Less than one scientific article per year and for each teacher-researcher

The National Evaluation Authority of the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research has prepared a study on “Scientific and Technological Research in Morocco”, the results of which were presented on Tuesday during a webinar moderated by the director of the Institute, Rahma Bourguia. According to the latter, “scientific research does not mobilize all its human energies.”

An unprecedented study on the evaluation of the scientific research system in Morocco and its capabilities was presented by the National Evaluation Authority of the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research (INE-CSEFRS). Based on data from indexed journal databases, notably “Web of Science” (WoS) and Scopus, the first results of this “assessment”, soon after the study’s full publication, show a low scientific output. This production is certainly developing and growing at the level of different disciplines, but it is still low compared to emerging countries. “She is not mobilizing all her human energies,” Rahma Bourqiah, director of the National Institute of Statistics, said on Tuesday, referring to the study’s findings. The figures presented in this sense show that over three decades, from 1988 to 2017, based on WoS information, the number of publications in Morocco is estimated at 45,911. “The growth between the first decade (88-97) and the second decade (98-07) is more significant, as it reached 163%, while the growth increased between the second and last decade (2008-2017). It is established at about 134%. Thus the scientific production is going up.

This development is characterized by a noticeable acceleration from 2011 which tends to continue until 2017, despite the cyclical decline in 2016”, commented the Director of INE-CSEFRS, while presenting the study with the opportunity to hold a webinar. Moreover, it is worth noting That a large proportion of publications in Arabic and in the field of humanities and social sciences (SHS) are not indexed at this level, because they are not included in the Web of Science database. In general, the language of indexed publication gives priority to English. In fact, the items presented by these appear The study states that the English language is necessary for Moroccan researchers who publish in indexed journals at the international level.The lack of English language proficiency is a constraint and reluctance for some researchers who refuse to publish their work and results in indexed journals.The study also indicates a decrease in scientific productivity within universities – indexed scientific production – estimated at what Just over one article every two years per teacher-researcher (0.54 per year). Also, the national university averages just 0.37 publications per teacher-researcher per year.” Production even drops to 0.2 2 publications per teacher and researcher per year.

This means that there is a group of researchers publishing and the rest are inactive,” Rahma Bourqiah regrets. Giving more details, the study revealed that the share of articles co-signed with foreign authors (in co-publishing) in the total articles is about two thirds (63% in 2017). In this sense, international cooperation remains an essential vector for the visibility and quality of scientific production. On the other hand, the study conducted returned to the role of the teacher, researcher and doctoral students in the research. Thus, it shows that the university is at the forefront in terms of human resources in the field of research. In this context, 60% of the research body of teachers is over 50 years old, while 28% are between 40 and 49 years old. The community of teachers and researchers is also predominantly male, with barely 26% of women.

However, there is an increase in the presence of women in doctoral studies, with the proportion of women in the number of doctoral students increasing from 38% in 2013 to 42% in 2018. Two points, from 33 to 35% over the same period. Additionally, between 2013 and 2018, the number of doctoral students increased sharply by 75.2%, increasing from 19,855 to 34,313 doctoral students. But the number of PhD students who support does not follow, dropping from 701 in 2013 to just 2,116 in 2018. This calls into question the effectiveness of the PhD course. “The ratio of the number of PhDs defended compared to the number of PhD students is very low (5.7% in 2017). It is clear that the PhD course turns into a bottleneck, as numbers pile up without inflicting the next defenses,” laments the Director of the National Evaluation Authority.

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