Here’s another contentious story of an Indian research group feeling left out in the ‘paper run’. A group of researchers from IIT, Madras Chennai has claimed that they lost precious time while trying to get their paper published — it was rejected a couple of times by prestigious publications before another one accepted it. In the meantime, another group of ‘first world scientists’ got a similar paper published by the very same publishers who had rejected the IIT group.
Now, we have heard such stories many times. We have also heard voices of protest and angst that follow such controversies.
While it would be improper to comment on the journal’s decision to reject the paper without weighing the merit of the original draft that was sent for publication, the feeling of ‘third world alienation’ in paper publication has been a seething topic in many developing countries. Researchers have reported similar ‘abandonment’ issues time and again.
I am curious to know if there are more stories like these in our labs. Is it really true that third world scientists do not get as much importance in the peer-review process as their first world cousins? Is there a method to address these issues impartially — a body of peers that investigates into the genuineness of these cries?