There have been several articles debating Pakistan research culture in the last couple of years in Dawn, and all of them raised very important points. However, most of them were toned up solely to criticise instead of providing realistic solutions. Ineffective HEC policies, the incompetence of researchers, the low quality of publications and the unethical, unstandardised and favoritism based trend of research, are all vital problems but how to solve them should be a focus of debate going forward. For example, Pervez Hoodbhoy in November 2015 wrote an article for Dawn, in which he proposed the solution of cutting PhDs number. The influx of PhDs is now a global issue and reducing this number seems a temporary solution as this will lead to ceasing the advancement in science and services for humanity. Like Pakistan, there are many other countries, including China, facing challenges in improving the quality of research. In my recently published article in Journal of International Higher Education, I presented three relevant suggestions for Pakistani researchers, academic institutions, and HEC, which can help to raise the Pakistani research quality. Below is the summary of these suggestions. Implication of plagiarism laws in Pakistan Plagiarism is a major cause for low quality academic research in Pakistan. Hoodbhoy in his article for Dawn raised an important issue that most of these research papers have no real research behind them. In fact, authors plagiarise others’ ideas by exploring the easily available literature and then skillfully reducing the plagiarism by manipulating the idea. He further stated in that article that Pakistani students are learning the art of publishing papers in easily publishable journals and arranging ways to increase the citation of their papers. I would agree with the problem but I would not fully blame students for doing this. If these students are hardworking enough to spend extensive amounts of time in plagiarising papers and smart enough to pass through intense review procedures — not only publish their plagiarised papers, but also have them cited globally — then why are they not willing to use this time and effort in the right direction? The lack of understanding of research ethics and no implications of plagiarism laws has rooted this problem in Pakistan. It is enormously difficult to publish a plagiarised paper in journals with a high impact factor. If these students are hardworking enough to spend extensive amounts of time in plagiarising papers and smart enough to pass through intense review procedures and not only publish their plagiarised papers but also have them cited globally, then why are they not willing to use this time and effort in the right direction? What is motivating them to cheat is our inability to practice and educate students on real ethics of science at an early stage of their academic life. As Kashif Abbasi in his article for Dawn pointed out, no adequate actions under the plagiarism policy were taken against plagiarist scholars in Pakistan. In fact, all of them continue to hold positions in universities. Due to the ongoing corruption in Pakistan, it is almost impossible to even consider plagiarism unethical in Pakistani research culture. There should be a portion of research and development funds budgeted for enforcement of anti-plagiarism laws. An infrastructure with a team of specialised experts is needed to enforce these laws. Guilty parties should have their research and teaching rights revoked to set an example for others. Revision of the faculty selection criteria Most faculty members hired as assistant professors in Pakistan have no postdoctoral (postdoc) experience. Conversely, in other developed countries, at least 2-5 years, as a postdoc, is required before landing into a faculty position. Postdoc positions provide additional research training in a specialised field, allowing for the acquisition of necessary skills before starting a faculty position. We need to revise the faculty selection procedure; selection standards and transparency in hiring faculty is the only way to save academia in Pakistan. Then, after faculty selection and later in their career, tenure and further progress should only be awarded based on research novelty and creativity instead of simply the number of publications. Involving foreign qualified Pakistani researchers One of the mandatory requirements of HEC scholarships is that students must return after completing their PhD. Most of these policy makers do not understand the concept of post PhD research. In addition, the time duration of these scholarships is not enough for students to be fully trained. Some students are very ambitious and want to continue their research as a postdoc to gain more skills in the research. HEC needs to give them time if they want to stay longer for research. HEC should find ways to somehow involve them in activities, which could indirectly support Pakistani research. If they ever decide to return, they should be welcomed in their home country. These researchers can easily help Pakistani universities as adjunct faculty members or by distantly supervising Pakistani students and/or by serving as co-principal investigators in HEC projects with the local principal investigator in Pakistan, in exchange for providing advanced expertise to Pakistani research. Pakistan should not ignore the fact that wherever they are in the world at whichever institute, they are serving humanity by keeping themselves in research and indirectly working on Pakistan’s behalf. Here, I would like to give the example of Dr Abdus Salam, who was working for several decades away from Pakistan in different foreign institutes but was titled as Pakistani Nobel Laureate. The writer works at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville, US and can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, September 18th 2017.