FABI's Writing Club going strong 2018-09-05
It goes without saying that publishing scientific papers is crucial for a successful science career. Ultimately as a postgraduate student it is, therefore, as important to learn how to publish your work, as it is to learn how to ask good questions, set experiments and produce results. Fortunately, there are rules that govern or guide many aspects of scientific writing that can be learned; including how to structure a paper, order the content of the different sections of the paper, do referencing, and various other aspects.
Another important part of the writing and publishing process is reviewing and editing. Before a manuscript is published it typically goes through multiple rounds of editing and revision, first internally by the authors and then through the journal review process.
FABI PhD candidate, Katrin Fitza, started a “Writing Club” in 2016 to support this process, and to learn about reviewing and editing at the same time. The group currently consists of two Postdocs, five PhD students and four MSc students from FABI. The aim is to support each other by discussing and applying scientific writing guidelines and to critically review each other’s manuscripts. The club meets every three weeks and firstly goes through important guidelines (e.g. paragraph structuring, flow and grammar using published books on scientific writing as references) and then comments are given about a manuscript that has been submitted by one of the students. Each participant can submit their work to the group in turn, which is then reviewed by other members of the group. Feedback is given to the individual by the group also ensuring that the others giving feedback learn through the comments given. “I learned through the meetings that thoroughness and consistency are important tools that need to be applied when one writes,” says Katrin. Besides this writing club another writing club is ongoing in the Forest Molecular Genetics group.