The Administrative Dept. of Science, Technology and Innovation (Colciencias) make a summons call to identify the university imprints that could be recognized as “renowned publishers” for the publication of research results. The UPN participated and now is evaluating its experience intending to improve its performance in this important task.
Under this National Call 639, Colciencias seeks to recognize those publishers “that ensure the scientific and editorial quality of the research books they will publish with the proposal of give a properly worth to the books as a product of a new knowledge so that these are valued as a result of new knowledge in the measurement of research groups, technological development and innovation, and in the acknowledgement of researchers from the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation. “1
Prior to this rulemaking, the validation of research books took into account existence criteria and quality criteria, as well as institutional certifications of the books published by members of the research groups. In 2008 a research book was defined as one that was published by a recognized publisher and was presented as a result of research group. According to this definition, it was necessary for Colciencias to define the criteria on the meaning of “recognized editorial.”
However, this change in policy has generated much debate in universities and academic publishing. On this important issue, Grupo de Comunicaciones Corporativas (GCC) consulted Professor Victor Espinosa, Editorial Coordinator of Fondo Editorial at Universidad Pedagógica Nacional; and Professor Diana Parga, TED Journal chief editor.
Professor Espinosa believes that the call for the recognition to the publishers of national universities “answers to the new measurement model of the groups of Colciencias, and to the need of institutions to ensure the quality of publishing content regarding research results.”
In the old model, groups recorded progress in research and production of new knowledge, both in books and in book chapters, and Colciencias deployed an arbitration, review and evaluation system of these published results that each group delivered to Colciencias for evaluation. Now, higher education institutions must ensure and create mechanisms that allow to the institution itself / to validate these results from the criteria and guidelines established by Colciencias.
Meanwhile, professor Parga argues that UPN “must consolidate its editorial policy, and on that should work the committee responsible for selecting assessors in charge of evaluating the published contents through colleagues belonging to Colciencias.” These equals calls for the evaluation of the editorial quality, for publishing books not exceeding five years, for meeting the requirements of bibliographic and publisher normativity, and for having the data of all the authors. Today, through Resolution 1395 of December 2013, the UPN has the committee of intellectual property and publications.
Publishing by UPN at Colciencias
In 2013, the University answered to the National Call 639; after failing to reach the required standards, the Editorial Fund is in the task of reviewing and compares its structure according to the criteria defined by the evaluating institution. Regarding the inner workings, Espinosa explains, “is to look at what we have, what we need and how we can correct it, and to establish so certain guidelines in order to be better the next time.”
Regarding the impact of measurement by Colciencias in academic journals in general, and for the UPN, the professors Parga and Espinosa agree that this measurement should not have a negative effect; “One thing is to measure the prestige of the publisher and another to measure the quality of what is published in academic rigor and by editorial judgment,” said Parga.
But the editorial production of the UPN is not confined to books. Among academic publications the Publishing Fund manages the magazines, which in addition to being highly respected in the academic sector, are edited thoughtfully and carefully. Thus, the journals of the University have the common characteristic of being very well positioned in Publindex. However, Espinosa explains, “we still have books to work on, the books produced by research, the chapters of the book produced by research, and the books produced by the production of new knowledge.”
The latest call resulted in the recognition of three university imprints: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad Simón Bolívar and Universidad Remington. For Professor Espinosa is unfortunate (//event//-no) that even the quality of the editorial production of the Universidad de Antioquia has been questioned which has great experience in the production of books. Today the UPN “is creating the circumstances, identifying opportunities and weaknesses that could have in a next call of Colciencias, as well arranging a discussion regarding the relevance the Fondo Editorial should have in university life,” concluded Espinosa.