Thursday, July 7, 2016

National scientists trained in scientific writing through WAAPP Sierra Leone

As part of the implementation of the World Bank West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program in Sierra Leone (WAAPP-1C SL) and the requirements for developing high caliber agricultural scientists, training in scientific writing and editing needs to be advanced to enable the scientists to successfully write and publish research articles.

To address this need, a group training workshop on ‘Writing agricultural research papers for publication in scientific journals’ was conducted by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) within the  WAAPP-1C SL framework at the Rokupr Agricultural Research Center (RARC), Sierra Leone, from 27 June to 2 July 2016.

AfricaRice is assisting in the implementation of the WAAPP-1C SL relating to the rice sector, particularly in capacity building of researchers, technical support and seed issues.

Twenty-three scientists, including 22 from RARC and one from SLARI headquarters participated in this workshop. The training was conducted by Prof. Anthony Youdeowei, an international consultant, with support from Dr Olupomi Ajayi, AfricaRice Country Representative in Sierra Leone and Rice Research Coordinator under WAAPP-1C SL.

The interactive workshop, which included theoretical and practical sessions, covered the following topics:
  • Importance of communicating the results of agricultural research 
  • Avenues for publishing results of agricultural research and typology of agricultural research papers
  • Process in writing research articles 
  • Scientific style and effective use of. English 
  • Choosing a journal in which to publish
  • Basic elements of a scientific research paper
  • Editorial and publishing process
  • Illustrating technical papers
  • Using posters for communicating agricultural research results
  • Preparing manuscripts for submission to journal editors
  • Using tables and illustrations to present research results
  • Group practical work
  • Presentation of draft manuscripts by participants

As an immediate output of the training, manuscripts of articles were presented by participants and collectively reviewed. Plans were made to complete the cycle of preparation and submission of the articles to appropriate journals before the end of 2016 with continued support from AfricaRice.

Participants rated the training as effective and relevant and expressed their determination to use the knowledge gained during the training to improve their publication records. The Director General of SLARI and Director of RARC were delighted with the training and appreciated the contributions of WAAPP-1C SL and AfricaRice.

Highlighting the strong need for such training programs, Prof. Youdeowei said that agricultural research scientists in West Africa must develop the culture of writing and communicating their research results in order to facilitate the effective dissemination and use of research outputs.

“However, recent reviews indicate that agricultural scientists in African countries as well as in other developing countries continue to experience considerable difficulties in writing and publishing the results of their research in scientific journals,” he added. “The capacity of our scientists to write and publish research articles in high quality journals needs to be strengthened through effective training.” 

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