mainly medical writing
Write a scientific paper - and get it published
The most striking feature about this course was that participants were expected to turn up in the morning with some data, and in the evening go home with a plan for a journal article - plus the introduction already written. It was not always like that: the first generation of this course was much more traditional with two tutors (one an academic) who took turns in lecturing about the history of journals, what each section of the paper looked like, and how participants should write simply (a suggestion later dropped as uneccessary, and possibly counter-productive).
In the second generation courses, participants (somewhat to their surprise) spent the whole of the first session discussing the various difficulties they had with writing and getting published. The second session tried to demystify the process, and start them thinking about the article they wanted to write. In the third session they worked up some plans and started some free writing: in other words they had 10 minutes to write the introduction, and to their surprise nearly all of them managed to do it in that time. In the last session they learnt various techniques for revising their paper.
The goal of the course was simply to get people to publish. A rough and ready postal survey suggested that two thirds had sent off papers within nine months, and that two out of 10 had already had theirs accepted.
This course has also been delivered in a two-day version, with time between the two days for participants to write their first draft. Paradoxically, the shorter the time between the two days the more people seem to this task
- understand the publications game - and how you can be a winner
- make logical and informed decisions on where to send articles
- reduce rewriting in the final stages by planning before starting to write
- cut 'information overload' by using simple brainstorming techniques
- make the most of spare time by writing for 10 minutes a day
- use evidence-based writing to solve disputes with others
- apply simple marketing techniques to increase the chances of a paper being looked at favourably
- recognising that getting a journal article published relied on a whole range of undervalued skills, such as time management, project management, negotiation skills, and marketing
- providing a definition for a 'good paper' (ie, that it was published in the target journal) that was straightforward and measurable
- ensuring that all participants left the course with a plan for completing their paper
- moving away from the traditional type of course that essentially involved criticising work already completed
- being told by one participant that the course had made him realise that he did not have to write papers - so he would take his son fishing instead.
- 'An excellent course that completely demystifies the art of writing a paper' . 'This year I played the game with the rules you have learned me, and I won, with minimal effort, but choosing the right journal and the right case report was crucial As you might notice, my English is not that good, but this didn't prevent the paper from being published'
- 'Next plan is to do three shorter articles, arising from the findings, for a 'less prestigious' journal. Before that I am working on another article (different topic entirely) with a co-author and we hope to finalise on Tuesday next. I'm using your notes to guide me through the process - it's definitely changed the way I write - always keeping the message before me!'
- 'My daughter came on your course last year and has already published five papers'
9.30 Understand the publications game: introduction, apply a helpful model used by professional writers
10.30 Understand the player: write personal action plans which ensure that participants will start to write
11.00 Set the brief: ensure clarity of thought by carefully thinking through five preliminary questions
11.45 organise the information: control the mass of information by using the latest brainstorming technqiques
12.15 Write a plan (or four): understand the requirements for each of the four main sections of the scientific article, and construct a plan for each
13.00 Lunch break
14.00 Write the article: reduce writer's block, save time and maximise creativity
14.30 Rewrite the article: manage effectively the vital process of revising by applying two levels of questions and some objective tests
15.15 Add the extras: prepare the addditional items required, such as references, lists of authors, and titles
15.45 Use internal reviewers: understand the advantages and pitfalls of internal reviewing
16.15 Send off the package: know how to present your material to its best advantage
16.30 Questions, evaluation, personal action plans
This course is still available through accredited trainers, who have full rights to use all the material and who have all attended a three day 'train-the-trainers' course. Please contact them directly.
See list of accredited trainers
Write a scientific paper- and get it published
A short course for editors of medical journals
"My daughter came on your course last year and has already published five papers"