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Writing for science publication: from raw material to submission-ready ms

Writing for science publication: from raw material to submission-ready ms
ISPA - Advanced Courses in Biology and Animal Behaviour - Writing for science publication
ISPA Advanced Courses in Biology and Animal Behaviour

Segunda, Novembro 11, 2019 - 09:00

Quarta, Novembro 13, 2019 - 18:00

Terça, Novembro 19, 2019 - 09:00

Quinta, Novembro 21, 2019 - 18:00

Salas 138/140

Irá ter lugar no ISPA - Instituto Universitário os ISPA Advanced Courses in Biology and Animal Behaviour.


Este novo curso intitula-se Writing for Science Publication, e contará com a presença do Professor Peter McGregor (Professor of Animal Behaviour, ISPA – Instituto Universitário).


A sua realização será nas instalações do ISPA, entre os dias 11 e 13 e os dias 19 e 21 de novembro de 2019.







Synopsis – this 6 ECTS course will provide the techniques and environment for participants to convert their suitable raw material (e.g. material for a thesis chapter or from a completed research project) into a manuscript that is ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.




Target audience - PhD students and post-docs from ISPA and other Universities/Research Institutions.




Prerequisites - evidence of suitable “raw material” & supervisor agreement for student to attend.



  1. evidence of suitable “raw material”, i.e., a Figure (or Table) illustrating the most important result from the study. It must have a detailed caption that allows the pattern to be understood and must include details of statistical tests used and their output (test statistic, sample size and p-value);
  2. commitment to course timing – see note on timing below;
  3. an email from PhD supervisor / project PI agreeing to the participant’s attendance.



Format – each day will begin with an initial lecture, most of the day will be spent in group workshops and individual tutorials, and the day will conclude with a session reviewing progress and preparing for the next day. There will be time within each day for work on manuscripts, both individually and in groups, and 1:1 tutorials to guide individual writing. Commitment to individual study outside of course days is also required – see note on timing.




Timing – note that in addition to attendance throughout the period 11th-13th and 19th-21st November, participants will be required to spend significant time in individual study preparing for the course. In particular, on the first day of the course each participant will present a 5min overview of their study illustrated by their data Figure/Table (Prerequisite 1), supported by up to 2 extra ppt slides. The break in the course is to allow participants time for self-directed writing of their ms, to include aspects discussed in part 1 and to draft aspects to be covered in part 2. However, it is likely that some time will be required in the evening to develop their ms. Participants may also be required to take part in pre- and post-course Skype sessions. (This break also avoids a conflict with 2 conferences at CIIMAR, Porto - XV Encontro Nacional de Biologia Evolutia on 14-15th and XVI Congresso da Sociedade Portuguesa de Ethologia on 16th).




Places – there is a maximum of 8 places to ensure the high level of 1:1 contact. Places will be allocated in the order applications are received. Priority will be given to ISPA PhD students.




Course content - the approach will be to use the specifics of participants’ material to illustrate the general considerations of how to publish in the peer-reviewed literature. Key factors that affect these considerations will be introduced by short lecture and examined in group working. Current developments in peer-reviewed publication will be introduced and discussed in a similar format. The provisional list of such developments includes:




  • open access
  • predatory journals
  • pre-publication
  • open peer review
  • referencing tools


We will endeavour to tailor content to match participants’ experience and needs.




To apply – send a short curriculum vitae and evidence of the course prerequisites to ue@ispa.pt with subject: “Advanced Workshop in Scientific Writing Nov 2019”




Course leader: Peter McGregor, Professor of Animal Behaviour, ISPA – Instituto Universitário


Peter has experience of science writing from the perspective of submitting ms for peer-review and authoring chapters in edited volumes, as well as from the opposite perspective of ms referee and journal editor (acta ethologica, Bioacoustics). He has edited books, currently co-edits a Springer book series and has been involved in producing consensus manuscripts and a United Nations report.