CHUSS Creates Special Journal Issues to Expedite Graduate Publication

Makerere University College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) through her Center of Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL) has partnered with the Mawazo and Journal of Languages, Literature and Communication to expedite graduate publications.

This initiative funded by Andrew Mellon Foundation is aimed at nurturing the next generation of academics to excel and become university ambassadors.

To kick start this intervention, the college organised the Graduate Research Writing and Mentorship Workshop held on 11th December 2023 at Fairway Hotel in Kampala that brought together senior academics and over 30 graduate students.

The workshop answers a particular need for graduate studies at Makerere University where PhD students are required to have published at least two articles before they graduate.

CHUSS Projects Coordinator Dr. Edgar Nabutanyi observed that, publishing tends to be one of the challenges that graduate students face.

Noting that the gestation period of a journal article  normally takes between two and three years, Nabutanyi said, by the time a student has enough material to draft a journal article, he or she would be in the second or third year of study meaning that,  the student has only one year, in which to draft an article but also complete the thesis.

“This calls for special intervention and this is what the college is doing with these graduate research writing and mentorship workshop, to create a special vehicle, in this case, a special issue which can be managed to get the article out within the specified time

Mawazo and the Journal of Languages, Literature and Communication have partnered with the college to create this vehicle to expedite publication of the graduate students”, The don explained

Dr. Nabutanyi reported that although the original idea was for PhD students only, the college considered and expanded the scope to include masters’ students as the next generation of PhD candidates.

“We hope that this intervention is going to lay a foundation for their future life in the academy. We are creating two special issues: A special issue of Mawazo and another one special of the Journal of Languages, Literature and Communication. These special issues will have someone in charge refered to as the Publishing editor”, Nabutanyi stated.

For the Mawazo stream, Dr. Edward Kawesi is going to be the Publishing editor while for the Journal of Languages, Literature and Communication, Dr. Linda Nakalawa will be the publishing editor. Dr.Edward Kawesi and Dr. Linda Nakalawa  pledged to deliver on this assignment.

The college sent out the call for abstracts including the motivation for  inclusion.

On 11th December, 2023 a plenary workshop was hosted at Fairway Hotel in Kampala in where discussions on what goes into a journal article were presented by editors. The journal editors and other facilitators also talked about what  journals require and the dos and don’ts of writing a journal article.

A session was dedicated for a-one-on-one  students discussions with the editors. Senior academics looked at students' abstracts and what they were proposing to write about.

After the workshop feedback, students are expected to go back and write the articles and thereafter, they will be allocated to the publishing editors for details.

“This is work in progress and the first we are trying. We may make adjustments and mistakes but we are hopeful that by 30th August, 2024 the articles will be out for launching the special issues at that time”, Nabutanyi pledged.

The Director CERTL Prof. Andrew Elias State said, the college is graced with this wonderful initiative to be funded by Andrew Mellon Foundation.

State noted that, Makerere has gone through changes, and changes of not its own making, but world makings for instance, the implementation of new neoliberal policies which requires that Makerere university scales down.

Highlighting the recruitment ban and the freezing of the positions of teaching assistants which were training grounds for many of the renown professors now, Prof. State observed that the university opened up to many people but with unforeseeable consequenses.

“So we went for many numbers but we are not able to handle. It means that the ingredients that go with quality are missing. The people we produced were very good in memory but not good at application”. The Director statedadding:

“This workshop is to give hands-on but also to allow you live beyond in the academic life. In academics, you either publish or perish. When you publish, you live in glory and the university is very easy to recognise and have you invited back and install you. When you don’t publish, you live in sorrow, you will always complain”, the Professor stressed.

Prof. State challenged students to ensure they publish and share generously the knowledge to make the desired impact on a wider community.

He reported that CERTL has given two journal platforms where students can have an opportunity to publish adding that, they have to go through the process of peer review.

He explained that colleagues in the same discipline will have to read the articles and appreciate that there is knowledge to be communicated and to ensure that sentences are communicating with one another

“We want quality and also to nurture the young talent that we have. Remember that it is a requirement that you have to publish before you graduate. Unless you die young, you have to live to publish”, The Director stated

Senior academic staff presented on different aspects of writing as listed below:

Presentation 1: Publishing with Mawazo: Writing, Revision, Submission, Peer Review and Copy Editing (Prof. Peter Atekyereza, Prof. Paul Omach)

 Presentation 2: Publishing with Journal of Language, Literature and Communication: Writing, Revision, Submission, Peer Review and Copy Editing (Assoc. Prof. Saudah Namyalo and Dr Brian Ssemujju)

Presentation 3: The Practice of Academic writing: The Role of Critical Reading, Notetaking and Citation in Writing (Dr. Alfadaniels Mabingo)

 Presentation 4: Language and Style for Scholarly Communication (Dr. Levis Mugumya)

Presentation 5: Scholarly Writing: Navigating the Art and Mechanics at Makerere University (Dr. James Taabu Busimba and Dr. Nambi Rebecca)

 Presentation 6: The Peer Review Process: What Reviewers Expect and How to Respond to the Feedback while Retaining your Sanity (Assoc. Prof. Susan N. Kiguli)

33 abstracts were reviewed during the breakout sessions. 19 of these were Mawazo destined abstracts while 14 abstracts were destined for the Journal of Langauages , Literature and Communication.


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