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With most universities now insisting on the publishing of a journal article as a prerequisite for the attainment of a Doctoral degree, the knowledge of the intricacies of the publishing of journal articles in particular, and the publishing industry and its attendant processes generally, has become an imperative in South African Higher Education institutions. Ignorance is not an option!

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The Centre for Scholarly Publishing Services (Pty) Ltd conducts Writing Retreats popularly known as symposium on enhancing the publishing capability of early career researchers for various universities, colleges, research institutes as well as universities of technologies. These retreats are offered either virtually or physically to both academic staff as well as early career researchers and are aimed at capacitating them as far as the writing and publishing of journal articles is concerned. The programme is arranged in such a way that by the end of the retreat, the researchers will have completed their journal articles and submitted them to various journals for possible publication.

On the first day of the Writing Retreat, the facilitator will present a number of publishing modules aimed at assisting the participants understand what journal editors are looking for in an article so that they are able to amend theirs accordingly. From the second day until the last day, the retreat comprise of one-on-one review sessions wherein the presenter will provide feedback to the participants about their papers and they work on improving these. This process is repeated throughout the week and it involves further reviews and feedback during the course of the week. By the Friday, the papers are completed and then submitted to various journals.

The symposium will cover the following modules:

1) Overview of publishing in South Africa;
2) Overview of scholarly publishing in South Africa;
3) Overview of specifications of journal articles;
4) A comparative analysis of theoretical journal articles vis-a-vis fieldwork based journal articles;
5) Overview of conference proceedings;
6) Getting started and choosing a relevant journal for your article;
7) The peer-review and publishing process; and
8) Overview of open access predatory journals.

The Virtual Writing Retreats are facilitated by Solani Ngobeni, Publishing Director, Centre for Scholarly Publishing Services.

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