Other news - Monday, 28 June, 2021

We have had as many scientific publications in the first semester as we usually have in a year

In Elsevier’s abstract and quoting scientific database, Scopus, our School has reached the 255th article, which we could reach in one year before. The result is eloquent and forward-looking, the scientific performance of the School has doubled in the past five years. At today’s modern universities, publication is one of the important measures of the scientific work that takes place in each workshop. Supporting and strengthening it is an important goal, as is encouraging innovative initiatives and ensuring their social and economic utilization. We talked with Professor Dóra Reglődi, Head of the Department of Anatomy and Vice-Dean for Science about one of the pillars embedded in the strategic plan of the School, PotePillars, the concept of Science and Innovation.


Written by Rita Schweier


- What is behind the fact that we have already reached the number of articles that we only managed to publish in one year so far?

- We can only guess, we do not know the exact reason. These publications were submitted by colleagues last year and at the beginning of this year, and are therefore connected to the Covid period, which began in March 2020. The events of recent months have hindered effective research work, with no access to clinical material due to reduced patient care, there were no elective surgeries, clinics shut down or switched to the treatment of coronavirus patients, laboratories closed, researchers and assistants worked from home, they could not enter the clinics due to restrictions. At the same time, the relative calm of being at home was good for colleagues to finish their publications they have been working on over the years. I have talked to many people about this and it has also been my case. I am confident that this booming trend will continue and that the lack of effective research work will not be perceptible in the future.

- The leadership of the School has also taken measures to encourage colleagues, thanks to which the scientific performance of the School has doubled in recent years.

- The motivation systems of the School that support scientific publication have helped and still help a lot. In several journals, it costs a lot to publish an article, which is why the School provides support for this: it finances the publication of Q1 one hundred percent and half of the costs of Q2. With this, we would like to encourage our researchers to choose better journals. Fortunately, there has been a significant increase in the number of Q1 and Q2 publications in the recent period, compared to Q3, Q4 and non-categorised, non-Q publications. This is important because the number of Q1 and D1 publications (the latter represents the top 10 percent) and the citations received for them matter in the rankings as well. One such article - to which, say, a hundred people refer - is always worth more than twenty to thirty of those that are published in an anonymous journal. By lifting financial and legal restrictions, Open Access provides an opportunity for free access to scientific results and thus there is a greater chance for citations too.

The applications at our School also provide support for starting research. One and a half to two million HUF is enough to start if someone has an idea but does not have an application, or if they could not finish their experiments, they can do it. This amount can be used relatively freely. In addition, if a colleague submits an external application that is rejected not for professional reasons but for lack of resources - for example, an OTKA application - we will help them with a 4 million HUF application. With this, we encourage colleagues to submit as many external applications as possible.

We have several novel initiatives too: such as the Tandem application, which strengthens the connection between clinicians and UPMS researchers, or our joint application with the Faculty of Pharmacy (GYTK), which serves to enhance the collaboration between the two faculties.

Our recognitions, such as the Celebration of Authors, payments based on the impact factor, or supervisor fees provide significant motivation for our researchers as well.

- The fact that researchers and teachers come from abroad can also be an incentive.

- It is very difficult to heal, teach and conduct research at the same time, it is impossible to carry out all three of them one hundred percent. During the COVID period, education took much more time and energy, which is why it is gratifying that the number of publications has not decreased, on the contrary, it has increased. Foreign collaborations, joint publications, applications, international embeddedness, networking are also very important because these are of great importance in some rankings as well. We have set networking with the most renowned foreign universities in the fields of research and education as an important goal. The two can be separated or combined as well. We have set up Visiting Professorship for this purpose, for which there are more and more applicants, but there are also many other opportunities to involve foreign colleagues in undergraduate, facultative, and postgraduate trainings. German-speaking students particularly appreciate it if a professor from their home country gives a lecture.

There is more and more feedback from the participants of the Alumni programme who graduated from our university that they would like to come and give a lecture as well. There has been an example of this here, at the Department of Anatomy too, a German colleague came to us, and it was a great success. Their presence has a strong motivating power and plus message too because students can experience what can be achieved with the basics previously acquired here.

It sounds and works especially well when a teacher comes from Harvard University or the Mayo Clinic. From the former, a teacher has already visited us who introduced a new teaching method, which has already started in the frame of a facultative course. I am proud to say that two of our colleagues from the Department of Anatomy have taught a one-week course there. If there is collaboration in the field of education, it is easier to find partners on the research side, and vice versa.

In addition, it is important to keep in touch with former colleagues too because we may also have the need for them to come and help each other. We strive to have lectures given by a foreign teacher or researcher every semester.

- We have also heard of many new, innovative initiatives, which suggests that significant progress has been made in this area as well.

- Fortunately, there are more and more of these. Even when submitting applications, it is necessary to indicate what can be utilized from the ideas. This is a bit more difficult than basic research because there it is possible to get closer to the development of pharmaceuticals by discovering a mechanism, so it does not have a direct benefit. However, there are many endeavours with direct benefit, such as the new surgical procedure for the treatment of the funnel chest developed by doctors, engineers, 3D designers, and metalworking professionals, led by thoracic surgeon dr. Zalán Szántó. Dr. Péter Maróti has many of these too, 3D models can be used in education as well. The SkillLab is based on this too, here students immediately perceive the benefits of a new method. Translational medicine is also a great example of this, they “utilize” the results of their sampling and analysis in patient care, suffice it to say that pancreatitis is treated differently today than it was years ago.

- There are also good examples of the economic exploitation of innovations.

- The 3D Center is at the forefront of this and there are core facilities as well. Core facility literally means an internal possibility, in Hungarian the name “shared laboratory” has spread. All over the world, it means the cooperation of high-tech tools that allow different working groups in science to use state-of-the-art technology at the same time. There are several of those in the Szentágothai Research Center, the main “patron” of this at our School was the recently deceased dr. István Ábrahám. The aim is to make better use of the machinery, which is unique in Europe, and to generate revenue from it. We strive to help our researchers, the implementation of innovations, and to simplify the processes as much as possible, which is why the University Innovation Committee has been established.

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