Jan. 30, 2019

HPI Publishing Workshop

Article by Abhinaya Venkatesan (PhD student; Gilleard lab, University of Calgary)

We took advantage of Dr. Sarah Knutie’s visit to organize a workshop on publishing scientific articles. The goal was to provide the HPI and WHERG trainees with insights on the different aspects of a publication. In order to achieve this, a panel of four experts was set up. This panel consisted of PIs with varying experiences and included Drs. Derek McKay, John Gilleard, Keith Sharkey and Sarah Knutie.

Thanks to the generosity of the Wildlife Health Ecology Research Group (WHERG), pizza lunch was organized before the workshop. This is always an added incentive for many trainees to participate in workshops and events. During lunch, many participants had the opportunity to interact with the panel of experts.

The workshop kicked off at 1:00 P.M. and the participants were seated in motley groups. A new and valuable aspect of this workshop was that the trainees were contacted prior to the workshop and a set of questions were prepared to address various aspects of publishing articles. Drs. McKay and Knutie mostly answered questions from an author’s perspective, whereas Drs. Gilleard and Sharkey addressed questions from an editor/reviewer’s perspective. All four of the panelists were experts on publishing – Dr. Knutie is a budding PI with over 14 publications in the last two years alone; Dr. McKay is an experienced PI with over 150 publications and has also served on the editorial board of some renowned journals; Drs. Gilleard and Sharkey have a lot of experience in reviewing articles and are also on the editorial board of various high impact journals.

The Q&A session was followed by a round-table sessions which each of the panelists to discuss four major topics:

1) Beginner’s guide to reviewing papers.

2) Academic vs Non-academic careers: How does the number of papers affect/shape your career?

3) Facing paper rejection.

4) Getting your first paper published. Each session lasted five minutes and provided the trainees with the opportunity of directly interacting with the experts and discuss relevant topics.

Overall, the workshop was well-received and all the trainees enjoyed both the sessions. I would like to thank all the experts, Teresa and fellow TOC member, Camila Queiroz, PhD student (Gilleard lab) for organizing the workshop.