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Why to publish a research paper?

When we are asked why is it necessary to publish a research paper, you’ll probably hear a lot of grumpy comments. “Because it is a requirement for residency or a fellowship status in the society!” “If I don’t , I’ll never get promoted as a professor in the university!” “If I don’t write I’ll probably won’t get invited to lecture in a conference!” In more developed countries, the publish or perish aphorism is still the name of the game. It brings pressure to many since successful publications bring attention to colleagues and their sponsoring institutions for upgrading career and continued research funding.

When an article has already been published, we feel exhilarated about the achievement, post on social media to share the output of months of hardwork , and pat colleagues on the back to show sincere compliment. Yet nobody talks about how tedious the writing process is and we rarely hear authors saying they have actually enjoyed it.

Publishing a case report, a clinical trial or an observational study makes demands on the authors. Every aspect demands careful writing and precision. Rewriting and editing generally require a lot of time than the drafting of the initial manuscript. Publishing a research paper could be more may exciting than one may initially expect but there are ways to overcome the obstacles and enjoy working through the creative process.

For younger colleagues, apart from the personal pleasure of sharing about your scientific discoveries, one of the first and most obvious advantages of publishing research work are the additional lines they provide on your CV. This should be an important concern for residents who wish to apply in competitive post-graduate fellowship programs or work in academic institutions.

Another important reason for publishing scientific work is the need to create an academic reputation and build a name in your field of interest (e.g. dermatopathology, tropical medicine, cosmetic dermatology). The sharing of published academic work typically happens in local and international conferences. This is also an excellent opportunity for networking and support because we get to know the other researchers in our field of interest and may ultimately lead to research collaboration and further publications.

In this midyear issue of JPDS, I would like to commend all contributors who have unselfishly shared products of their research and hardwork. These contributions to the scientific community, particularly in dermatology is much appreciated.

Johannes F. Dayrit, MD, FPDS
Journal of the Philippine Dermatological Society

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Why to publish a research paper?