عنوان مقاله [English]
What is quasi-research? Are they basically called quasi-research? How do they function as missing phases of research? And in reality, is there a relationship between the amount of quasi-research in one country and its underdevelopment?
The above mentioned questions were just some parts of the issues I shared in 2014 and 2015 Research Week notes in Iran online News Agency. I used the term “quasi-research” for the first time to point to those poorly written articles composed by some writers over a limited period of time under high educational pressure. Hence, I emphasized that the quasi-research which just appears to be research work shouldn’t be counted on, because due to lack of essential qualitative characteristics and features, they are not able to influence the science and knowledge cycle. Plus, they lack the ability to take steps toward tackling societal difficulties and developing science and technology. In those two notes, it was aimed to share the view that many of the research that is referred to as "research"; they are not research in fact. Instead they are "pseudo research" studies, because they have neither high penetration nor good quality. It has been also mentioned that “quasi-research” or “poor-research” could never be the basis for a country’s scientific development. I also emphasized that there is a relationship between the number of “quasi-research” or “poor research” and the extent of country’s development. In fact, the authors of this research mostly found among faculty, students, or candidates for entry into graduate studies, are seeking for a way to publish their works in a limited period of time. Besides, they are under the extreme pressure of job and educational requirements and the codes and guidelines of the higher education system that pushes them to accept the risk of publishing articles in poor quality journals. Some of these authors become aware of their invalid articles after publishing them and others never become aware of this fact.
Undoubtedly, it has always been possible for any active and avid-minded in higher education and scientific development to identify and introduce a set of factors that are served as the basis for producing, promoting and disseminating pseudo-research. But what seems most essential is to mention a number of points that should be taken into account in macro-planning and policy-making. These factors free the country’s scientific and academic system from quasi-research and its harms. By doing so, the number of high quality and influential research will be increased as well.
In fact, what is most momentous now is to find out what really causes some authors to publish and disseminate these poor or quasi-research findings and how scientific and educational system can be released from these kinds of damages and also how scientific development of the country can be promoted without the intervention of quasi-research. Shouldn’t the rules governing the publication of an article be mandatory within a specified period of time, as well as the requirements for the management, control and validation of such articles? Shouldn't the scientists who are expert in measuring and evaluating the quality of scientific products be more used to control this growing quasi-research process and try to improve it? The fact is, there isn’t any tendency toward paper publication with any cost and quality even in the codes and guidelines of the country’s higher educational system. And surprisingly, due to the time constraint in publishing the article, these guidelines aggravate the process of quasi-research. So, what is the problem? In addition, why is not quasi-research probably managed and controlled in some universities? In such universities, the articles are easily passing the universities ‘accreditation filter and ultimately get accepted. And in contrast, this validation and controlling process is being done very well in some other universities. What is the rationale behind the issue?
The answer is crystal clear. Identifying and separating quasi-studies from genuine and high-quality research requires the absolute knowledge and expertise in the field. That which research has which levels of quality and how to distinguish pure research and quasi-research requires expertise that is available to scientometrics graduates. Fortunately the graduates who have been educated and trained in this field have such an opportunity in Iran. No one can deny this fact that these graduates are national treasure of higher education and they would rather be exploited optimally. Therefore, the important question is whether the higher education system, which introduces the publication of faculty members' job requirements or the student and candidate requirements for entry into postgraduate courses, has yet found a way to manage and control for the potential harm of these requirements. How successful has it really been in this field so far? Has the country's higher education system ever scrutinized the answer to this important question that why the number of quasi-research in the universities that powerfully use scientific experts to manage and validate research is less than the number of pseudo-research in universities that do not benefit from these specialists and graduates? It takes for granted that, the serious determination to deal with the damages of quasi-research calls for the higher education system to ponder and answer such questions.
Abdolreza Noroozi Chakoli, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief of Scientometrics Research Journal
Scientific Bi-Quarterly of Shahed University