GIJ holds research forum with US-based Professor

Communication and journalism scholar, Professor Daniela Dimitrova, last Wednesday, dished out publication advice to the faculty at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) at a research forum on the topic: ‘All you ever wanted to know about research publications’.

The online forum, which was organised by the Office of Research at the Ghana Institute of Journalism with support from the school’s management, provided an open interaction for the faculty, to learn about scholarly publications, as the institution seeks to become a hub for cutting-edge research in the area of media and communication studies.

Professor Dimitrova advised the faculty to familiarise themselves with journals they intend to send their manuscripts to, start with lower-tier but quality journals and produce rigorous works that are desk-reject-proof.

She nodded to the low acceptance rate of articles from Africa.

Professor Dimitrova encouraged African scholars to stretch their studies beyond country-specific or narrow-focused studies.

One way to make manuscripts compelling, she stated, was to expand research inquiries by making broader connections while adding context.

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This, she said, will make such publications more appealing.

“I will advise people to focus on the contribution in terms of theory… in terms of methods. One of the common mistakes non-US scholars make is emphasising the country of study rather than the contribution to theory or methods,” she said.

She added that aspiring scholars should familiarise themselves with the nature of articles in specific journals to improve their chances of getting published.

“Get used to reading the type of research articles: Looking at the style to start seeing what has been published. Don’t hesitate to contact the editor if you would like a clarification”, she stressed.

Professor Dimitrova also used the opportunity to introduce the faculty to Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly (JMCQ) and also took them through publication guidelines.

Participants at the forum engaged Professor Dimitrova by posing questions to her.

The questions were themed around how to craft efficient research topics, engage in research collaborations, identify the right journal for publication and the standards expected.

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Dr Benedine Azanu, a member of the journalism faculty at GIJ, expressed her delight and appreciation to Dr Dimitrova for sharing her insights on research.

“The presentation was insightful and a wonderful learning experience. There was enough revealing information that is beneficial to early-career academics,” she said.

Professor Dimitrova is the current editor of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly (JMCQ), a highly-rated and prestigious journalism and mass communication journal.

JMCQ is also the oldest mass communication journal in the world.

In addition, she is a full-time professor at Iowa State University in the United States.

The Ghana Institute of Journalism plans to hold similar events with global mass communication and journalism scholars in 2021.