Committee encourages more publications from Nigerian academics
The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities in Abuja on Thursday blamed the country’s low global academic ranking to poor publications of research achievements.
The Secretary-General of the Association, Michael Faborode, made the statement at a workshop on Deepening Research and Development, Output Dissemination through Publication and Uptake of Innovation.
The workshop was organised by the committee in partnership with Elsevier Holland, a publishing company of International Journal on Educational Research.
“When you look at the global scale, there is less publication from African universities and this is not difficult to explain. Your publication reflects the work you are doing in research, if you are not doing much research, then, there would not be much to publish. The research also depends on funding for instance, the statistics show that Nigeria, for example, invests less than 1 per cent of her GDP on research out of the average 1 per cent prescribed by UNESCO. So, we are very far off the target and we cannot be aspiring to be among the top 20 universities in the world if we do not invest on all areas of our national lives,” Mr. Faborode said.
He said the workshop was designed to expose Nigerian university managers and researchers to modern tools for publishing, monitoring and tracking citations.
Mr. Faborode said that the workshop would also enlighten the participants on how to apply and manage international research collaborations as well as to access global research funds.
According to him, the overall goal of the workshop was to enhance research development in the Nigerian University System, NUS, and increase international visibility and impact of the system on global development.
“We are convinced that this effort would engender the indexing of many of the journals and books now supported by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund. This will accentuate their global citation and further promote access to and use of global databases by staff and students,” Mr. Faborode said.
He said the workshop would also guide individual universities and vice- chancellors in the effective utilisation of lessons learnt and in securing the best package for the NUS. He commended National Universities TETFund for their support to promote research and support the publications that would further enhance impact on the entire nation.
Also, Aliyu Na’iya, the acting Executive Secretary of TETFund, said the partnership with Elsevier was a welcome development.
Mr. Na’iya who was represented by Dorothy Okere, Director, Education Support and Services in TETFund, said that publication of research journals would enhance knowledge-based economic activities of Nigerian academic communities.
He decried low rate at which universities submited their research proposals, saying that the funds were there for their assessment of the research.
“Other challenges by TETFund on research proposals are the quality of research that they want to conduct and the issue of compliance with the guidelines in accessing the research fund,” he said.
Mr. Na’iya said the workshop would enable stakeholders and benefiting institutions understand some of these challenges faced by TETFund as it concerned research and also to fashion out ways forward.
Also, Ahmed Abd-Elinaby, Sales Manager, Elsevier Africa, said the company would collaborate with Nigeria to develop and support the country’s research and innovation in the next five years.
Mr. Abd-Elinaby said the company had provided five ways to support Nigerian research to higher quality, including improving access to research publication through Science Direct Journals.
He said others were providing research development platform in terms of capacity building, funds, support, recognition of Nigerian scientists through award, creating opportunities for Nigerian researchers and publishing support for local journals.