Open Journal Systems

The Challenges Of Indexation Of Asean Journal Of Psychiatry: Now And Future

Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin


Ever since its inception twenty one years ago, the ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry has achieved growing success. It has been just over two years since this journal discussed the need for indexation (1). In a more recent editorial, the editor reported indexation in six major databases (2), a commendable feat in such a short duration. This achievement acknowledges the work that local researchers in psychiatry within the ASEAN region have contributed for the betterment of this journal and the region as a whole.

In another article (3), I wrote a reply about the challenges faced by Malaysian Journal of Psychiatry amongst Malaysian Psychiatrists in
publishing in support of local research. I feel that those comments are applicable here. In the article I commented that the "fixation" on university ranking and the shunning of local platforms for publication to boost local universities was detrimental to the development of local capabilities and capacity. I compared this with New Zealand, a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a developed nation, where local research work published in a local platform highlighted local issues for debate and discussion thus driving local policies. The ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry could do this for our ASEAN region.

In our quest to support more established journals, there is also an obligation as ASEAN Psychiatrists to report research and clinical work which may benefit the region. The journal being free and easily accessible online may be one of the few international journals available to some within ASEAN or those from lower to lowermiddle- income countries which may not have funds to subscribe to expensive databases. Clinical experiences that we encounter and the findings of research in our region may not be applicable to other parts of the world but are important for Psychiatrists practicing in the region. Therefore, there needs to be a balance in publishing our work across local, regional and international journals.

Indexation is a multifaceted matter as the author states (2). Often within the region we are faced with similar difficulties, namely funding, language, support and scientific content (3). Having a journal that is aware of our regional needs is vital to successful research work being reported and disseminated. With a growing number of Young Psychiatrists within the region (4,5), one avenue that the journal could consider is a Young Psychiatrist section which may increase publication output and more successful indexation.

ASEAN has been reported as an "emerging economic powerhouse" (6), I feel it is time that it emerges as a "psychiatric powerhouse" in terms of research and clinical care through quality and continuous publications in this journal.