A debate has raged for a while in Indonesia over the compulsory research publishing for all students in the university as a requirement for graduation by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry’s request arose due to concerns that the number of research papers produced by institutions of higher education in the country has greatly declined. This decision has ignited debate among researchers and scholars as to whether the request is justified or it should be undertaken as a new regulation. Should the policy be adopted by this state or further feasibility study conducted?
To understand and finally make an appropriate conclusion, we must be able to know the rationale for the policy. Some researchers argue that in order to cope up with globalization, a country needs elites, who can write scientifically. The culture of writing should therefore be given the first priority, which can only be made at the university. Therefore, graduates ought to familiar themselves with this basic skills of writing before graduating for a nation to be modernized. On the other hand, some researchers say that we should not only improve the culture of writing but also we need to aim at increasing the number of published research papers in our databases. They based their idea on the fact that most universities in the country do not give students a chance to write research papers as compared to other countries.
Unfortunately, most organizations rush into a policy before critical examination. That is to say, they are not adequately prepared enough to implement a particular scheme. For instance, it is seen as a good idea that research and writing skills of graduates can be improved through this policy, but it is also viewed to be difficult to implement following some hiccups. Moreover, the government mostly fails to fund the research work done by graduates, a factor that derails the process of research and hinders others from getting involved in research due to high costs incurred. Nevertheless, I strongly urge that this controversy should not deter researchers from doing their work because we need many materials today for learning and for decision making.
Research activities are normally expensive to carry out and hence most institutions may shy away from it. This may disadvantage a student at that particular university. The graduate will therefore become less competitive in the job market in a country where the government issued the research policy, while the university failed to comply with it. In addition, if this policy is implemented at undergraduate level, it may tend to be very unrealistic because today we have numerous people graduating at this level. Consequently, there will be a large volume of research work done, which may be difficult to store in the limited journals. Therefore, the writing of research should only be addressed to the postgraduate students in order to obtain journals of high quality in the country (David, et al, 2012).
Moreover, when this new regulation is implemented it is the students that may end up suffering. When the undergraduates are directed to publish full papers, which are very expensive in most cases, most universities will be affected because of the high expenses attached to this policy. Therefore, the guideline required should aim at minimizing costs for the benefit of the student such as an online abstract in the case above.
When the policy is implemented, many research papers will be written by the graduates. However, only the best papers are published while the rest are ignored. This is because not all students are good at writing even at the doctoral level. As a result, time and resources shall have been wasted while trying to use this new regulation in the university.
It is also worth noting that some organizations advocate for research paper writing as a condition for graduation only to have a basis of detecting plagiarism. Therefore, the purpose for boosting the number or research papers in the country is no longer achieved as they shift to a different thing altogether (Guyatt et al, 2007). This controversy, if discovered by most graduates, will make them lose interest in the research work.
Despite the fact that full papers may be published, not all of them are widely read by people. Nevertheless, for doctoral students’ research papers to be published in the international journal it may take a long time thereby delaying their graduation date. Thus, signifying that if the policy is allowed the result will just be a quagmire of events taking place in the university (Reinhardt, 2007). As a result, the policy shall help neither the government, nor the graduates to achieve their objectives.
Various controversies over research on the compulsory research publishing continue to emerge as the day dawns. It is, therefore, necessary that proper analysis should be done by an individual before reaching a conclusion. In my opinion, I can generally conclude that the Indonesian Ministry’s of Education concerns are well-placed but some detrimental aspects must be done in order to make the regulation effective. For example, it should be ready to fund the research activities in the universities, and make it a policy of writing the research paper at postgraduate and doctoral level, research papers done by the doctoral students should be analyzed and published in good time. Furthermore, the objective of the policy should be clear for it to be efficient. It should aim at increasing the number of research papers or improving the writing skills of graduates to the scientific level or at tracking plagiarism.