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Prof. Avik Sinha, Economics Area, Assistant Professor, Goa Institute of Management
Avik Sinha is an Assistant Professor in the area of General Management & Economics at the Goa Institute of Management. He is a Fellow in Economics from the Indian Institute of Management Indore. Prior to this, he has done his PGDM in Finance from Institute for Technology and Management Mumbai, and B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology Durgapur. Before joining the Goa Institute of Management, he has worked with the Administrative Staff College of India and Tata Consultancy Services. He has published several papers in the Journal of Cleaner Production, Current Issues in Tourism, Resources Policy, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Ecological Indicators, etc. His current research interests include Environmental Economics, Tourism Economics, and Sustainable Development.
Question: What is your background and domain of research?
Answer: I have done my B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from NIT Durgapur, followed by PGDM in Finance from ITM Mumbai. After that, I have worked with TCS for three years and finally joined the FPM at IIM Indore, in the Economics area. My domain of research is Energy and Environmental Economics, Applied Econometrics, and Sustainable Development.
Question: How was your FPM journey? Share one of the memorable moments.
Answer: Coming from a non-economics background, the journey was not so easy. Without any formal training in Economics or research, I had to struggle a lot to have a grasp over the subject. During the second year, the term papers helped me a lot in getting my knowledge and ideas structured, and that was the time when I was exposed to the concept of the publication. After that, it was a journey of learning, unlearning, and relearning about the intricacies of economic research.
One of the memorable moments in this journey was when I got my first SCI-indexed publication. It was just the night before my thesis defense. I received a mail from “Ecological Indicators” that my paper has been accepted. It was really a proud and memorable moment in the entire journey.
Question: When did you start reviewing? How many papers did you review so far?
Answer: I started reviewing from 2017. As on 2019, I have reviewed nearly 60 papers, so far.
Question: What are the key elements to be considered in the review process?
Answer: While reviewing a paper, I check the following things:
- Is the research problem properly identified?
- How the research problem has been substantiated?
- How the paper is contributing to the literature, both theoretically and empirically?
- Has the review of literature considered the latest developments?
- Are the research gaps backed by the review of literature?
- Are the methods properly executed?
- Have the results been reported properly?
- Are the results being compared with the literature?
- Are the policy implications coming straight from the results?
Question: What’s the recipe of a good reviewer?
Answer: In order to be a good reviewer, one needs to be a good researcher, and a good researcher is made through numerous rejections from journals. The number of rejections should be substantially huge. These rejections will enable the researcher to look at the paper from the perspective of a third person, and that is a very important skill to be a good researcher. The moment a researcher can question own works, a reviewer is born.
While reviewing, it should also be remembered that the paper is written by a fellow researcher. Therefore, as a reviewer, one should be critical and sympathetic, at the same time. Once a flaw or mistake is pointed out, the reviewer should also show the ways to address that issue. That eventually enhances the quality of a review.
Question: How do you keep yourself motivated in this lonesome research journey?
Answer: To give this answer, I have to revisit the last few years. Immediately after my FPM, my career was in a big turmoil, as I was unable to secure a stable and decent job, unlike my friends and colleagues. Job satisfaction was a distant luxury for me, as getting a regular salary was the biggest challenge for me. I had two clear options before me, either to give up the hope or to continue my research and wait for the good day to come. This is when I met my mentor and Guru, Prof. Muhammad Shahbaz. He is the reason I am able to reach this height. He always inspires me to do better than yesterday, and to give an opportunity to the deserving person. These words of wisdom have been shadowing me for the last three years. This journey might be tiring, but never lonesome when you have such wonderful people motivating you throughout the way.
Question: Any message to potential reviewers?
Answer: My message to potential reviewers is that know your area of expertise very well, and in this pursuit, read a lot of papers, be well-acquainted with the recent developments in both theoretical and practical front, and continue publishing your work in reputed journals. This will eventually broaden the width and depth of knowledge in the area of expertise. As a reviewer, your role is not to be a critic, but to be an enabler for the betterment of the research quality. So try to maintain a balance between being critical and sympathetic.
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.in/citations?user=nt_jHGcAAAAJ