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Wednesday, 12 February 2020 10:49
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Journals with international cooperation of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

(LLCT) - The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics so far has a total of 12 journals (or 14 if including the English and e-publications of the Political Theory Journal), in which the Political Theory Journal is the only unit equivalent to a department and directly under the President of the Academy, while the others belong to the affiliated academies and research institutes. Since 2014, with the launching of the English Political Theory Journal, the contribution to international cooperation has become more visible. In the future, the leaders of journals must be proactive and active in seeking, selecting reliable partners and organizing appropriate forms of cooperation to improve their professional skills and contribute to strengthening the multi-faceted cooperative relations of the Academy.

 

 

1. Efforts of the journals over the past time

The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics so far has a total of 12 journals (or 14 if including the English and e-publications of the Political Theory Journal), in which the Political Theory Journal is the only unit equivalent to a department and directly under the President of the Academy, while the others belong to the affiliated academies and research institutes. The oldest journals are the Political Theory Journal and the Party History Journal (which are 43 and 40 years old respectively) while the youngest ones are the Socialism-Theory and Practice Journal with one issue in less than one year and the Journal of Law on Human Rights with three issues in two years.

Based on the issuance period, five over twelve journals are monthly published. Most of the rest are published every 3 months. As for the number of copies, most journals have under 1,000 copies per issue. The Political Theory Journal has reached the highest number of copies at 3,200 copies, followed by the Party History Journal with more than 2,000 copies per issue.

Looking back over the past years, it can be said that for a long time, the Journals have little engagement in the international cooperation activities of the Academy for both subjective and objective reasons. On the objective side, first and foremost, the leaders of the Academy, the International Cooperation Department and the Journals have yet to see the ability and the necessity of the participation of the Journals in international cooperation. Secondly, there have been very few international cooperation activities at the affiliated academies, so there have been even less opportunities for the journals to participate. Thirdly, although it has been quite a long time since their establishment, some journals (such as the Political Theory Journal and the Party History Journal) are mainly printed in Vietnamese with the presentation below the international standards and the contents less informative for foreign partners. The recent published journals of the Academy such as the Human Rights Research Journal, the Socialism-Theory and Practice Journal, the Ho Chi Minh Research Journal, etc., and the journals of the affiliated academies are also in the same situation, making it more difficult to introduce these journals to international partners.

On the subjective side, being unaware of the importance of participation in external relations, the leaders of the Journals have not realized the requirements for the format and contents innovation to serve this work. Moreover, there are not enough qualified personnel involved in some international cooperation activities (such as interpretation, translation, consultation, organization, etc.).

Since 2014, with the launching of the English Political Theory Journal, the contribution to international cooperation has become more visible. First of all, the English Political Theory Journal has become the scientific materials to exchange with foreign partners and visitors. Its issues have been presented to international friends by the Academy’s delegations on their business trips abroad. They have also been presented to foreign delegations visiting the Academy. Each new issue of the English Journal is sent to the Embassies and diplomatic missions in Hanoi according to a list approved by the President of the Academy. In general, the international friends and partners have thought highly of the format as well as the useful contents of the English Journal.

Secondly, in the last few years, along with the Academy’s strengthened international cooperation, many foreign statesmen and scholars who have visited, worked and participated in international workshops at the Academy have their speeches published in both the Vietnamese and English versions of the Journal. Some examples are the article by the President of the Senate of the Russian Federation, and the keynote addresses by the President of Nepal and the Chairman of the India-Vietnam Friendship Association in West Bengal, etc. In 2018, as a result of the international workshop on the occasion of the 170 years since the Manifesto of the Communist Party was born and 200th birthday of Karl Marx, the Vietnamese Journal published seven articles by the Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Cuban and Lao scientists.

In the past 5 years, the English issues of the Political Theory Journal for presentation and exchange are those making contributions to promoting the Academy’s image and influence, increasing its friendship with the international partners as well as the scientific credibility of the Journal. Moreover, the Political Theory Journal has participated in the Party and the State’s external communication through the communication of the Party and the State’s viewpoints and directions, and the country development achievements, especially in areas that are sensitive and attract international attention such as democracy, human rights, ethnicity, religion, foreign relations, national security, etc. in order to help international friends better understand and support Vietnam. This has shown that the Academy’s journals are really in need and able to participate in international cooperation activities.

However, it must be frankly acknowledged that except for the Political Theory Journal, the other journals have not had any significant engagement in the international cooperation of the Academy in general and of the affiliated academies in particular. This is understandable as the journals of the affiliated academies or the new specialized journals of the Academy do not have as good conditions as the Political Theory Journal does. Even the current English Political Theory Journal has a small number of copies (500 per issue); the number of copies presented to the embassies, diplomatic missions and foreign representative offices in Hanoi (1-2 copies/issue each) and the number of orders are small, so the promotion of the journal is still limited. Of the English Journal’s 65 articles per year, the number of articles by foreign authors is still small. The Journal also does not have qualified staff to participate in interpreting, translating, editing or advising on international cooperation. On the other hand, the Journal has not been proactive and competent enough to have independent external cooperation activities (such as visiting, studying, exchanging experiences with foreign publishing agencies). For these subjective reasons, the Journal’s participation in international cooperation is limited, mainly the publications of the English Journal.

2. Directions and solutions to strengthening participation of journals in international cooperation activities in the coming time

In the near future, in the context of international integration and development of the Academy, the international cooperation activities of the Academy will be more exciting; there will be more foreign partners and scholars coming to work, share, exchange academic knowledge and experiences with the Academy. This is an advantage and also a challenge for the journals when participating in international cooperation. The question is that to what extent and in what way the journals will be involved. The way of participation will obviously depend on the features of the journals, which include the publications and people of the Journal. From my practical experiences in the past time, I would like to suggest some directions and solutions, referring to both the extent and forms of international cooperation, as follows:

Directions

Firstly, continuing editing and publishing the English issues with good format, good translation quality and the content to meet the needs of study and research on Vietnam of international friends, partners and scientists, especially in the areas of much interest such as the theory of socialism, Marxism-Leninism, the Ho Chi Minh’s Thought, policies and achievements in democracy, human rights, ethnicity, religion, foreign affairs, etc. of Vietnam.

Secondly, on the basis of careful selection and evaluation, increasing the ratio of the foreign scientists’ articles in the Vietnamese and English journals. The Journal will publish the speeches of foreign statesmen who have the opportunity to visit and work at the Academy.

Thirdly, improving the website pages to timely introduce the table of contents and the full text of the articles in the English Journal to facilitate the access by international readers; creating the Lao language page in the e-Journal when there are appropriate personnel.

Fourthly, as the staff members obtain more adequate theoretical and English qualifications, they can translate and edit the articles in the English versions themselves, do the interpretation for seminars or exchange delegations of the Academy, and participate in translating and editing other materials of the Academy.

Fifthly, proactively seeking and selecting reliable partners for publishing international-standard scientific and political journals; asking the President to allow regular forms of learning and experience sharing to improve professional qualifications. The first partners must be those countries with similar political directions and close relations with the Academy and Vietnam such as Laos, Cuba, China and South Korea, etc.

Solutions

In order to follow the above-mentioned directions, the leaders of the Academy, the International Cooperation Department and the Journal’s Editor-in-chief should have the following solutions:

- The Directorate of the Academy needs to affirm the necessity for the participation of the journals in general and the Political Theory Journal in particular in the international cooperation of the Academy and the affiliated academies. The journals can perform even better as a tool and a channel for the international cooperation, helping international friends and partners better understand the image, position and role of the Academy, winning more affection and trust in the Academy. The leaders of the Academy hence will create favorable conditions for the Journal to build up and develop the teams of managers and editors who are highly qualified in theory and foreign languages to participate in interpreting, translating and advising on foreign affairs; create conditions for the journals to exchange and learn experiences from reliable partners in the field of publishing scientific and political journals.

- The International Cooperation Department needs to cooperate well with the Journal in order to promote the English publications to international partners and friends; help the Journal understand the needs and assessments of international friends to improve the Journal’s content and launching method. On the other hand, it should proactively cooperate with the Journal in selecting, evaluating, translating and editing the articles by foreign scholars to be published in the Vietnamese and English Political Theory Journal.

- The Organization and Personnel Department needs to help the Journal to select the right leaders and editorial staff with adequate qualifications and regular training to meet the increasing demands for good translation, editing, and even interpretation into English, Lao, Chinese, etc.in international cooperation activities when needed.

- The Financial Department needs to cooperate with the Journal in building an appropriate financial mechanism for both saving the state budget and creating motivation for the English Journal staff to work effectively and qualitatively.

- The leaders of the journals, especially the Political Theory Journal, first of all, need to attach more importance to the participation in international cooperation of the Academy, considering it as both a task and an honor of the journals. It is necessary to be aware of and build a mechanism for coordination and close cooperation with international cooperation department, organization and personnel department and financial department in related tasks among units.

The heads of journals must continue improving and innovating the format and contents of publications (Vietnamese, English and electronic), especially the English publications, to become useful products in the international cooperation activity and a useful information channel for international friends, a link connecting foreign partners and scientists with the Academy.

The heads of journals must really pay attention to developing the editorial staff with good foreign language skills, especially English. In the context of limited number of regular staff, it is necessary to be flexible and creative in gathering and mobilizing appropriate human resources from other units in the Academy to participate in editing and translating the publications of the English Journal and English e-Journal. It is also important to encourage the staff of the journals to participate in interpreting, translating, editing materials for other units of the Academy and independently search for international partners to learn and exchange experiences in order to improve their professional skills.

With the consent of the Academy President, the leaders of journals must be proactive and active in seeking, selecting reliable partners and organizing appropriate forms of cooperation to improve their professional skills and contribute to strengthening the multi-faceted cooperative relations of the Academy.

It is believed that if the above solutions are well implemented, the participation in international cooperation of the journals in the near future will reach higher level with more diverse forms, making significant contributions to the overall development of the Academy and the external communication of the Party and the State.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Vu Hoang Cong

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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