The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is pleased to announce the 2014 edition of its Annual Writing Workshop for Scholarly Publishing. Two sessions of the workshop have been scheduled, one to be held in English and another in French. The English language edition is planned to take place in Kampala, Uganda, on the campus of Makerere University from 14 – 18 July, 2014. It will bring together 30 participants from across Africa who do research in the English language.
Scholarly writing and publishing amongst younger African researchers have been under considerable strain for some time now. The reasons for this state of affairs are multifaceted but are uniformly connected to the prolonged crises which the continent’s higher education system has been experiencing for the last two decades. Remedying the problem has become urgent in order to ensure that the presence of the African voice in the production of knowledge about the continent and other regions of the world is assured at the highest level of quality. As an institution with a long track record in scholarly publishing, and which has a mandate to project African voices through a variety of programmes, CODESRIA has increasingly been concerned with the deterioration of the quality of academic writing amongst the younger generation of scholars who have borne the brunt of the crises of the last two decades in African higher education. The Council has been particularly well-placed to track the magnitude of the problem through the regular assessment it carries out on contributions received from across Africa for consideration for publication in any one of the nine journals in its stable, the applications that are submitted for consideration for admission into its various training programmes, the regular feedback it solicits from sister institutions on the strengths and weaknesses of scholarly essays which they regularly review, and the gaps in foundational training in the university system that currently affect capacities to muster a written argument, project an informed point of view, develop a presentational/analytic style, correctly cite references, and adequately prepare manuscripts for consideration for publication in scholarly outlets. It was with a view to remedying this situation that CODESRIA decided to launch its scholarly writing programme targeted at younger generation African scholars.
The workshop will feature presentations and practical demonstrations by seasoned scholars under whose mentorship, groups of advanced postgraduate students and younger scholars who are admitted to participate in the programme will be supported to upgrade the quality of their writing and publishing. Exercises will be offered to demonstrate different approaches to scholarly writing and publishing as follows:
a) Scholarly Writing:
i. Presenting participants with the skills and requirements needed to write effectively taking full cognisance of the expectations of the scholarly community;
ii. Familiarising participants with how to critically appraise the theoretical assumptions that underpin the related research on which they draw to inform their own research and writing;
iii. Demonstrating familiarity with related scholarly literature and debates;
iv. Determining and critically relating to methodologies employed in scholarly research and writing;
v. Determining and critically relating to the arguments of authors on whose work participants draw to make their own arguments; and
vi Determining the contribution to knowledge of a piece of scholarly writing.
b) Scholarly Publishing:
i. Building a proper understanding of the publishing process with a view to ensuring that manuscripts are prepared and presented in a manner that facilitates the publishing process and which, in so doing, improves their chances for selection in scholarly publishing outlets. Attention will be drawn to a variety of issues ranging from adherence to style guidelines to choosing which work is best fitted to a particular scholarly publishing format, as well as suggestions on how to revise theses and dissertations into publishable manuscripts;
ii Presentations on how to document a manuscript for publication, particularly different referencing methods, the use of quotations, and the presentation of used source materials; and
iii Presentations on the interface between the style adopted for a written scholarly work and its target audience. Here, attention will also be given to the best approaches to disseminating and promoting a scientific publication using both the author’s and publisher’s networks (review outlets, conferences, symposium and book dissemination forums, teaching curriculum, electronic and print forums etc.) in order to generate debate and promote sales.
The workshop will be organised over a period of five working days and will involve a series of lectures and practical work interspersed with open discussions on the key issues in scholarly publishing. The programme will be coordinated by a designated director assisted by invited resource persons with a track record in scholarly publishing. A post-workshop monitoring exercise will provide participants with an opportunity to have their work reviewed and assessed by identified resource persons during a predetermined length of time after the workshop.
The following category of younger researchers are encouraged to apply for participation in the workshop:
1. Advanced postgraduates working on their dissertations or theses in an African university;
2. Researchers who completed their postgraduate studies at any time during the last five years and are presently pursuing a teaching and/or research career in an African university or research centre; and
3. Former laureates of CODESRIA institutes and methodological workshops interested in updating their skills.
The CODESRIA Secretariat will also actively identify potential participants from among the pool of promising young scholars who have recently submitted papers for consideration in CODESRIA journals but whose articles were not accepted for publication after being peer-reviewed.
Prospective participants are required to submit one duly completed application form, an application letter which should be accompanied by the bio-data of the applicant, their discipline, the research areas in which they are interested, and information on any experience they have had in scholarly writing and publishing, and an attestation by their departmental head, dean or director of their institutional affiliation. Once selected, participants will be invited to submit written samples of current unpublished work before the workshop begin in order to enable the workshop resource persons to better identify key areas of strength that should be reinforced and areas of weakness that need to be addressed.
The deadline for the receipt of applications for the workshop is 30 May, 2014. Admission to participate in the workshop will be limited to 30 persons to allow for an intensive session.
All applications should be addressed to:
2014 Annual Writing Workshop,
BP 3304, CP 18524
Tel.:+221-33 825 98 22/23
Fax: +221-33 824 12 89
Web Site: http:// www.codesria.org