“As researchers, we are here to make the world a better place, we are here to innovate,” DOST Scientist Dr. Custer Deocaris reminded the participants of the 2021 Sylvatrop Writing Workshop held on October 5-8, 2021 via Zoom.
Researchers from the different ERDB Divisions and Research Development and Extension Centers (RDECs) persisted through the four-day writing workshop, despite challenges akin to the remote nature of online activities, to fulfil their scientific duty of publishing research.
The 2021 Sylvatrop Writing Workshop for ERDB Completed Studies was organized with the AFMD-HRD Section to accomplish the ERDB’s goal of increasing its published research output by drafting journal articles based on ERDB’s projects or studies. By the end of the workshop, 31 draft journal articles were submitted to Sylvatrop for assessment.
In her welcoming remarks, the ERDB Assistant Director and Sylvatrop Editor-in-Chief, Mayumi Quintos-Natividad thanked the diverse slate of scientists and resource speakers, namely Dr. Maricar Aguilos of North Carolina University, Dr. Custer Deocaris of the DOST, and Dr. Inocencio Buot of UPLB for sharing their expert and insider knowledge on getting one’s article published in reputable technical journals.
She also extended her gratitude towards the ERDB’s homegrown mentors Dr. Jose Alan Castillo, Dr. Lynlei Pintor, Mr. Jose Isidro Padin, Ms. Liberty Asis, and Ms. Adreana Santos-Remo for guiding the participants throughout each session of the writing workshop proper.
During the first day of the writeshop, Dr. Maricar Aguilos, a US-based environmental scientist and former ERDB research specialist, highlighted that Filipino researchers are still breaking their way into the international research scene. She stated that the Philippines is nowhere to be seen on the global citation map. Dr. Inocencio Buot, a UPLB Scientist, added that the Philippines ranks lowest among its ASEAN neighbors in terms of research publication output.
For a research-oriented government institution such as the ERDB, it has been doing its part to address this by continuously capacitating its researchers through the conduct of relevant seminars and workshops. In his lectures, ERDB Scientist Dr. Jose Alan Castillo gave helpful tips in writing the different parts of a journal article, from the Introduction to the Conclusion. Meanwhile, ERDB Budget and Cash Chief and statistician Ms. Jenneza Castro shared ways to address the common pitfalls of research design. The mentors were also with the participants every step of the way, albeit virtually, in addressing their unique concerns.
The ERDB has also been improving its institutional mechanisms to encourage its researchers to write and publish their research results. In his closing message, Director Henry Adornado ensured that he will work with the management so that the researchers are fully-equipped with the software and other necessary support needed to accomplish their research tasks. He also vocalized his support to create an enabling environment for the ERDB’s research productivity, stating that he is eyeing the amendment of regulations for publication incentives and benefits to be at par with other government institutions. Furthermore, he shared that he intends to formally raise these concerns with the higher offices.
The ERDB, with the Sylvatrop Journal, hopes to drive the Philippines towards a visible spot on the global citation map. For now, we must research, publish, and repeat.—Carmela Kris A. Armilla, Sylvatrop , TTD