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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 454-458
Research experiences, attitudes, and barriers to publishing among the dental postgraduate teachers: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Sri Venkateswara Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Sri Venkateswara Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Submission10-Mar-2014
Date of Decision31-Mar-2014
Date of Acceptance03-Sep-2014
Date of Web Publication10-Oct-2014


Introduction: Research is important in medical and dental sciences to improve healthcare. Faculties play an important role in research productivity and student motivation in research.
Aim: The aim of this paper was to assess the attitude and experiences of dental post-graduate teachers toward article writing and reading and to discuss the barriers faced by them.
Materials and Methods: A total of 150 dental post-graduate teachers from various Dental Colleges in South India participated as the study group. A questionnaire relating to publishing practices was distributed, and the results were analyzed.
Result: Majority of the study group (82%) were involved in the publication with many (48.4%) doing so for career progression. Journal prestige was the main reason for selection of journals. Lack of time was the main reason for those not involved in the publication.
Conclusion: This study revealed the positive attitude of teachers toward scientific reading and writing. They only require motivation and time.

Keywords: Dental teachers, publishing attitude, research

How to cite this article:
Srinivasan MR, Poorni S, Sujatha G, Kumar S N. Research experiences, attitudes, and barriers to publishing among the dental postgraduate teachers: A cross-sectional study. Indian J Dent Res 2014;25:454-8

How to cite this URL:
Srinivasan MR, Poorni S, Sujatha G, Kumar S N. Research experiences, attitudes, and barriers to publishing among the dental postgraduate teachers: A cross-sectional study. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Jun 24];25:454-8. Available from:
Research in medical and dental sciences is important to improve health care. [1] Medical and dental students can play an important role in the research productivity at an institution. [2] Dental graduates who incorporate evidence-based philosophies into their practices have been at the forefront of debate among dental researchers and academicians over the past few years. [3] This requires a thorough understanding and use of scientific principles and methods. The utilization and production of research along with human and institutional development are two important components of health research. [4] Post-graduate teachers constitute an integral part of both these components. There is a paucity in reflecting the attitude of dental professionals toward research or publication. Therefore, the aim of this study was to ascertain the experience, motivation and attitude of dental postgraduate teachers toward publication along with the barriers faced by them.

   Materials and methods Top

A cross-sectional survey of postgraduate teachers from various dental colleges in the state was planned. A questionnaire comprising of 25 questions [Annexure I] [Additional file 1] framed regarding the motivation, barriers and experience to publish distributed to the entire participants enrolled in the study. A total of 150 postgraduate teachers were enrolled in the study constituting 50 each from senior lecturers, readers, and professors. The questionnaires were distributed after seeking verbal consent and were collected after completion. The selection criterion was to include faculties from various colleges in the state and only completed questionnaires were analyzed. The results were tabulated and analyzed.

   Results Top

0Publishing status

Among the 150 Post-graduate teachers surveyed, only 18% were not involved in the publication with a higher percentage seen in the senior lecturer group.

The main motivation to publish was (48.4%) career progression followed by 37.1% quoting improvement of their academic knowledge. The Professor's group showed more inclination towards improvement of academics when compared with the other two which quoted career progression [Chart 1].

Majority of the respondents cited journal prestige (54%) as the main reason for the choice of selection, followed by acceptance rate [Chart 2].

For the small group which did not involve in publication, lack of time due to commitments (53.8%) was the main reason, followed by lack of opportunity [Chart 3].

Journal reading, writing, and learning

About 97.3% of the study group was involved in reading journals, with 68.5% of them agreeing that it was to improve their knowledge. None in the group was involved in paper critique.

Majority (92.7%) of the study population knew how to write an abstract or article. 55.3% of them stated that they had been taught how to write an abstract or a paper. However, 76.7% would like to be trained in the process of how to write an abstract or paper.

Importance of publication and research

About 94.7% of the study group agreed that it was important to publish a paper, among them 66% of them were involved in the publication to improve their career. Majority (92%) of the group showed interest in being involved in research activities.

   Discussion Top

The rapidly evolving health science of today initiates the health care professionals to keep updated with the developments. Research activity among postgraduate dental students is very important as it ensures better clinical care, critical reasoning, lifelong learning and future research activity. [5] Acquiring the skills and attitudes of publishing and performing research is becoming increasingly essential. Recognizing its importance, dental and medical colleges have introduced research and publications in their curriculum. It is understood that faculty members who involve themselves in research and publication serve as a role model for their students. [6]

The aim of the present study was to investigate the attitudes and practice regarding publication and research among postgraduate teachers and to highlight the impeding factors. A significant percentage of study population was aware of the importance of publication and its impact on their career progression. Among the groups, the Readers and Professors were found to be involved in the higher percentage when compared to the senior lecturers. The difference in this was attributed to reasons such as lack of time due to other commitments and inability to write an article. Senior lecturers at the beginning of their career are involved in other academic curriculum, which leads to lack of time. Simultaneously they should be in the process of exploring research activities and venturing in article writing. For this publication of articles should be made mandatory in post-graduate curriculum. There are no studies involving the importance of publication among dental students or professionals, but similar studies are done among medical graduates and trainees.

The main motivation for those who had published articles was career progression. This reflects the attitude of professionals and an awareness on the importance of publication for further progression. This was seen as a choice more in the reader and senior lecturer groups. Whereas, the professors had opted improving the knowledge and recent advancements in their field as the primary motivation. Journal prestige was another important issue for all the individuals who had participated in the study with the professors giving more priority for prestige. The senior lectures had opted more for acceptance rate in the selection of a journal that reflects their increased pressure for publication.

A large majority of the study group rated highly the importance of reading journals with 97.3% of them quoting that they read journals regularly. This is considered higher than the studies conducted among medical trainees and medical postgraduates. Reading journals is important as they reflect as an area to gain knowledge from the wider community and therefore leads to better dental health care quality. The majority of them who read journals said that it served as a source to improve knowledge. Though, 64.7% of them had stated that they knew how to critique article, interestingly none of them had stated that they read the journal to criticize an article. Reading an article from a critique point is important since it can contribute in improving quality of journals.

Majority of the group stated that they knew how to write an article or on abstract though only half the group had mentioned that they have been taught how to do the same. Interestingly 70% of the group welcomed training in the same which help in increasing the productivity of publications. Literature search have showed similar studies in medical colleges that also approved the fact that teaching methodology increased publications and an individual's motivation toward research. [7],[8]

The study revealed the importance of publication (94.7%) of the study group with 66% of them stating its importance for career improvement. Only Ό of the group had expressed a personal interest toward research. Publishing articles for career improvement rather than with interest, results in inadequate quality of research and information. Lack of time due to other commitments and reduced research opportunities were among the barriers expressed by a small group with no publication. Reduced interest and knowledge in writing an article was also stated by a few in the group.

Research projects enable individuals to learn research methodologies and critical analysis skills. [6] In most of the countries, research is not a part of the curriculum, this leads to poor research activities among graduating health care professionals. [9]

   Conclusion Top

Teaching faculty needs to be involved in article reading and writing as it improves clinical care, research activities, learning and critical thinking. [10] This study revealed a positive attitude among postgraduate teachers towards article reading and writing. Though only ΍ of the study group stated that they had been taught about article writing, majority showed interest in being trained for the same, reflecting the attitude and awareness of knowledge towards publication. Time constrain was the only main reason quoted as a barrier that when well-planned can be easily overcome.

This survey was first of its kind among dental professionals, and similar studies will further improve the involvement of the faculty towards health care research and publications.

   Acknowledgments Top

We thank all the dental professionals who were involved in the study for their support.

   References Top

1.Global Forum for Health Research. 10/90 Report on Health Research 2003-2004. Geneva: Global Forum for Health Research; 2004. Available from: [Last accessed on 2010 Apr 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Aslam F, Shakir M, Qayyum MA. Why medical students are crucial to the future of research in South Asia. PLoS Med 2005;2:1110-1.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Iacopino AM, Lynch DP, Taft T. Preserving the pipeline: A model dental curriculum for research non-intensive institutions. J Dent Educ 2004;68:44-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Aslam F, Qayyum MA, Mahmud H, Qasim R, Haque IU. Attitudes and practices of postgraduate medical trainees towards research: A snapshot from Faisalabad. J Pak Med Assoc 2004;54:534-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Hebert RS, Levine RB, Smith CG, Wright SM. A systematic review of resident research curricula. Acad Med 2003;78:61-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Shankar PR, Chandrasekhar TS, Mishra P, Subish P. Initiating and strengthening medical student research: Time to take up the gauntlet. Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ) 2006;4:135-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Jackson D. Mentored residential writing retreats: A leadership strategy to develop skills and generate outcomes in writing for publication. Nurse Educ Today 2009;29:9-15.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Fang D, Meyer RE. Effect of two Howard Hughes Medical Institute research training programs for medical students on the likelihood of pursuing research careers. Acad Med 2003;78:1271-80.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Chaturvedi S, Aggarwal OP. Training interns in population-based research: Learners' feedback from 13 consecutive batches from a medical school in India. Med Educ 2001;35:585-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Waqar SH, Razzaq Z, Khan MM, Khaliq T, Zaheed MA, Khalleq Uz Zaman, et al. Awareness of post graduate residents medical research: A tertiary care hospital experience. Rev Glob Med Health Care Res 2012;3:33-41.  Back to cited text no. 10

Correspondence Address:
Govindarajan Sujatha
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Sri Venkateswara Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.142529

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