Column / On Publishing Well – July 2019

Column: On Publishing Well
by Ashok R. Chandran


The big news in Indian academic publishing in the past four weeks has been the launch of CARE list of quality journals.

According to the 14 June UGC notification, ‘With immediate effect, research publications only from journals indexed in UGC-CARE List should be used for all academic purposes.’ Thus, UGC-CARE is the new guide to journals for scholars in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities. It replaces the UGC-Approved Journals List.

What is CARE? Consortium for Academic and Research Ethics (CARE) is a consortium of Indian universities tasked by UGC to ensure quality academic research in India. As part of its activities, a Cell for Journals Analysis has been set up at the Centre for Publication Ethics (in Savitribhai Phule Pune University, Pune). It publishes the CARE list, which will be updated quarterly (in March, June, September, and December).

Why did we move to UGC-CARE? Read a brief history by an insider, on why and how India has adopted a white-list strategy to counter predatory journals.


Social Science Writing in Malayalam

I started this monthly column because there was no space online (or offline) that regularly discussed academic publishing on Kerala. Hence, I envisaged this column to share not just my opinion but also the experiences of others.

J. Devika (faculty at Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram) recently published an article in Cafe Dissensus magazine on why and how she wrote her book Kulasthreeyum Chanthappennum Undaayathengane.

In the article, Devika identifies the potential as well as problems in communicating to a non-specialist audience.

She also lists the weaknesses in ‘the prevalent style of social science translation’ in Malayalam. ‘[W]riting in this ‘‘genre’’ often borders on, or actually is, plagiarism,’ she says.

Devika’s article is a must-read for Malayali scholars (old and young alike) interested in taking scholarly ideas to the wider public.

I wish it had been written more accessibly, though; in plain language, with shorter sentences, her analysis and argument would have reached hundreds more.

Poster Design

A doctoral student in Psychology in the United States has come up with a good design for research posters.

In a video, he initially describes the problems with traditional posters and then (from the 12th minute) unveils an alternative design. He also discusses aspects of writing.

Mike Morrison’s analysis of poster sessions at academic conferences is spot on. And the design he proposes is excellent. Watch the video — and rework your posters and slides.

Add your comment at the Kerala Scholars Messenger website.

Ashok R. Chandran is a book editor and writing trainer. He serves as Publication Officer, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai. Views expressed are personal.

CC BY 4.0 Ashok R. Chandran, 2019.

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