Workshop: Writing and Presenting Research, Turkey, November 2013
A workshop on “Writing and Presenting Research” conducted by CACTUS/Editage on the 25th and 26th of November 2013 at Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Turkey, was a remarkable success. The workshop aimed to illustrate some of the best practices that could be observed in order to write an effective research manuscript or make a persuasive presentation.
Ravi Murugesan—experienced communicator, trainer, and published author—conducted the workshop, which was attended by over 400 graduate students, early career researchers, and a few senior researchers from ITU as well as other universities in Istanbul.
The first lecture was on Writing Research Papers. In this session, Ravi addressed topics such as ethics in scientific writing, avoiding plagiarism, choosing the right target journal, understanding the peer review process, and ways of writing a paper. He also provided tips on writing for and reaching out to the larger scientific community.
In this segment, Ravi stated that the choice of the target journal can make all the difference. It can result in publication or rejection of the research manuscript; people will either accept the work or neglect it.
He said that some key factors to be considered while selecting the journal were as follows:
· Similar papers published successfully
· Quickness of review
· Access model
He said that authors should read the instructions to authors closely and pay particular attention to the scope of the journal. He suggested that authors should look at all the available information on the journal’s website, such as impact, readership, indexing etc. Another useful tip was that authors should use keywords from their research to find out if similar articles have been published in the journal.
He also shared a very inspiring quote by George A. Akerlof., 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics.
“[After three rejections] I may have despaired, but I did not give up. I sent the paper off to the Quarterly Journal of Economics, where it was accepted.”
The second session of the workshop expounded on Presenting at Conferences. During this session, Ravi educated the participants about scientific conferences, sharing some basic principles to be followed when preparing conference abstracts, background on visual as well as content related aspects critical to creating and designing a poster presentation, and tips on delivering an impactful oral presentation.
In this segment, Ravi shared the 1/7/7 concept with the participants. He said that while preparing to present at conferences, speakers should ensure that they have
· 1 topic per slide
· About 7 slides per slide
· About 7 words per line
He also shared some very interesting tips on how authors should support a poster. He said it was important to make eye contact, smile, and not be pre-occupied with other things. Also, authors need to be prepared to face two kinds of people
-those who will view the poster first
-those who will want to talk first and then view the poster
The participants found the lectures to be informative, interesting, and helpful. In particular, they felt that such workshops helped them develop a better understanding of the aspects that need to be considered while writing a scientific article, preparing to present a poster, or making an oral presentation.
At this workshop, many participants had questions on plagiarism which Ravi responded to during the question and answers at the end. Additionally, since Ravi identified this as a critical need and realized that this is a topic that many are concerned about, Editage organized a webinar on Publication ethics in February 2014 in response to this need.