Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research
The latest EQUATOR Publication School, held in April at the University of Oxford, was a resounding success. During this intensive two-day workshop, early-career researchers overcame common barriers to publishing their work. Attendees doubled the ratings of their own confidence in writing a journal article and described the course as “dynamic,” “engaging,” and “very helpful!”
“A big thank you to Jen, Michael, Patrícia, and Paula on organising and delivering this course,” said one attendee. “I have learnt a huge amount about publications, and I’m more aware of the mistakes I regularly make in my scientific writing. I feel more confident about writing articles now. So grateful for this course!”
Publication School will run again in June and November 2019.
EQUATOR Publication School is hands-on
This highly interactive course alternates between short lectures and practical exercises, in which attendees write and edit sections of a research article. The activities are designed to develop both confidence and competence in writing accurate, transparent health research papers. Attendees highlighted the “dynamic, interactive exercises” as their favourite part of the course, helping to consolidate the lessons learnt in the lectures.
“Our experience in research, statistics, and peer reviewing here at the UK EQUATOR Centre is the basis of the course content,” explains Michael M. Schlussel, medical statistician and Publication School facilitator. “We encourage questions and discussion to allow us to tailor content to the needs of each cohort of students.”
There is a strong emphasis on students and faculty sharing their experiences and on peer-to-peer learning throughout the course. An attendee said “All the exercises throughout the day have been so useful [in] putting the talks into practice, but also to share ideas and learn from our small groups.”
The course doesn’t just cover writing skills, but each phase of publication, from planning and discussing authorship criteria to what happens after submission. A favourite session is on responding to peer reviewers. “I like to use peer review comments I have received and my responses to them as examples,” explains facilitator Paula Dhiman, a postdoctoral researcher in meta-research. “The aim is to give attendees the skills to answer every comment – the good, the bad, or the ugly – politely and completely.”
The course also includes dissemination and talking to the press. “It is important for biomedical researchers to learn how to make good use of social media and how to communicate with journalists,” says facilitator Patrícia Logullo, a scientific journalist and researcher in the UK EQUATOR team. “Publication School goes beyond publishing the research article and gives you confidence in talking about your research with different audiences.”
“I didn’t even think that learning about copyright and open access would be relevant to my Master’s dissertation and PhD career. I’m so glad that I booked and paid for this course.”
Join Publication School
EQUATOR Publication School will run again on 13-14 June 2019 at the University of Oxford. The programme covers authorship criteria, copyright, open access, choosing a journal, techniques for overcoming the blank page, responding to peer review, dissemination and, of course, how to use reporting guidelines to write your paper, among other themes. Days run from 9 am until 5 pm, with coffee and lunch breaks included. Book your place now!
In a previous post detailing my time with the EQUATOR Network, I spoke about my work on the STrengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement. STROBE is one of the original “core” reporting guidelines which provides guidance...