Evaluation of Research System in a Medical Sciences University

 

Mohammadkarim Bahadori1, Ali Mehrabi Tavana1, Khalil Momeni*1,

Maryam Yaghoubi1, Ehsan Teymourzadeh1, Khalil Alimohammadzadeh2

 

1 Health Management Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Health Services Management Department, Tehran North Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

 

Received: 2014/04/12 ������������ Accepted: 2014/08/2714

 

Abstract

Introduction: Research is a proactive and systematic process for discovering, interpreting and revising phenomena, events and hypotheses. The first step to bring order to research is to achieve a true understanding of the existing features capabilities and to understand research programs strengths and weaknesses. The aim of this study was to evaluate the current challenges in a Medical Sciences University.

Methods: This descriptive �analytical and cross-sectional study was done in 2012. The sample in study was 150 faculty members of a Medical Sciences University. Data were collected using questionnaire with 64 questions and in five domains. Reliability of questionnaire was conducted by experts.Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0.78. Data were analyzed by SPSS 18.0 software and t-test, ANOVA and Pearson tests.

Results:The maximum mean and SD (3.51 � 0.69), was related to the problems in the articles publishing, and the least (3.43 � 0.64) was related to the difficulty in preparing, drafting and approval of the project. Overall, the mean and standard deviation 3.47 � 0.60 was achieved, respectively. There was strong significant relationship between each 5 domain and also between the total score and domains.

Conclusion: Regarding the research obstacles in this University, Faculty members will be able to play their roles in achieving the goals of organization using reforms of administrative and managerial programs by managers and authorities���

 

Keywords: Evaluation, Research System, Faculty Member, University, Medical Sciences

 


Introduction

Previously universities only focused on transferring knowledge (education) while nowadays they consider the role of producing science and its distribution around the society and organizations that called research-based approach which is mainly focused on changes and revolution in modern complex world. Such function not only rely on learning and teaching process in universities and research centers but also it considers increasing thinking ability and preparing learners for playing roles at service areas(1, 2).

Nowadays researchers' struggles and research cause fundamental changes and revolutions at different scientific, economic, political and social areas. Therefore one of the most important criteria for ranking of� the scientific progress of countries is� the number of researchers, projects published articles (3-5).

Developing countries have various experiences in establishing university organs and research centers though most of these countries could not direct universities to a creative and dynamic place for responding the problems and requirements of society during several recent decades since universities and research centers face with various problems which obstacles their more considering to research and affairs related to it (3, 6). It seems that there are the same problems in the universities and research centers of our country, on the other hand doing of researches by faculty members hav various challenges� and barriers which unfortunately were not considered (7).

Results of different researches indicate the availability of barriers and problems in research system (8-10). Several problems including� not using the research findings, business, problems related to statistical analysis, lack of time and expense and not having motivation are as the important barriers of the research activities(11-14).

Javadian evaluates the research problems in students� and reported that the� improper educational and management system, lack of research budget and lack of facilities are the main research problems(15). Karimi knew the preventive factors of research as follow: organizational-administrative factors 31.5%, economic- financial factors 27.7%, equipments and facilities factors 25.8% and social factors 25.5% (16).

Sereshti knew the most important barriers of doing research as follow respectively: lack of motivation in researchers, lack of time and business, cumbersome administrative regulations, not using the research results and inability in translating Persian Articles to other languages(17) . Therefore, considerations shall be done for solving the available barriers and problems in doing research.

The first step to bring order to research in the society is to achieve a true understanding of the existing features capabilities and to understand Research programs strengths and weaknesses(18). Recognizing research barriers can facilitate the process of problem solution upon improving the relationship between researchers and users and research results which mainly results in benefiting the research findings(19) . Therefore smooth growth and conditions shall be provided for benefiting human resources to realize most productivity of scientific and research talents of human resources which leads to scientific and civilization flourishing of society(20) .

Evidences show that in spite of dramatic growth of research in quantitative aspects, the research procedure in research centers is unsystematic and uncoordinated(21).

The problems prevent researcher along research procedure and it is a fatal risk which causes fatal blow against the configuration of society if it is not considered. Development at different scientific, cultural, political, economic dimensions will not be possible unless upon development and expansion of research in the country. The necessity of development is being aware from barriers of growth and research development. If such barriers and problems of research do not recognize and proper executive solutions were not specified for them, it not only leads to qualitative and applicable increasing of the plans but also it causes optimum use of potential possibilities. This reduces the time and cost of doing researches and ultimately promotes the society's productivity (22).

This study is done for evaluating the research system in a Medical Science University to specify the failures and provide ground for improving the current status.

 

Methods

This is a descriptive�analytical and cross-sectional study that has done in 2012. The population study was 256 faculty members in a Medical Sciences University, that� 150 persons were selected according to following formula and as simple random. P and q value was 0.5, z value was 1.96, error was 0.05 and N was considered as 256.

 

 

A questionnaire including 64 questions was the tool of study which designed according to research aims and literature that� includes areas of available problems in preparing, drafting and approving the research plan (15 questions), problem in execution of research plans (10 questions), administrative and management problems in research area (22 questions), individual problems (13 questions) available problems in publishing papers (4questions). Reliability of that research tool was conducted by 15 faculty members (5 clinical specialists, 5 ones in management of health and treatment services, 5 ones in basic sciences). The reliability index was 0.75. The available scales in questionnaire were five-point Liker scale which ranges from highly agrees to highly disagree. A pilot study was done for studying the validity, the questionnaire was distributed among 10% of samples and its validity coefficient was computed. The questionnaire domain was explained among all samples and mean of Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0.78. Having designed, verified the reliability and validity, questionnaire was distributed among 150 faculty members of a Medical Science University as randomly. They were collected after filling up by the faculty members. Letter of introduction was received during the study and the participants became confident that their responses will be confidential.

The gathered questionnaires were entered SPSS 18.0 software after coding. Having entered the data, the data were represented as descriptive in tables and graphs having used descriptive tests such as mean, standard deviation, etc. parametric test (T-test, ANOVA and Pearson correlation test) was used for analyzing data to show the availability of significant or insignificant relationship between demographic data of samples with studied components and also between each of the studying components with each other.

 

Results

A total 153 questionnaires were distributed that� 102 distributed were filled that 87.4% were male. 66.7% were in 41-50 years old. 87.03% wee official academic, 77.5% were research academics and 60.8% have 11-20 years of service record. Meanwhile most of academic has assistant professor rank (43.1%) and PhD studies (44.1%). Most of them (58.5%) acted in two fields of educational and research-educational (Table 1).

A total of� 1164 foreign scientific- research articles, 1803 domestic scientific-research articles and 211 books were published by the studying professors and in average, 11.41, 17.68 and 2.07 works were allocated for each of professors. Mean and standard deviation of their H-index was 2.03�1.06 (Table 2).

Most mean and standard deviation (3.51�0.69) was related to the available problems in publishing papers and least was related to available problems in preparing, drafting and approving research plan. Generally, mean and standard deviation 3.47�0.60 was obtained (Table 3).

According to parametric tests of ANOVA and T-test, no significant differences was between each of the variables of faculty members and areas related to research problems (P>0.05) (Table 4). Table 1) Distribution demographic characteristics in participants

Table 2) Quantity of research activity in faculty members

Table 3) Mean and standard deviation of areas related to research problems in participants

Table 4) Relationship between areas related to research problems and underlying variables of faculty members

 


 

 

 

Table 1.Distribution of subjects according to demographic particulars

Variable

Type

Frequency

Percent

Gender

Male

80

87.4

Female

22

21.6

Age Range

31-40

15

14.7

41-50

68

66.7

51-60

19

18.6

Type of Membership

Official

89

87.3

Contractual

3

2.9

Tentative Official

10

9.8

Type of Faculty Member

Educational

79

77.5

Research

23

22.5

Faculty Member Record

1-10

18

17.6

11-20

62

60.8

21-30

22

21.6

Scientific Rank

Lecturer

28

27.5

Assistant Professor

44

43.1

Associate Professor

23

22.5

Professor

7

6.9

Academic Degree

Master

26

25.5

Professional Doctorate

7

6.9

PhD

45

44.1

Clinical PhD

23

22.5

Seminary

1

1

Type of Activity

Research

13

12.7

Educational

29

28.4

Treatment

6

5.9

Educational-Research

31

30.4

Research-Treatment

11

10.8

Educational-Research & Treatment

12

11.8

Table 2. Rate of research activity of studying faculty members

Item

Type of research activity

Mean

SD

1

Foreign scientific-research papers

11.41

13.78

2

Domestic scientific-research papers

17.68

14.30

3

Book editing or translating

2.07

3.31

4

Papers presented in domestic congresses

22.17

20.27

5

Papers presented in international & foreign congresses

5.75

8.01

6

H-Index

1.06

2.03

7

Innovation, exploration & registered invention

0.31

0.80

8

Completed research plans

9.74

7.68

9

Holding international congresses

0.27

0.81

Table 3. Mean and Standard deviation of domains related to research problems in studying faculty member's perspective

Domains

Mean

SD

Problems in Preparing, Drafting & Approving Research Plan

3.43

0.64

Problems in plan Execution

3.50

0.72

Administrative & Management Problem

3.49

0.65

Individual Problems

3.46

0.66

Problems in publishing papers

3.51

0.69

Total

3.47

0.60

Table 4. Relationship between domains related to research problems and underlying variables of faculty members

Domains

Age

Gender

Type of membership

Type of faculty member

Faculty member's

record

Scientific rank

Academic degree

Working faculty

Type of activity

Problems in Preparing, Drafting & Approving Research Plan

0.88

0.91

0.12

0.45

0.87

0.77

0.89

0.28

0.46

Problems in plan Execution

0.49

0.85

0.11

0.29

0.34

0.74

0.65

0.15

0.44

Administrative & Management Problem

0.74

0.84

0.28

0.51

0.75

0.52

0.80

0.71

0.63

Individual Problems

0.61

0.71

0.14

0.54

0.76

0.73

0.94

0.60

0.67

Problems in publishing papers

0.50

0.45

0.22

0.63

0.48

0.93

0.92

0.21

0.88

Total

0.77

0.47

0.13

0.36

0.79

0.67

0.84

0.50

0.61


Discussion

According to findings, most problems were related to publishing articles and least problems were related to preparing, drafting, approving research plan. After then the problems available in execution of plan, administrative-management problems, and individual problems have the most points. Badiozzaman reported� that the individual and organizational factors are both effective in reducing research motivations and regarding the interaction between person and organization for improving organization and reaching to higher aims such as reach aims, it can have many effects on progress of current procedure(23).�

From among the areas, the least problems in drafting and approving the plan was related to non-specifying of research requirements and priorities of health-treatment system at university level, in the area of plan execution is was related to unawareness of research experts from manner of executing research plan and lack of supervising, continuous control and guidance in execution of research plan, in the area of administrative-financial problems, it was related to lack of preparing required materials of research plan (procurement problems), in the area of individual problem, it was related to insufficient knowledge in research methodology and lack of enough personal skill for doing research such as fluency in English, software, etc. and in the area of publishing articles, it is related to prolonged process of arbitration and publishing scientific-research articles in university presses and poor encouragement in publishing articles.

Darabi in his study showed that mean intensity of research problem in the area of preparing, drafting research plan, execution of research plan, administrative-management and individual problems were significantly different before and after intervention(24).

Sereshti was recognized the most important barriers of doing research were lack of time and business, lack of facilities and equipments, unavailability of advisor for guiding, lack of enough motivation for doing research, lack of fluency in English, lack of enough point for doing research and he recognize the least barriers in indifference to research, non-usefulness of research for patient and ethical limitations respectively,. In this research, mean score� of organizational barriers was more than the mean score of individual barriers(14) . Sohrabi was showed that in the stage of preparing and drafting research plans, lack of sufficient budget and time-consuming barriers in data gathering, in the presenting research plan, insufficient recognition of managers from problems related to doing research and in the stage of executing research plan, prolonging administrative stages of preparing required materials and tools were the research barriers (21).

Most problems in the area of drafting and approving plan were related to the variable of availability of relationship instead of criteria in approving several research plans, in the area of executing plan, it was related to unawareness of research experts from manner of doing research plan, in the area of administrative-management problems, it was related to insufficient recognition of directors of faculties and research centers from problems related to researching, unwelcoming the directors and making decision from results of research plans, not on time preparing of required materials of research plans (procurement problems) and negligence of competent authorities to necessity of doing research by faculty members, in the area of individual problems, it was related to weakness of group working spirit and in the area of publishing articles, it was related to biasing in arbitration, verifying and publishing papers at university presses and impossibility of publishing several articles and therefore lack of receiving points.

Fazollahi demonstrated that� the most important effective preventive factors as individual factors (technical and specialized). In this regard, the unawareness with manner of using internet and research resources, lack of enough opportunity for paying to research due to preoccupation and especially accompanying education with social responsibilities and difficulty of supplying research expenses of students were recognized as the most effective individual factors in preventing the research activities of students respectively (25). Shariatmadari showed that individual factors, informatics, educational, social and economical factors were effective in research motivation of professors (26).

In the present� study, regarding personal problems, there was unwillingness in research at place and family problems too. Although approaches are proposed like benefiting specialist and committed supervisors out of university system and solving individual problems of researcher such as economical, dwelling, parking problems and etc. upon determined measures and using motivational systems for better progress of research activities in solving this problem. Zohor was showed that only about half of faculty members have required skill in drafting proposal, execution of research, analyzing and interpreting data and essay writing. Although such problem was not such important in current study, and a few percent of faculty members pointed these problems (21). Holding educational workshop of research methods, analyzing data, essay writing, writing custom and also using informatics networks shall be done by faculty authorities for solving the research obstacles.

Fazlollahi mentioned the most important preventive factors in producing science as motivational barriers, economical barriers, administrative barriers and Bureaucratic barriers respectively(27).

In current study, there is no significant relationship between underlying variables of faculty members and areas related to research problems. Regarding the type of activity, they mostly origins from motivational and favorite aspects. Kafashi showed that there is significant relationship between type of research activity of faculty members, research facilities of university, applying preferences and individual values of managers, social status of faculty members and their tendency for doing scientific- research activities. Although the research problems increase as the scientific rank rises, such difference is not significant. Kafashi showed that the tendency of academic members for research activities are different regarding the scientific groups and possibility of cooperating the faculty members with each other(28).

 

Conclusion

The results of this study showed that in all five domains of available problems in preparing, drafting and approving the final plan, problem in execution of plan, administrative and management problems, individual problem and problems in publishing articles, there are different amount of problems related with research. According to the results, it is suggested to doing proper financial and virtual support in publishing paper in domestic, international journals and books. Alsoi, it is suggested to hold different courses of essay writing and research plan and statistical analysis and to facilitate the process of approval and execution in research plans. Regarding the obstacles of research, having amended administrative and management methods and planning according to available problems by authorities, we can provide ground for effective role of faculty members on achieving organizational aims.��

 

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