our output goes abroad. In this regard at least, the undisputed leader of Third World Science [1] 1s not setting an example worthy of emulation.

It should be quite obvious from the above that Indian S and T. journals are quite poor today not because the science done in India is as such very poor; this is so because most of the output of our research is denied to our journals. 'This is indeed a situation that ought to be, and can be; improved significantly. For that we should find out more details about how such a situation has come about. For example is it that our (younger researchers are more "foreign crazy" and they are refusing to follow the patriotic examples -set by the senior scientists? Is it a case of our younger generation going astray? What 'sort of. traditions were being set up by the peers of Indian science and leaders of our scientific .community? We present some representative data that throws some light on these questions.`

Indian National Science Academy (INSA) has brought out data relating ,to the publications of those scientists who were its Fellows in 1986 [13]. Each Fellow was asked to give a list of what he or she considered to be their important contributions to science. Out of a total of 530 Fellows, 441 responded, each giving a list - 'about 15 papers on an average. Table 2 gives the result of an analysis of this -data. It 1 is seen that in no discipline did the Fellows contribute even half of what they considered to be their important papers to Indian journals, the average figure being 34.4% which is even considerably poorer than the "national average" of 44% This


Publication Profile of 1986 Fellows of 1NSA (Numbers in bracket are percentages)

Subject No. of
Mathematics 37 527
Physics 64 966
67 1091
Engineering & Technology 43 670
Earth Sciences 41 660
Plant Sciences 47 846
Animal Sciences 30 509
Medical Sciences 44 792
Agriculture, Animal
Husbandary Fisheries
37 616
Total 410 6677
* See Text for explanation.


(See Text for Explanation)

Subject No. of Scientists Total Papers Indian
Foreign Publications
Physics 68 J514 (100) 169 (32) 345 (68)
Chemistry          23 213 (100) 64
149 (70)

data is quite significant for two reasons; one, the data refers to what the authors themselves thought to be their Important papers. Thus, even though the "national average' is 44%, it is likely that these do not include the more significant contributions. The second significant thing about this data is that it refers to 441 of the top scientists of our country who "are playing a major role in providing guidance and leadership to all our S and T activities.

We also gathered some representative data regarding our scientists who are associated with some of our journals. This is shown in Table 3. For Physics, the sample was those scientists who were on the board of editors of two of India's leading Physics journals - Pramana and Indian journal of Pure and Applied Physics - for the period of 1975-85. The data pertains to their publications during the period 1983-85 (3 years). For Chemistry, the sample was those scientists who are presently on the board of editors of two of India's leading Chemistry journals - Indian Journal of Chemistry (Section A) and Indian Journal of Chemistry (Section B). This data pertains to their publications during the period 1984-85 (one' and a half years). It is seen that these two groups of scientists contributed only 32% and 30% respectively of their papers to Indian journals. In other words, even those who are in charge of improving the standards of our journals do not seem to have any larger commitments towards them. It should also be remembered that editors of journals are generally senior scientists who are leaders in their respective areas.

There is of course no reason to think that Fellows of INSA for 1986 or editors of the four journals selected are in any way peculiar in their Inclinations. It is certain that they are quite representative of our senior and top level scientists. Significance- of the data pertaining to .them then is that the problem lies primarily with the examples and models set by the leaders of our S and T community themselves. And in the present case It refers to our neglect-of our own S and T journals. It also suggests to us as to where the initiative has to come from 1f this situation is to be improved.


That our S and T journals are in a poor shape is not merely a matter of national prestige; it has serious repercussions on the functioning of our entire S and T community, in a sense it merely reflects the state of affairs on our S and T front- for one thing, our journals today do not serve as an effective medium of communication among our S and T workers, which is what the primary role of a journal is meant to be. Whatever communication exists amongst our scientists seems to be routed through the medium of foreign journals.. Such a situation does not help 1n the emergence of an S and T community with a national identity. Secondly, the present situation of our research output being scattered all over the world's journals prevents us from having an overall view of what exactly is being achieved by our scientists. For example, if most of our output in any area, say computer science, were available in a few Indian journals devoted to this area, then it should have been easy to make an assessment of what our capabilities in this sphere are. It would then have been easy to identify our strengths and weaknesses, and take corrective actions required if any. In fact it appears that because our research outputs in all areas are lying scattered the world over, we often end up having a much poorer assessment of what we are doing than is genuinely warranted. There is no doubt that if our journals gave a true picture of the state of our research output, our S and T community as a whole would have a better image of itself. The world too would probably have taken a different attitude to us.

Today, research problems are mostly chosen from the consideration that the results of working on them can find acceptance in foreign journals; in other words, the problems are of relevance to them. Once such a compulsion is removed, it is likely that we might turn our attention to those problems which are of greater concern to our country, in the process 1t is also likely that we might be initiating research work along altogether new directions and thus making fundamentally, new contributions to the pool of world's knowledge. Another consequence of changing over to publishing primarily 1n our own journals1 would be that our scientists would begin to take one another more seriously. By making Indian scientists more responsible In assessing one another's work, this would also enhance the collective sense of dignity and self respect of the entire community as such. And lastly, it is quite obvious that through this process we would be able to change the present situation of having hardly any journal of international standing. If the substantial part of our research output is presented through the medium of Indian journals, there is no doubt that 1nta short while we would be having a number of Indian journals of high International standing. In short it-can be argued quite, convincingly that if our scientists become seriously committed to [publishing primarily in our own journals, we would be heralding a major change in our entire S and T activity.

There is no doubt, that there are serious difficulties associated with publishing primarily in our own journals now. One major problem is their very poor circulation. The circulation figures pertaining to the journals published by the (Indian Academy of Science will be quite representative 1n this regard. For a comparison, the circulation figures of "Nature" and "Science" are in excess of 60,000 and 150,000 respectively.)

Other difficulties include lack of proper and rigorous refereeing procedures, uncertain periodicity, absence of journals devoted exclusively to highly specialized areas, long delay between the communication of a result and its appearance in print, poor quality of production, etc. Publishing fin Indian journals today does not get one the recognition that one gets by publishing in foreign journals, while


Journal Circulation Figures

S No. Name of the Journal Subscribers Exchange Follows etc. Total
Ind. For. Ind. For.
1. Proceedings
(Chemical Sciences)
197 195 69 146 120 727
2. Proceedings (Earth
and Planetary Sc.)
190 195 74 147 74 680
3. Proceedings
(Mathematical Scl.)
183 195 74 147 71 670
4. Proceedings
(Animal Sc.)
221 185 70 138 80 694
5. Proceedings
(Plant Sc.)
280 185 77 139 95 768
6. Sadhana .156 95 33 16 104 404
7. Pramana
(Journal of Physics)
219 145 49 67 208 688
8. Journal of
171 85 84 16 204 560
9. Bulletin of
Materials Sc.
90 85 74 13 98 360
10. Journal of
Astrophysics and
50 245 73 26 98 492
Current Science 1757 1610 677 855 1152 6043
1280 260 100 60 - 1700
  Total 3037 1870 777 915 1152 7743

all this is true, it is equally obvious that things will not Improve unless something is done about them. And it is equally obvious that the initiative for this will have to come from our senior scientists. That we do not give the better part of our research output to our journals 1s not merely the consequence of our journals being poor; 1t is the very cause of it. While it may be true that our junior scientists would be taking greater risk by not publishing abroad, the same cannot be said of our senior scientists - they have already acquired international standing and recognition. They should be willing to make the sacrifice of increasingly diverting their publications to Indian journals. Once a sizable number of our senior scientists start publishing more of their important works in our own journals, there is no doubt that the appearance of our journals would change dramatically. Once the leadership of our S and T community start taking greater interest in our journals, there should be no difficulty in getting the required financial and other support for the better running of at least some of our major journals. Once an analysis of our current levels of productivity and resources in different areas of scientific research is made, it should be possible to arrive at an assessment of how many journals of high standing, and in 'which fields, we can aim for immediately if the major portion of jour output in these fields are made available to them. We should also examine the factors that have made at least some of our journals better known today. Why a journal like Pramana that was started with high hopes did not fulfill all the expectations should also be examined. Learning from our past experiences, both positive and negative, it should be possible for us to make a major beginning 1h this direction now. We should also be able to learn from the experience of other" similarly placed countries such as China who have steadfastly strived to achieve a national outlook in all their S and T efforts. It is quite likely that nothing dramatic will happen overnight. We may have to go through a period when we may even be accused of "putting the clock back", "cutting oneself off from the international mainstream", etc. But there is no doubt that if our S and T community (particularly its leadership) shows the vision, confidence and patriotism, we would within, a few years' time be producing a substantial number of S and T journals that the world would be compelled to take note of. After all, the fact that countries like France, USSR or China publish their journals in their own languages (and not in English) does not stop their significant scientific achievements from being known the world over. We have less to fear on this count as we are already doing all. our scientific work in English. Whatever may be the price that we may have to pay in the interim period, there is no getting away from the fact that without such bold and determined measures, there is no way in which the condition of our S and T journals can be improved significantly.


Having stated the, above in such detail, it should be immediately admitted that none of these are particularly new revelations! In fact the case for having our own journals and our scientists publishing in them can perhaps not be better espoused than in the words of C.V.Raman himself. While founding the first of our modern scientific Academies, viz, the Indian . Academy of Sciences, Raman wrote in the "Current Science" of May 1933:
"It is true that individual scientific workers in India have by their indefatigable industry achieved great distinction for themselves; but the prestige of both official and non-official -research 1s still slow in attaining that status of international importance reached by most European countries.

Having stated the, above in such detail, it should be immediately admitted that none of these are particularly new revelations! In fact the case for having our own journals and our scientists publishing in them can perhaps not be better espoused than in the words of C.V.Raman himself. While founding the first of our modern scientific Academies, viz, the Indian . Academy of Sciences, Raman wrote in the "Current Science" of May 1933:

"It is true that individual scientific workers in India have by their indefatigable industry achieved great distinction for themselves; but the prestige of both official and non-official -research 1s still slow in attaining that status of international importance reached by most European countries. This unsatisfactory position is in our opinion partly due to the tendency of many scientific men to export -their more Important contributions for publication in foreign journals, with a "proportionate impoverishment of Indian archives T Perhaps if the resources of an all India journal such as we contemplate in connection with the Academy of Science, had been available for giving Indian scientific work suitable-international publicity-, the outflow of memoirs from the country would have been more restrained and less voluminous-Continuance of this practice will retard the process. of building up a scientific tradition for India and "keep her in a position oT semi-dependence in the world of science. While" the foundation of the scientific" reputation of a country is established by the quality of work produced in its institutions, the superstructure is reared by the national journals which proclaim their best achievement to the rest of world. Manifestly the edifice of science in India is incomplete. If scientific contributions from countries which , possess national journals are also sent abroad let it be remembered that they represent a surplus, broadcasting the embellishments of their own national organizations. It is true that the spirit of science and its service are international but is it not also true that every nation has its own academies, learned societies, magazines art journals? India will - have to organize and develop her national scientific institutions before she can enter into the comity of international scientists", (emphasis added).

That our S and T activity should be organised primarily as a national enterprise for it to be productive and creative seems to have been abundantly clear to Raman. That such an attitude did make our scientific journals achieve high standards internationally is evident from the following statement by one of our information scientists [5]:

"A generation ago, when C.V.Raman was alive and active, proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences used to be among the most quoted journals of the world: Section-A was ranked 30th and 52nd in the 1944 and 1954 lists, respectively, of the most-cited physics journals of the world. Indian journal of Physics, also founded by Raman, was 73rd and 44th in the list of most cited physics journals in 1944, 1954 respectively. Both Indian journal of Physics (36th) and Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Section-A (60th) also figured in the list of most cited chemistry journals in 1944, and in fact, were ahead of the journal of the Indian Chemical Society (77th). Incidentally, Raman had also played an important role in the growth of India's leading letters journal Current Science".

In this context it would be quite interesting to see how the scientists of an earlier era, during the period of our independence movement, saw this question. From the Biographical Memoirs of its Fellows published by INSA [14], we, have collected the following data pertaining to the publication pattern of 33 of its Foundation fellows covering differing disciplines:

No. of Scientists Indian Publications Foreign Publications Total
33 2398 (77) 716 (23) 3114 (100)

It is seen that even in those days when our journals were Ill-supported and ill-developed, these scientists published 77% of their papers in them. And it would be farfetched to conclude that these Foundation fellows of INSA were less reputed scientists than say our present day top scientists. The conclusion seems fairly obvious.

What has been said above on the issue of our S and T journals would by and -large apply equally well to all other aspects of our S -and T endeavor. The point seems to be that at least a section of our leading scientists of the days of our. Independence struggle were indeed influenced by a spirit of nationalism in all their thinking on S and T matters. The explicitly imperialist and even racist outlook of the West .in the pre-independence days, even in the field of knowledge, seems to have compelled many of even the most modernized and internationalist of our scientists to take such a position. The coming of political 'independence however seems to have deluded our S and T community into believing that the days of Western domination in this sphere also are over, and that hereafter they can deal with their Western counterparts on terms of equality, comradeship and genuine internationalism. Considerations of nationalism and patriotism soon became unfashionable and unacceptable in all thinking on S and T matters, and an all pervading mist of a naive and unreal "internationalism' seems to have settled on all our thinking. Laboring under this delusion, our S and T community soon enough found itself reduced to undertaking largely peripheral tasks, and also having to be satisfied with crumbs of recognition and patronising appreciation thrown)in now and then. Even though we have in the process built up a huge edifice of modern S and T here, it seems that much of what we have created over these year appear rather unimpressive and peripheral not only to the rest of the world but even to ourselves. Apart from the question of how the world at large as well as our own elite perceive it, it is also quite doubtful whether all this is having any substantially positive impact on the lives of our ordinary people; our S and T community as such seems quite unable to relate itself and its concerns to our society at large in an organic manner. Even though a realization perhaps exists that something serious has indeed gone wrong somewhere, there is great confusion as to how things can be set right at least now.

With, the experience that has been gained by us over the last forty years, we should now be in a position to take stock and make a fresh beginning on the S and T front. The fact that in spite of all our efforts our S and T community has been assigned a largely peripheral role in the enterprise of modern S and T activity, should make us undertake a serious evaluation of the institution of modern S and T as such, as well as its position in the contemporary world order. We have to acquire a critical understanding of our own regarding the problems and possibilities associated with the institution of modern S and T. We should also acquire a clearer assessment of our resources and capabilities in this regard as well as our present and future needs. Once such an understanding exists, it is possible that even our relatively fragile and unimpressive edifice of modern S and T could be turned into a source of strength, utility and satisfaction for us. An essential and minimum precondition for this would be that the centre of all our S and T activities and concerns would have to be rooted within our country. This requires primarily that our S and T community has to acquire an Indian identity; whatever links it wishes to have with the "international S and T community cannot be at the expense of such a national identity. Far from weakening it, it 1s certain that such an identity alone can give it the strength and confidence to deal effectively and profitably with the so called international S and T community. This is also the only way our S and T community as a whole can hope to acquire greater esteem and impact internationally. Such an identity would, also help 1t to relate better to our own society by bringing about a greater overlap between the concerns and the idioms of both. Given the .background of the heritage in Science and Technology that we have inherited, as well as the talents, resources and concerns of the newer generation of our scientists and technologists, we should be able to bring about such a healthy transformation in a relatively short time period.


1. Status Report on Science and Technology 1n India, C.S.I.R., New Delhi, 1986.

2. Mapping Science 1n the Third World (Part-1 and 2) by E. Garfield, Current Contents (33) 5-15, 15 Aug. 1983 and Current Contents (34), 5-16, 22 Aug. 1983.

3. Citation Counts; as Indicators of the Science and Technology Capacity of Third World nations by S.Arunachalam, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 26-31 May, 1985, Los Angeles.

4. Science in the middle-level countries: a bibHometric analysis of scientific, journals of Australia, Canada, India and Israel1 by S.Arunachalam and Sucharit Markanday, Journal of Information Science 3 (1981) 13-26.

5. Scientific journals in India - their relevance to international 'science by S.Arunachalam Science today, pp.45-50, March 1979.

6. Why is Indian Science Mediocre, by S.Arunachalam, Science Today, I pp.8-9, Feb.1979, and Information: the neglected dimension of Science 1n India by S.Arunachaia'm, Science Today, pp.11-15, * Dec.1979.

7. Analysis of Choice of Journal; for Publication by Indian P Physicists by K.S. Rangarajan and B.M.Gupta, Journal of Library and Information Science, Vol.4, No.2, pp.144-161, Dec. 1979.

8. Some Publication Patterns In Indian and Japanese Science: A. Bibliometric comparison by F.M.Lancaster, Rashmi Mehrotra and Kiyoshi Otsu, ''Int. Forum Inf. and Doc. Vol.9, No.4, pp.11-16, Oct.1984

9. Scientific and Technological Journals in the Developing Countries by B.M.Gupta and S.S.Nathan, I.L.A..Bulletin, Vol.XV, No.1-2, Jan-June 1979.

10; See editorials by E.Garfield in Current Contents: No.37, Sep.13, 1976; No.15/ April 11, 1977; No.22, May 29, 1978; No.52, Decl26, 1973.

11. Journal of Citation Studies .26, Latin American Journals by E.Garfield, Current Contents, 37, Sep. 13, 1976.

12. The Distribution of World Science by O.D.Frame, F.Narin and M.P.Carpenter; Social Studies of Science, Vol.7, pp.501-516, 1977.

13. Profiles in Scientific Research, Contribution of the Fellows: Vol.1 and II, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, 1986.

14. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Indian National Science Academy, Vols.1-11, INSA, New Delhi.

Author:C.N. Krishnan & B.Visvanathan


* The impact factor of an article is the number of times that article is cited by other articles in a specified time period. The impact factor of a journal is the average value of the impact factor of all the articles in that journal. The immediacy index of an article is the number of times that article is cited in the same year of its publication. The percentage citedness of a journal is the ratio of the articles in that journal that are cited to the total number of articles, expressed as a percentage.

* All the data and analysis cited here are with the exclusion of China

** That this so called international science is completely dominated and controlled by a few countries is quite well known and well documented, See, for example, Frame, Narin and Carpenter [12].

* A recent study has shown that about 90% of all references cited 1n Indian -journals are to, articles in foreign journals [3].

* It is also seen from [2] that while 19 journals from the developed world published more than 50 articles each from the third world, 17 of them had an impact lower than the impact of the third world articles published in them .That is, contributions from the third world went into boosting the impact of these advanced country journals.

* Here again, it is pointless to expect that meaningful suggestions in this direction would be given by others. In this connection it is worth noting that one of the suggestions given in Ref.(2) for improving the impact of third world science is that they include a scientist from the advanced countries in all their research teams! Other suggestions are equally 'helpful' - Latin Americans should publish their journals(from New York or Philadephia; the French and the Russians should stop publishing in their respective languages and switch over to English, etc' [10],

* The general practice seems to be that any result or discovery is first communicated to a foreign journal, and if at all a paper on this is contributed to an Indian journal, it is normally of a type that elaborates on the results already communicated. This also means that whenever a reference is made to this result or discovery it is made' "to the foreign journal and not to the corresponding article in the Indian journal. This could also explain partly as to why 90% of citations in Indian Journals are to foreign journals [3].

* It is generally believed that many of our scientists are not too fair and (unbiased when! it comes to assessing the work of one another - it 1s often believed that refereeing is much fairer and objective when done by a foreign scientist.

** This data is as on Dec.1985. We are grateful to the Indian Academy "of Sciences, Bangalore, for making this data available to us.

* INSA was founded in 1935 by 125 scientists who are referred to as the Foundation Fellows of INSA.

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