Training

We specialise in training on writing and publishing a scientific research paper. This can be in the form of an in-person workshop or an online course.

Cofactor courses are currently all held online. We already have a lot of expertise in providing engaging training online, and our first courses have had excellent feedback. Contact us now to find out more.

Participants and organisers love our workshops – see the testimonials we have received. See also our values, which underlie everything we do.

 

Do you run a researcher development programme? Contact us to discuss how Cofactor’s training 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 course? Suggest one to your university’s researcher development training coordinator or contact us. We are planning to create some open online training before long, so register your interest now.
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 course, 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 four-part course ‘Writing and publishing a scientific paper’ that can be run online or as a two-day in-person course. This is designed for between 5 and 20 PhD students, postdocs or more senior 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 four-part 'Writing and publishing a scientific paper' course:

Part 1

  • Introduction A chance to consider why you might want to publish in peer-reviewed journals.
  • The writing process Overview of the process of writing, including techniques for getting motivated, getting into the habit of writing and getting feedback. Exercise writing non-stop for 10 minutes.
  • Writing style Guidance on the writing style needed for research papers. Exercises rewriting sample sentences.

Part 2

  • The main message and structure of the paper Guidance on the elements that should be included, and in what order, and looking at example papers using these insights.
  • Abstracts and titles Guidance followed by exercise and application to example papers. Exercise drafting an abstract and giving and getting feedback on each other’s abstracts.

Part 3

  • Choosing a journal Guidance on the criteria to think about when choosing a journal. Exercise researching journals of interest.

Part 4

  • The peer review process Negotiating the peer review process, responding to decisions, including rejection, and responding to reviewer reports. Includes guidance on being a reviewer and on variations in type of peer review.
  • Publicising your paper Guidance on why this is essential and how to do it.

We can host course material on our Moodle site or the client’s learning management system. Live video sessions include discussions in small groups using Zoom’s breakout rooms or similar technology. All live sessions have two Cofactor trainers. Presentations are provided as recordings and handouts are provided in pdf format. We also have quizzes!

The course would generally run over four weeks, with Zoom sessions at the start of each week and a final session at the end. Each week focuses on one of the four parts.

Our online courses are priced by the level of interactivity and input from the trainers, rather than by length. We offer three packages, which all include recorded presentation videos, handouts, quizzes and opportunities for discussion:

  • Bronze: an asynchronous online course with no video conference sessions (12 participant hours)
  • Silver: additional video sessions for discussion and questions, and the ‘being an editor’ exercise (16 participant hours)
  • Gold: additional opportunities for discussion, expert feedback on writing, the ‘being an editor’ exercise, and one-to-one Q&As (20 participant hours)

Variations on the standard course include:

  • Compressing the course to run over only 2 weeks (with two parts per week), or spreading it out over a longer period
  • A two-part course covering parts 1 and 2 (‘Writing a research paper’)
  • A two-part course covering parts 3 and 4 (‘Getting your research paper published’)
  • Addition of expert one-to-one feedback on participants’ draft abstracts from a professional scientific editor with experience of journal papers
  • Addition of the ‘Being an editor’ exercise, in which groups of participants act as editors of their own virtual journal based on recent preprints

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