Interdisciplinary Graduate Education & Research in Animal Biotechnology & Coral Reef Fisheries to Achieve Indonesia Food Security (ANBIOCORE) is a USAID SHERA-funded Center for Collaborative Research (CCR). ANBIOCORE is led by Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB). ANBIOCORE works on a strategic collaborative engagement in animal (livestock and fisheries) biotechnology for sustainable food production through innovative research and high-quality education. Syiah Kuala University (UNYIAH) in Aceh is an ANBIOCORE affiliate institution which works in the livestock research cluster.
Two UNSYIAH researchers in Aceh, Dr. Gholib (S.Pt., M.Si) and Dr. drh Al Azhar (M. Kes.), found themselves in a cycle. They wrote academic papers exploring their research on Aceh cattle, which they submitted numerous times to a prestigious journal indexed by Scopus and/or WoS/Thomson Reuter, Quartile 1 (Q1), often to be rejected for publication. Then there was the matter of funding, as their university had limited resources to support this process. Their experience was not unique, though, as this cycle plagued many ANBIOCORE affiliate researchers at UNSYIAH. Recognizing their affiliate’s need for training in academic English writing, ANBIOCORE organized a workshop with their U.S. affiliate, Mississippi State University (MSU), to address the issue.
In the July 2018 ‘Training on Scientific Communication and Proposal Writing: International Training on Improvement of Capacity Building and Scientific Publication,’ Prof. Erdogan from MSU shared his knowledge on how to write proposals and scientific publications. Dr. Gholib and Dr. Al Azhar were two of 40 researchers from UNSYIAH who participated in the training. “The training had a very significant impact to our researchers. It was very useful for upgrading our knowledge and skills," said Prof. Dr. drh. Muslim Akmal, ANBIOCORE Partnership Manager at UNSYIAH Aceh. As a result of the training, Dr. Gholib and Dr. Al Azhar successfully submitted their academic papers to the a prestigious journal which has Impact factor (IF) and Scimago Journal Ranks (SJR) values, an internationally recognized, publicly available portal for journals and country scientific indicators. “We’re so glad that finally we had an opportunity to submit the papers to journal publication using USAID SHERA’s funding, and now the papers are accepted and being reviewed,” Prof. Muslim added.
For Dr. Gholib, being accepted in a prestigious journal indexed by Scopus, Quartile 1 (Q1) is a major achievement. “Although I have an experience published six papers in journals indexed by Scopus and/or WoS/Thomson Reuter, but this is my first time submitting an academic paper to a open-access journal. I am so happy that finally I will have a publication in a prestigious open-access journal,” said Dr. Gholib. It was not easy for him to publish his academic paper to an open-access journal with SJR valued above 1, as they have very strict requirements and it is not free. “But thank God, ANBIOCORE provided resources and funding so that I could submit my paper,” he added. Dr. Al Azhar also explained that while he had previously produced three publications, his SJR-accepted academic paper was his first to be published in the full Scopus index. “I must admit that ANBIOCORE contributed to this achievement. After participating in the training on academic writing, I received a lot of insight and knowledge that were very useful for my writing skills,” said Dr. Al Azhar.
Prof. Muslim noted that his institution has learned valuable lessons by joining ANBIOCORE. Research, publications, and other capacity building activities under ANBIOCORE project have aided UNSYIAH’s university accreditation process. Researchers have also learned how to conduct and manage good, transparent, and accountable research. “Although we may not be under [the current iteration of] ANBIOCORE in the future, all of the best practices that we’ve received will still be very useful in the future,” said Prof. Muslim.
For UNSYIAH, the biggest impact from joining ANBIOCORE is the improved capacity of its researchers in writing scientific papers. Two academic papers have been accepted in an internationally-recognized publication, which is a major achievement for both for the researchers and the university. This provides credibility and opens up the door to many new opportunities and networks. Additionally, ANBIOCORE has provided opportunities for UNSYIAH students to be actively involved in various capacity building activities, such as training on academic writing and research collaboration with other universities. “We’re happy that ANBIOCORE has helped our students expand their knowledge by providing resources,” said Prof. Muslim.