15–17 January 2024
Prof. Nicola Low
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern
CH – 3823 Wengen | Alpine Hotel
“Publish or perish” is a widely quoted phrase that refers to the relentless pressure to get your research published to further or sustain a career in academia. It is hardly surprising that there are many courses on scientific writing on offer. You might ask “Why another one”? Well, this one is different: its focus is not only on how to structure an article, but also on the message and anatomy of a successful article, on how to choose the appropriate journal, and on how to deal with your co‐authors (who often offer little support but cause much delay) and conflicts on authorship. These are very important but neglected aspects of the process of scientific writing and publishing.
The course is based on the “evidence‐based writing” approach developed by Tim Albert, the author of several books on effective writing (see www.timalbert.co.uk). Our own research output and that of our institute has benefited enormously from Tim’s witty and subversive wisdom. We hope that you will too.
The goal of this course is simple: to enable participants to get their articles written and sent off to an appropriate journal. By the end of the course participants will have a good understanding of this process and the obstacles involved.
This course is for people who are actively writing, or are ready to write, their article. Practical exercises will use students’ own material. The course is suitable for students using either quantitative or qualitative research methods. The course is not suitable for those who are still planning their study, collecting the data, or doing the analysis. Note that this is not a course on critical appraisal or English language and grammar.
The course runs over three days and uses the materials and concepts developed by Tim Albert. We start early in the morning on days 1 and 3 with an introduction to the course or review of the previous days. During the extended break in the afternoon participants review course materials, catch up on emails or go skiing.
Monday, 15 January 8:00 am – 12:00 pm | 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Tuesday, 16 January 8:00 am – 12:00 pm | 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesday, 17 January 8:00 am – 12:00 pm | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
On day 1, we will help you to develop the idea for your article. By the end of the day, you should have a structured outline for your article, plus the first draft of the introduction. The content of day 1 is as follows:
- Understanding the publication game
- Understanding the key players
- Writing the message of the article
- Choosing a journal
- Organising the material
- Planning the article
- Writing the article
On day 2, participants will use what they have learned on day 1 to continue writing their article. Mobile phones should be switched off and email should remain unchecked during much of day 2. At the end of the day, participants will print out their draft article.
On day 3, you will use what you have written on day 2. We will do practical, hands-on exercises to address the following issues:
- Adding the extras
- Dealing with others
- Completing the package
- Dealing with reviewers and editors
- Strategies for failure – and success
- Setting a personal action plan
Students should bring their own portable computers and an idea for a journal article or scientific paper. Ideally, the data should have been analysed already.
PhD Bern: CHF 650
PhD other: CHF 850
Academic: CHF 1050
Industry: CHF 2050
- There will be a pre-registration window from 24 August to 04 September 2023.
- Within 10 days after this preliminary registration, we will let you know whether a place is available for you for the course you choose.
Book your accommodation separately. Please see recommendations for special prices.