As a published researcher, I have continued to enjoy some, if not all these benefits. As a matter of fact, I look forward to more of the benefits as I continue to strive to publish more of my works. A pertinent question may be ‘what makes me qualified to discuss research publishing’? Well, I have been blessed as far as research publication is concerned. I had my first publication, which was a conference paper in 2005 as National Youth Corps member. Since then, I have published a collection of over 30 research (2 more on the way), review and conference articles till date. I have also published 3 book chapters, with a 4th one on the way. My research profile can be found on ResearchGate and GoogleScholar.
Okay, so, why should you publish?
1/ Opportunity for expert status
When you publish, especially, consistently in a specific area or topic, people will begin to associate expertise in that topic or area with you. They will see you as the go-to person whenever discussion on that topic is up. And for this to happen, all you need to do is to develop a body of research that is novel or further tackle an existing research such that a new idea is opened up. it means that whenever an expert opinion is sought for in that topic, you’ll be required to make a contribution and your contribution will be highly valued because you are seen as an expert. My PhD was focused on developing strategies for early nutrition in poultry using a novel feed resources. Fortunately, I was the first person in the department to explore this topic. It gave me a lot of privilege because other students who came after me and were working in similar area would come to me for help or refer to my publications. The same thing happened during my MSc when I worked on developing methods for determining physical characteristics of feed ingredients.
2/ Opportunity for scholarships
I started applying for scholarships in 2007/2008. I hadn’t learned the tricks then. A key application for scholarship I submitted was in 2009 to the University of New England, Arimdale, Australia. I didn’t secure that. I was later on told b my potential supervisor that I wasn’t successful because I didn’t have enough publications then. I think overall, I had just 13 of research, review and conference papers or thereabout. I was wondering how many papers those that secured it had if I couldn’t with 13 papers.From then till 2012, I concentrated on publishing research articles. And special thanks to my supervisor, Prof. Okoli Charles Ifeanyi and Prof Uchegbu MC who was the HOD then. They opened their arms and embraced me, and then open the doors to me to learn from them. By the time I re-applied again in 2012, I got 2 scholarships at a go. I was told I was 2nd at one of the universities. And this is a very important point for many people who want to obtain a scholarship. You must devote some time to publishing and do not be in a rush. by the time you have enough papers, it will be easier to rank tops. But this is getting harder by the day as many excellent students/early career researchers a seriously publishing, even in high ‘impact factor’ journals.
3/ Opportunity for different kinds of fundings/grants
It was a paper a I wrote in 2008 that gave me the opportunity to travel to Australia the first, where I met the man who eventually became my phD supervisor. As a matter of fact, I have won 2 Alltech Young Scientist award, one certificate of award for perseverance in pursuit of excellence from Alltech, 2 World’s Poultry Congress Young Scientist award, one youth program award from World’s Poultry Congress and at least, 5 travel grants. I have also won an industry research grant, which was in support of my PhD research. In all of these, I was required to show evidence of potential for scholarly research publications in support of my applications. There are several opportunities like these in all fields of research and study. You will be more competitive and positioned for them if you begin to publish today.
4/ Opportunity for networking
Through conference publications, you have the opportunity to travel for conferences and that is actually where the magic happens. I see a lit of people who say they are researchers but do not make any effort to attend conferences. It is at conference, seminar or workshop events tat you meet your potential supervisor, collaborator, funder, etc.Like I mentioned, I met my PhD supervisor at a conference. I have linked a few people to friends in my network – people I met simply by publishing/submitting a research paper to a conference. Having the opportunity to present your paper at a conference is very vital. That is where people begin to know you. That is actually where your expert status begins. Just last year, a friend I met in 2008 came all the way from Iran to attend a conference at my University and one key reason was so we can meet again. And we have been collaborating in different areas. In 2016/2017, I published a review paper with friends I have not met till date across Nigeria and Europe. The only connection was we know ourselves through our research publications. Publishing your research opens doors to network with the best minds in your field.
5/ Opportunity for consultancy services
Since last year, I have been part of a tram of consultants for a company in Finland. I did not apply for it. I was found and was invited by the company. A collection of your research publications is an evidence of your expertise in a field. When people want to hire an expert, they want to see the results you have produced. I am yet to fully express this aspect of the opportunity in research publications but it is one that is huge. I am looking forward to consulting for FAO and ministries of agriculture in leading nations in the coming future. This is one reason I must continue to publish as much as possible.
6/ Opportunity for career development and growth
In the academics and research, there is a term called ‘publish or perish.’ What this means is that if you do not publish, you will remain at the same spot for life without any promotion. Hence, when you publish your research, you will have something to present whenever it is time for you to be assessed for promotion. And there are many more reasons why you should publish, but these are the few I want us to have in mind.