Promoting a positive publication culture – supporting research institutes through integrated training and consultancy

Iain Patten (Spain)

The success of a research institute is ultimately dependent on the publication record of its constituent groups. Yet, despite the enormous human and financial resources invested in scientific research, relatively little time is dedicated to establishing conditions that favour efficient, high-impact publication. In this presentation, I will describe my experience of providing integrated training and consultancy programmes designed to promote a positive and effective publication culture. Within these programmes, writing and publication is treated as an organisational challenge requiring not only individual skills development but also attention to group dynamics, interpersonal communication, and strategic vision. Training is provided at multiple levels, including short workshops to introduce key considerations for effective writing, intensive writing programmes for early career researchers, and workshops on mentoring and management of publication for research group leaders. In all cases, strong emphasis is placed on the process of writing rather than focusing exclusively on the end product of that process. Importantly, wherever possible, training is also embedded within an overall strategy to support the publication output of the institute. Based on this experience, I will discuss the implications of taking a holistic approach to writing support in research institutes. In particular, I will explore the advantages and challenges of working with senior researchers and group leaders—many of whom are already experienced writers—to ensure that they can get the most out of the junior researchers in their charge.

Dr. Iain Patten is an independent scientific writing consultant based in Valencia, Spain. He originally trained in biomedical science and has undertaken research in neuroscience and embryology in the UK, USA, and Spain. He currently works with research institutes and university departments to help them optimise their publication output through a combination of skills training and strategic management. In addition to his work with authors and researchers, Iain provides training to professional writers, editors and translators on the professional development programmes of organisations such as Mediterranean Editors and Translators and the European Medical Writers Association.