NSCPHD1120  The Art of Scientific Writing (generic course)

Volume 2015/2016
Content

 

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The course aims to enhance the capability of participants to write good scientific papers, and to increase their productivity. Through a series of lectures, workshops and in-class peer reviews the participants work on and improve a paper of their own. In addition, discussions on co-authoring issues, team work, handling review reports etc are discussed and best practices pointed out.

Schedule:
Workshop Day 1: Getting started…
We introduce and discuss the issues of i) getting started, ii) finding relevant journals and selecting the right one, iii) organising your work for productivity and impact, iv) team-work in scientific writing.
We go through the ‘Initial planning’ step. You will do small exercises in small groups and summarise. We go through ‘Producing the Outline’ step and define homework, and how class reviewers and supervisors are to be involved.

Workshop Day 2: Producing the ms and groupwork on outlines
Re-iteration of ‘Producing the Outline’. Further work in class reviewer groups on the steps of the outline – giving and receiving critique, comments and suggestions. We go through ‘Producing the manuscript’ carefully – describe how the work develops as a continuous refinement of structure. Define homework: Start the work on the body of the paper for next time. Involve class reviewers and supervisors.

Workshop Day 3: Editor's corner, exercises and groupwork on papers in class review teams
Working on the paper takes time, so this day we usually have a guest: An Editor-in-Chief of a journal from one of the larger publishers, how present the Editor's view on paper writing. We have a few exercises to help your paper writing. There will be options for reviewer feedback in the groups.

Workshop Day 4: Managing co-authorship - and groupwork on papers
We take half the workshop to discuss issues of co-authorships in publishing. We present the Vancouver declaration and discuss various aspects of practice and ethics. Further work in class reviewer groups on the actual building of the paper – giving and receiving critique, comments and suggestions. Define homework: Continue the work on the body of the paper for next time. Not an aim to be finished for final workshop – just well on the way.

Workshop Day 5: Finishing touches and handling the review process
We go through ‘Finishing touches’-‘The refereeing and publishing process’. Stress the need not to rush the final phase, but also the need to finish. Present structure and tricks of good referee-response reports. Stress the need to do a good job there. Make plans for the future….

Learning Outcome

The course aims to enhance the capability of participants to write good scientific papers. This concerns the quality of writing and disseminating in order to improve readability, maximise the contribution of the research done and improve the opportunities for publishing. It also concerns the quantity of scientific production by initially addressing the question of increasing productivity through peer-guidance, best-practice in organisation of work, co-operation, choice of partners/co-authors and group-dynamics in scientific writing.

IFRO’s PhD-supervision Guidelines. Slides made available during the course. Scientific literature relevant for the attendant Additional references for more indebt studies will be provided during the course, but not be used as a basis for the course

Participants: Ph.D.-students and other faculty members. There is a limit of 40 participants. Each participant brings: - a paper to work on during the course – could be in any process stage prior to sub-mission - commitment from a supervisor (for PhD-students) or colleague (faculty members) to read and participate in at least the activities between workshop days - writing paper, pens, preferably a laptop. The course is arranged as a series of workshops with in-between work on the paper that each participant brings to the course. In addition, each participant and associated supervisor should expect to read and comment on 1-3 papers of other participants. The workshops largely follow a structure designed along the steps of producing a paper. Each workshop is concluded with a wrap-up of the exercise and an outline of the between-workshop work to do, i.e. the ‘homework’. Note that the success of the course hinges crucially on participants showing up, having worked on their own paper as agreed and prepared comments on the work of others as agreed. Indeed the course merely provides a structured setting for learning from others and getting experience. The first workshop is a bit different as it also introduces the issues of i) getting started , ii) finding relevant journals and selecting the right one , iii) organising your work for productivity and impact , iv) team-work in scientific writing . Duration: Each workshop lasts about 2-3 hours (13-15/16) and there are 5 workshops over 8-10 weeks. In between, work is to be expected, but it will mostly be an integral part of own research and writing.
Credit
3 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment under invigilation
To have 3 ECTS-credits awarded you must hand in your abstract and outline resulting from the workshops and exercises. At the latest 2 weeks after the final workshop day, you hand in the paper you have been working on. Credits are awarded if the course responsible finds that it shows acceptable progress.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 10
  • Preparation
  • 10
  • Project work
  • 60
  • Total
  • 80