Measuring Research Output and Impact of E-Resources through the Consortium on
Core Member Institutions
Access to print as well as electronic
resources are know to make qualitative difference to research, learning,
staff development, scholarly and R & D activities of an institute. In
quantitative terms, the research output of an institution can be measured in
terms of number of research articles, citations received by them, patents,
research grants, consultancies, research reports, honours and awards, number
of research students, placement of students, etc. The number of publications
and citations received by them can be used most effectively to measure
research output of an institution, which, in turn, reflects impact of
resources available to an institution. The Science Citation Index (SCI) is
an internationally recognized database that works as a filtering mechanism
as it indexes qualitative research output based on citations received by
them. The SCI, therefore, can also be searched to find-out qualitative
productivity on institutions.
The Science Citation Index was searched to find qualitative research productivity of 37 institutions that are benefiting from the INDEST-AICTE Consortium. The source articles appeared in Science Citation Index (SCI) for core members of the Consortium was searched in blocks of four years from 1975 to 2006 with an aim to compare the research output in the last block year, i.e. 2003 – 2006, when all institutions have access to e-resources through the Consortium, with previous block years when these institutions did not have the benefit of e-resources through the Consortium. A un-precedental increase in research productivity in terms of number of research articles is evident during 2003-2006 as shown in Appendix-XII as compare to previous seven block of four years, i.e. 1975-1978 to 1999-2002.
The increase in cumulative research output of all the 37 centrally-funded institutions from 1975 to 2006 shows increase in number of publications that varies from -1.90% to the maximum of 51.54% registered in the block years 1999-2002 to 2003-2006 as shown in the Fig. 1 given below. This is the period when institutions were getting the benefit of access to e-resources through the INDEST-AICTE Consortium.
Similar increase in research output is also observed for IITs and IISc that varies from -1.5% to maximum of 51.63% registered in the block years 1999-2002 to 2003-2006 as shown in Fig. 2.
These trends are also evident in case of NITs, IIITs and other institutions. The Fig. 3 for NITs and other institutions shows an increase in research output varying from -29.11% to the maximum of 77.82% registered in the block years when these institutions were getting the benefit of e-resources through the INDEST-AICTE Consortium.
The figures derived from an internationally recognized source of information, i.e. Science Citation Index clearly indicates impact of availability of information resources to research output of centrally funded research institutions. However, the number of publications in SCI cannot be considered as sole criteria for measuring productivity of institutions. Other criteria that may also be considered include: patents, research projects, research reports, honours and awards, etc. The Consortium may develop other indicators to measure scientific productivity of members of the Consortium over a period of time.
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