Third INCTR Scientific writing workshop

INCTR, Brussels, hosted a third workshop on scientific writing from October 19-23, 2009. This is the third such workshop, given, as usual, by Dr. Elisabeth Heseltine with the assistance of Professor Ama Rohatiner. The aim of these workshops is to help scientists and physicians from resource-limited countries to more effectively present the results of their research and increase the chance of publication in an international medical/scientific journal. Participants are selected by a scientific committee on the basis of their poster presentations at the INCTR biennial Meeting on cancer in countries with limited resources (in this case, the 8th such meeting, which took place in Antalya, Turkey, in March 2009). The workshop, as in the past, was made possible by the generous support of Dr. Joe Harford, Director of the office of International Affairs of NCI (USA). This year, the workshop was attended by five participants from Iraq, Nigeria and Pakistan. All felt the intensive week's work had been extremely valuable and are looking forward to submitting their completed papers to medical journals in the near future.

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Participants and faculty at INCTR's 3rd scientific workshop pose for a picture outside INCTR's offices at the (former) Institute Pasteur, Brussels.
From left to right: E. Heseltine, J. Iqbal, M. U. Khan, R. Anorlu, N. Anwar, M. Al-Jadiry and A. Rohatiner

According to Dr. Elisabeth Heseltine, "communication is an integral part of scientific research; however, scientists and physicians rarely receive instruction in how to write a scientific paper. The purpose of this workshop is to help scientists communicate more effectively; to help them present the results of their research in a way that will best convince the reader that the work is important and reliable. It is a workshop and not a course, and participants contribute to the discussion of each step in the writing of an article, illustrated with a series of handouts and by discussion of the articles provided in advance by the participants.

I started giving these workshops in 1986 and have conducted them in 26 countries around the world. The content is updated regularly to keep up with changes in the field. In the three workshops given under the aegis of INCTR additional assistance was provided by Professor Ama Rohatiner, who reviewed the manuscripts before they were discussed by the group. During the sessions, she pointed out areas of scientific content which needed clarification in the papers. At the end of the 5-day workshop, each of the five participants had a manuscript that was almost ready to be sent to the journal of their choice. I shall be working with each of them by e-mail until their papers have been accepted."

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