Game of Academic Publication: A Memo for Indonesian Lecturers

“Publish or perish” is a famous jargon in academia world, and yet, it is not well-known among Indonesian lecturers. Questions such “Why should we publish?”, “Why Scopus?” or “What is impact factor?” are common questions asked by Indonesian lecturers in facing a recent research regulation imposed by Indonesian higher education ministry.

Interestingly, the recent incentive scheme from the ministry, which will give Rp50 Million to Rp 100million per publication, attracts many attentions of Indonesian lecturers. The criterion is pretty easy: has impact factor than 0.1 and cited more than 3 times (for the Rp50million). Surprisingly, this criterion creates noise on social media among Indonesia lecturers. It goes to one conclusion which is many of Indonesian lecturers are still illiterate about the game of publication, and perhaps, the minister may also mislead this game of publication.

The main question in this game of publication is “why should we publish?” Idealistically, the findings of research are to improve the society. If there is no research about polio vaccine or green energy, what the world would be. Yet, this ideal situation has changed into a strange new direction. It forces academia to publish and publish for the sake of quantity. Look at the new regulation, such as professors have to have two publications, or doctorate candidate has to have one publication, or even undergraduate has to publish nowadays. Why? It is simply because of the university ranking game.

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