Universities  will  soon  be  required  to  submit  their  academic  journals  to  the  Commission  for University Education(CUE) before they are published in the respective journal sites.CUE  said  it  is  currently  working  on  a  standardised  policy  on  journal  accreditation,  which  all universities will use for their publications.Speaking during a CUE staff sensitisation workshop on scholarly publishing and dissemination of scientific  information,  Prof.  Jackson  Too,  the  Head  of  Research  Department  at  CUE,said  the commission has already met representatives from 42 universities to discuss how to standardise the policy on journal accreditation.Prof. Too addedthat the Commission has developed criteriathat will be used to evaluate journals received from universities to ensurethattheyare credible.

“Majority of the academic journals published in Kenya are not subjected to rigor that a refereed journal should go through. Journals must have arobustpeer review process that guarantees quality.Wewant to do this with a lot of caution. Our work as the regulator is to ensure that universities have  adhered  to  laid  down  procedures,  without  interfering  with  their  independence,” Prof  Too said.

He added that CUE has benchmarked with South Africa and is ready for the task.

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Prof. Grace Njoroge, Deputy Commission Secretary (Accreditation)addresses CUE staff during the sensitisation workshop. The training was organised by CUE’s Head of Library and Information Sciences, DrBeatrice Odera-Kwach and facilitated by Dr. Paul Gichohi from Kenya Methodist University

In her opening remarks, theDeputy Commission Secretary (Accreditation),Prof. Grace Njoroge,saidCUE has reviewed standards in research for universities asstipulated in the Universities Act to guide in the use of copyright laws and plagiarism.“We as CUE should set standards for research. Research is not complete until you tell the world what you have found out”, said Prof. Njoroge who spoke on behalf of the Commission Secretary/ CEO Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi.

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Prof. Jackson Tooaddresses staff during a CUE sensitisationworkshop on scholarly publishing and dissemination of Scientificinformation held at the Commission offices inGigiri from 4th to 5th November 2019.

Prof. Njoroge also asked the staff to adhere to ethical rules when it comes to publishing, which includeobserving copyright  laws  and  how  to  utilise  e-contents  without  infringing  on  the authors/publishers’rights.

The two-daysensitisation trainingfor  CUE  staffwas organised  by CUE’s Head  of Library  and Information Services,Dr. Beatrice Odera-Kwach.

With regardto accrediting universityjournals, Dr. Odera-Kwach saidthat the Commission will determine, in consultation with the universities, which lists of accredited journals and indices are approved in terms of the policy being developed by CUE.

The  training  was  facilitated  by  Dr.  Paul  Gichohi,  a  University  Librarian  at  Kenya  Methodist University. He presented the following areasto the staff:Integrityissues in scholarly publishing; Riseof predatory publishing and its implications,Characteristics of predatory publishers; Criteria for  determining  predatory  publishers;  Overcoming  predatory  publishers;  Overcoming  predatory publishers; Principles of transparency and best practices in scholarly publishing;Code of conduct for journal publishers;Poor journal standards and practices;Plagiarism and plagiarism software;Upholding  ethics  and  honesty  in  research  and  publishing;Intellectual  property  rights;Access, selection, retrieval, use and dissemination of Information; andWriting for publication including publication structure and process.

He noted with concernthe rise inacademic dishonesty in higherlearning institutions.For instance, some academics falsify  research  data  in  their  publications to get  promotionsor  in  the  research findings to receive funding. The trend, he said,was worrying at the Masters and doctorallevels.

Dr. Gichohi called on CUE and other related agenciesto be at the forefront in stoppingpredatory journals whose main purpose is financial gain rather than the quality of research

“We need to have a structured guide on scientific publishing practices. We also need to establish our own local journals that are governed by an accrediting body. This could be CUE,” he said.

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