Friday, 4 November 2005: 17.00-18.20
METM 05, Barcelona, Spain


Improving biomedical research communication through an introductory course on journals and critical reading

Valerie Matarese, PhD,, Pieve di Soligo, TV, Italy. Although her training is in biochemistry, Valerie’s experience working with Italian research journals has led to an interest in the interaction of reading and writing skills. Contact: or


My experience in Italy working in collaboration with Italian research journals helped me understand the types of problems that Italian researchers have in organizing a research paper and communicating their results. A personal survey of over 100 research papers highlighted the characteristics of typical writing errors, and led me to conclude that a major limitation is lack of experience reading the scientific literature. On this basis, I developed a course to promote skills for reading the literature; the course has been given to groups of physicians and will shortly be given to university graduate students. The presentation will describe this strategy for improving scientific communication and will present feedback from students in the course. Specifically, I will present original data on weaknesses of research papers written by Italian authors and a brief overview of Italian journal publishing, including original observations. I will describe the course designed to promote journal reading as a strategy for improving writing skills and present preliminary observations from the course given to a university graduate students.