Since the last few months I have been working to create the Bibliography of Psychological Research in Nepal. It is my sincere hope that this bibliography will be useful for researchers who want to do or review psychological research inNepal. It has been compiled to inform and guide the researchers and students to help them in literature review. It also speaks about the status and development of psychological research inNepal. Most of the works (eg. journal articles) are available online. Some of the books by Nepalese psychologists are out of print but can be accessed through personal contact with the authors. Psychology as a discipline is interdisciplinary and has important links with social sciences and health sciences that help to understand human behavior. Some studies included in this compilation are multidisciplinary in nature such as psychological anthropology, health, education, population and so on.
Last week, I jointly did a presentation at Martin Chautari Discussion Series on Challenges of Preparing Bibliographies in Nepal for Librarians and Researchers. It was based upon the experiences of preparing current bibliography which is soon to be published online and probably in print as well later on.
One of the major challenges that I faced while preparing this bibliography is the lack of adequate resources (esp. access to online databases). There is limited access provided through academic institutions like Martin Chautari and Social Science Baha Library. This is the major challenge to preparing bibliography. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Brandon Kohrt for helping me access the online databases. He has been very supportive and encouraging. In the discussion, a representative from Social Science Baha Library informed me that articles related to psychology can be accessed. However, I am not sure how much we can access and get what we are looking for. It is true that it provides some access to some psychology journals like British Psychological Society but not to APA databases which are more significant.
Another challenge of this kind of work is the lack of financial incentives. It can be observed that very little attention is being given to quality research and publications. The research institute dedicated to conducting research for the academic growth is in need to fill this gap. Research is the foundation of the science. Rigorous research plays an important role in the development of any discipline.
I had great difficulty gathering information related to works that appear only in print. Authors and psychologists have to be personally contacted and consulted for compilation of their references. I contacted them in person, phone and email (AND some do not respond). Printed works are distributed in a limited number and run out of print so, it is difficult to verify the information firsthand. My work is based more upon online research than library research as our libraries do not archive the journal issues physically.
I also realized big risk of losing some of Nepali publications which are not digitized and stored electronically. For eg: The article by Panna L. Pradhan titled ‘Intelligence test and its use inNepal’ published in Tribhuvan University’s Education Quarterly journal in 1958 is not available now. I had a contact with Ms. Pratibha Pradhan, his daughter who had searched periodical and journal section of Central Library inTribhuvanUniversitybut could not find it. So, I gave up my hope of finding it. Such works also lead to dilemma whether to include them or not in bibliography because they are also non-existent. Therefore, it is urgent to archive and store the significant works electronically before they get lost.
There are 2 most popular referencing styles used worldwide: APA and MLA format. As psychologists, we follow APA style which was last updated in 2010 and is currently in its 6th edition. The bibliographic style of journals varies considerably according to the disciplines. For some it requires full names of the authors but in some journals, only initials of first and middle name are used. So, there is trouble finding names and it takes a lot of time and extra effort.
Another difficulty or problem that I came across is the lack of acknowledgement among Nepalese psychologists. We lack the culture of acknowledging others’ support and importance. It reflects closed attitude to sharing information and lack of professionalism. Nepalese Psychology Network is actively working to share information and promote the culture of acknowledgment.
I decided to do this work in order to foster the research culture inNepalwhich is extremely declining at the moment. Despite all the challenges and hassles, I hope it will definitely prove to be a significant research aid. I expect to receive the feedback to improve this work further.
I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Ayan Bahadur Shrestha, Prof. Dr. Shishir Subba, Prof. Dr. Shanta Niraula, Pratibha Pradhan and Narayan Sharma for providing the useful information related to their publications. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Brandon Kohrt for helping me access the online databases. I am also thankful to Pratyoush Onta and Devendra Uprety from Martin Chautari.