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Monday, 29 January 2018 21:21

WASP again (Write a Scientific Paper) - in Malta and London

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Victor Grech

 The ability to write up research in a paper that can withstand peer-review is a crucial and critical requisite for all academics, not only to disseminate their work, but also to further their careers. The skills required are manifold and are usually acquired piecemeal. WASP (Write a Scientific Paper) is an intensive and comprehensive 3-day course that covers all requisite paper-writing skills.

Core subjects include: literature appraisal, proposals, ethics and data protection, seeking materials for publication, preparing a compelling abstract, an attractive poster and a captivating presentation, how to lay out a paper, which journals to target (and why), editors’ viewpoints, tackling editors, the difference between a paper and a thesis, and statistics. Almost a third of WASP includes statistical analysis using the familiar Microsoft Excel environment. The WASP faculty comprises experienced researchers and journal editors. WASP’s purpose is to impart the lecturers' collective experience to the delegates in this crucial aspect of career progress.

WASP courses include soft copies of all talks, all papers discussed as examples, all spreadsheets including actual data used in published papers, as well as spreadsheets that extend Excel's native capabilities. WASP also has a half day of statistics exercises using Microsoft Excel. The author is well suited to impart the statistics lectures, having co-written the statistics chapter in The Science of Paediatrics: MRCPCH Mastercourse.1

WASP has been held in Malta almost annually since 2010. After each iteration, feedback has been used for fine-tuning WASP. The course was held in London, for the first time, at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at the end of January 2017. This is a unique course worldwide and feedback has been excellent (table 1). The modus operandi for WASP has also been published.2

This event is suitable for all individuals in the sciences field who wish to enhance their paper writing skills by acquiring sound competences in academic writing. WASP will once again be held in Malta (2-4/10/2017) and in London (23-25/10/2017). The WASP faculty looks forward to meeting you. Registration is available at www.ithams.com/wasp.

 


References

  1. Fine-Golden M, Grech V. Statistics. In: Lissauer T, Carrol W (eds). The Science of Paediatrics MRCPCH Mastercourse (1st edition). London: Elsevier, 2016. (p. 723-738).
  2. Grech V. WASP – Write a Scientific Paper course: Why and how. J Vis Comm Med – in press.

 

Table 1. Anonymous feedback from delegates. Score out of 5 (Likert scale: 1 to 5 Very Poor to Very Good).

 

 

WASP in London, Jan 2017

 

Speakers

Content

Delivery

 

Handouts*

 

Talks

 

Mean

4.6

4.3

 

5.0

 

4.6

 

Std dev

0.6

0.9

 

0.0

 

0.7

 

Venue

Location

Food & refreshments

Presentation facilities

Audio facilities

Amenities

Wi-Fi

 

Mean

4.8

4.3

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

 

Std dev

0.5

1.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

 

 

Conference overall

How likely are you to recommend this course?

 

Mean

 

4.8

 

          4.8

   

 

Std dev

 

0.5

 

          0.5

   

 

 

WASP in Malta, Feb 2017

 

Speakers

Content

Delivery

 

Handouts*

 

Talks

 

Mean

4.8

4.8

 

4.9

 

4.6

 

Std dev

0.4

0.5

 

0.3

 

0.5

 

Venue

Location

Food &

refreshments

Presentation

facilities

Audio

facilities

Amenities

Wi-Fi

 

Mean

4.7

3.6

4.8

4.9

4.5

4.6

 

Std dev

0.5

1.4

0.4

0.3

0.7

0.5

 

 

Conference overall

How likely are you to recommend this course?

 

Mean

 

4.9

 

4.8

   

 

Std dev

 

0.3

 

0.4

   

 

                             

*Excel sheets, datasets, papers

 

 

Additional Info

  • TheSynapse Magazines: 2016
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Prof Victor Grech MD PhD (Lond) PhD (Malta) is a consultant paediatrician with a special interest in paediatric cardiology. He is also the creator and editor-inchief of the journal Images in Paediatric Cardiology (www.impaedcard.com).

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