A guest professor from Australia Indonesia Center (AIC), Saman Halgamuge, shared his experience and advice on research and academics, including scientific writing, in front of UGM students.
In a public lecture themed “Workshop and Lectures on Emphasizing Research Aspect” at the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, Faculty of Engineering, UGM on May 14, 2018, Saman pointed out the importance of proper research and writing in the making of a scientific journal. The lecture was moderated by Ahmad Agus Setiawan, Ph.D., a research collaborator of AIC from UGM.
Saman explained many scientific journals by Indonesian students have the same quality as journals written by international researchers. In fact, some are published as international journals. However, scientific journals by Indonesian students are still inferior in terms of citation index compared with journals from other countries.
A citation index is an indicator of the quality of publications. The number of other researchers who cite the scientific journal determines the quality of the research.
Saman said that one of the aims of scientific journal writing is to help the community. Therefore, as an academic writer, he aims to produce an organized and complete writing that also considers the need of the readers.
One way to evaluate that a journal is well-written is by assessing the number of citations. This way the effect of a writing in a community is known. In addition, research and writing that involve researchers from other countries will greatly determine the number of readers.
Saman mentioned this aspect indicates the number of citations as one of the ranking criteria of university ranking. Citation is included in the assessment factors of the three best-known World University Rankings, which are ARWU or Shanghai Ranking, QS Ranking, and Times Higher Education Ranking.
Saman said that the main features of journal writing are title and abstract. The two are considered important because they determine the reader’s interest.
“The most common mistake is not understanding the objective of prospective readers. Therefore, by improving this concept we can improve our writing as well,” concluded Saman.