In cooperation with the Scientific Research Committee, KIC Mass Communication department organized a workshop that covered the realities of scientific research published in the Arabic language.
KIC Assistant Professors, Mass Communication Department, Dr. Mohammed Rashad and Dr. Basma Fouda, kicked-off the workshop by highlighting the overarching importance of academic research in innovation, breakthroughs, and pushing established the established frontiers of success. They invited expert guest speakers, Prof. Mahmoud Abdel-Aty, Director of Center for International Relation, Sohag University, and Director of the Arab Impact Factor Project – Association of Arab Universities, in addition to Mr. Wael Mansour, customer consultant for the research management products, Elsevier, to contribute to the subject.
The guest speakers highlighted that the prominence of Arabic research papers is affected by several factors. The most important one is governed by a bibliographic database that contains abstracts and citations for academic journal articles, such as Scopus and Clarivate. They, highlighted that both platforms rely either on the journal impact factor and h index, which measure journal prestige and the researcher impact respectively, thus affecting the research visibility. To address the algorithm, best practices on structuring a research paper, choosing the publishing journal, and associated selection criteria were presented.
The guest speakers also elaborated on the state of Middle East research publication. Although there is a significant gap between Middle East scholarly output as compared to publications from either USA, China, or EU, according to Scopus data, Middle Eastern output has been cited more than expected and has been trending among scholars, with Field Weighted Citation Impact reaching 1.1 in 2019 as opposed to being 0.7 in 2011.
It is then evident that research from the Arab world is influencing the research circles. The lack of prominence in academic journals, as raised it was raised in the workshop, is due to the historical developments of the industry. Most of the Arab research is based on hard copies rather than the electronic versions, which are uncategorized and hence are not visible to the research community. It’s only since 2018, more online indexing has been done for Arab research papers.
The workshop attendees noted that colleges and universities can contribute to Arab academic journals by implementing a long term related business plan which traverses organizations’ challenges and changes, to ensure continuity and sustainability.
The workshop has attracted over 40 academics and faculty members.