Accelerating social sciences reach a fork in the road


Vietnam’s Larger Schooling Reform Agenda 2006-2020 made the promotion of analysis a vital precedence for the nation. This emphasis was underlined once more in a later grasp plan, the Science and Know-how Improvement Technique 2011-2020.

The promotion of analysis means placing analysis on the centre of college exercise. That is of specific significance given the truth that most universities in Vietnam are educating establishments having inherited the previous Soviet mannequin of upper training and analysis beneath which analysis in Vietnam has historically belonged in specialised analysis institutes and academies.

The promotion of analysis additionally means encouragement for researchers to publish in worldwide listed databases equivalent to ISI Clarivate WOS or Scopus.

What’s the establishment of analysis in Vietnam? Is there any room for additional improvement? We will get a part of the reply – inside the subject of social sciences – from studying a newly printed De Gruyter e book, The Vietnamese Social Sciences at a Fork within the Highway, co-edited by Dr Quan-Hoang Vuong and Dr Trung Tran.

Its important findings embrace the truth that:

• Regardless of the variety of publications by Vietnamese authors being modest, as proven within the ISI Clarivate WOS-Scopus databases, it has been rising slowly however steadily. In 2008, 136 Vietnamese social science students printed in 88 worldwide publications. The respective figures in 2018 are 923 and 391. The respective figures for exhausting sciences are 1,059 (in 2008) and 5,694 (in 2018), in accordance with the ISI Clarivate WOS (SCIE).

• Among the many high establishments for analysis output, Vietnam Nationwide College Hanoi leads the league tables, adopted by the Nationwide Economics College Hanoi and Hanoi Medical College. Nevertheless, the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, essentially the most outstanding research-intensive establishment within the social sciences within the nation, solely ranks sixth. The highest seven establishments contributed 29% of the printed articles in 2008-18.

• Wanting on the totally different fields, economics contributes the best variety of research: 620 articles or 22.70% of the overall. That is adopted by training (338, 12.38%), healthcare (313, 11.46%) and enterprise (308, 11.28%).

• Main authors – who might lead analysis teams, write solo publications and publish in extremely ranked journals – play an vital function in analysis publications. The highest 10 ‘most outstanding researchers’ contributed 24.8% of all Scopus-indexed journal articles between 2008 and 2018.

• Co-authoring with worldwide social scientists is prevalent. Nevertheless, the variety of articles wholly written by Vietnamese authors has elevated steadily between 2008 and 2018.

High-down reform

The 12 months 2008 marked the primary milestone for the promotion of analysis in Vietnam: the Nationwide Basis for Science and Know-how Improvement (NAFOSTED), impressed by the US’s Nationwide Science Basis, was launched.

The vital distinction between NAFOSTED and different research-funding mechanisms is that NAFOSTED refers to worldwide publishing because the sine qua non for analysis grant outputs. As well as, the profile of the principal investigator and key investigators in a analysis venture, as recorded in ISI Clarivate WOS and Scopus, is important in relation to receiving a grant.

The grants offered by NAFOSTED have resulted in a big surge in analysis outputs in each STEM and Social Sciences-Humanities. By the tip of 2018, about 4,000 worldwide publications had been printed with funding from NAFOSTED. This determine is the same as 20% of the worldwide publications in Vietnam between 2008 and 2018.

The 12 months 2017 was one other milestone within the significance of worldwide publishing for lecturers in Vietnam. Particularly, the brand new regulation on PhD training or Round 08/2017/TT-BGDDT required a PhD candidate to have at the very least one publication listed in ISI Clarivate WOS or Scopus previous to the ultimate defence of their thesis.

An analogous situation applies to a PhD candidate’s supervisor: to be eligible to be a supervisor, a lecturer should even have at the very least one publication listed in ISI Clarivate WOS or Scopus.

The brand new regulation may be thought of the primary ever publish-or-perish coverage in Vietnam. Its rapid impact has been a sudden surge within the complete variety of authors who’ve printed an ISI Clarivate or Scopus-indexed paper. By the tip of 2018, there was a complete of 923 authors, an 81.6% enhance on the determine in 2016 earlier than the brand new regulation was issued.

Backside-up initiatives

The rise in analysis output in social sciences in Vietnam over the previous decade could also be partly because of bottom-up initiatives undertaken by the colleges. At the moment, essentially the most frequent coverage adopted by many universities is a financial reward for worldwide publication. On common, a college pays school who’ve printed a global article about US$1,000 to US$2,000. In some particular circumstances, the bonus would possibly even be round US$10,000 for an article printed in a high-impact issue journal.

In the direction of the long run: high quality and ethics

Vietnam has borne fruit in worldwide analysis outputs over the previous decade. It’s the results of each top-down endeavours and bottom-up responses. Moreover, the fixed striving for higher continues to lift requirements. At the moment, the educational sector in Vietnam largely makes use of metrics such because the Influence Issue, the Q Issue or the H-index as proxies for analysis high quality.

Nevertheless, it’s obvious that these measures usually are not enough for the sustainable improvement of analysis. Sooner or later, the nation must develop mechanisms that assist and stimulate high quality analysis publications by means of clear knowledge assortment and evaluation in addition to replicable analysis findings, for instance:

• Open entry can facilitate replication and triangulation of analysis; and can assist save researchers time, effort and the price of repeating analysis because of a scarcity of entry to related datasets and examine tasks.

• Open science can carry extra duty and transparency and scale back abuse and misconduct.

• Higher science communication can improve the notice of most of the people in relation to educational data and scientific proof.

Quan-Hoang Vuong is director of Heart for Interdisciplinary Social Analysis, Phenikaa College, Vietnam. He’s additionally affiliated at Centre Emile Bernheim, Université Libre de Bruxelles. Quan-Hoang Vuong is the co-editor of The Vietnamese Social Sciences at a Fork within the Highway. Hiep Pham is director of the Heart for Analysis and Follow on Schooling, Phu Xuan College, Vietnam. He’s additionally affiliated to the Centre for Schooling Analysis and Improvement EdLab Asia as director of analysis. Hiep-Pham contributed two chapters to The Vietnamese Social Sciences at a Fork within the Highway.

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