The International Conference on Borneo Book Publishing 2017 was held on 11-13 October 2017, taking place at The Waterfront Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak.

It was held in conjunction with the Borneo Book Fair held at the adjacent Plaza Merdeka between 11 and 15 October 2017. The events have been jointly organised by UNIMAS Publisher, Majlis Penerbit Ilmiah Malaysia (MAPIM), Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Sarawak, and Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

Cultural dance in the opening ceremony

This is the third Borneo Book Fair which began in Sabah since 2015. In the previous two years, the Universiti Malaysia Sabah was the main organizer.

The conference gathered some of the prominent people in the scholarly publishing industry under one roof, as well as young academics aiming to showcase their research work for potential publication.

Some of the notable faces in the conference include: Dato’ Dr. Anwar Ridhwan, Malaysia’s tenth Sasterawan Negara; Prof. Md. Sidin Ishak, former academic in University of Malaya and presently the Director of University of Selangor Press; Prof. Dr. Roosfa Hashim, the Director of International Islamic University Press; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jeniri Amir, journalism expert from UNIMAS; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Asmady Idris, the Director of Universiti Malaysia Sabah Press; and Mohd. Zakry Sa’ed of Yayasan Pembangunan Buku Negara.

Dato’ Dr. Anwar Ridhwan

Dato’ Dr. Anwar Ridhwan and Prof. Md. Sidin Ishak graced the first and second day with their keynote speeches.

Prof. Dr. Md. Sidin Ishak

Despite bringing slightly different topics and narratives, one important common point emerged from both speakers; publishers need to embrace the digital wave, influenced by massive change in the way the new generation is consuming the contents. Publishers are no longer in a position to “wait and see,” but rather prepare themselves to change in the wake of digital revolution.

Prof. Dr. Roosfa Hashim shared some useful findings and data on the progress of journal publishing in Brunei.

Prof. Dr. Roosfa Hashim

Although it appears that Brunei is still trailing behind in comparison with neighbouring countries, some notable growth has been observed. Few academics and publishing practitioners, including Roosfa himself, is on hand to facilitate improvement on certain aspects on Brunei journal publishing, including on open access concept, and the use of system (Open Journal System).

In collaboration with the conference, Prof. Dr. Roosfa also facilitated a workshop on “substantive editing.”

Mohd. Zakry talks about changes and transformations in the publishing industry

It was a packed morning on the second day

A presenter from Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia proposing a marketplace for scholarly publishers

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Asmady (holding mic) expressing his views in a forum

Congratulations to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jane Labadin and her team in UNIMAS Publisher in organising the successful conference and the Borneo Book Fair 2017.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jane Labadin (centre). Photo: UNIMAS