Category / writing

An epidemic of invitations

Once you have submitted you manuscript to a scientific journal, the editor has a (quick) look at it and sends it out for review.  As I remind students and colleagues in training sessions on academic writing and publishing, the editor and the peer reviewers are academics like me and my colleagues who do both the editing and the reviewing, for free and over and above the day job.  Being an editor and a reviewer are part of being any academic’s so-called scholarly activity.  We are expected to do this as part of the wider scientific community for the benefit of our academic discipline(s).

When an academic receives an invitation to peer review, the journal will send you a copy of the paper’s abstract.  On reading this abstract you then decide whether you wish to do the review.  If the paper sounds interesting and it is in your field and you have the time you may volunteer to conduct a review.  Once you have agreed you will get the full paper (or more likely you are send a link to the publisher’s website).  The requirements of the review report varies between disciplines and often between journals. Some follow an informal structure, but others have a more formal approach, sometimes with scoring systems for sections of the paper.

Unfortunately, academics across the globe are experiencing an ‘epidemic’ of invitations to review for scientific journals.  And I am not talking about so-called predatory publishers, i.e. journals and publishers that are only in it for the monetary gain, no I am talking about legitimate journals sending out invitations to review for them.   Especially scholars with a few decent publications receive several emails a week from often high quality scientific journals.  The photo of my email inbox shows three invitations in a row I received in the space of two hours last week (10th July), two are even from different Associate Editors for the same journal!

I would like to stress that doing peer reviews is very important.  It is the backbone of academic publishing.  Reviewing is part of our overall scholarly responsibility so we all do it, although some more than others.  We all have are favourite journals to review for, perhaps because the journal is high quality, or we like to publish in it ourselves, because we know the editor, or our reviewing is recognised on websites like KUDOS.  I would like to urge colleagues who don’t manage to review at least once a month to step up and agree to review a wee bit more often.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

Research Events in July

Preparing Practice-Based Research Outputs for Assessment (REF 2021)

Wednesday 17th July 11:00 – 15:30 on Talbot Campus

The focus of this session will be on :

  • The information to include in your submission, and how it is presented
  • Looking at worked examples – good and bad practice
  • Providing individual support

By the end of this workshop you will have knowledge of the information which reviewers need in order assess research outputs, and how this should be presented to reviewers. You will also have made progress in developing the supporting information for outputs due to be submitted in future REF Mock exercises.

See here for more details and to book.

Research Outputs Writing Days

The Research Outputs Writing Days are very popular. These aim to give authors time and space with like minded individuals to produce publications , and provide insights and tips into how to manage writing time within daily routine.

The event on Tuesday 16th July is now fully booked, but the next is on Thursday 5th September. See here for to book and for details of other dates.

Congratulations to PhD student Alice Ladur

FHSS PhD student Alice Ladur has been awarded a small but very competitive grant by FfWG, the Funds for Women Graduates.  FfWG is the trading name of the BFWG Charitable Foundation and the BFWG (British Federation of Women Graduates), which is affiliated to the International Federation of University Women.

Alice is based in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH).  Her PhD research in Uganda is supervised by Prof. Vanora Hundley and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen. Her thesis research has already resulted in an academic paper published in the international journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, which Open Access.

Meet the Editors – save the date

When: Monday 9th September 2019, 12 noon – 1.30.

Bring lunch, we will provide the coffee/tea and cake

Where: B321, Bournemouth House,

Who: Lee-Ann Fenge and Tula Brannelly

Lee-Ann and Tula sit on the editorial board of the fabulous journal Ethics and Social Welfare. If you have not come across it, it is  ten year old journal that specialises in ethics of social work, marginalised communities and theoretical developments in applied philosophy.  The journal has a wide international readership, and is particularly popular in Australia and New Zealand. The journal has a commitment to new scholars, and wants to encourage new writers to publish alongside established authors. There is an under subscribed practice section that encourages papers from students, which has shorter contributions that focus on ethics and practice. This is an opportunity to co-create those journal articles that are looking for a home. 

Tula and Lee-Ann can tell you more about the journal and how to write for it at this session. We are happy to discuss partial papers, advise on submissions and review processes and provide tailored information about publishing with the journal. Members of the editorial board are doing this in their universities to support capacity building and promote the journal.

If you know of local health and social care practitioners who would like to publish about ethics and practice, please invite them along too.

​We look forward to seeing you there. No need to RSVP

New BU cross-faculty publication

This week Evidence-Based Midwifery published the latest article from the BU team working on the portrayal of midwifery and maternity in the media.  This qualitative paper ‘Changing the narrative around childbirth: whose responsibility is it?’ is co-authored by a multidisciplinary team including the disciplines of Midwifery, Sociology and Media.[1]  The lead author is Prof. Vanora Hundley in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), one of longest established centres at BU, her co-authors are Dr. Ann Luce in the Faculty of Media & Communication, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen director of CMMPH and Sophie Edlund, who was based at BU at the time of the research but who is now at Malmö University in Sweden.

The paper addresses societal’s interest in all aspects of childbirth, which is reflected in both social and traditional media. Stories often focus on dramatic, risky and mostly unrealistic events; misrepresenting childbirth and maternity care professionals. The authors raised the question: “Whose responsibility is it to ensure accurate representations of childbirth?”   Using semi-structured in-depth interviews with ten midwives working in the UK some working in the NHS, some in Higher Education or independent practice, the authors distilled four separate but inter-related themes:

(1) not my responsibility;

(2) fear of retribution;

(3) power balance; and

(4) social media.

The themes sat within two wider societal issues that reflect the current challenges for midwifery, these were (a) the ongoing battle between the social and the medical models of childbirth and (b) the impact of gender.  Finding that midwives fear the media resonates with experiences from a number of countries and professional groups. There is a need to change media discourse in both fictional and factual representations of childbirth and midwives have a critical role to play in this, but to do this they need to equip themselves with the skills necessary to engage with the media. Guidelines on responsible media reporting could ensure that media producers portray pregnancy, midwifery and maternity care as naturally as possible.

This paper is paper of a growing body of interdisciplinary research at BU across faculties, which had already resulted in six earlier publications. [2-7]  In addition last month Dr Chapleo from the Faculty of Management submitted a grant application to the ESRC under the title ‘Rebranding childbirth: understanding the role of marketing in influencing uptake of health services’, a joint application with CMMPH staff (Profs. Hundley & van Teijlingen) and the Media School (Dr. Luce).

 

References:

  1. Hundley, V., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E., Edlund, S. (2019) Changing the narrative around childbirth: whose responsibility is it? Evidence-based Midwifery 17(2): 47-52.
  2. Luce, A., Cash, M., Hundley, V., Cheyne, H., van Teijlingen, E., Angell, C. (2016) “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 40 http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-0827-x
  3. van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Luce, A., Hundley, V. (2016) Media, Health & Health Promotion in Nepal, Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences 2(1): 70-75. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/JMMIHS/article/view/15799/12744
  4. Luce, A., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (Eds.) (2017) Midwifery, Childbirth and the Media, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. Hundley, V., Duff, E., Dewberry, J., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Fear in childbirth: are the media responsible? MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 24(4): 444-447.
  6. Hundley, V., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) Do midwives need to be more media savvy? MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 25(1):5-10.
  7. van Teijlingen, E., De Vries, R., Luce, A., Hundley, V. (2017) Meer bemoeien met media (In Dutch: more engagement with media). Tijdschrift voor Verloskundigen (in Dutch: Journal for Midwives), 41 (6):28-29.

Research Capacity Building in Nepal: 600 reads

A few times a month ResearchGate alerts me that another paper has reached a miles stone of so having been read some many times.   Today the ResearchGate message is about 600 reads for our paper ‘Research Methods Coverage in Medical and Health Science Curricula in Nepal’. [1]  This paper was a report  on research methods teaching in health-related Higher Education (HE) courses in the health and medical field in Nepal.  This paper originates from a DelPHE (Round 4), British Council award.  Our study ‘Partnership on Improving Access to Research Literature for HE Institutions in Nepal’ (PARI Initiative) was a collaboration between the oldest university in Nepal, namely Tribhuvan University and two UK university of which BU was one.    A further paper from the PARI Initiative was published a year later.  [2]   The lead author of both papers in BU Visiting Faculty Prof Padam Simkhada, who is Professor of International Public Health at the Public Health Institute at Liverpool John Moores University.

The Nepal Journal of Epidemiology is a full Open Access journal which means anybody across the globe can access it for free.  The Nepal Journal of Epidemiology is part of  Nepal Journals Online (NepJOL) a service established by INASP in 2007,  which provides online publication of Nepali journals.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

References:

  1. Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Pokharel, T., Devkota, B., Pathak, R.S. (2013) Research Methods Coverage in Medical & Health Science Curricula in Nepal, Nepal Journal Epidemiology 3(3): 253-258. www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/9185
  2. Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Devkota, B., Pathak, R.S., Sathian, B. (2014) Accessing research literature: A mixed-method study of academics in Higher Education Institutions in Nepal, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 4(4): 405-14. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/11375

Challenging paper by Prof. Pritchard and colleagues

Congratulations to Bournemouth University’s Professor Colin Pritchard, Honorary Doctor of Science Anne Silk and their Southampton colleague Lars Hansen who recently published the paper ‘Are rises in Electro-Magnetic Field in the human environment, interacting with multiple environmental pollutions, the tripping point for increases in neurological deaths in the Western World?’  This paper in Medical Hypotheses (published by Elsevier) is a worrying analysis of the effects of (recent) technological progress on our health.  If this paper does not make you worry , at least remember one message: “No mobile phones in trouser pockets or under your pillow as you’re being bathed in 450Mhz.”

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

Pritchard, C., Silk, A., Hansen, L. (2019) Are rises in Electro-Magnetic Field in the human environment, interacting with multiple environmental pollutions, the tripping point for increases in neurological deaths in the Western World? Medical Hypotheses 127: 76-83.

 

Key role of volunteers in the health system

This week saw the publication of ‘Perceived barriers to accessing Female Community Health Volunteers’ (FCHV) services among ethnic minority women in Nepal: A qualitative study’ [1].  This article in the Open Access journal PLoS ONE highlights the key role volunteers play in delivering health services to minorities/the poorest people, especially in low-income countries like Nepal.

This paper studies community health workers in Nepal, who are known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs). To address this issue, we conducted a qualitative study to explore perceived barriers to accessing maternal and child healthcare services among ethnic minority groups in two different parts of Nepal with varying degrees of access to local healthcare centres. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty FCHVs, 26 women service users and 11 paid local health workers. In addition, 15 FCHVs participated in four focus group discussions.

A thematic analysis of the data identified five major themes underlying barriers to accessing available maternal and child healthcare services by ethnic minority groups. These themes include: a) lack of knowledge among service users; b) lack of trust in volunteers; c) traditional beliefs and healthcare practices; d) low decision-making power of women; and e) perceived indignities experienced when using health centres.  The paper concluded that community health programmes should focus on increasing awareness of healthcare services among ethnic minority groups, and the programmes should involve family members (husband and mothers-in-law) and traditional health practitioners. Both the FCHVs and local healthcare providers should be trained to communicate effectively in order to deliver respectful care among ethnic minorities if we want to achieve universal healthcare coverage for maternal and child health in low- and -middle income countries.

The paper is based on the PhD research conducted by Dr. Sarita Panday in ScHARR at the University of Sheffield.  Dr. Panday is currently affiliated with the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Centre (APARC) at Stanford University in the USA.  Her co-authors are Prof. Paul Bissell at the University of Huddersfield, FHSS’s Visiting Prof. Padam Simkhada at the Liverpool John Moores University and BU Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.  This is the second paper from Dr. Panday’s excellent thesis, the first paper was also published in an Open Access journal BMC Health Services Research [2].

 

References:

  1. Panday S, Bissell P, van Teijlingen E, Simkhada P (2019) Perceived barriers to accessing Female Community Health Volunteers’ (FCHV) services among ethnic minority women in Nepal: A qualitative study. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0217070.
  2. Panday S, Bissell P, van Teijlingen E, Simkhada P (2017) The contribution of female community health volunteers (FCHVs) to maternity care in Nepal: a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research 17(1):623.

Breastfeeding paper published today

The journal Women and Birth (by Elsevier) published the latest academic paper by Dr. Alison Taylor today.  Alison’s paper ‘The therapeutic role of video diaries: A qualitative study involving breastfeeding mothers’ had been online as a pre-publication for a while but today in appeared officially in print [1].  Alison is a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) and this scientific paper is part of her completed PhD research project. 

 

 

The paper is based on a large number of video clips recorded by new mothers.  The total recording time exceeded 43 hours. This paper focuses on one theme, the therapeutic role of the camcorder in qualitative research. Four subthemes are discussed highlighting the therapeutic impact of talking to the camcorder: personifying the camcorder; using the camcorder as a confidante; a sounding board; and a mirror and motivator.  Dr. Taylor and colleagues conclude that frequent opportunities to relieve tension by talking to “someone” without interruption, judgement or advice can be therapeutic. Further research needs to explore how the video diary method can be integrated into standard postnatal care to provide benefits for a wider population.

This is the second paper originating from Alison’s PhD research, the first one appeared in Midwifery (also published by Elsevier) [2].   Dr. Taylor’s PhD thesis was supervised by Prof. Emerita Jo Alexander, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen (in CMMPH) and Prof. Kath Ryan at the University of Reading.

[Drawing of Breastfeeding Woman by Allison Churchill.]

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Taylor AM, van Teijlingen E., Alexander J, Ryan K. (2019) The therapeutic role of video diaries: A qualitative study involving breastfeeding mothers, Women & Birth 32(3):276-83. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871519218300064
  2. Taylor A, van Teijlingen E, Ryan K, Alexander J (2019) ‘Scrutinised, judged & sabotaged’: A qualitative video diary study of first-time breastfeeding mothers, Midwifery 75: 16-23.

Impact Case Study Writing Retreat

Thursday 6th June 09:30 – 16:30

A whole day REF impact case study writing retreat, consisting of a two hour presentation on case study writing with the rest of the day spent writing. The trainer will be on hand the whole day to provide 1:1 support and guidance. Attendees are required to have an impact case study to write and work on; own laptop is required for the session.

The writing retreat will provide guidance on:

  • How to write and excellent impact case study
  • How to frame the writing
  • What a successful case study looks like
  • Other hints and tips towards successful impact case study writing
  • Guiding individual attendees during the personal writing elements

If you can’t make the retreat on 6th June, there is another scheduled for 4th July.

See here for more details and to book.

Writing About Methods

This workshop, delivered by publishing expert Patrick Brindle, aims to give participants a range of practical approaches to writing about methods in your research bids.

He uses a range of exercises. The workshop covers around 20 writing strategies, and provides more clarity and power to the often-difficult challenge of writing about methods. The course also looks at common mistakes and how to avoid them when writing about methods. The focus throughout is on building confidence and increasing your repertoire of writing strategies and skills.

Tuesday June 4th 09:30 – 16:30

See here for more information and to book on.

Please contact Alexandra Pekalski if you have any queries.

Article published in Physiological Reports

 

The article titled “The effects of 8 weeks of inspiratory muscle training on the balance of healthy older adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study” has been published by Physiological Reports.

 

It is the first research to describe the effects of inspiratory muscle training (i.e. breathing exercises that improve the strength of inspiratory muscles) on static and dynamic balance (measured with the clinical tool mini-BEST) and functional mobility (such as Timed Up and Go and 5 sit to stand tasks) with community dwellers older adults (aged 65+).

The research is part of Francesco Ferraro PhD journey. Journey guided with the supervision of Professor Alison McConnell, Dr James Gavin and Tom Wainwright

The article is now fully available as open access here

https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.14076

Abstract

To examine the effects of 8‐week unsupervised, home‐based inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on the balance and physical performance of healthy older adults. Fifty‐nine participants (74 ± 6 years) were assigned randomly in a double‐blinded fashion to either IMT or sham‐IMT, using a pressure threshold loading device. The IMT group performed 30‐breath twice daily at ~50% of maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP). The sham‐IMT group performed 60‐breaths once daily at ~15% MIP; training was home‐based and unsupervised, with adherence self‐reported through training diaries. Respiratory outcomes were assessed pre‐ and postintervention, including forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, peak inspiratory flow rate (PIFR), MIP, and inspiratory peak power. Balance and physical performance outcomes were measured using the shortened version of the Balance Evaluation System test (mini‐BEST), Biodex® postural stability test, timed up and go, five sit‐to‐stand, isometric “sit‐up” and Biering–Sørensen tests. Between‐group effects were examined using two‐way repeated measures ANOVA, with Bonferroni correction. After 8‐week, the IMT group demonstrated greater improvements (P ≤ 0.05) in: PIFR (IMT = 0.9 ± 0.3 L sec−1; sham‐IMT = 0.3 L sec−1); mini‐BEST (IMT = 3.7 ± 1.3; sham‐IMT = 0.5 ± 0.9) and Biering–Sørensen (IMT = 62.9 ± 6.4 sec; sham‐IMT = 24.3 ± 1.4 sec) tests. The authors concluded that twice daily unsupervised, home‐based IMT is feasible and enhances inspiratory muscle function and balance for community‐dwelling older adults.

BU papers on academic writing are getting read

Yesterday ResearchGate announced that the paper ‘Academic authorship: who, why and in what order?’ [1] has been read 1000 times.  The paper addresses two related issues in academic writing: (a) authorship; and (b) order of authors. The issue of authorship centres on the notion of who can be an author, who should be an author and who definitely should not be an author.  The paper reminds the reader that this is partly discipline specific. The second issue, the order of authors, is usually dictated by the academic tradition from which the work comes. One can immediately envisage disagreements within a multi-disciplinary team of researchers where members of the team may have different approaches to authorship order.   Prof. Vanora Hundley is the lead author and the paper is co-authored with Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, both in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), and BU Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada.  Padam is Professor of International Public Health in the Public Health Institute at Liverpool John Moores University.

Authorship differs between disciplines

Paper by Hundley et al. published 2013

This paper is part of a larger set of papers by academic in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences addressing various aspects of academic writing and publishing.  Many of these papers are in Open Access journals, hence easily available across the globe for anybody with an internet connection.  The series has covered papers on selecting an appropriate title for an academic paper, the role of the journal editor, the publication process and many more [2-9].

 

 

References

  1. Hundley, V, van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, P (2013) Academic authorship: who, why and in what order? Health Renaissance 11(2):98-101 www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Download/vol-11-2/Page_99_101_Editorial.pdf
  2. Pitchforth, E, Porter M, Teijlingen van E, Keenan Forrest, K.. (2005) Writing up & presenting qualitative research in family planning & reproductive health care, J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 31(2): 132-135.
  3. Hall, J., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) The journal editor: friend or foe? Women & Birth 28(2): e26-e29.
  4. Simkhada P, van Teijlingen E, Hundley V. (2013) Writing an academic paper for publication, Health Renaissance 11(1):1-5. www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Pp_1_5_Guest_Editorial.pdf
  5. van Teijlingen, E., Ireland, J., Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., Sathian, B. (2014) Finding the right title for your article: Advice for academic authors, Nepal J Epidemiol 4(1): 344-347.
  6. van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Bick, D. (2014) Who should be an author on your academic paper? Midwifery 30: 385-386.
  7. van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, PP, Rizyal A (2012) Submitting a paper to an academic peer-reviewed journal, where to start? (Guest Editorial) Health Renaissance 10(1): 1-4.
  8. van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada. PP, Simkhada, B, Ireland J. (2012) The long & winding road to publication, Nepal J Epidemiol 2(4): 213-215 http://nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/7093/6388
  9. Pradhan, AK, van Teijlingen, ER. (2017) Predatory publishing: a great concern for authors, Med Sci 5(4): 43.