CUE Mullsover Mechanism of Accrediting University Academic Journals
Universities will soon be required to submit their academic journals to the Commission for University Education (CUE) before they are published in the respective journal sites. CUE said it is currently working on a standardized policy on journal accreditation, which all universities will use for their publications. Speaking during a CUE staff sensitization workshop on scholarly publishing and dissemination of scientific information, Prof. Jackson Too, the Head of Research Department at CUE, said the commission has already met representatives from 42 universities to discuss how to standardize the policy on journal accreditation. Prof. Too added that the Commission has developed criteria that will be used to evaluate journals received from universities to ensure that they are credible.
“Majority of the academic journals published in Kenya are not subjected to rigor that a refereed journal should go through. Journals must have a robust peer review process that guarantees quality. We want to do this with a lot of caution. Our work as the regulator is to ensure that universities have adhered to laid down procedures, without interfering with their independence,” Prof Too said.
He added that CUE has bench-marked with South Africa and is ready for the task.
In her opening remarks, the Deputy Commission Secretary (Accreditation), Prof. Grace Njoroge, said CUE has reviewed standards in research for universities as stipulated in the Universities Act to guide in the use of copyright laws and plagiarism. “We as CUE should set standards for research. Research is not complete until you tell the world what you have found out”, said Prof. Njoroge who spoke on behalf of the Commission Secretary/ CEO Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi.
Prof. Njoroge also asked the staff to adhere to ethical rules when it comes to publishing, which include observing copyright laws and how to utilize e-contents without infringing on the authors/publishers ‘rights
The two-desensitization training for CUE staff was organized by CUE’s Head of Library and Information Serviced, Beatrice Odera Kwach.
With regard to accrediting university journals, Dr. Odera-Kwach said that the Commission will determine, in consultation with the universities, which lists of accredited journals and indices are approved in terms of the policy being developed by CUE.
The training was facilitated by Dr. Paul Gichohi, a University Librarian at Kenya Methodist University.
He noted with concern the rise in academic dishonesty in higher learning institutions. For instance, some academics falsify research data in their publications to get promotions or in the research findings to receive funding. The trend, he said, was worrying at the Masters and doctoral levels.
Dr. Gichohi called on CUE and other related agencies to be at the forefront in stopping predatory journals whose main purpose is financial gain rather than the quality of research
“We need to have a structured guide on scientific publishing practices. We also need to establish our own local journals that are governed by an accrediting body. This could be CUE,” he said.