The Faculty of Social Science Education (FSSE), University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has held a day’s seminar under the theme “Publish or Perish: The Relevance of Publications for Academia”.
The seminar was held at the GIS Laboratory in the FSSE Building on Wednesday, 24th May, 2023. It guided faculty members on the principles of writing unique, impactful articles to be published in reputable journals. The participants were taken through the kinds of publications and outlets most likely to result in their promotion. Participants were also given insight into the connection between academic publishing and promotion.
In his presentation on the theme, an Associate Professor in Development Education, at the University of Ghana, and a visiting scholar at the Department of Geography Education, UEW, John Kwame Boateng, Ph.D., underscored the need for participants to be knowledgeable in their fields of expertise and applied research issues.
Prof. John Kwame Boateng
“It is important to plan the structure and content of your manuscript and determine the key messages and arguments, as well as the supporting evidence that you will provide, before starting to write the manuscript,” he emphasised.
He urged faculty members to use simple language devoid of jargon and technical terms that may not be widely understood. He beseeched them to ensure that the components of their works were presented clearly and concisely with sufficient details to support their conclusions.
A representative sample of participants at the seminar
The keynote speaker stressed the need for scholars to seek and incorporate input from peers and subject-matter experts before submitting a manuscript. "This helps to identify weaknesses in the manuscript and improve its overall quality. Make sure to thoroughly edit and revise the manuscript before submitting it."
Prof. Boateng entreated participants to stay organised by keeping track of deadlines, submissions, and responses. He also charged them to stay informed on new developments and trends in academic publishing, new journals, new technologies and new best practices to build a strong portfolio that demonstrates their competence and expertise.
Prof. (Mrs.) Esther Yeboah Danso-Wiredu
The Vice-Dean of FSSE and Chairperson for the seminar, Prof. (Mrs.) Esther Yeboah Danso-Wiredu, Ph.D., challenged participants to turn reviewers' humiliating and unexpected comments into welcome stimulants, propelling them to work even harder to produce good publications.
She reiterated the importance of peer review and editing at the faculty level before one submits a paper or article for publication.
"Make time to read through your works several times. Be patient while submitting your work; don't anticipate a prompt answer because it could take months or years, especially if you work in academia. Make a conscious effort to always write a paper. Again, if you don't have a paper in progress that is being reviewed, there's something wrong. Moreover, make sure you always have three papers in progress," she advised.
Prof. Anselm Abotsi
On his part, the Dean of FSSE, Prof. Anselm Abotsi, cautioned faculty members to be extremely careful when publishing with students and encouraged them to surf the internet for high-impact journals.
"Don't just leave the journal where it is when you acquire it; read the author’s instructions and take the appropriate action. Just get your work into Scopus, and whoever proceeds to cite it thereafter is their own problem. You don't require citations for promotion," he indicated.
Prof. Lucy Effeh Attom
The Director of the Office for Institutional Advancement (OIA) and immediate past Dean of FSSE, Prof. Lucy Effeh Attom, urged faculty members not to be concerned that their promotion would be adversely impacted if they were not nominated as a Head of Department or Coordinator.
"The most crucial thing is to take our time, study, and develop ourselves within the system. Promotions will follow in due course. When submitting publications for promotion, quality is more important than quantity. In addition, consistency is the rule of the game," she said.
Prof. Samuel Kwesi Asiedu-Addo
Former Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at UEW, Prof. Samuel Kwesi Asiedu-Addo, exhorted participants to try to publish in high-status journals like Scopus, Sage, and Research Gate to help them advance within the university.