Seminar on Manuscript Writing - An Editor’s Perspective

                                             Participant at the seminar

A seminar on manuscript writing has taken place at the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation Research. The seminar was organized by the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) in collaboration with the School of Engineering Sciences, the Technology Consultancy Centre of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the African M.R.S. and supported by the Capacity Development Team at the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID). 

                        Prof. Joseph Teye, Director of Research (ORID)

The objective of the seminar was to provide academics with insights on the manuscript review process and share editors’ perspectives of what constitutes a publishable manuscript. The facilitators of the session were Professor Ange Nzihou, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Waste and Biomass Valorization- Springer-Nature and Professor Clara Santato, Editor of the Journal of Power Sources, Science Direct- Elsevier.

                                             Prof. Ange Nzihou

Facilitators offered insights into attributes of a good manuscript, it’s structure and format of graphics; providing practical tips on what makes the difference in acceptance or rejection of papers for publishing.

On the composition of manuscripts, they explained that the wording of titles should be concise (if possible) while abstracts must translate into an overview of the content of a manuscript.  They advised that conclusions must highlight and summarize the substance of the paper and provide a clear ‘take home’ message and potential impact of the paper. The Editor’s underscored the importance of selecting key words which reflect the focus of a manuscript and are easily accessible. They advised against the use of acronyms as keywords.

On the selection of reviewers, Professor Santato stressed the need to avoid selecting reviewers within an academic’s close circle of professional acquaintances and to extend their boundaries to neutral persons to avoid conflict of interest situations.

                                                                       Prof. Clara Santato

To accompany the submission of a manuscript, a cover letter should be written with creativity, avoiding standard and repetitive formats and wording. In response to a question about the need for a cover letter, Professor Santato stated that adding a cover letter provide the opportunity to personalize a submission and an avenue to promote the manuscript. She contended that a well written and presented cover letter will reflect positively on the writer.

Participants, including faculty and graduate students interacted with facilitators through questions and answers and shared their experiences in navigating art of communicating science outcomes.  Present among the guest was Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann, Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences.

The seminar was funded in part by the University of Ghana Research Fund UGRF through a faculty research grant awarded to Professor David Dodoo Arhin, Director Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST).

                                             Prof. David Dodoo Arhin, Director (IAST)

Ms. Amma Appah of ORID, who facilitated the programme expressed gratitude to all collaborating institutions as well as the French Embassy, Accra for providing financial support.

                                                            Ms. Amma Appah (ORID)