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10/07/2021 - 06:54

Researchers who write articles

Despite not coming from a "journalism" background, officials and lecturers can still play the role of writers. Their articles do not strictly require topicality, thus can be published in reputable international journals if having a certain degree of “heatedness”.

Before writing scientific articles, researchers, officials and lecturers must do research

The “brainchild”

Dr. Nguyen Duc Huy, Vice President of the Institute of Biotechnology, Hue University, half-jokingly told me: "Both you and I work in the journalism, but each of my articles may take a whole month to complete". When being inquired, Mr. Huy revealed: "These are international scientific publications from research works."

At the age of 38, with 14 years of professional experience, Dr. Nguyen Duc Huy has 30 articles published in reputable international journals. The journey to "launch" an international publication has some similarities with the work of a reporter, but there are also many interesting differences.

Associated with research works, scientific articles place more emphasis on logicality than literature. Therefore, the research topic requires novelty, which means that the scientific article is topical but in-depth, not stopping only at reflecting information in a timely manner.

Take the international publication entitled “Characterization of a recombinant laccase from Fusarium oxysporum HUIB02 for biochemical application on dyes removal”, published in 2021 in Biochemical Engineering Journal (Japan) of Elservier Publishing House in the WoS category (SCIE), as an example. Through this article, Dr. Nguyen Duc Huy aims to apply biotechnology to treat dye wastewater. The creation of new technologies to treat environmental pollution is still a "heated" topic in modern society.

Normally, researchers must complete the research work before writing a scientific article, and sometimes this process may take several years since the "conception" developed. The important thing is to process data accurately to ensure scientific validity.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Huu Van, Dean of the Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University, who has about 40 international publications (author or co-author), compares: “If reporters of press agencies use their professional expertise to exploit information and facts, authors of scientific articles published in international journals must actively conduct research to get the results and express their objective viewpoints on the basis of the results. In other words, researchers are the creators of the facts out of their own research.”

Each journal has its own requirements, and authors of scientific articles must find a way to "fit in". The more prestigious the journal is, the more stringent the quality requirements and criteria become. The volume of articles depends on each journal, which means that the length of an article can range from only a few pages to more than 20 pages.

Officials and lecturers who are familiar with the "career of writing" scientific articles affirm that each article is their brainchild. According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bui Dinh Hoi, lecturer at the University of Pedagogy, Hue University, the publication of the article makes the research findings accessible to readers and researchers. Having scientific articles published is also one of the criteria to evaluate the influence and position of each scientist in the research field, so it is necessary to "take care" of his or her brainchild.

Although doing research requires a lot of time and effort investments, an article also needs to undergo an independent review process with strict requirements to be published in prestigious international journals. In addition to selecting notable findings as well as introducing the novelty and significance of the research, the writer must acquire "writing" skills and foreign language skills.

Due to the demanding requirements, not all authors succeed in getting their submissions approved. Sometimes, the story of “returning to the sender” is similar to that of those working in journalism. As for experienced experts, the secret to having international publications is nothing but passion and perseverance.

Not limiting to the research results

In 2020, officials and lecturers at Hue University contributed 416 articles on the Scopus catalog and 387 articles on the WoS (Web of Science) list. As of early May, Hue University also had 152 articles on the Scopus catalog and 93 articles on WoS. The large number of articles not only meets the goal of increasing international publications, thereby increasing Hue University's ranking on international rankings, but also brings practical values.

In scientific journals of prestigious international categories such as WoS and Scopus in 2020, at least 15 publications related to COVID-19 by scientists at Hue University can be found, such as Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Ai Nhung, Prof. Dr. Duong Tuan Quang and a group of authors from the Faculty of Chemistry, University of Science and University of Pedagogy, Hue University, with evaluative studies into the ability of natural and synthetic compounds to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus using simulation methods, or Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vo Van Thang and colleagues at the Faculty of Public Health, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University, with investigative research into proposing measures to prevent and control COVID-19 for the community in Vietnam and low and middle-income countries, etc.

Quality scientific articles have become topics for the press to exploit or provide objective data and documents for newspapers to serve their readers' needs.

Many researchers revealed that there were many times when journalists "reached" big issues. On these occasions, opinions from experts became important points for their articles. Scientific research and articles have contributed to the success of journalistic works in terms of reliability, information authenticity, etc.

There are many interesting stories about officials and lecturers doing research, one of which is taking the role of writers. Every time their "brainchild" is published in international journals, it is a shout of joy after a long journey of conducting the research. That joy does not limit to the successful research results, but also expands to larger contributions, including joining hands with the press to head towards more progress in the modern life.

Story & photo: Huu Phuc

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