27 authors sign deal with UNISSA

National 2 minutes, 42 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Twenty-seven academic authors signed an agreement with Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) yesterday to have their manuscripts and journals published solely by its Research and Publication Centre for a period of five years.

The first of its kind, the agreement is part of the centre’s efforts to generate more interest amongst the university’s academic staff in being more active in research and writing.

The manuscripts and journals, which could also be used as reference sources, would be published under UNISSA Press, which was established together with the Research and Publication Centre in mid 2015.

Under the agreement, a number of incentives are also to be given to the writers, including 10 copies of each book they publish and a 10 per cent royalty deducted from the total cost of printing.

Joint writers of a book are also to be given the same amount of incentives and are to be shared accordingly with one another.

Most of the authors signing the agreement at UNISSA were academic members of the university itself, including its rector, Dr Hj Norarfan Hj Zainal, who was also the guest of honour of the signing ceremony.

In her speech, Dr Hjh Rose Abdullah, director of UNISSA’s Research and Publication Centre, emphasised that books to be submitted for publication must be authentic works of the authors and have never been printed by other publishers. She added, however, an exception if the author is no longer bound by a contract with a previous publishing company.

In an interview, she said the Research and Publication Centre is also accepting written works by authors outside of UNISSA.

She said every work submitted will have to be evaluated according to its suitability and must meet certain standards to be published.

“The main standard right now is that the materials should be of academic quality and have their own value as research. They can also be theses written by students,” she said.

However, she said they may also accept books that aren’t written in research form, giving light reading material on prayers as an example.

Dr Hjh Rose said there is no specific quota for the number of works produced by the authors under the agreement, but it would be better if they are able to produce one every month.

“But of course, this would depend on their production capability, as we understand that writing a book is no simple task for anyone.”

Dr Hjh Rose said UNISSA’s Research and Publication Centre was established sometime in the middle of last year, and so far, 32 books and journals have been published, with all of them launched to commemorate the university’s fifth convocation last year.

“And with the agreement, we are now targeting to produce at least 20 to 25 books per year,” she said.

At the moment, she said UNISSA Press is looking to market the books and journals it has published overseas, with catalogues and details of its publications already sent to other international institutions and foreign envoys in the country.

While UNISSA Press is still in its infancy, Dr Hjh Rose hopes the quality of its publications can be improved over time, making it possible for the university to collaborate with international publishing houses.

The Brunei Times