The rebranding drive to university products and services for the past 24 months has witnessed degree programmes and modules receiving considerable attention across all institutions of higher learning in the country. Premised on the Education 5.0, the Zimbabwe knowledge sector is now seized with operationalising Education 5.0 wherein state universities must now launch outcome-focussed national development activities as they push towards a competitive, modern and industrialised Zimbabwe. The urge is now all about problem-solving for value-creation. As such, the Midlands State University, pacesetting as usual, has left no stone unturned as the area of knowledge translation and dissemination has received attention as well, notably The Dyke Journal which in 2021 was placed on the rebranding rails.
The Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies Office, Professor L. Chikoko noted the importance of the The Dyke rebranding exercise “Academic journals are an important platform for academic dialogue, and conversations regarding research outputs, academic and professional activities. These are the lifeblood for teaching, research, innovation from which community service and industrialisation can, robustly, be given impetus’ she said. Against this understanding, the Midlands State University has drawn focus to its institutional Journals in a bid to have them operate stringently, guided by international academic journal standards, and The Dyke is now less than 20% from being indexed on Scopus. Scopus is Elsevier’s abstract and citation database launched in 2004 and covers nearly 36,377 titles from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields notably life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences. It covers three types of sources: book series, journals, and trade journals. All journals covered in the Scopus database, regardless of who they are published under, are reviewed each year to ensure that high quality standards are maintained.
Established in 2006, The Dyke Journal has, to date, published 15 volumes, with Volume 15 (1) 2021, published on the 25th of October 2021, being the inaugural online version having papers conversing the global Covid-19 pandemic in clear response to global research dialogue.
From March 2021, The Dyke Journal embarked on a rebranding exercise under the new Editor-in-Chief, Dr U Saidi. Chief among the deliverables was introducing an online version of the journal, that is, having the journal migrating from ‘analogue’ to ‘digital’. This required establishing an online journal management system, which became live in June 2021. The online system, retrievable at https://thedyke.msu.ac.zw, now accords provision for author and reviewer registration, submission of manuscripts/papers, affords records storage and accords communication between the editorial team and authors/reviewers, and finally online publishing of the blind-peer reviewed submissions in accordance to international journal practices.
Operations at The Dyke Journal also now witness an online-based three-level editorial system where all submissions first receive a critical ‘fitness check’ in terms of paper adherence to journal focus and scope, level of language and basic article presentation protocols. Upon passing this ‘fitness test’, only then will the submission be sent for attention by seasoned expert reviewers and at the last level, editorials are undertaken based on reviewer reports. Each time, authors are able to check progress of their submissions online.
The Dyke Journal Editorial Team, led by Dr U Saidi and Associate Editor Dr H Mangeya commends the Vice Chancellor Prof. V. N. Muzvidziwa, and his team, for the continued support being rendered in pursuit of taking institutional journals to another level given their instrumental role in initiating academic conversations, disseminating, promoting and translating the much-needed research-based knowledge towards problem-solving and value creation in Zimbabwe.