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Perceived barriers to research publishing in Saudi Arabia and the potential for electronic publishing

Alzahrani, JAH 2011, Perceived barriers to research publishing in Saudi Arabia and the potential for electronic publishing , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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    Abstract

    This study focuses on the academic publication processes in Saudi Arabia, the barriers that affect researchers' ability to carry out and publish research and the potential advantages and disadvantages offered by the Internet in the area of academic publishing. It addresses the readiness of researchers to adopt innovative approaches to publication including those based on electronic media. There are potential problems faced by researchers wishing to publish; these include length of time required to publish, low publication numbers, referees' demands and conditions, mailing difficulties, lack of communication between researchers and journals, delays in researchers' addressing the reviewers' amendments, the weaknesses of financial support, the cost of using and publishing articles, weaknesses in the distribution of academic journals, their limited international spread because of the use of the Arabic language more than other languages, delays in the printing of research because of the low capability of Universities' printing houses, (resulting from a lack of human and machinery resources), and finally the limited numbers of academic journals written in Arabic. In the view of the author, given that publication of papers and distribution of knowledge through the Internet is faster, more efficient and more effective than the traditional approach; many of the current procedures could be improved through the use of this medium. The data collection and analysis presented in this study addresses the extent to which such benefit could be realised in practice. This research reviews the limitations of research publishing in Saudi Arabia by focusing on the nature of academic journals, in terms of their numbers and purpose, the barriers that academic staff faced when they wished to publish their research work in local or international academic journals, and the attitudes of academics towards electronic publishing and publishing in general. The research comprises interviews, case studies, and questionnaire methods. The most prominent findings from this study are the lack of encouragement for academic staff to conduct and publish research, lack of financial support to the research publishing sector, lack of a research publishing infrastructure and a lack of private sector support for funding research and publishing. An interesting finding is that unlike many other countries, there is no culture of volunteering for work that does not provide direct financial benefit. This could be an important factor affecting the adoption of an online open publishing approach in which reviewers and editors are not paid directly for the work. This research leads to recommendations aimed at giving more focus to academic staff, the application of some regulations and incentives to encourage increased academic research and publishing, increasing the financial support to the research publishing sector, to automate the research publishing process, discarding some unnecessary elements of the process, encouraging and rewarding voluntary work in supporting research publishing, and encouraging the private sector to improve and support academic research in general and research publishing specifically. In conclusion, this study focuses on the academic publication process; the potential advantages and disadvantages offered by the Internet, and the attitudes of scholars towards electronic publishing. This research ultimately aims at proposing and implementing suitable processes and policies to solve these problems and to identifying means of overcoming the research publishing barriers in Saudi Arabia.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Contributors: Alyoubi, A(Supervisor) and Alghamdi, J
    Additional Information:
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
    Depositing User: Institutional Repository
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 14:34
    Last Modified: 18 Feb 2014 11:34
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/26548

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