Associate Professor, National Institute of Education, Singapore
The scientific journal is a great platform to disseminate findings by researchers to the scholarly community as well as build a wide ecosystem that supports such efforts. In respect of the latter, we can cite, for example, editorial boards for academics to be involved in service to the community, reviewers to further scrutinize submissions by authors, publishers to help bring the work to audiences, editing services for authors in respect of copy-editing, and creation of a tributary to contribute to the corpus of knowledge in a field. Publishing a scientific journal is thus a multi-stakeholder effort that takes time to evolve.
The practices of established scientific journals in the developed world suggest that a journal, even a new one, can be nurtured to a respectable standard if the key stakeholders are committed to realize its vision and make it work. While a number of Asian countries have established the tradition of the scientific journal, the numbers of such journals which have managed to achieve indexing in the major scientific databases are relatively few. A number of reasons can be cited for this state of affairs – for example, quite a number of journals are in the native languages of the countries, which limits access to the wider fraternity; the system for screening manuscripts is still evolving; reluctance on the part of established academics in these countries to send their best manuscripts to these journals; and issues related to quality of submissions.
While the ultimate goal of a scientific journal published in the developing world should be to get indexed in the major scientific databases, which comes with it a range of advantages, we should not overlook the point that local journals are still needed for a multiplicity of reasons - it provides access to local academics and graduate students to publish their work in these journals if it passes the test of peer scrutiny; it is a good platform to promote all aspects of matters related to manuscript publishing, and it reiterates the tradition of scientific publishing as a scholarly endeavor, which is inherently international in nature and scope.
Against the backdrop of the foregoing, it is a matter of great pride and immense satisfaction that a non-governmental organization has emerged to reiterate the role of scientific publishing in Asia as well as emphasize the pivotal role that the journal editor can play in the strategic and scholarly positioning of the scientific journal. Since the establishment of the Council of Asian Science Editors in 2014, it has been playing a key role in reaching out to stakeholders in the scholarly ecosystem in Asia through its annual conference, a journal devoted to science editing, work of various sub-committees, and other ways. It is gratifying to note that more countries in Asia are recognizing the role of the journal in the dissemination of scientific findings in various disciplines and the important role of the editor as well as a committed editorial board in this regard.
We at CASE look forward to working closely with member countries in the pursuit of our mission objectives.