Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine

: 2014  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 218-

Should publications be the only means of assessment? Some alternatives!

Sundar Gnanavel 
 Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sundar Gnanavel
Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029

How to cite this article:
Gnanavel S. Should publications be the only means of assessment? Some alternatives!.Indian J Psychol Med 2014;36:218-218

How to cite this URL:
Gnanavel S. Should publications be the only means of assessment? Some alternatives!. Indian J Psychol Med [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Dec 16 ];36:218-218
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It is with great interest that I read the letter to the editor titled "should publications be the only means for assessment?" [1] The letter seemed to voice the general sentiments among the members of the multitasking clinician-academician researcher community like us. Infact, the title of the letter would be the main culprit behind a number of issues plaguing the research world like the rise in plagiarism, unethical research reporting practices, authorship controversies and burn out of researchers. Infact, the issue of burn out in researchers has been aptly termed "publish and perish" in place of the usual adage of "publish or perish" by an author. [2] The solution lies in a comprehensive assessment in terms of assessment of teaching abilities (teaching awards, peer evaluation, learner evaluation etc.); clinical skills and patient care abilities (objective patient feedback, prescription auditing, peer evaluation etc.) mentoring ability (student feedback) assessment of administrative abilities (involvement in institutional committees, organizing workshops etc.) personal qualities (ethical standards, leadership quality, community work etc.) and research acumen (publications and projects). [3] Assessment in all these domains, though cumbersome, is essential for accurate judgment for recruitment or promotion purposes. Efforts should be taken by regulatory or guiding authorities to objectify such a multipronged rating system that should eventually replace the undue emphasis of the number of publications. It would also be a partial solution to many of the controversies surrounding bio-medical research today.


1Patra BN, Sarkar S. Should publication be the only means of assessment? Indian J Psychol Med 2013;35:107-8.
2Tanner A. Publish and Perish. Alfred James Lotka and emotional strain in science. NTM 2013;21:143-70.
3Beasley BW, Wright SM, Cofrancesco J Jr, Babbott SF, Thomas PA, Bass EB. Promotion criteria for clinician-educators in the United States and Canada. A survey of promotion committee chairpersons. JAMA 1997;278:723-8.