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VARSITY DONS SUE FOR ENTRENCHMENT OF RESEARCH CULTURE

 Speakers at the Preconference Seminar organized by the Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI) Ebonyi State in conjunction with the Nigerian Environmental Study Action Team (NEST) have sued for the entrenchment of research culture in the Nigerian Universities.  This they noted would trigger global visibility for Nigerian Universities.

With the theme: Building Institutional and Individual Research Capacity, the speakers who were drawn from world acclaimed  Universities stated that without production-driven research, no country can attain meaningful development, charging academics to abstain from cutting corners in their academic works.

In his welcome address at the event, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba said following the economic recession confronting the nation with its attendant ugly effects on the citizens, the need to carry out research that would get the nation out of the woods was imperative. He noted that the only institution charged with such arduous task is a University.

Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Sunday Elom, he said it was high time Universities took advantage of this seemingly economic woes and come up with its solutions through research.

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DVC, Prof. Sunday Elom speaking during the event

The Vice Chancellor further called for concerted efforts by relevant stakeholders to ensure that Nigerian Universities are given the support to compete favourably with her foreign counterparts.

Presenting a paper “Developing Research Culture in Nigerian Universities”; Professor Obinna Onwujekwe stated that one of the indices for ranking Universities was the quality of its research output. On that note, he charged participants to the Conference especially members of the academia to proactively engage in research activities in order to boost the profile of their various Universities, adding that it would also connect them to other foreign Universities.

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The Lead presenter, Prof. Obinna Onwujekwe speaking in the event

On his part, Professor Kenneth Amaeshi while delivering a paper “Developing an Academic Publishing Strategy: an International Perceptive”, said research papers should as a matter of fact be given international colouration which he maintained would give global visibility to their Universities.

Speaking on Improving Publishing Success “Revising Manuscripts for Top Tier Journals”, Professor Onuegbu Ugwu admonished academics to be painstaking in their research works in order to meet international standard, urging them not to be discouraged even if their initial works were rejected by reviewers. He added that, patience, persistence and perseverance were integral traits of a good researcher.

Professor Happiness Oselebe while discussing the topic “Accessing Research Grants” decried the dearth of government funds for research purposes, noting that it was time for researchers to seek for research grants from the organized private sector like Pharmaceutical, Oil and Gas and other corporate bodies. She enjoined researchers to ensure that their works have value for the industry they are seeking grant from for it to receive positive support.

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Prof. Happiness Oselebe speaking in the event

Recommending further sources of funds for research activities, Professor Johnson Urama in his paper “Accessing International Fellowship” said fellowships were also another source of fund for research. According to him, to access research fund, a researcher must prepare a detailed proposal, explaining the means and method of carrying out the research and its cost implication to enable funders make the right decision.

Charging researchers to exercise caution in their research and other academic activities, Professor Jonny Ogunji in his paper “Ethics in Research and Publications”, stated that they were  basic norms that guide all research and academic activities and once the ethics are violated or undermined, then the results of the research becomes useless and not worth using for references. The unethical conducts that undermine research and publication, according to Professor Ogunji include: plagiarism, paraphrasing or copying verbatim another person’s work without giving credit and others.

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Prof. Dr. Jonny Ogunji demonstrating the importance of ethics in research and publication

The event featured questions and answers sessions with some calling for joint articles as such will go a long way in giving the young lecturers opportunity to excel.

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