A: ESE Author Q&A: Professor Rajshekhar Bipeta

For the second instalment of our ESE Authors interview series, we spoke to psychiatrist, Professor Rajshekhar Bipeta of Gandhi Medical College, Musheerabad, India.

Professor Bipeta is a consultant psychiatrist, at a private practice in Hyderabad since 2002. He is Associate Editor for the Indian Journal of PsychologicalMedicine, and sits on the Editorial Boards for Telangana Journal of Psychiatry and Academic Psychiatry. He has also just stepped down after five years of serving as Editor-in-Chief for the biomedical publication Andhra Pradesh Journal of Psychological Medicine.and is now a senior Advisor to the journal.

He has extensive experience of the editorial process, which makes him well qualified to produce the original article published in European Science Editing 41(3): Medical Editing in India. The paper includes reference to Prof. Bipeta’s experience, case studies, guidelines resources and recommendations.

The article is now free to access from the EASE website. Download it here.

EASE:  Please introduce our readers to your ESE article.

Rajshekhar Bipeta:  I discussed the current status of medical editing in India. Though, we have a huge patient pool and our researchers have good calibre, this is not being properly documented. There is a lack of local databases such as PubMED, Scopus, etc. IndMED is a prestigious ICMR database of medical journals. However, many internationally acclaimed PubMED journals are not indexed with IndMED. I also gave few suggestions to the Indian editors that they can utilize to improve the global presence of Indian journals. The authors need to be more aware of publication ethics which I highlighted through case vignettes.

EASE: What is your main area of research?

RB:  Psychiatry. My areas of special interest are: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Neuro-psychiatric rating scales and assessment schedules; Psychiatric and bio-psycho-social aspects of HIV/AIDS; Insight in psychiatric disorders; Suicidality, impulsivity, and aggression 

EASE:  How long have you been involved in this area?

RB:  For the past 16 years, especially since 2002.

EASE: What are some of the innovative aspects you could tell us about your research?

RB:  Obsessive-compulsive disorder is my most important area of research. This is a fascinating illness, with varied presentation. I am interested in researching hitherto unexplored aspects of this illness.

EASE: What do you feel are your most significant research achievements?

RB:  As an editor of a small, local journal, under the guidance of the editorial board and the society, we could enhance the standards of our journal to a high level. We could put research ethics in place. I consider this as my most significant research achievement. I was fortunate to be guided actively by my society.

EASE: What do you consider to be your best paper or work, and why?

RB:  I consider this my best paper: Bipeta R, Yerramilli SSRR, Karredla AR, Srinath G.Diagnostic stability of internet addiction in obsessive‑compulsive disorder:data from a naturalistic one‑year treatment study. Innov Clin Neurosci 2015;12(3-4):14–23.

Most of the research in the field of so-called ‘internet addiction’ has been done by non-medical people, especially non-mental health professionals. I consider this the fallacy of internet addiction research. To say that an entity is a disorder, the research should be done by experts and professionals in that field. I encourage readers to go through my editorial: BipetaR. Mental health research is not just administering rating scales. AP J PsycholMed 2013; 14(2): 65-8.         

In my opinion, there is nothing like ‘internet addiction disorder’; this is a hype.

EASE: Do you have any interesting work or papers that maybe completed in the next year or so that you are able to speak about?

RB:  I am doing some original work in the field of OCD, social anxiety disorder, stigma in psychiatric illness, etc. I hope to see these in print soon.

EASE: Are you a member of EASE?

RB:  Yes, I am a sponsored member of EASE. I am fortunate to be sponsored thrice by Dr Joan Marsh, the former President of EASE. It is very difficult for researchers from developing countries like India to seek paid membership of such organizations. I am extremely thankful to Dr Marsh.     

EASE:  How long have you known about, or been involved with the Association?

RB:  Around three years.

EASE:  Have you been involved in any EASE-related projects in the past? If so, could you tell us about them?

RB:  Yes. I volunteer for the (EASE) certification and training group

EASE:  Will you be attending the conference in Strasbourg in June this year?

RB:  No, unfortunately. I am not in a position to attend this meeting.

EASE:  What motivated you to write for ESE?

RB:  Dr Joan Marsh asked me to contribute an essay to ESE. She asked me to write on ‘medical editing in India’ as not much is available regarding this topic from this country. Frankly, I was initially nervous to write on this topic as nothing much was available for me to cite.  I did not know what was expected of me. However, I am happy with final product. I am thankful to the reviewers for their constructive critical comments which helped me revise my manuscript.

EASE:  What impact do you hope this paper could have, what changes could it make?

RB:  I gave few recommendations in this paper that I forwarded to Indian editors and authorities. I hope they take it seriously.  

EASE:  If people want to read more about this subject, can you name one or two specific articles they should read?

RB:  I recommend these articles:

Satyanarayana K, Sharma A. Biomedical Journals in India: Some criticalconcerns. Indian Journal of Medical Research 2010; 132: 119-122.

Agoramoorthy G. Urgent reforms needed to revive impact factor of India’smedical journals. Indian Journal of Medical Research 2008; 127: 410-412. 

Aggarwal, R., Gogtay, N., Kumar, R., & Sahni, P. (2016). The revisedguidelines of the Medical Council of India for academic promotions: need for arethink. Indian Journal Of Medical Ethics, 13(1), 2.

EASE:  Are there any websites or other resources related to your paper they should seek out?

RB:  I recommend these websites:

National Databases of Indian Medical Journals (IndMED): http://indmed.nic.in

Medical Council of India, guidelines for faculty promotion: http://www.mciindia.org/circulars/Circular-03.09.2015-TEQ-Promotion-Publication.pdf

You can find Professor Bipeta’s article in the full August issue of the ESE Journal archive on the EASE website here. His ORCiD profile can be found here.

Previous interviews in the ESE Author Q&A series can be found here

Interview conducted by Duncan Nicholas of the EASE Council.