SCIENTIFIC WRITING AND PUBLISHING WORKSHOPS

Led by Howard Browman and Jan Pechenik

Communicating science effectively, whether to other scientists, the media, policy makers or to the general public, is an essential skill for scientists. We must be able to communicate what it is we want to say concisely, accurately, logically, and in a way that will be clearly understood by our target audience, and hopefully is also interesting! These workshops will teach you how to achieve those goals.

We offer half-day, full-day, or several-day workshops on a variety of topics and for different audiences (graduate students; junior-senior researchers…). The workshops focus on how to communicate science effectively to your peers (writing), and on the process of scholarly publishing from the perspective of and with insights from an experienced editor and author.

A partial list of topics covered

How to tell your story

• myths about manuscript writing
• your goals as a manuscript writer
• getting yourself organized to write
• parts of a research article
• preparing an outline
• the order of work
• writing a first draft
• writing for readability
• using “context-content-conclusions “as an organizing principle
• how to write each section of a manuscript
• writing in active vs. passive voice
• the importance of subject-verb placement
• effective writing – the topic and stress positions+++
• preparing stand-alone figures and figure captions
• preparing figures appropriate for the page format of the target journal
• emerging issues and novelties in science writing (e.g use of AI)

How to get your story published
• what do editors expect from authors?
• what are reviewers looking for?
• how to select an appropriate journal?
• publication models (subscription-based, open access, hybrid)
• submitting a professionally prepared manuscript
• the cover letter
• responding to reviewers and editor
• challenging a rejection decision
• insights into the game of science publishing
• peer review models
• how to write a review of someone else’s manuscript
• the difference between quality and impact – high impact journals select for transient impact

• the metrics of scholarly publishing (impact factor, h-index…)
• publication ethics (authorship, plagiarism, gaming the system; use of AI…)
• emerging issues in scientific publishing – predatory publishers, preprints, data publishing and archiving, open science, social media, using science to support fake news
• social media in science communication
• press releases and interacting with journalists

The above topics are examples of what could be covered – I will design a workshop to meet your needs.

Workshop hosts

Howard Browman

Howard Browman has published >160 research articles, book chapters and edited volumes on a wide range of topics in marine and fisheries science. He also has extensive experience in scientific publishing and journal editing. He has been, for example, Associate Editor-in-Chief of Marine Ecology Progress Series, Editor-in-Chief of Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, Science Editor for Fisheries, Section Editor (Marine Ecology) for PLOS ONE, Subject Editor for Nature Scientific Reports, and he is currently Editor-in-Chief of the ICES Journal of Marine Science. He has also written essays about what “quality” means in scholarly publishing (see HERE and HERE). In addition, Howard has been a member of the Council of Science Editors‘s Editorial Policy Committee for many years and is currently a member of the Council and the Trustee Board of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

Jan Pechenik

Jan Pechenik is an invertebrate zoologist-ecologist who has published >160 research articles. He has also authored a well-know and widely adopted text book on invertebrate zoology, a book on deciphering Darwin’s Origin of the Species, and a “how to” guide on writing for biologist.   He directed the Writing Across the Curriculum program at Tufts University from 1998-2001 and from 2005-2008.

How to arrange a workshop

Contact Howard Browman or Jan Pechenik to discuss tailoring a workshop to meet your needs.

The workshops that we have led

Howard alone

European Conference on Scientific Publishing in Biomedicine and Medicine, Oslo, Norway, 2008
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2012
World Fisheries Conference, Edinburgh, 2012
Danish Technical University, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Denmark, 2015
ICES Annual Science Conference, Riga, 2016
Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk, Greenland, 2017
World Maritime University, 2020
University of Agder, Norway, 2020
ICES early career researchers day, 2021
University of Tromsø, 2019, 2022

Jan alone
Cape Bretton University, Canada
College of Wooster
Eastern Connecticut State University
Flinders University (Australia)
Gordon College
Harvard University
Lafayette College
Long Island University
Northern Arizona University
Pacific Lutheran University
Plymouth State University
University of Prince Edward Island
University of Puget Sound
Simon’s Rock at Bard College
Swarthmore College
Smith College
St. Catherine University
St. Francis Xavier University
University of Canterbury (New Zealand)
University of Rhode Island
University of South Carolina
Wellesley College
Westfield State College
Wilkes University

Howard & Jan together
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2009
World Fisheries Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2012
Institute of Marine Research, Norway, 2013, 2014
ICES Training course on scientific writing and publishing, 2021, 2023, recurring


Testimonials

…I would like to thank you both for one of the most useful workshops I have attended since starting my PhD. Kind regards, Alyson Little, Ph.D. Researcher, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, May 2012

…I wish to thank you both for taking time out to help myself and I am sure the future up and coming scientists in explaining the process of scientific writing at your workshop in Edinburgh. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day learning how to write a little more concisely and in a more direct way. Both these concepts are very little understood when I was first starting my Ph.D and now that I am in my final year this workshop couldn’t have come at a more useful time. The information I obtained during the workshop will (hopefully) allow me to have a better understanding of how to write in a more concise and direct way not only for my thesis but for any future publications I write. Nick Jones and I have commented on more than one occasion (since we returned to Bangor University) on how this type of course would be very beneficial not only to 1st year M. Biology student here at Bangor but also to Masters and Ph.D students. Please keep up the good work. Kind Regards, Andy Marriott, May 2012

…I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you both very much for holding the workshop. It was the highlight of the conference for me. Best wishes, Dr Nick Jones, Nuffield Fish Laboratory, School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University. May 2012

…Thanks once again for what was a really interesting and motivating workshop! Best wishes, Dr. Helen J. Bloomfield, University of Liverpool. May 2012

…Jan and Howard bounce off each other brilliantly, both adding insight where necessary. The informality made it much easier to ask questions. Thank you very much. Anonymous (from workshop feedback forms). May 2012

…Everything was covered in clear detail and was easily understood. Keep up the good work. And thanks! Anonymous (from workshop feedback forms). May 2012.

Last updated: December 27, 2022