This course has helped thousands of doctors, scientists and academics to get papers published in the journals of their choice.
It is highly practical. Participants come with data (or an idea) for a paper, and we then guide them through the planning, writing and submitting processes in easy stages. At the end of the course they have a clear concept of their paper, plus a draft introduction and a plan for finishing the task.
Specific skills they learn include:
Over the years many participants have written to us of their successes. For instance: ‘I submitted my paper a few months after attending your course. Two days ago it was accepted for publication. Not bad for a first try!’ Another wrote: ‘I came on your course with an article that had been rejected by the BMJ. I rewrote it after the course and it has now been accepted by the Lancet’.
'An excellent course that completely demystifies the art of writing a paper.'
'Publication is a surmountable hurdle and I now have strategies to deal with it.'
'A welcome balance of ruthless pragmatic experience and firm ethical base.'
The first version of this course used two tutors. On the first day they alternated with presentations about the specifications of journal articles, after which they invited participants to write and submit a draft paper for comment. On the second day, some two months later, they gave feedback on the draft papers and gave presentations on writing style, submission and dealing with editors.
It quickly became clear that this course was good at creating critics; less so at creating writers. So I designed a second-generation course that took participants - and their material - step-by-step through a logical writing process. This enabled them to think and write rather than listen - and by the end of the course they could take with them plans, and an early draft - and a timetable for completion.
The course has been run successfully for university departments, research groups, pharmaceutical writers, government bodies and charities. We also developed a version for more experienced writers (dubbed the professors' course), which one tutor described as like the 'normal' course, but slower and with better food.
How many paragraphs should be in the Introduction? Should we write 'the data were obtained' or 'we obtained the data'? Should titles contain a verb?
There are answers to these questions - and they can be found by studying your target market. We looked at 50 papers in each of six different journals, and found some interesting differences.
To see the data click on the illustration (right).
Clients for this course included: University of Surrey, ScHARR/ University of Sheffield. University of Greenwich, National University Hospital of Singapore, Glaxo SmithKline/ Postgrade (Netherlands), Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Macmillan Cancer Relief.