Doha, Qatar: Hamad bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) and Nature Masterclasses, a service of Nature Research, hosted a largely successful joint workshop for students titled Elements of Exceptional Published Research Papers this past Thursday, September 21st, 2017 at Hamad bin Khalifa University.
The event targeted students looking to learn how to distinguish themselves when writing abstracts for their research and how to present their findings in a logical and readable manner. Spaces were reserved weeks in advance due to the high response rate among local students proving that another one of HBKU Press’s initiatives targeting the academic community in Qatar was a success.
HBKU Press regularly hosts such initiatives as a part of their commitment to help develop the academic and literary landscape of the local and regional community. Through these sessions, HBKU Press acts as an agent for the global exchange of information and the dissemination of local work in the community and beyond.
“This type of experience is essential for students looking to publish their papers for the first time. The Masterclass aims to give students actual hands-on experience that they need to be able to write research papers and prepare them for their future careers in research,” explains Dr. Alwaleed Alkhaja, Senior Editor at HBKU Press. “Our partnership with Springer Nature is exemplary of our high standards and our commitment to bringing the best resources that the world has to offer to local researchers in Qatar.”
The full-day workshop catered towards students who are interested in learning how to write a distinguished research paper in scientific journals. It focused on the writing process and what to include in each section of the paper whereby participants developed strategies to structure and edit manuscripts, improve figure presentation and how to put this into practice. Using examples submitted by the participants, the editors also performed a ‘live edit’ where they dissected and examined an abstract to the group.
Dr. Mary Elizabeth Sutherland, Associate Editor at Nature Communications, and Dr. Giulia Pacchioni, Associate Editor at Nature Reviews Materials, both of whom have a combined 15+ years of experience in various fields of research and the sciences, led the workshop of around 30 participants with an extremely positive reception.
“Coming in today, my main hope was that the participants have a lot of questions and the Masterclass will be interactive,” explained Dr. Pacchioni. “I had also hoped that they are already in the process of writing research papers or they have already written papers so that they can relate to what we are presenting and maybe we can help answer some questions that they have.”
At the midway point of the presentation, Dr. Pacchioni reflected that the group of participants brought a varied mix to the Masterclass.
“I’m surprised by the mixed backgrounds of all of the students but it is great to see how they can all benefit from such a presentation. It shows how relevant the information we present is and how a session like this can cater to such a different group of people. I can see that this is beneficial to them as they have been interactive and have been asking a lot of questions which shows that they are engaged.”
Sami El Zeiny, a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, is currently preparing to write his dissertation and came to the workshop in the learn what sets exceptional research papers apart to editors.
“This session is really useful as I’m learning some valuable tips on how to develop writing skills that are applicable in publishing research,” explains El Zeiny. “I want my paper to stand out among other papers as something that is well-written and understandable so that it recognized as a top paper in conferences and published in high-profile journals. This session is added value and I encourage other students to participate in such sessions as hosted by HBKU Press.”
Nermina Draco, a University College London Master’s student, was extremely impressed by the partnership between HBKU Press and Springer Nature, a high-profile publisher in the global academic publishing world.
“It’s great that HBKU Press is able to bring these resources to students in Qatar,” explains Draco. “This is a fantastic opportunity for students to be able to see what editors are looking for in exceptional research papers so that we, as students, can make sure to present our written paper in a way that appeals to publishers.”