Friday, February 29, 2008

Codesria Annual Writing Workshops

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
(CODESRIA) is pleased to announce the 2008 edition of its Annual
Writing Workshop for Scholarly Publishing. Three sessions of the
workshop have been scheduled, one to be held in English, another in
French and the third one in Portuguese. The English language edition
is planned to take place in Kampala, Uganda, on the campus of
Makerere University from 13 – 17 October, 2008. It will bring
together, 30 participants from across Africa who research in the
English language.

Scholarly writing and publishing among younger African researchers
have been under considerable strain for some time now. The reasons
for this state of affairs are multifaceted but are uniformly
connected to the prolonged crises which the continent’s higher
education system has been experiencing for the last two decades.
Remedying the problem has become urgent in order to ensure that the
presence of the African voice in the production of knowledge about
the continent and other regions of the world is assured at the
highest level of quality. As an institution with a long track record
in scholarly publishing, and which has a mandate to project African
voices through a variety of programmes, CODESRIA has increasingly
been concerned with the deterioration of the quality of academic
writing among the younger generation of scholars who have borne the
brunt of the crises of the last two decades in African higher
education. The Council has been particularly well-placed to track the
magnitude of the problem through the regular assessment it carries
out of contributions received from across Africa for consideration
for publication in any one of the nine journals in its stable, the
applications that are submitted for consideration for admission into
its various training programmes, the regular feedback it solicits
from sister institutions on the strengths and weaknesses of scholarly
essays which they have occasion regularly to review, and the gaps in
foundational training in the university system that currently affect
capacities to muster a written argument, project an informed point of
view, develop a presentational/analytic style, cite references
correctly, and adequately prepare manuscripts for consideration for
publication in scholarly outlets. It was with a view to remedying
this situation that CODESRIA decided to launch its scholarly writing
programme targeted at younger third and fourth generation African

The workshop will feature presentations and practical demonstrations
by seasoned scholars under whose mentorship, groups of advanced
postgraduate students and younger scholars who are admitted to
participate in the programme will be supported to upgrade the quality
of their writing and publishing. Exercises will be offered to
demonstrate different approaches to scholarly writing and publishing
as follows:

(a) Scholarly Writing:
i.Presenting participants with the skills and requirements
needed to write effectively taking full cognisance of the
expectations of the scholarly community;
ii. Familiarising participants with how to critically
appraise the theoretical assumptions that underpin the related
research on which they draw to inform their own research and writing;
iii. Demonstrating familiarity with related scholarly
literature and debates;
iv.Determining and critically relating to methodologies
employed in scholarly research and writing:
v.Determining and critically relating to the arguments of
authors on whose work participants draw to make their own arguments; and
vi.Determining the contribution to knowledge of a piece of
scholarly writing.

(b) Scholarly Publishing:
i. Building a proper understanding of the publishing process
with a view to ensuring that manuscripts are prepared and presented
in a manner that facilitates the publishing process and which, in so
doing, improves their chances for selection in scholarly publishing
outlets. Attention will be drawn to a variety of issues ranging from
adherence to style guidelines to choosing which work is best fitted
to a particular scholarly publishing format, as well as suggestions
on how to revise theses and dissertations into publishable manuscripts;
ii. Presentations on how to document a manuscript for
publication, including especially different methods of referencing,
the use of quotations, and the presentation of source materials used;
iii.Presentations on the interface between the style adopted
for a written scholarly work and the audience that is targeted for
its consumption. Here, attention will also be given to the best
approaches to disseminating and promoting a scientific publication
using both the author’s and publisher’s networks (review outlets,
conferences, symposium and book dissemination forums, teaching
curriculum, electronic and print forums etc.) in order to generate
debate and promote sales.

Workshop Framework
The workshop will be organised over a period of five working and will
involve a series of lectures and practical work interspersed with
open discussions on the key issues in scholarly publishing. The
programme will be coordinated by a designated director assisted by
invited resource persons with a track record in scholarly publishing.
A post-workshop monitoring exercise will provide participants an
opportunity to have their work reviewed and assessed by identified
resource persons for a predetermined length of time after the workshop.

Target Population
The following category of younger researchers are encouraged to apply
for participation in the workshop:
• Advanced postgraduates working on their dissertations or
theses in an African university;
• Researchers who completed their postgraduate studies at
any time during the last five years and are presently pursuing a
teaching and/or research career in an African university or research
centre; and
• Former laureates of CODESRIA institutes and methodological
workshops interested in updating their skills.

The CODESRIA Secretariat will also actively identify potential
participants from among the pool of promising younger scholars who
have recently submitted papers for consideration in CODESRIA journals
but whose articles were not accepted for publication after being peer-

Prospective participants are required to submit an application letter
which should be accompanied by the bio-data of the applicant, their
discipline, the research areas in which they are interested, and
information on any experience they have had in scholarly writing and
publishing, and an attestation by their departmental head, dean or
director of their institutional affiliation. Once selected,
participants will be invited to submit written samples of current
unpublished work before the workshops begin in order to enable the
workshop resources persons to better identify key areas of strength
that should be reinforced and areas of weakness that need to address.

The deadline for the receipt of applications for the workshop is 15
July, 2008. Admission to participate in the workshop will be limited
to 30 persons to allow for an intensive session.

All applications should be addressed to:
2008 Annual Writing Workshop,
BP 3304,
Dakar, Senegal.
Tel.:+221-33 825 98 22/23
Fax: +221-33 824 12 89
Web Site: http://


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