FSK-8002 Scientific writing: why and how?

Writing and publishing scientific papers require a lot of practice. What are the best practices in your field of science, and why do journals reject papers? What about your English grammar, are there room for improvements?

Recommended for PhD candidates in their first or second year.

All participants will work on their own manuscript during the course. A manuscript must be submitted to Canvas about ten days in advance of the course (2 Oct 2018). This manuscript may be in an early or late stage, and it is a great opportunity for you to get the writing process started.

General literature and resources for scientific writing is available on Canvas.

Course (16–19 Oct 2018)
Two days (16–17 Oct) of lectures covering the publishing process, how to present figures and tables, presentation skills and the peer review process. Two days (18–19 Oct) are dedicated to a scientific English writing workshop focussing on grammar.

Location: NFH D-109

16 Oct: Prof. Malcolm Jobling (BFE-AMB) on the publication process
17 Oct: Varied programme, e.g. how to use figures and tables in publications, planning of writing and how to make and present PowerPoint slides at conferences
18–19 Oct: Writing scientitic English with Stewart Clark


Group work
Groups of about four participants with similar scientific background are assigned with an experienced mentor. It is up to the group to decide how they want to work, but here is a suggestion:

  • The mentor reads through and give general comments on structure and return the manuscript by course start
  • Mentor and the group decide where, when and how often to meet. At each meeting, one or more manuscripts could be at focus. By now, the candidates should have incorporated the comments from the mentor.
  • The manuscript(s) at focus should be distributed to the group about three working days in advance, so that all members can formulate suggested improvements and constructive feedback.
  • When all manuscripts are discussed, and all feedback is incorporated, the final version must be submitted to Canvas by the deadline 14 Nov 2018

The aim is to improve your own manuscript, and practice in giving and receiving feedback.

Improvement of own manuscript, active participation during group meetings and input to the other participants’ manuscripts make you eligible for the exam. Some may not have their own manuscript ready yet, but may be eligible for the exam thorugh active participation during meetings.

You will be tested as a peer reviewer. Choose either the social scientific or the natural scientific manuscript according to
your own preference, and fill out the Review form. Specific comments on mistakes, suggestions of improvement or other points to make are to be filled in under the Review form. Specify which line number you refer to.

This is is not a test of your skills within the respective scientific topics, focus is on how a manuscript should be formatted to meet both the journal and scientific standard. The exam must be submitted by the deadline 21 Nov 2018 at 12.00.

Read more and register in the course catalogue: https://uit.no/utdanning/emner/emne/564818/fsk-8002?ar=2018&semester=H

Registration deadline is 1 Sept 2018.