다국적 의사과학자를 위한 논문쓰기 워크숍
Scientific Writing Training for Academic Physicians of Diverse Language Backgrounds
Carrie Cameron, PhD, Stephanie P. Deming, Beth Notzon, Scott B. Cantor, PhD,
Kristine R. Broglio, MS, and Walter Pagel
논문이란 학계(Academia)의 통화(coin of the realm)라 할 수 있으며, 논문을 낼 수 있느냐 없느냐 하는 것이 생의학연구자로서의 커리어에 중요하다. 동시에 다국적 협력 연구가 늘어나고 미국 학계에 외국 출신 교수와 연구자들이 크게 늘어나면서 또 다른 문제가 더해졌는데, 바로 영어 구사능력에 따른 한계이다. 그러나 역설적으로 영어 논문작성을 도와주거나 이 때 필요한 기술들을 가르쳐주는 프로그램은 거의 없다. 연구자들의 커리어 개발 준비를 위해서 Department of Scientific Publications at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center 에서는 심화 트레이닝 프로그램을 개설하였다. 22회 이상의 워크숍에 300명 이상의 참가자가 참석하였으며, 설문 결과 논문작성실력이 향상되었고, 논문작성을 시작하는게 수월해졌으며, 출판에도 도움이 되었다는 응답을 얻었다. 또한 비영어권 참가자들이 영어권 참가자들보다 더 도움이 되었다고 응답하였다.
Research articles are the coin of the realm for anyone working in academia, and success or failure to publish determines a biomedical researcher's career path. At the same time, the dramatic increase in foreign faculty and trainees in U.S. academia, as well as in international scientific collaboration, adds another dimension to this developmental vacuum: limited English-language skills. Paradoxically, few programs exist to develop and support the skills needed to accomplish the vital task of writing English-language research articles, which does not come naturally to most. To better prepare all trainees for research careers, editors in the Department of Scientific Publications at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center created an in-depth training program that would target the writing skills gap effectively. Instruction focused on structure, rhetorical organization, and the conventions of biomedical publishing. More than 300 trainees have participated in 22 workshops. Results of a survey of 46 participants at 6 months to 2.5 years after workshop completion indicated that participants from all language backgrounds believed the course to have improved their writing (97.8% strongly agreed or agreed), made it easier to begin a manuscript (80.4%), and helped them to get published (56.8%), with nonnative speakers of English reporting somewhat greater perceived benefit than native English speakers. On the basis of these results, the authors conclude that researchers of varied linguistic backgrounds appreciate the need for, and benefit from, instruction in the conventions of scientific writing.
- Although programs to teach effective writing are offered in some departments and institutions,1–4 few have been undertaken at the institutional level.
- Indeed, the National Science Foundation reports that the number of foreign scientists and engineers working in academia in the United States has more than doubled in the last 35 years, whereas growth in the publication of internationally coauthored articles rose by more than 100% in the United States from 1988 to 2003.6
- The result of this intense curriculum and staff development program was an 18- contact-hour workshop, “Writing and Publishing Scientific Articles” (WAPSA). First rolled out as a series of 12 weekly 1.5-hour modules, it is now offered as a series of three 6-hour modules offered during three consecutive weeks.
Workshop Design and Methodology
- Research in applied linguistics has shown that NNES writers can benefit immediately from explicit instruction in the structural and rhetorical requirements of the English-language scientific article regardless of their mastery of English grammar.7–10,13,14
- Measuring the effectiveness of writing interventions is notoriously difficult. Because an article can be perfectly written but lack an interesting problem or be based on unsound methodology,acceptance for publication cannot be used as a meaningful metric unless one has access to all reviewer comments. Measuring the improvement rate of an individual author (by increase in rate of acceptance to peer-reviewed journals) also has many complications, such as whether the author has had a study to publish, whether he or she was the primary author, etc. For these reasons, we devised a survey method that, although not based on purely objective criteria, would give us more reliable information than that of the in-class evaluations.
- Because we were obliged to use a selection process to keep class size manageable, selection criteria needed to be developed. In our experience, the status of the registrant’s current research writing has emerged as one of the top selection criteria. Only those registrants who are ready to begin or have begun writing a manuscript are accepted into the workshop, and those who are still finishing research are asked to register for a subsequent section. Because a fair amount of workshop time is spent working on manuscripts, this practice ensures that there are no participants sitting idly while others are writing
- As the workshop has matured over time, we have come to realize the social value that the workshop has for the participants. The workshops include participants from a wide variety of disciplines conducting a wide variety of research, and as the participants interact, they are able to discover more and better ways of conveying their ideas to others who are not already familiar with their work.
- Finally, the affective value of the workshop has become apparent over time as well. As participants have shared their reactions, thoughts, and suggestions with us, we have developed an appreciation for the considerable amount of stress, worry, and self-doubt that many writers feel about beginning and managing the writing process and about their linguistic self-expression.
Acad Med. 2009 Apr;84(4):505-10. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31819a7e6d.
Scientific writing training for academic physicians of diverse language backgrounds.
- More about the teaching of scientific writing. [Acad Med. 2010]
- [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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