Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) has recently announced the development of a special annual QScience Connect journal issue to be published on their academic, Open Access platform, QScience.com, dedicated to the work of student researchers.
The multidisciplinary special issue, titled QScience Connect - Special Issue: Thesis, aims to introduce graduate students to the worlds of both research writing and scholarly journals publishing. Graduates whose work is accepted for publication are guided through the writing process to develop their thesis into an abridged 10,000-word article that is standard for scholarly publishing. Their article is then prepared for publication which includes peer-review and editing provided by industry experts, article hosting, archiving, and indexing in internationally recognized databases. One-on-one guidance and feedback are provided by HBKU Press every step of the way.
“This special issue is just one of the many ways HBKU Press provides a supportive and collaborative research environment for academics and scholars in Qatar, MENA, and the rest of the world,” said Dr. Rima Isaifan, Head of Academic and Journals Publishing at HBKU Press. “By providing student researchers with a proper introduction into the world of academic publishing, not only are we enriching their learning experience, but we are providing them with the foundation to develop their future careers in academia.”
The special issue is the first of its kind in the Gulf and MENA regions. HBKU Press’s Academic team was inspired to create the dedicated journal transforming graduate theses into scholarly articles after receiving an increasing number of requests from local graduate students who were looking to publish their master’s level thesis as a prerequisite for applying to PhD programs. Without any guidance on thesis re-writing and with the threat of predatory publishers, HBKU Press saw this as an opportunity to make sure local scholars had the tools and resources to succeed.
“Too many predatory publishers prey on the inexperience of graduate student researchers and take their money only to provide sub-par services and a final article that is not peer-reviewed, not easily accessible or citable in any way, and does not help the researcher gain exposure,” Dr. Isaifan explained, “whereas the Open Access publishing model on QScience.com follows international best practices for publication and allows authors to share their work freely, with higher access, download and sharing rates, while ensuring proper citation.
“The formalization of this special issue as an annual publication provides a credible launchpad for all student researchers and a legitimate avenue to pursue publication that caters to their needs,” Dr. Isaifan said.
And though the first issue of QScience Connect - Special Issue: Thesis will be published annually, starting in October 2021, this is not the first time HBKU Press has provided support for local graduates on their road to publication. Dr. Isaifan has personally mentored several budding researchers previously, including two Qatari student researchers, Dr. Hanadi Al-Thani and Amna Al-Khater, who were the recipients of The Ministry of Education Excellence Award.
“As a graduate student at HBKU for the MSc and PhD degrees in Sustainable Environment, I have immensely benefited from the guidance and support of HBKU Press’s Academic Publishing department,” explains Dr. Al Thani. “With their support, I was able to greatly improve my research writing skills which led to the successful publication of my article. This achievement helped me to obtain the The Ministry of Education Excellence Award and the Best Research Graduate Award which are based on the quality of the research published. I will always recommend graduate students to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities HBKU Press is providing as it will ensure their progression towards the highest level of achievements in academic publishing.”
QScience Connect is a bilingual, multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal. It offers the latest practices in the academic publishing industry including the issuance of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and XML tagging to help in the discovery and dissemination of articles in search engines and on Google Scholar. It is also indexed in Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) which is home to 14,000 global journals and reaches millions of researchers from around the world.