Journal of Educational Sciences > Volume 9, No. 1, 1997
Scientific Productivity of Saudi Faculty Members at Umm Alqura University: Its Status and Obstacles / Saad A. AI-Zahrani
Goals: Determining the average amount of research produced by a faculty member annually, and identifying the major obstacles of their research productivity. Data collection: A questioner distributed to the population of 244 Saudi faculty members, and when responses had reached 60 percent of the population, data was statistically analyzed.
Findings: The major findings concerning research productivity include: faculty members produced an average of 0.4 research units per year. This average is less than the productivity level of their peers at advanced countries' universities (the average is 1-2 research units). About 38.4% of faculty members have failed to produce any research since their graduation. Pay increases and promotions have ceased for about 63% of the assistant professors and 83% of associate professors because they failed to produce the required amount of research for their promotion. About 60% of faculty members are not satisfied with their research productivity because they produced less research than expected. There is a positive correlation of 0.5 between high productivity and faculty years of experience.
Obstacles inhibiting scientific productivity have many sources. Faculty members think most of these obstacles are due to their institution. Obstacles related to the institution include scarce conferences and scientific meetings, few chances to attend such conferences abroad, poor library facilities with few up-to-date books and specialized periodicals, insufficient research equipment and facilities, unavailability of research assistants and support staff, low encouragement and motivation to researchers, low priority and limited funds allocated to research, overlong administrative procedures for processing research approval for publishing, limited channels for publishing faculty members' works inside their university. overloaded teaching schedule due to shortages of teaching staff, heavy engagement in administrative duties, poor research atmosphere and infirm research tradition.
Social obstacles to research as reported by faculty members include: limited research support by private sector, low social priority and demand on research because society docs not believe strongly in its visible and applicative reality. Some of the individual obstacles reported are that faculty members think doing research at their expense is not profitable seeing that they have to spend a considerable sum of money in order to publish it.