Participants who attended the Article Writing for Publication Workshop posing for a photo outside Research Conference Centre

Research and knowledge creation are defining characteristics of a university. The absence or severe decrease of this aspect in a higher learning institution spells an imminent loss for that institution.

Under the theme ‘Carving the way forward in research and innovation at Univen’, the Directorate of Research and Innovation hosted Article Writing for Publication Workshop on 17 October 2017 at Research Conference Centre. The workshop aimed at empowering all researchers, including, academics, post-doctoral research fellows and post-graduate students on how to write manuscripts for publication. This workshop was attended by 80 research participants and it gave an account of intervention to provide hands-on coaching and mentorship of emerging researchers.

Prof Mulaba-Bafubiandi taught the emerging researchers on how to conduct research

Prof Antoine Mulaba-Bafubiandi, Head of the Mineral Processing and Technology Research Centre at the University of Johannesburg said scientific writing is a science and it follows some logical and rational rules. The elements of scientific paper includes introduction, methodology, presentation of the findings, discussion of the findings, integration of the literature in the discussion, conclusion and recommendations, and references.

He advised them to contextualize the content of the paper in the introduction. “Give the motivation and the rationale of the work reported. At times, mention the gap in the body of knowledge literature,” Prof Mulaba-Bafubiandi said.

On methodology, Prof Mulaba-Bafubiandi told participants to account for the type of research they are conducting. “Also describe the research tools used for data collection, equipment, questionnaire, experimental (laboratory), field and observation. Indicate the population and the sample or material.”

Prof Mulaba-Bafubiandi said on the abstract they should summarise the discussion of main results and their comparison with the literature. Prof Mulaba-Bafubiandi is also leading the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Interest group at the University of Johannesburg.

Senior Prof Ekosse told emerging researchers to have hunger for publishing

“A researcher should have hunger for publishing,” said the Director of Research and Innovation, Senior Professor Georges Ekosse.

Senior Prof Ekosse said Univen sees the need for research to be done and disseminated appropriately. “We have to put Univen on the map of scholarship,” Senior Prof Ekosse added.

He encouraged them to dream big. “You must combine wisdom with the knowledge that you have generated to benefit the society. Be a researcher with a difference and you must know how to publish. You should develop yourself to be a scholar of high integrity and internationally acclaimed scholar,” said Senior Prof Ekosse.

Dr Sekhula says Univen has increased research output

Dr Sinah Sekhula echoed that Univen has increased its research output. Therefore, Masters and PhD students should not graduate without any publication,” said Dr Sekhula.

Dr Sekhula further told emerging researchers that their research findings should not sit in the library. She said that it should benefit the society and researchers should find ways of disseminating these findings to the relevant people. You have to publish your work so that it can be used by the coming generation.

Dr Sotshangane said workshops like this help researchers to improve their writing skills

Univen’s Research Coordinator, Dr Owen Nkosinathi Sotshangane, alluded that academics are implored to either publish or perish. He further expressed that the workshop, in particular, aimed at empowering all researchers on how to write articles or manuscripts for publication purposes.

“This workshop will help you see and try to overcome barriers to writing for publication. This will not only benefit you but will also contribute in improving research productivity for Univen and the country as a whole,” Dr Sotshangane added.

Dr Sotshangane added that, Post-graduate students are often expected to write manuscripts worthy of publication without being taught how to achieve this goal. He said that it is assumed that once someone has a PhD then that person can write publishable articles.

The workshop gave an account of an intervention to provide hands-on coaching and mentoring of emerging researchers.

Based on calculations of publication units, universities are provided with research subsidies by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). Univen was allocated 0.94 units for the 2016 publications and as a result, it is well placed to meet the target of 1.25 units that was set by the Minister of Higher Education and Training for 2019. The call for participation was meant for participants who had draft manuscripts which would thereafter be worked upon and submitted for publication.

Issued by:
Department of Communications and Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525
Date: 24 October 2017