European Science Editing 47: e54417, doi: 10.3897/ese.2021.e54417
Online course in conjunction with face-to-face workshops to improve writing skills leading towards more publications in peer reviewed journals
expand article infoAmon P Shoko, Ismael A Kimirei, Baraka C Sekadende, Mary A Kishe, Innocent E Sailale
‡ Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Open Access

Background: Researchers in the developing countries often have inadequate scientific writing skills to publish their research in international peer reviewed journals.

Objectives: To improve the research-and proposal-writing skills of researchers and to evaluate the impact of this intervention.

Methods: An off-the-shelf online course (AuthorAID, developed by INASP) was embedded in the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute’s (TAFIRI) website and offered to the institute researchers in Tanzania. The 8-week course was followed by a 2-day face- to-face workshop that used the course material contextualized to local conditions, and the combination was repeated one more time.

Results: A total of 47 participants completed the course and attended the workshop: 21 (54%) completed the course in 2016 and 26 (67%) in 2017. The number of papers published annually by TAFIRI staff more than tripled between 2016 and 2019 after the AuthorAID intervention, most of them (114, or 91%) by researchers who had undergone the training.

Conclusion: Embedding and contextualizing proven learning materials, such as the AuthorAID online course, can be an economical and effective approach to improving the writing skills of scientists in developing countries.

Academic and research institutions, AuthorAID, developing countries, INASP, research skills, workshop, writing skills