EQUATOR Lightning Workshops in Oxford 2019

EQUATOR’s accessible, practical, interactive and indispensable monthly one-hour “Lightning Workshops” cover all the essential aspects of writing and publishing your academic research.

Lightning Workshops take place at the Botnar Research Centre’s main seminar room from 12.30-1.30 or from 4.00-5.00pm and are free for University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes staff and students, but registration is required. Click on the links below to see registration details when they are available.

For notification of booking opening and announcement of other EQUATOR courses in Oxford and elsewhere, please join our mailing list by sending a blank email to equator-oxford-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk. For more information and to enquire about UK EQUATOR Centre training for your department or group, please email equator@csm.ox.ac.uk.


Thursday 10 January
Zero to hero: writing a bio
Jen de Beyer
Create the perfect professional biography for your website, then convert it into a short conference bio.

Thursday 14 February
Perfecting your elevator pitch 
Jen de Beyer
Whether standing by your conference poster, at a professional networking event, or in the pub, the question is the same: “So, what is it that you do?” With that crucial two-minute elevator pitch answer ready, you’ll never say “ummmm” again!

Tuesday 26 March
Planning for publication
Jen de Beyer
What do you and your co-authors need to decide before you start to write? Get your message, audience, and target journal sorted now to ensure a smooth publication process!

Wednesday 17 April
Writing a first draft
Once you’ve planned your publication, you’re ready to use reporting guidelines to write your first draft. We’ll cover the structure of a journal article, what info goes where, and common pitfalls to avoid in each article section.

Thursday 16 May 12:30-13:30
Critically appraising a manuscript for peer review
Paula Dhiman
Practice critically appraising a manuscript and learn how to report back to the journal editor.

Thursday 27 June 16:00-17:00
Avoiding authorship angst
Jen de Beyer
Learn about the rules for authorship and practice negotiating authorship rights and responsibilities.

18 July 12:30-13:30
Reporting your statistical analyses
Michael Schlussel
This workshop includes practical tips and tricks for making sure your paper makes a stats reviewer’s heart sing, and not sink!

Thursday 8 August 12:30-13:30
Writing an abstract
Patricia Logullo
An article abstract needs to be an accurate well-structured summary and entice your readers to read further. As many readers only have access to the abstract, and it is often used by journal editors and scientific committees to decide whether to send the article for peer review, you need to get it spot on. We also talk about selecting key words to complement the language in your abstract and maximise the chance of readers finding your abstract.

Thursday 19 September 16:00-17:00
Top titles for academic articles
Patricia Logullo
Your article title is the first – and possibly only – thing that most people will read. A great title grabs your readers’ attention and gives them the full picture about your article. Bring along your latest project to practice writing declarative, descriptive, and question titles.

Thursday 10 October 12:30-13:30
Editing your own words 
Jen de Beyer
Great writing is simple, clear, and complete. You’ll practice balancing these three elements in group editing exercises.

Thursday 14 November 12:30-13:30
Responding to peer reviewers’ comments 
Paula Dhiman
Practice dealing with the kind, the fair, and the seriously challenging.

Thursday 5 December 12:30-13:30
Communications and social media 
Jo Silva
Extend the life and reach of your article after publication by working with your communications team and engaging with potential readers through social media.



EQUATOR courses and workshops in Oxford 2019

In 2019, the UK EQUATOR Centre is running monthly one-hour practical and interactive “Lightning Workshops” and three two-day Publication School courses in April, June and November at the University of Oxford. We cover all the essential aspects of writing and publishing your academic research. These workshops and courses are held in the Botnar Research Centre’s main seminar room, NDORMS, University of Oxford.

Get in touch with us on equator@csm.ox.ac.uk to discuss bespoke academic writing courses for your department or group.

Essential Skills in Medical Research

The Introduction to Medical Research: Essential Skills course provides an overview of key steps and common methods in medical research and its publication. OUCAGS

We deliver this course for the Oxford University Clinical Academic School. It is available to Oxford Foundation School doctors free of charge.

The course is divided into four modules, which run over four Saturday mornings during the Michaelmas and Trinity Terms, at the John Radcliffe Hospital:

Module 1: Research planning: before you start your research project lays the foundation for getting involved in medical research, from basic research conduct principles through to building the evidence base underpinning a research project.

Module 2: Research design and protocols introduces the main types of study design and the skills required to critically appraise a research study, and explores the practicalities of writing a protocol.

Module 3: Statistical thinking introduces the basics of medical statistics, such as understanding sampling, and making inferences from samples to populations.

Module 4: Research publication and dissemination covers the process of getting your research published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at conferences.

To find out when the next courses will be run and be put on the course’s mailing list, please email oucags@medsci.ox.ac.uk


NEW open access online course on using reporting guidelines

Researchers sitting around a shared table working at computersWe are delighted to announce the launch of a new open-access online course Reporting guidelines: simple and powerful tools to increase the impact and visibility of your research . The course is the result of a collaboration between the EQUATOR Network and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization. It is aimed at increasing the value of research and reducing research waste by enabling people who are planning to conduct, report, edit, publish or appraise research for health, with current research reporting standards.

The course has been launched in English. Versions in Spanish and Portuguese are coming soon!

It is primarily aimed at graduate and undergraduate students, PAHO-OAS Scholars, PAHO staff and other professionals at international organizations and research institutions. This includes researchers and research managers, editors, peer reviewers – anyone with an interest in improving the quality of research for health projects and increasing the usability of reports for decision-making.

This is an introductory virtual course which can be completed independently at your own pace with quizzes to help embed the learning points. It doesn’t replace formal training in research methods, such as graduate degrees in epidemiology.

The course provides an overview of good reporting practice at all stages of the research pathway.  It aims to help participants to deliver impactful high-quality research in line with the recommendations of PAHO’s Policy on Research for Health and the Strategy on Research for Health of the World Health Organization. The ideal time to take this course is as an introductory activity before beginning and finalizing your research proposal.

At the end of this course, participants will be able to use research reporting guidelines at many stages, from the planning of the research proposal to the dissemination of the research findings. This will make their research processes more transparent, well reported, and relevant for national and international health agendas. We intend students to first use reporting guidelines at an introductory level with assistance from more experienced colleagues or within a research team, rather than becoming independent experts.

Course Structure:
Module 1. Importance of good research reporting: be ethical, thorough and make your editor “happy”
Module 2. Road map to reporting guidelines: how to find them and use them
Module 3. Getting your work published more easily: structure and rationale to make your report relevant for health
Module 4. Linking research planning, knowledge translation, and policies

Enrol now, and see what a difference reporting guidelines can make to your work.

EQUATOR Publication Schools: April, June and November 2019

Make sure your research articles are fit for purpose!
Learn the secrets of success in writing, publishing, and disseminating your research

UK EQUATOR Centre Publication School flyerMain Seminar Room, Botnar Research Centre, Headington, Oxford

Thursday-Friday 11-12 April 2019
Thursday-Friday 13-14 June 2019
Thursday-Friday 7-8 November 2019

Both days run from 9am to 5pm.  Fees include lunch, refreshments, and course materials.



Jam-packed with really practical tips and ideas

June 2018 participant

This course covers all you need to know to plan for publication and write up your health-related research study. It focuses on the use of reporting guidelines such as CONSORT and STROBE to maximise the transparency and usability of your research.

You will experience two intense days of learning led by methodological and writing experts from the UK EQUATOR Centre and the Centre for Statistics in Medicine. We will use group work, discussion, and practical writing exercises to reinforce learning.



Excellent scope – right the way from authorship and journal selection to submission/peer review/dissemination – not just the bits in the middle!

June 2018 participant

  • The importance of publishing responsibly
  • Introduction to reporting guidelines
  • Matching study designs with reporting guidelines
  • Writing the methods and results
  • Good statistical reporting
  • Writing the introduction and discussion
  • Writing the title and abstract
  • Good writing style
  • Summarising your research for different audiences
  • Choosing a journal and avoiding predators



Should be obligatory for all those starting out a PhD

June 2018 participant

This course is designed for early-career researchers and students. Email equator@csm.ox.ac.uk for more information if you’re unsure of its suitability for your needs.


£50 for members of NDORMS and students from the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes
£95 for staff of the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes, and for students of other universities
£195 for external/commercial applicants (limited places)

Oxford Biomedical Research Centre sponsorship has allowed us to offer 10 free places per course for early-career researchers affiliated with the Oxford BRC. These places can be secured by paying a £40 deposit that will refunded on proof of attendance. Please confirm your OxBRC affiliation before registering by emailing us.

To register your interest or enquire about eligibility please email (equator@csm.ox.ac.uk). Join our mailing list to hear about this and other EQUATOR courses and events by sending a blank email to equator-oxford-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk.


From Edinburgh to Bucharest for the EQUATOR “GoodReports” project

Report from Caroline Struthers, Education and Training Manager, UK EQUATOR Centre, Oxford

Presentation title slideIn September 2017 I was lucky enough to represent EQUATOR at a round table discussion during the LAVA-ESLAV-ECLAM conference on Reproducibility of Animal Studies in Edinburgh. All attendees were invited to say a few words about initiatives and achievements of their organisations in improving reporting, and how they could have a positive impact on transparency and reproducibility in animal studies. The group subsequently had a letter to the editor published in BMC Veterinary Research.

University of Bucharest buildingOne of the EQUATOR projects I mentioned was our “GoodReports” project to develop a tool to embed the requirement and means to use and submit a reporting checklist into the journal submission system. On the strength of this, I was delighted to be invited to contribute an update on progress of GoodReports at the 14th European Association of Science Editors Conference in Bucharest earlier this month. I presented alongside colleagues from The Lancet, Open Access Journal Publisher MDPI, Switzerland and Hasselt University, Belgium in the REWARD session on initiatives to help editors reduce waste in research.

A handout version of the presentation (PDF) with preliminary results of a pilot with BMJ Open is available. We will make the full results available as soon as we can. This will include a before and after comparison of manuscripts for completeness and adherence to reporting guidelines. You can access the GoodReports website here. Comments and suggestions for improvements are very welcome. We hope to conduct a randomised trial of the effectiveness of GoodReports in improving the quality of manuscript submissions in the near future. Watch this space!

The Nutritools website: promoting quality in dietary assessment data in epidemiological and clinical studies

Nutritools logoMeasuring diet is challenging due to the complexity of food intake and the day-to-day variation between and within study participants. Therefore strategies to help researchers select suitable dietary assessment tools (DATs) are required.

To address this issue the Nutritools website details Best Practice Guidelines for dietary assessment in health research in an interactive form.

The Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) are targeted towards Public Health researchers, Nutritionists, clinicians and epidemiologists. 43 guidelines were developed through the Delphi method. These guidelines were consolidated using 131 invited experts view from North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. A total of 57 experts completed both Delphi rounds. The BPG are grouped in 4 key stages: Define, Investigate, Evaluate, and Think Through. For further information on the 8 sub-sections of the BPG please refer to the published paper in BMC Medicine.

Key features of the Nutritools website are:

The Best Practice Guidelines assist researchers in selecting the most appropriate Dietary Assessment Tools for their research.

The interactive Tool Library provides access to validated tools identified through a review of systematic reviews.

Visualisation plots allows you to compare the tools’ statistical validation data through bubble charts and summary plots.

The Food Questionnaire Creator (FQC) allows the creation and development of new food questionnaires or use of existing validated questionnaires converted for online use.

The DIET@NET partnership also complements the STROBE-nut reporting guidelines for reporting dietary studies in epidemiology as previously reported.

If you would like your validated tool to appear in the tool library of the Nutritools website please contact Dr Marisol Warthon-Medina, DIET@NET Project Manager, at m.warthonmedina@leeds.ac.uk or the Nutritools team at nutritools@leeds.ac.uk

For additional information regarding the BPG and the Nutritools website please contact: Professor Janet Cade J.E.Cade@leeds.ac.uk

The paper DIET@NET: Best practice guidelines for dietary assessment in health research was published in BMC Medicine 15 November 2017
Authors include: Janet E. Cade, Marisol Warthon-Medina, Salwa Albar, Nisreen A. Alwan, Andrew Ness, Mark Roe, Petra A. Wark, Katharine Greathead, Victoria J. Burley, Paul Finglas, Laura Johnson, Polly Page, Katharine Roberts, Toni Steer, Jozef Hooson, Darren C. Greenwood and Sian Robinson
Funding was provided by the Medical Research Council (MR/L02019X/1).

Feedback from users

The website looks great and easy to use and such a resource was long overdue.

Dr Angeliki Papadaki, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.

I think that it is an excellent site and could be very useful to people wishing to conduct dietary surveys. It is very intuitive to navigate

Dr Helen Moore, Knowledge Exchange Manager (EPSRC IAA) in the Research and Innovation Services, Durham University.

Nutritools is an exciting and very worthwhile initiative

Associate Professor Anne-Louise Heath in the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Nutritools was developed by the DIETary Assessment Tools NETwork (DIET@NET) — a partnership funded by the Medical Research Council.

The partnership brings together experts from UK universities and institutions: University of Leeds, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, Southampton, University of Southampton, University of Bristol, Coventry University, Imperial College London, MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, Cambridge, University of Oxford and Quadram Institute Bioscience and aims to improve the quality, consistency and comparability of dietary data collected in health research. www.nutritools.org
@Nutritools_org | nutritools@leeds.ac.uk

EQUATOR Publication School: two-day workshop in Oxford

Registration now open!  Places strictly limited so book as soon as possible!

Thursday 14 – Friday 15 June 2018, Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford

Please note the course is for early-career researchers and students.  Email Caroline Struthers (caroline.struthers@csm.ox.ac.uk) before you register to check you are eligible.

UK EQUATOR Centre Publication School flyerThis course covers all you need to know to plan for publication and write up your health-related research study.  It focuses on the use of reporting guidelines such as CONSORT and STROBE to maximise the transparency and usability of your research.

You will experience two intense days of learning led by methodological and writing experts from the UK EQUATOR Centre and the Centre for Statistics in Medicine. We will use group work, discussion, and practical writing exercises to reinforce learning.

Outline of course content

  • The importance of publishing responsibly
  • Introduction to reporting guidelines
  • Matching study designs with reporting guidelines
  • Writing the methods and results
  • Good statistical reporting
  • Writing the introduction and discussion
  • Writing the title and abstract
  • Good writing style
  • Choosing a journal and avoiding predators

This course is an abridged version of EQUATOR’s internationally acclaimed EQUATOR Publication School. Read about Publication School 2017 here.

Lunch and refreshments are included in the price of registration

Registration fees
£50 for members of NDORMS and Oxford University students (incl. Brookes)
£95 for Oxford University staff (incl. Brookes)
£195 for external applicants (early-career researchers or students from other institutions).

Maximum number of places available is 25.

Click here to book your place now!