The University Grants Commission (UGC) has eliminated the mandatory requirement of having research papers published in peer-reviewed journals before submitting a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis in new regulations for doctoral programmes.
Previously, MPhil (Master of Philosophy) scholars were required to present at least one research paper at a conference or seminar, whereas PhD scholars were required to publish at least one research paper in a peer‐reviewed journal and make two paper presentations at conferences or seminars prior to submitting their thesis for review.
“Publication of research papers in peer-reviewed journals may not be mandatory anymore, but it does not mean Ph.D. scholars should stop doing that altogether. Focussing on high-quality research will lead to publications in good journals, even if it is not mandatory. It will add value when they apply for employment or post-doctoral opportunities,” said M Jagadesh Kumar, UGC Chairman.
“We recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach is not desirable by eliminating the mandatory publication requirement. Doctoral students in computer science, for example, prefer to present their papers at conferences rather than publish them in journals. I strongly urge universities to strengthen the Ph.D. evaluation process and train research scholars to publish in peer-reviewed journals, present at conferences, and apply for patents where possible,” he stated.