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Publish or Perish…..

A University’s worth as a centre for generating knowledge is determined by the number and quality of publications produced, hence the popular phrase “publish or perish” that is used among academics. It is pertinent to note that research quality (which influences its impact) and not necessarily research productivity, also drives quality teaching and learning.

It is in this context that amongst others, SMU has, as its Research Strategic Objectives “Improve research impact and visibility” as well as to ‘Increase proportion of publications in high impact international journals”. To give effect to these strategic objectives, the Office of the DVC-Research, Postgraduate Studies and Innovation (RPSI) had this far, March – September 2018 planned and hosted four (4) capacity development workshops in the form of 4 days per session off campus “Writing Retreats”, targeting Emerging Researchers; PhD and Postdoctoral candidates, not to exclude Master’s students who are staff members within SMU. The said workshops focused on, amongst others, “Publications Writing Retreat”; “Publications and PhD Thesis Writing Retreat”; “PhD and Grants Proposal Writing Retreat”; and recently “PhD and Thesis Writing Retreat” have proven to be very effective as captured by one of PhD candidate who attended the recent one, who is quoted as saying: “For me the retreat proved to be very useful as I managed to make a few strides and to immerse myself in my research study. The right momentum is building up. So I urge you colleagues not to give up on the seed that has already been planted. Let us nurture it so that we can reap the fruits at the end.”

These workshops were offered using a blend of local (SMU), national (Rhodes University; University of Pretoria) and international (Maastricht University, Netherlands) experts in the field of research, grants application and publications. To harness these and other such related activities aimed at providing continuous support to SMU research community, the office has recently launched an exclusive SMUResearch Communique to communicate research related activities and opportunities. Watch the space