The Impactful Researcher: South Asian first-ever partnership in conducting a virtual research programme

The Research and Publication Unit of the Faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, has collaborated with the Emerald Publishing and College of Healthcare Management and Economics, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE, is launching a four-month research program on ‘Writing Impactful Research.’

The program’s whole objective is to develop impactful researchers by enhancing the scholars’ research and publication competencies in the region. The course combines didactic topics to understand how to write a quality manuscript on any business and management domain and the ways and means of publishing in top-tier research journals in the world. There is no course fee associated with the program, and it is delivered free of charge as a CSR program.

Academics and researchers interested in scholarly publications were identified as the target group of the programme. The programme will be conducted from 22nd April 2021 to 5th August 2021 through the Online Platform: GoToWebinar. The participants will receive a certificate – jointly signed by the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Emerald Publishing, and Gulf Medical University, UAE, at the end of each webinar. A ‘Certificate of Completion will be issued to all the participants who can maintain a minimum of 75% attendance throughout the series.

Dr. Jayantha N. Dewasiri (Faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka), Ms. Sangeeta Menon (Publishing Relationship Manager, Emerald Publishing), Prof. Sudhir Rana (College of Healthcare Management and Economics, Gulf Medical University, UAE), and Prof. Muhammad Kashif Saeed (Gift University, Pakistan) are working as the regional coordinators of the program.  Recently, Emerald Publishing has appointed Dr. Jayantha as the Brand Ambassador for the South Asian region, and Prof. Kashif is representing UAE for Emerald’s brand ambassador program. 

The program is focused on the rationale and complexities in research publishing, how relevant is the innovative approach in research for targeting high impact journals, philosophy of research, generating research questions through problematization, identifying research gaps, selecting and studying literature, the rationale for methodology selection, how to select the suitable journal for publication, structuring the manuscript, and understanding the publishing process.   Moreover, there are special sessions from Emerald Publishing, Clarivate Analytics (Web of Science), and Elsevier (Science Direct) on how to improve article acceptance rate and publish quicker, ethics in publications and how to eliminate typical mistakes in the publication process, how to take your research to the next level, and tools facilitating research writing.

The resource panel of the programme consists of eminent scholars such as Prof. Kashif Saeed (GIFT University, Pakistan), Prof. Vikas Arya (Rajalakshmi School of Business), Prof.  Satyanarayana Parayitam (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA), Prof. Abhishek Behl (Jindal Global University), Prof. Murugan Pattusamy (University of Hyderabad), Prof. Umesh Bamel (International Management Institute), Prof. Sudhir Rana (Gulf Medical University), Dr. Subhasree Nag ( Web of Science), Dr. Shubhra Dutta (Science Direct), Miss Sangeeta Menon (Emerald Publishing),  Prof. Nakul Parmeshwar, Dr. Amila Jayarathne (USJ), Dr. Jayantha N. Dewasiri (Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka), Prof. Tharusha Goonerathne (UoC), Prof. Arosha Adhikaram (UoC), etc.

Commenting on the program, Professor Athula Gnanapala, Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies (Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka), stated that “The role of an academic institution is to find the new knowledge and disseminate the same. Research plays a vital role in finding new knowledge, and journal publications support communicating the same. As a region, there is a lack of impactful research published in top-tier academic journals.  We intend to address this gap by enhancing the scholars’ research and publication competencies through this program. Further, we are establishing some reputed journals in collaboration with global publishers such as Emerald to develop the region’s research infrastructure. I believe that it is the primary responsibility of any academic institution”.

Professor MSM Aslam, Chairman of the Research and Publication Unit (FMS, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka), stated that “we can see that most of the academic institutions in the region have deviated from its mandate, it is required to develop research and innovation skills of the scholars to boost up any economy. Most of the time, we intend to emphasize that it is a responsibility of the government, but I see that as a responsibility of academic/professional institutions. Accordingly, we developed this program with the support of Emerald Publishing, Gulf Medical University, GIFT University, and few other institutions to address the same”.

Commenting on the Programme, Miss Sangeeta Menon (Emerald Publishing) stated that “ever since the inception of Emerald Publishing in 1967, the core of our ethos has been to change lives through learning and championing fresh thinking. This also means working closely with partners that share our vision of providing innovative tools and services to build confidence and capability in impactful research. We have always known that researchers, especially in developing countries, often need additional support in understanding how to make significant contributions to their field through writing impactful research and to keep up with the ever-evolving world of research publishing. To be able to support a free program that brings in experts from around the world to guide researchers is no easy feat. We at Emerald Publishing are glad to be the academic partners of Sabaragamuwa University’s 3-month long webinar series, ‘Writing Impactful Research,’ a much-needed program in today’s time that goes beyond borders”.

Prof. Abu-Bakr Ibrahim (Dean, College of Healthcare Management & Economics, Gulf Medical University) commented that over a period of time, the academic institutions have realized the importance of research publications, achieving publications in high-quality journals seems difficult without having proper training on it. The avenues of such training are very limited in the academic world. I am pleased to see that the College of Healthcare Management & Economics, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE, Sabaragamuwa University, Sri Lanka and Emerald Publishing together came forward to provide this training by hosting the webinar series on “Writing Impactful Research”. The webinar series is aiming to cover many important topics such as understanding the publishing process, expectations of editors and reviewers, conducting literature review and understanding conceptual/empirical methods, choosing the right journal etc. Hence, the webinar series attempts to provide integrative training to generate impactful research.

Dr. Jayantha N. Dewasiri stated that ‘there are no specific courses that solely focus on enhancing research and publication competencies of the researchers. We tend to learn only the methodology; in a research methodology course, but not how to publish in a top-tier journal. Most of the time, we tend to learn things from our own experience, and we develop this program in addressing such a gap. Accordingly, the eminent panel of speakers will share their own experience on publishing art and science in impactful journals. Currently, we have more than 2000 registrations for the program, and I hope it will be an amazing experience for the researchers in and out of South Asia”. The registration link for the programme: