Monday, November 23, 2009

On SCOPUS and Impact Factor

1. Three days ago I met a friend who told me the journal, Tropical Life Science Research (formerly Journal of Bioscience" has been extracted by SCOPUS. I congratulated him and his university.

2. Today I met another friend who thought the demand by the Vice Chancellors of local universities for their staffs to publish their research findings in journals with Impact Factor is over-emphasised. So much so the local journals have been side-lined. After all only two Malaysian journals have IF, one a mathematical journal and the other is the forest science journal. And Malaysia has more than 100 journals, mostly in-house.

3. The surge to get extracted by SCOPUS and SI Thomson has been blown to the levels so unacademic that affect most of the researchers in local universities. If they don't publish they will perish. My friend told me both SCOPUS and SI Thomson are business enterprises. The more we pay attention to these the more they will make money at the expense of the third world universities. THES is also in the same category! The competition to serve THES and other surveys had taken so much academic times and efforts, that could better used for teaching and supervising students.

4. Local universities are supposed to serve the Malaysian communities first and regional communities second, and lastly the global communities. My friend thought we have been serving the global communities at the expense of the Malaysians, and I tend to agree with him. We publish to inform our Malaysian communities not to accumulate personal IF values, though there are scientists who serve themselves.

5. Somebody ought to tell the Vice Chancellors Council of the dungeon we have dug for young academics. The seniors have serve their dues and they are the one who set new rules for the young academics.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gunung Benom Expedition

1. From 9th-16th November the Academy Science Malaysia and the Department of Wildlife & National Park (PERHILITAN) organised a week-long scientific expedition to Gunung Benom, the 10th highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia. It is situated at the north-west end of the Krau Wildlife Sanctuary, Pahang. It was cemoniosly declared open on the 10th morning by the Director-General of PERHILITAN.

2. 100 particpants were specially invited but only 86 scientists registered and took part in the expedition together with PERHILITAN annual inventory work. They came from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA, WWF Malaysia and of course PERHILITAN.

3. The fields covered were geology, hydrology, water quality, flora, fauna, sociology and ecotourism potential. The participants were divided into two groups; one group of 23 went to Jeneroh Camp via Jenerih and the rest went to Lata Bujang Camp via Perlok. The former group also consists of 13 who successfully climbed the peak of Gunung Benom.

4. I was informed that in 1965 some scientists went up there to conduct some research projects and among them were the late Dr. T. C. Whitmore, Prof. Emer. Dr. Yong Hoi-Seng, Dr. Lim Boo Liat and several former lecturers from Universiti Malaya.

5. The reports are yet to be presented but from the discussion on the evening of 16th revealed many new finds. The geology of the mountain is granitic, with some patches of mountain peat. The water quality is superb though it rained the whole week. The mountain top was cold and one one day it was bright sunny that those with cameras took many scenic anad panoramic scenes.

6. The small mammals trappings were not good and the scientists blamed the weather. The birds were aplenty, catches of insects were not that good either but the beetles group from Universiti Malaysia were quite pleased with their collections. Herpetofauna group also reported bad catch, however, on gigantic caecilian was brought down.

7. There were at least 2 species of Nepenthes, four species of Rhododendron, Rafflesia cantleyi, Balanophora, many palms and gingers, including Baeckia frutescens, Leptospermum, many Ericaceae and Lauraceae. On the lower altitude there were many dipterocarps and Mr. Kamarudin Salleh of FRIM made a list of more than 300 species of flowering plants along his rounds.

8. The findings will be discussed in a seminar to be organised next year and a proceeding will be published.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bintang Range - Gunung Inas Expedition

Photo from

1. From 2-6 November more than 100 scientists and foresters gathered at Sungai Sedim Recreation Forest, Kulim, Kedah to participate in the year end scientific expedition organised by Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia and Forestry Department Kedah. It was officially opened by YB Dato' Wira State Secretary on the morning of 2nd.

2. This morning a group of more than a dozen participants led by muscologist En. Damanhuri tried to scale the Gunung Inas. He was accompanied by the orchid group from Universiti Putra Malaysia and by the forestry group of the same university. We were told half way up there is a place called "Dataran Bunian" literally translated as Concourse of Elves. The forest is stunted and infested by grasses. I got the feeling it is one of those flat-topped peaty forests, like the one on Gunung Chamah, Gunung Gagau and Gunung Keriong.

3. Datuk Seri C K Lim and Qammil Muzzamil reported the observation of an elusive Costus oligophyllus (Costaceae) from Ulu Paip Recreational Forest and also Gunung Inas Forest Reserve. This the third species, other that C. speciosus and C globosus, which was once collected around Taiping-Gunung Hijau area some 60 years ago, recollected by Dr L G Saw from Ulu Langat area in Selangor.

4. Dr. C Y Choong reported the observation of 18 species of odonates on the first day of expedition, 7 species of dragonflies and 11 species of damselflies, including a rare species, Indocnemis orang.

5. En. Damanhuri himself was fascinated by the existence of one Pogonatum sp. which is known from montane habitats on the bolders at about 150 m above sea level.

6. I will report again after the 6th of November when the expedition is closed.