Challenges Facing Scientific Research in Jordan

07-08-2018 05:11 PM

AMMONNEWS - By Dr. Abdel Rahman Altakhaineh - It is well-known that scientific research is crucial in the development and productivity growth of any nation. It allows individuals to deepen their knowledge and broaden their horizons. It is also a source of technological and social innovations. Scientific research raises the level of thought, improves critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and allows the exploration of unknown or less-researched areas of our universe. While this may seem quite straightforward, significant challenges have been encountered when conducting research in developing countries in general, and in Jordan, in particular. Although major public and private universities in Jordan continuously emphasize the importance of scientific research in enhancing the quality of education and in increasing university rankings worldwide, lack of investment in research is still regarded as one of the main challenges of encouraging research in Jordan. The GeneralDirector of the Scientific Research Support Fund, Dr. Abdullah Zu’bie, indicated that Jordan needs a real investment in higher education and scientific research in order to build technological and research fields through recruiting a well-educated workforce.

The second most important challenge is the lack of professional and mandatory training on contemporary research methodologies, research ethics, and research misconduct at Jordanian universities. Lack of awareness of the above areas produces outdated and unreliable research studies that sabotage the reputation of universities and negatively impacts on the quality of education. The third challenge is the lack of awareness of good peer-refereed journals which are indexed in international databases, such as Web of Science and Scopus, especially those with a high impact factor. This lack of awareness is further affected by university qualification requirements for promotion, which do not require the publication in such journals. Many researchers in Jordan are promoted by publishing research studies in: (1) journals that are only indexed in Google Scholar, (2) journals that require high publication fees, (3) journals that have a low impact factor, and finally (4) journals that have a very low rejection rate and those that do not follow rigorous reviewing procedures.

Finally, in order to truly improve the quality of scientific research in Jordan, universities need to allocate financial resources for research development, to hold mandatory workshops on producing up-to-date research studies that abide by research ethics and on publishing research in reputable journals, and to change promotion requirements at Jordanian Universities so that publishing a paper in Web of Science and/or Scopus-indexed journals becomes mandatory.

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