Authors' Workshop Held in Riga on 27 October
The workshop for PhD students in Riga Stradins University in Riga, Latvia, was held on 27 October 2017. This event was initiated and organized by Prof. Aigars Petersons from the Riga Stradins University and Prof. Edgaras Stankevičius, the editor-in-chief of the journal 'Medicina' (Kaunas, Lithuania) and the visiting professor at Riga Stradins University. They recognize the need for devoting more attention for preparing students for academic career, knowing that a significant aspect of this career includes publishing scientific papers. The goal of the workshop was to provide an insight to the environment of scientific publishing considering the perspectives of both publishers and editors, as well as to provide an overview of basic skills needed for preparing a scientific paper, with the final aim - to encourage young researcher in writing and publishing scientific papers. The programme was covered by two invited speakers: Justyna Kasprzycka and Ljuba Bacharova.
Justyna Kasprzycka leads a portfolio of scientific journals in Central and Eastern Europe at Elsevier. Her involvement in these roles has given her a detailed understanding of the Central & Eastern Europe journal portfolio and in the challenges that the researchers in this region are facing nowadays. She introduced the role and contribution of publishers, the foundation and structure of an article, the importance of using proper scientific language, and the process of reviewing a manuscript. A special attention was devoted to publication ethics, namely plagiarism as well as authors’ rights. She also presented bibliometric indicators and Elsevier products that can be used for increasing visibility of an article: ScienceDirect, Scopus, Mendeley.
Ljuba Bacharova represented the Journal of Electrocardiology and the IRIS initiative. She shared her experience as an author, as well as the executive editor of the Journal of Electrocardiology and the organizer of the IRIS initiative, where Journal of Electrocardiology plays substantial role. She touched four aspects of publishing mostly from the author´s perspective: (1) how to prepare a good study protocol; (2) the structure and content of IMRAD papers; (3) how to communicate with the editorial office and respond to reviewers comments; (4) academic English.
She presented also the IRIS initiative, and the experience gathering during 12 years of the existence of this initiative. Discussion on a possibility to organize IRIS 2018 in Latvia or Lithuania, information of planned IRISes in Kyrgyzstan and Sweden in the year 2018, invitation to participate. Also – opening a possibility on organizing more complex and comprehensive courses on academic writing at universities, either in Lithuania or Latvia.
The main messages to take home from this workshop were: (1) knowing the environment helps to avoid potential misunderstandings or even failures; (2) the basic skills needed for successful writing are learnable. They are not always recognized and included in the university curricula or just in a limited extent. However, the attitude is changing – this workshop can serve as an example of this changing approach.