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Friday, October 24, 2008

DA Office Joins Group in Conducting Report Writing Course for Biotechnologists

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications and the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office have collaborated in conducting a training seminar on technical report writing for scientists working on applied biotechnology.

ISAAA and DA-BPO stressed the seminar, which started on October 20, 2008 at the Hotel La Corona de Pagsanjan in Pagsanjan, Laguna will end on October 24.

The seminar, organizers said, aims to develop technical writing skills among scientists and improve the quality of their papers and reports on applied biotechnology.

Dr. Ofelia K. Bautista, a professor at the Department of Horticulture of the University of the Philippines in Los BaƱos, is the main lecturer for the seminar.

She stressed in her lecture that scientific papers and reports can be made more exciting and interesting if the writers are imbued with a sense of mission, which is to propagate knowledge about the benefits of applied biotechnology.

Bautista explained that all scientific papers should be published, adding that unpublished researches can be categorized as incomplete. In writing these reports and papers, she said authors should be careful, particularly in the use of scientific terms and mathematical or statistical processes, in order to reach a larger public.

"The products of our researchers' studies can help feed our stomachs. Their published studies will certainly feed our minds," said DA-BPO director Alicia Ilaga.

She attended the opening of the seminar to give the opening message, which stressed the importance of research and scientific work in governments' strategic aim of attaining food security.

The seminar was attended by selected scientists and researchers from the different science agencies of DA.

Practically all the participants conduct agricultural researches and studies with funding from the DA and ISAAA.

Bautista gave the participants an overview of technical research writing.

She also cited the guidelines of the Institute of Scientific Information (now Thomson Reuters) in publishing researches and theses.

ISI maintains a large collection of bibliographic and indexing data for scientific literature and measures the impact and influence of published research.

To date, hundreds of researches and studies funded by the government are being conducted but only a handful actually end up being published in international publications.

One reason for this low publication output, Bautista revealed, is the fact that Filipinos are not native English speakers and they find it difficult to write on scientific matters using a borrowed language.

To remedy the situation, she stressed constant training and writing is needed to broaden not only their linguistic horizon but also to deepen their knowledge and technical skills on scientific syntax. (biolife news service)

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