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CHED recognizes BU R&D Journal

The Bicol University R&D Journal has been recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through its Journal Incentive Program (JIP).

CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 50 series of 2017, released on May 18, listed the JIP-recognized journals for 2017-2019. BU was named under the Journal Incubation category, which is meant for journals that show promise in being indexed by Scopus and Web of Science (WoS)—the top bibliographic journal databases containing abstracts and citations from reputable academic periodicals.

Others that were listed under the said category are journals published by Philippine Normal University, Lyceum of the Philippines University – Batangas, Negros Oriental State University, University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, University of the Philippines – Diliman, and Our Lady of Fatima University. The journal of the Philippine Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery was also recognized.

Journal Incubation awardees shall be given ₱400,000 every year for three years; technical support for online article submission, refereeing and manuscript tracking, and endorsement for library subscription; and automatic nomination to the Journal of the Year award in the annual CHED Research and Publication Awards.

However, to maintain the JIP recognition, the journals must provide proof of application and acceptance to Scopus and WoS; develop a journal webpage for online access; implement a short submission-to-publication time; increase article citation; supply proof of journal influence and publication engagement; and attract foreign editors, referees, and authors.

In a letter to BU R&D Journal editor-in-chief Dr. Victor S. Soliman—who is also the university’s vice president for research, development, and extension—CHED Research Management Division Chief Dr. Custer C. Deocaris advised the journal’s editorial team to first seek acceptance to the ASEAN Citation Index (ACI). The ACI is an ASEAN-wide project that seeks to raise global awareness on the quality of the member-states’ scholarly journals. Deocaris said that inclusion in the ACI may facilitate easier entry to Scopus and WoS.

The other JIP category is called Journal Challenge, which is meant for journals that are already indexed in Scopus and WoS. The recognition will allow these publications to seek support from CHED to increase their citations, promote social media presence, and provide avenues for public engagement.

Listed under the Journal Challenge category are journals from De La Salle University, Ateneo de Manila University, and the University of the Philippines. Also recognized were the journals of the Philippine National Philosophical Research Society and the Association of Philippine Taxonomists, Inc.

These awardees shall be given half a million pesos every year for three years; technical support for online article submission, refereeing and manuscript tracking, and endorsement for library subscription; and automatic nomination to the Journal of the Year award in the annual CHED Research and Publication Awards.

Their responsibilities are to improve their impact factors in three years; implement a short submission-to-publication time; ensure greater journal influence and public engagement; increase the number of foreign editors, referees, and authors; and improve the quality of their journal webpages that provide online access to articles.

According to Prof. Ronnel R. Dioneda, the research director when BU applied for the award, “Aside from the monetary assistance that the BU R&D Journal will get, the recognition will help the university in the SUCs leveling.”

Dioneda also said that the recognition will encourage faculty members to “upscale” the quality of their research undertakings, which can lead to more publications, patents, citations, and awards.

The editorial board of the BU R&D Journal encourages candidates for full professor to submit their research manuscripts for review. Published papers will be recognized by the Philippine Association of State Colleges and Universities under the National Budget Circular No. 461 guidelines that require at least one scholarly publication where the candidate is the first author.

The accreditation of academic programs in the various colleges and units of BU will be boosted because the university now has a CHED-recognized journal.

The criteria of the journal evaluation were quality of content, 35 percent; basic publication standards, 30 percent; qualifications and diversity of the editorial board members, 25 percent; history of public engagement and influence, 10 percent; and peer reviewers and external referees, 5 percent.

“The JIP recognition is a collective effort, particularly by the earlier editorial board, and those of us who came recently in the board. This laurel is more an opportunity for higher achievement rather than an assurance of benefits. There is a lot that needs to be improved and this means we must work hard and smart. With the sustained support by the university administration, we desire to achieve a Scopus or WoS indexing within the next three years. To my colleagues in the board, let us face this challenge head on with multiple options and openness for change,” said Vice President Soliman.

CHED implemented the JIP to promote and enhance research productivity in the Philippines. CMO No. 53 series of 2016, which details the guidelines of the program, noted that only 28 out of 777 scholarly journals in the country are indexed in Scopus and WoS. Worse, 19 of the 28 have zero impact factor while the rest have impact factors below 1.

Thus, CHED came up with the JIP, “a strategic funding portfolio to enable editors of Philippine scholarly journals to design and implement ethical measures to improve the international standing of local scholarly journals and to enable research outputs from HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) to be more accessible to both local and international academic communities.”

The JIP supersedes CHED’s Journal Accreditation Service (JAS) created by CMO No. 5 series of 2012. The JAS recognized “publications of high quality, credibility, and integrity” using a national standard of peer reviewing and refereeing.

“Whereas the CHED implemented a national standard for journals in JAS, the JIP is more ambitious because it zeroes in on international standards,” Prof. Gremil Alessandro Alcazar Naz, an editorial staff member of the BU R&D Journal said. (GAA Naz)

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