The Research and Postgraduate Studies Office held its second edition of the Article Writing Retreat at Antelope Park in Gweru from the 26th to the 29th of November 2018 with 32 academics attending.
In her opening remarks, the Acting Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies, Professor Laurine Chikoko said that the purpose of the retreat was to provide the selected group of academics a conducive and stimulating environment away from the ‘normal business’ of teaching so that they make the final steps towards publication of their research work. The main goal set was to submit a research article for publication on the final day of the retreat. Participants had been competitively selected from a total of 62 applicants. These were drawn from the nine faculties, and they were a mix of emerging researchers and seasoned researchers.
The retreat provided structured writing time in a distraction-free atmosphere among supportive colleagues. Participants met every day as a group for coaching, inspiration and support and were given space for intensive individual writing time. The writing retreat offered a unique opportunity for scholarly reflection, interaction and mentorship.
The retreat was facilitated by Professor Nhamo A. Mhiripiri who gave guidance to the proceedings and initiated interactions among participants. Prof Mhiripiri challenged the scholars to think of those prestigious journals and publishers they have been timid to interact with in the past, and aim to submit their current works to those. Professor Vongai Nyawo, Professor Charles Tembo, Dr Munyaradzi Shumba and Dr Terence Musanga motivated delegates citing their own personal writing and publishing experiences as examples. Discussions included how to get published, how to select a journal for publication, acceptable or reputable journals and publishers, and open access reputable journals which waiver article processing charges for academics in low income countries’. On the final day of the retreat, more than 20 academics had submitted their articles for publication and received notifications of receipt from the publishers