A Scientific Article Writing Course was held at the Headquarters, Jabatan Kimia Malaysia (JKM) from 30th May to 1st June 2016. This 2-day course was organised by the Research and Quality Assurance (RQA) Division. A total of 29 officers from the headquarters participated in the course. Two senior lecturers from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lim JitKang and Dr. Low Siew Chun, with chemical engineering background, were invited to deliver the course content in multiple modes through lecture, demonstration, one-on-one coaching and hands-on.
The opening ceremony was led off by a welcome speech from Pn. Zaiton binti Ariffin, the Director of RQA Division. The course was developed in order to equip the participants with the capability and expertise to write high quality research articles for scientific communities. Basic knowledge of ‘impact factor’ and ‘H-index’ was incorporated in the course to aid the participants in selecting journals for review as well as publication. At the end of the course, the participants were expected to acquire effective writing skills and familiarize themselves with the essential stages involved in journal paper publication: writing, submission of papers, and responding to reviewers’ comments.
The course started off by imparting the basic skills utilizing the impact factor and examining the scope of the journal of interest for selecting the right journal to publish their scientific papers. All participants were introduced to several effective ways of doing literature review. A comprehensive account on the anatomy of a typical research journal article (Title, Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results & Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, References, Supplemental Information) was presented with examples. In order to guide beginning researchers in their research work, the Whitesides’ approach was introduced, enabling all participants to synthesize hypotheses and expected outcomes in four desired illustrations. This approach serves to prepare the researchers to perform a thorough experiment without having downtime, whereas the four illustrations will essentially guide them in the writing process. Subsequently for writing, several aspects on grammar and writing skills were emphasized. It was greatly beneficial as important tips on writing a cover letter and complying with the formalities in the paper submission and revision process were offered to help authors lower the risks of papers being rejected at the editorial stage. A professional way of handling reviewers’ comments was also taught to help authors make justifications effectively. Ethical Issues relating to scientific writing such as plagiarism, authorship, specific case-studies, etc were presented to alert all the participants to the severity of the consequences associated with immoral research practice. Throughout the course, there was a high level of interaction between the lecturers and the participants especially during the hands-on sessions. Besides, the participants were also given the opportunity to improve their manuscripts during the practical session via one-on-one coaching.
The closing ceremony was officiated by Pn. Zaiton binti Ariffin, Director of RQA Division who presented certificates to all the participants for their full commitment during the course. She wished that this learning process would sustain despite the course was over and she also urged all the participants to apply the newly acquired knowledge and skills to their scientific writing practice. Furthermore, this course was initiated not only with the objective of improving the writing skills among the Kimia officers, but also with the hope of encouraging more paper submissions for journal and bulletin publications since written communication is an effective method to share research outcomes with the public. Pn. Zaiton also presented a souvenir to Dr. Lim and Dr. Low during the ceremony as a token of appreciation for their efforts in making this course a success.
The opening and closing ceremonies were officiated by Pn. Zaiton binti Ariffin, Director of RQA Division.
A group photo of participants with Pn. Zaiton binti Ariffin, Director of RQA Division (seated center) and lecturers, Dr. Low Siew Chun, (seated 1 from the left),Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lim JitKang and Dr. Low Siew Chun, Pn. Halimah Abdul Rahim, Technical System Management Section Head, and Dr. Malarvili Ramalingam (secretariat).
Participants focussing on lecture delivered by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lim JitKang.