Meshack Ambani Mulongo just completed his PhD in Education Administration at Karatina University, Kenya.
His research interest is in mitigation of examination malpractices in universities in Kenya.
TCC Africa: How many papers were you able to produce out of your thesis after the training?
I have published three (3) papers from my PhD thesis and two (2) from my Master’s thesis since I had not published them before. By the end of this year, I intend to publish four (4) each from my Master’s and PhD. I have sent in some manuscripts and now waiting for responses from the journals.
TCC Africa: Could you remind us what year you came in for the TCC training and also share with us what your journal selection strategy had been like especially when it comes to identifying the journals you intend to publish in and the ones you have already published in.
I attended the training on August, 2019 held at UON Kabete Campus in Nairobi. From the skills we learned from the training, if you want to publish your work from your thesis you need to check which journals have published in your area of research. I have also been searching on Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) which is actually where I have done most of my publications.
TCC Africa: Before you came for the training, what were some of the challenges you faced as an early career researcher, especially in the scholarly communication process and how was the training able to help mitigate your frustration.
We had learnt about proposal and thesis writing theoretically in class but when I attended the training, I was able to look at the whole process right from the beginning to the end: How to write your literature review as well as chapter three and four and what it actually entails to write a good research report. We were also guided on statistical analysis and through the guidance of the trainers I was able to understand how to interpret and do data regression analysis. Since the training, I have become very passionate about making my research work visible thus I’m working through the process with my mentor. I came to realize that the essence of research is not only in doing it but also in its impact to other researchers and the outside world.
TCC Africa: How are you going to help the post graduate students at Karatina University from what you have learnt?
During my last defense meeting, I made it clear to my professors, that I’m willing to attend the post graduate meetings that are held occasionally and share what I’ve learned especially on how to publish in credible journals to avoid predatory journals and what not’s. Some of my colleagues who were supposed to graduate this year have faced some challenges after submitting their manuscripts to the wrong journals. I intend to share with them how to go about it and introduce them to your TCC platforms for research process support and mentorship.
TCC Africa: What are your next steps in increasing the visibility of your research?
As I had mentioned before I am working with my mentor Nicholas Outa who guides me on how to go about it. I have been busy finalizing details on the manuscripts to be published but once done I will work closely with my mentor to make sure my work is visible.
TCC Africa: Thank you for acknowledging that Mr. Outa has been closely supporting you in this whole process of you publishing your papers which is really good. It shows that we are definitely supporting you one on one during your career but most importantly that you are going to increase your research visibility.
What are your parting shots to early career researchers and those who are undertaking their post graduate studies?
I have four things to share with early career researchers and those undertaking their postgraduate studies:
Be determined to do what you have purposed to do,
Go an extra mile in doing what you want to do,
Be humble in your research process – consult those who have preceded you so that they can share what they have learned
I would really like to share that it is very important for you to have published some work and done several papers when looking for employment. A colleague of mine at Karatina University who graduated in 2018, was able to secure a job because of the number of publications he had done which were around eight (8) at the time. Employers give more priority to job seekers with more publications hence make sure you publish your research findings.
TCC Africa: Thank you so much for your time and I wish you the best in your research career.
Thank you it has been great interacting with you.