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Enhancing research publications and advancing scientific writing in health research collaborations: sharing lessons learnt from the trenches

Authors Li G, Jin Y, Mbuagbaw L, Dolovich L, Adachi JD, Levine MAH, Cook D, Samaan Z, Thabane L

Received 27 September 2017

Accepted for publication 29 March 2018

Published 17 May 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 245—254

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S152681

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Guowei Li,1–3 Yanling Jin,1 Lawrence Mbuagbaw,1,2 Lisa Dolovich,1,2,4 Jonathan D Adachi,2,5 Mitchell AH Levine,1–3,5 Deborah Cook,1,2,5 Zainab Samaan,1,2 Lehana Thabane1,2

1Department of Health Research Methods, Impact and Evidence, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 2St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 3Centre for Evaluation of Medicines, Programs for Assessment of Technology in Health (PATH) Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 4Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 5Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Background: Disseminating research protocols, processes, methods or findings via peer-reviewed publications has substantive merits and benefits to various stakeholders.
Purpose: In this article, we share strategies to enhance research publication contents (ie, what to write about) and to facilitate scientific writing (ie, how to write) in health research collaborations.
Methods: Empirical experience sharing.
Results: To enhance research publication contents, we encourage identifying appropriate opportunities for publications, publishing protocols ahead of results papers, seeking publications related to methodological issues, considering justified secondary analyses, and sharing academic process or experience. To advance writing, we suggest setting up scientific writing as a goal, seeking an appropriate mentorship, making full use of scientific meetings and presentations, taking some necessary formal training in areas such as effective communication and time and stress management, and embracing the iterative process of writing.
Conclusion: All the strategies we share are dependent upon each other; and they advocate gradual academic accomplishments through study and training in a “success-breeds-success” way. It is expected that the foregoing shared strategies in this paper, together with other previous guidance articles, can assist one with enhancing research publications, and eventually one’s academic success in health research collaborations.

Keywords:
research publication, scientific writing, health research collaboration

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