Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impossibility of holding face-to-face meetings, as well as to accelerate scientific, educational, research and technology interactions with national and international universities and scientific-research centers, a multilateral videoconference was held with the participation of professors from the Regional Information Center for Science and Technology (RICEST) and Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC).
In this meeting, Mohammad Javad Dehghani, the President of RICEST and ISC, gave a brief history of the activities of the center since its establishment and introduced the Regional Scientific Information Resources Center and ISC bases including the Islamic World Science Observatory, Islamic World Scientific Publications System (EJCR) and the ISC World Ranking.
In addition, the new ISC product (Covid-19 visualizer) was introduced at the meeting. As suggested by the ISC, the Pakistani universities could be provided with the system on their website in order to be used by the academic community. He also added, “ISC currently plays an active role in international scientific interactions and in the academic community and international organizations, including its interactions with D8 member states, ISESCO, OIC member states, ASAIHL, COMSTECH, etc.”. Subsequently, the professors from Pakistan introduced their universities and their cooperation with ISC.
In addition, Dr. Mohammed Reza Falahati Qadimi Fumani, the head of President’s Office and Consultant and ISC Director of Public Relations pointed out that given the new global conditions affected by COVID-19, ISC was ready to hold virtual workshops and webinars for the editors of Pakistani scientific journals in order to improve the Pakistani scientific journals rankings. He also regarded the establishment of a special ranking system for Pakistani universities as one of the priorities for their cooperation and indicated the the ISC’s readiness to take action in this regard in the form of a joint plan.
In the end, Dehghani and Azhar Ali Shah, a member of the Executive Committee of ISC and the President of Sindh Science Society and University of Sindh Professor, reviewed the discussion and emphasized the following activities:
- Immediate action should be taken to establish a regional center branch in Pakistan. Through the regional center branch at the university, faculty members, researchers, and university students will have access to the full online regional center scientific information resources for three years free of charge.
- Sindh University considered its promotion in the international ranking systems as one of its priorities and asked for ISC assistance in this regard. Accordingly, it has been decided to plan a training workshop and analyze the performance of the university.
- Sindh University has demanded the promotion of its scientific journals and in this regard, it has been decided to send their prestigious journals to the ISC to be indexed in the ISC in case of obtaining the necessary points. It has been also decided to hold a training workshop for the editors of Pakistani publications by ISC in order to improve their publication rankings.
- A member of the ISC Executive Committee should provide the information on the ISC COVID-19 visualizer at the level of the Ministry and universities of Pakistan and introduce the universities interested in using the visualizer to the ISC so that its link can be accessed by the applicants on the Pakistani universities website.
- A joint proposal, in order to an establishment of a separate system for Pakistani universities rankings, should be developed and followed up by a member of the ISC Pakistani Executive Committee at the Ministry of Higher Education.