Science cannot survive without communication. Scientists communicate their ideas through their scholarly papers in a scientific journal. It is an undisputed fact that scientific progress serves as a development indicator of any nation and that is where scientific journal publication serves for national development.
The history of scientific journals dates back to 1665 (Wikipedia: Scientific journal), but the trend to publish scientific journal in Nepal only started in the early 1960’s. As far as I have researched, the first documented scientific journal (related to life-sciences) published in Nepal is the Journal of Nepal Medical Association (JNMA) on September 1963 under the chief editor, Dr. Mrigendra Raj Pandey. It was published by Nepal Medical Association (NMA).
There are very few or no resources available on the comprehensive list of the life-science journals published in Nepal. Till date, Nepal Journal Online (NepJol: www.nepjol.info) serves as a database of Nepali Journals and also offers free journal hosting services for the registered publishers.
The list of 43 life-science journals published in Nepal (both hosted inside and outside of NepJol) was divided into 7 broad categories in terms of the field of study which the publication covers. The 7 categories were:
- Medicine and Health Science (Medical, Clinical, Health Sciences, Public Health and Epidemiology)
- Agriculture, Plant and Animal Sciences (Agriculture, Plant and Animal Sciences, Forestry)
- Food Sciences
- Chemical Sciences (Chemistry)
- Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences (Biodiversity, Natural Resource Management, Ecology and Environmental Sciences)
- Microbiology and Bio-molecular Sciences (Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology)
Detailed list of the journals can be found in my previous post.
On the basis of no. of journals published under each category, Medicine & Health Science outnumbers all the groups. Although, Nepal is agriculture based country and rich in biodiversity and herbal resources, there seemed to be not an enthusiastic no. of journals in the related areas. The Food science and Chemical science areas hosts only a single journal each under its category.
One positive aspect of Nepali Journals is its policy for Open Access which makes the knowledge available to the scholars and students at free of cost. But still a trend of publishing academic research papers in such journals needs a serious push-up from among the academia. Nepal still lacks a comprehensive journal search engine such as PubMed which will make the data mining work much easier to the researchers.