No one denies the need for continued publication by academics in PNG. It is part of being a teacher and researcher at higher learning institutions. There are many journals available in which PNG academics can publish their works. But I think there should be journals that publish works whose audience are Papua New Guineans and other persons from the pacific. This is because sometimes we need to create a mode of communication among ourselves first to get know our problems better than come up with solutions to those problems.
There are other reasons why I think a journal targeted at the pacific audience should be available.
- To teach and train graduate students how to publish in journals.
- Promote communication among academics within our own region.
- Promote inter-disciplinary research work among academics within our region.
- Create a platform to promote scholarly work by our academics and graduate students to an international audience.
- Promote the use of research as a vechicle to bring development to rural areas.
These are but some of the reasons I can think of.
I was discussing these needs with a friend, VB, founder of vortexPNG, and we decided that, well, why not we start one journal ourselves. And so we have started The Papua New Guinea Journal of Science, Technology and Engineering. We are both from a science background so naturally we wanted to create a science and technology journal. VB has a physics background and I am a medical doctor.
In this day and age, there is a greater need for collaboration and inter-disciplinary approach to solving problems. A medical researcher might need to collaborate with a IT specialist to set up telepathology networks, or a mathematician to create mathematical models of HIV replication, or an economists to review our health budget spending and there are many other possibilities. With these views in mind, VB and I decided to create a very broad scope journal for the life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, technology and engineering.
English is not my first language and naturally I have been a bit anxious and apprehensive about how I will do the editing work for the journal. PNG has over 800 native languages so the official language for education and business in PNG is English. But this is the start and I will learn to be a good editor as the journal matures. This also means I will have to read wide, increase my vocabulary, publish papers in other journals, maybe take some courses on being a editor and learn the english language in detail again.
Last week, I created another blog on wordpress specifically for the journal. The main objective of the journal blog is to publish the abstracts of papers submitted. The journal blog will also encourage readers and contributors of the journal to ask questions regarding articles published in the journal and the authors can reply to the questions. Basically, to facilitate discussion between authors and readers.
I have published some of the titles recieved. You can visit the PNG.j.sci.technol.eng blog to view the titles. Absracts will be published once all the editing work is done and the first issue is released.
This is just the beginning and we will take one thing at a time and help nature the journal to grow. I would also like to invite you to support this new PNG journal and submit a manuscript. You can download the authors’ instructions here.