On the topic of scientific reform (again)
Polish society certainly does not get along with everything that happens in science. It is not surprising, because we also have many other problems in the country, for example those related to the epidemic. It may not be well understood by the public, which attracts the attention of academic fields. However, it is worth recalling them from time to time, because it is extremely important. Universities and science in general are not a matter of some interest group, but of the entire nation. Let us remind you that the journal registration provided by the platform took a completely absurd shape as a result of Minister Gwen’s reform. I recently received a touching letter written by Professor. Guest of honor Malinowski – a classical philologist from the University of Wrocław – was brought to me by my colleague and historian Prof. Janusz Smołucha of the Ignatianum Academy in Krakow. The author draws attention to a publication that does not have any attributes of a scientific work, which, in my opinion, is a shocking display of vulgar atheism, which is certainly worthy of stigmatization. It unofficially offends the religious sentiments of the Catholic faithful. I must say that as a Soviet doctor I do not even remember the similar actions of the Communists! (It looks much worse). How sad, in the present procedure, that the authors of this post would receive the highest point value awarded to an article (of all possible points) for such a poor presentation. Writing a book – like my last book on Minister Joseph Beck (with Professor Marius Woes) will only give you half of that (100 points). We have been in this business for more than 20 years. To what extent this eloquently shows the absurdity of the entire system, the further operation of which is worth serious consideration. Of course, only those who have power in their hands can make a decision in this matter. One question remains: can the competition for points among scientists, who depend on the flow of funding for the research institutions in which they work, function without further changes?
Marek Kornat May 20, 2021.
An open letter about the absurdities of current “points” in Polish universities
Some time ago, the Polish scientific community heard that three authors from private universities published an article in the Journal of Religion and Health, in which they The topic of the effect of priestly prayer in the liturgy on the prolongation of the life of bishops – is meaningless from the point of view of medical and theological sciences. They use a very questionable methodology, which renders their work doubly worthless. In personal statements, after the public controversy arose, the authors declared that it was a joke, a mockery, nonsense from the start. Let’s take it seriously.
This artistic provocation dressed as “science” has undergone a review process and was published in a journal founded in 1961 by the Blanton Bell Institute, a New York-based mental health clinic. Today, the magazine belongs to the publishing holding company Springer Science + Business Media, in reference to the tradition of Springer Verlag, a publishing house founded in 1842. The ownership is part of the Springer Nature Group, which was formed in 2015 through Springer’s merger with Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education.
„The Journal of Religion and Health “has 200 points on the ministerial list (from the first edition of this list in 2019), like other respected journals from this list, such as ‘Nature’. Publishing in JoRH allows you to get many times more points than those Given to Polish journals, even those with great traditions such as, for example, “EOS”, the journal of the Polish Philosophical Society, which was internationalized at that time creation in Lviv in 1894.
With their semi-scientific performances, the three authors highlight what many of us have known and felt for so long, which we haven’t talked about yet. The coefficient points determined on the basis of closed lists of scientific journals and publications often do not translate into the true value of scholarly work and do not reflect the knowledge and efforts that researchers put into their work.
The idea that all the diversity of scientific life can be contained in closed lists of journals and publishers from all over the world is absurd. The idea that the correct ratios between the value of individual journals and publishing houses can be determined is a silly quadratic idea. And the fact that these proportions are determined is not on a scale of 5: 1, 10: 1 or 20: 1, as is customary even in sports, when you need to make the difference between championship performance and amateur performance perfectly, but the scale of 200: 1 is ridiculous for a cube.
Since their inception, these lists have been incomplete and distort the picture of scientific life in the world, suggesting that what is not in these lists does not exist. In the meantime, we will not find hundreds of thousands of journals and publications from Asian universities, nor will we find many well-known publications – even from the USA. The parameter, according to these lists, gives rise to the pathological phenomenon that the value of the work is evaluated only according to the place of publication, and therefore the best work is considered worthless if it does not have the correct origin. Even if it is put into open access online and has hundreds of citations.
Automation governs the parameter lists. Automate the exclusion or low ranking of journals from dozens of countries and works written in languages other than English. But also the mechanism for awarding frighteningly high points to magazines simply because they belong to an international publishing holding company. This mechanism resulted from the false axiom that all that is propagated abroad is good, and all that is local, Polish, but also Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Indian, Korean (because foreign countries are also divided into better and worse) are of little value. or non-existent.
The mere fact that these corporate magazines and publishers passed through the display sieve was supposed to attest to the excellence of the print works there. It was assumed that the review teams included the coryphaeus science from which we were only supposed to learn the real science. Meanwhile, the Warsaw trio’s nonsense shows that in fact there is no qualitative difference between the review process in Springer Nature Group and the review process for 0 points in the country. Moreover, we will risk the statement that such an article in the country can at most appear in a satirical magazine.
Published in the Journal of Religion and Health (200 points) for a semi-scientific work, which the authors have prepared for publication with all deliberation as a deliberate provocation, finally showing the distribution of the system of “degrees” and the lack of basis for believing that foreign countries will help us check the value of Polish science. There could be thousands of these worthless, factually and methodologically incorrect works. And it is not a problem to create it, the shame for such a work lies only with its author. The problem is that in the current system, such worthless works will be awarded points, which are several times more than other valuable texts. The problem is that Polish science will not set its standards according to the real contribution of works to the development of individual disciplines, but only according to the effectiveness of the efforts of their authors to place their own works in places where the closed lists, which were flawed and unfair from the start, points awarded, guided by a standard Utopian, that the place of publication itself is a guarantee of quality. Meanwhile, as can be seen in the described case, it is not.
The realization of this utopia will give a caricature of the Polish flag. And if this caricature becomes the basis for further actions, such as the decision to fund science, it will irreversibly divert Polish scientific life from the traditional academic quality paths, defined decades ago by such figures as Stefan Banach, Roman Ingarden, Jerzy Kurilowicz or Ludwik Hirszfeld, toward an explosion. instant removal.
That is why we would like to ask you to immediately abandon the standards of the Polish flag on the basis of closed lists of magazines and publications. While we appreciate the Department’s efforts to correct the most blatant grievances contained in these letters, we believe this is a hopeless job as it attempts to address a diseased system on purpose.
Parameters must be immediately reinvented, from the very beginning as an open algorithm, taking into account the full diversity of scientific publications, and with a preference for the quality of the works themselves, individually. A system in which only the place of publication guarantees that the work enters circulation, and not the supposed guarantee of the quality of the work.
Science is built in the countries indicated by the creators of the reform of higher education whose level we want to achieve, in Germany, Great Britain and the USA, without ugly closed lists of journals and publications, and registered in such a way as to distinguish the publishing companies from abroad. Asian countries, Japan, Korea, China, which have managed to raise the level of their higher education and research in recent decades, have known above all how to value local researchers and local institutions, and have been able to learn from good foreign models. But they did not let automatism govern the evaluation of the value of scientific work, mistakenly believing that everything that comes from abroad is fundamentally wonderful, even a rant in a affiliated journal, the publication of which is an institutional whim, perhaps even a profit. After targeting a specialized group of consumers.
The section performed by all newly promoted doctors includes the words: Studies Vistra Impigrow Labor Calturus AS Proctorus Non-Sudan Loki Coza, Nick Ad Vanam Captandam Gloriam, Syd Koo Magis Veritas Propagator E-Luxe Eos, Coa Salus Human Genius Container, Clarios Effuljet. “You will conduct your scientific research with diligent effort, not in pursuit of filthy profit or for the sake of vain glory, but to spread the truth more and its light in which the good of mankind is more radiant.” The current system of parameters and the “punctuation marks” associated with it have poisoned the scientific community. For several years, any mention of the truth stopped at the meetings of all academic bodies. They only talk about the dirty points to get by all means, because the existence of the university depends on it. Deans and deans even force doctors to break their oath and chase vainglory to publish anything, but in a highly-rated place.
We are at the last moment to deselect the parameters of the flag according to this pathological system. Before he irrevocably changed the Polish flag. In its present form, it will not add any new quality, nor will it aid researchers in their pursuit of truth, but it will irrevocably place Polish science in the hands of intelligent workers who know how to inexpensively produce semi-scientific goods and how to produce them. Sell it expensive.
Dr. Love. the professor. Witt Malinowski (University of Wroclaw)
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