Training

We offer training on various topics related to scientific publishing. This can be in the form of a workshop (from 3 hours to 3 days), a series of workshops or an online course.

Training can be tailored to your needs, with varying numbers of participants and types of exercise.

Workshops often include individual feedback on writing (such as an abstract) written by participants, either beforehand or during the workshop. We can quickly spot how writing can be improved and give constructive, supportive comments to help participants to improve them.

Participants and organisers love these workshops – see the testimonials we have received.

Do you run a researcher development programme? Contact us to discuss how Cofactor’s workshops on writing and publishing could enhance the programme you provide to science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM) PhD students or research staff.

Would you like to attend a Cofactor workshop? Suggest one to your university’s researcher development training coordinator or contact us. We don’t currently run any open workshops, but we might in the future, so let us know if you’d be interested.
Note: we do not provide training for researchers in arts, humanities and social sciences subjects. The writing style and standard procedures in these subjects are very different and others are more expert in them than we are.

Would you like training for your research group or the collaborators on a project? We can provide tailored help, which can include a training workshop, coaching each author to get them to a first draft, individual feedback on first drafts, and editing of the final versions.

Most of our training is derived from the standard one-day workshop ‘Writing and publishing a scientific paper’, which we have presented many times. This is designed for between 5 and 20 PhD students and researchers at any career stage in STEM subjects (life sciences, biomedical sciences, earth sciences, medicine, healthcare, physical sciences, engineering and computer sciences).

Outline of the standard 'Writing and publishing a scientific paper' workshop:

  • Introduction
    A chance to consider why you might want to publish in peer reviewed journals. Presentation, discussion in pairs and the whole group.
  • The structure of the paper
    The usual structure of research papers and common variations. Presentation, discussion, exercise analysing a paper.
  • The peer review process: before, during and after
    Presentation with questions on negotiating the peer review process, responding to decisions including rejection, and what to do when your paper is accepted and published.
  • Writing style
    Guidance on the writing style needed for research papers. Presentation, discussion, exercise rewriting sample sentences.
  • Title and abstract
    Guidance on writing titles and abstracts and avoiding common errors, and a chance to write your own abstract and get feedback on it. Presentation, analysis exercise, writing exercise, one-to-one coaching.
  • Publicising your paper
    Why publicising is necessary and the different ways to do it, including social media. Presentation and discussion.
  • The writing process
    Overview of the process of writing, including techniques for getting motivated, getting into the habit of writing and getting feedback. Presentation and discussion.
  • Choosing a journal
    The criteria to think about when choosing a journal, such as scope, audience, speed of review and publication, open access options, impact metrics, charges. Presentation, discussion and exercise investigating websites of journals you might submit to.

Variations on the standard workshop include:

  • A longer workshop with additional exercises and time for writing
  • A half day workshop with some of the above sections
  • A focus on writing or publishing rather than both
  • A workshop for a larger group, in which individual feedback on abstracts cannot be provided and there is less interactivity
  • A workshop for fewer than eight people, with more individual feedback and discussion

Cofactor can also provide training on other related topics:

  • publicising your paper and social media
  • being a peer reviewer
  • introduction to open access

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