Professors Vanora Hundley and Edwin van Teijlingen in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) shall be traveling to Nepal tomorrow (22 May 2022) as part of the ERASMUS+ KA107 exchange between Bournemouth University and Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS) in Kathmandu. They will be involved in teaching M.Sc. Public Health students as well as undergraduate Nursing students . Furthermore, one-to-one tutorials have been planned with MMIHS health researchers. There will also be sessions on academic writing and publishing following the recently published textbook Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences .
Earlier this spring Dr. Pramod Regmi, Senior Lecturer in International Health in the Department of Nursing Sciences, traveled to MMIHS as part of this exchange. His visit in April 2022 included running the ‘Migration and Health Research Capacity Building Workshop for Early Career Researchers’ in Kathmandu. Bournemouth University organised this two-day event jointly with the University of Huddersfield, MMIHS, and the charity Green Tara Nepal.
Two current Faculty of Health & Social Sciences Ph.D. students are also benefittng from being involved in this exchange. Yagya Adhikari returned back to the UK a week or so ago whilst Sulochana Dhakal-Rai will be arriving in Kathmandu tomorrow. Both will use this ERASMUS+ opportunity to developed aspects of their Ph.D. thesis.
- Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P.P., Hundley, V. with Shreesh, K. (Eds.) (2022) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books. [ISBN: 9789937117609]
Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Arnold in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) on the publication today of her paper ‘Why use Appreciative Inquiry? Lessons learned during COVID-19 in a UK maternity service‘ . This methodological paper is co-authored with Dr. Clare Gordon who holds a has joint clinical academic post at UCLan and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, with a focus on developing clinically focused stroke research, education and improvement. Clare is also a former BU Ph.D. student. Further co-authors from CMMPH are Professors Sue Way and Edwin van Teijlingen. The final co-author, Dr. Preeti Mahato, finished her post in CMMPH two days ago to start her Lectureship in Global Health at Royal Holloway (part of the University of London).
The paper highlights that selecting the most appropriate research method is an important decision in any study. It affects the type of study questions that can be answered. In addition, the research method will have an impact on the participants – how much of their time it takes, whether the questions seem important to them and whether there is any benefit in taking part. This is especially important when conducting research with staff in health services. This article is a reflection on the process of using Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in a study that explored staff well-being in a UK maternity unit. The authors discuss our experience of using AI,the strengths and limitations of this approach, and conclude with points to consider if you are thinking about using AI. Although a study team was actively involved in decisions, this paper is largely based on reflections by dr. Arnold, the researcher conducting the field work in the maternity services.
Arnold, R., Gordon, C., van Teijlingen, E., Way, S., Mahato, P. (2022). Why use Appreciative Inquiry? Lessons learned during COVID-19 in a UK maternity service. European Journal of Midwifery, 6(May), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.18332/ejm/147444
This month CMMPH has two new research papers focusing on COVID-19. The first one published in World Medical & Health Policy reports on a quantitative study of the availability of hand-washing facilities in households across Nepal . This study used secondary data from Nepal Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) 2016 to assess the association between households’ wealth status to handwashing stations. The findings reported a statistically significant association between age of the household head, residence place, ecological zone, province, wealth status, having of mosquito net, having a radio, and TV at respondents’ household to fixed hand-washing stations at their households.
The second paper published three days ago in Vaccines is a qualitative study of of interviews with Nepali immigrants living in the UK and their attitudes towards COVD-19 vaccination . Vaccination saves lives and can be an effective strategy for preventing the spread of the COVID-19, but negative attitudes towards vaccines lead to vaccine hesitancy. This study aimed to explore the factors influencing the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Nepali community in the UK. This study found that attitudes towards COVID-19 are generally positive. Nine overlapping themes around barriers to COVID-19 vaccination were identified: (a) rumours and mis/disinformation; (b) prefer home remedies and yoga; (c) religion restriction; (d) concern towards vaccine eligibility; (e) difficulty with online vaccine booking system; (f) doubts of vaccine effectiveness after changing the second dose timeline; (g) lack of confidence in the vaccine; (h) past bad experience with the influenza vaccine; and (i) worried about side-effects. Understanding barriers to the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine can help in the design of better targeted interventions. Public health messages including favourable policy should be tailored to address those barriers and make this vaccination programme more viable and acceptable to the ethnic minority communities in the UK. This Vaccine paper includes two FHSS Visiting Faculty as co-authors: Prof. Padam Simkhada and Dr. Bibha Simkhada.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Sharma, M., Adhikari, R., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) Handwashing station in Nepal: Role of wealth status in establishing a handwashing station, World Medical & Health Policy Accepted
- Simkhada, P., Tamang, P., Timilsina, L., Simkhada, B., Bissell, P., van Teijlingen, E., Sah, S.K., Wasti, S.P. (2022) Factors Influencing COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake among Nepali in the UK: A Qualitative Study, Vaccine 10(5), 780;https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10050780
Coming Friday the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences has the pleasure of hosting the official launch of a new Mental Health Care in Paramedic Practice written by BU’s Dr. Ursula Rolfe and Mr. David Partlow, Somerset County Council Adult Social Care Strategic Manager. The launch will take place in the Bournemouth Gateway Building at noon on May 6th in room BGB 302.
Mental Health Care in Paramedic Practice is the first guide written specifically to support paramedics in understanding a range of different mental health conditions in their practice. This new book provides essential information on recognising and managing a range of conditions. It offers case studies written by paramedics with first-hand experience of managing mental health issues, and includes a section on legal changes and policy descriptions as well as on the importance of interprofessional working. One of the online reviewers declared that this is an important read for Emergency Medical Service staff.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
Rolfe, U., Partlow, D. (eds.) (2022) Mental Health Care in Paramedic Practice, Class Publishing [ISBN: 9781859599242]
Last week Dr. Shanti Shanker, senior lecturer in Psychology, published ‘Selecting an Appropriate Journal and Submitting Your Paper’.  Finding the most appropriate journal for your academic paper is a skill. There are many scientific journals, with new ones appearing every year in just about every academic discipline. Prospective authors must ensure they pick an appropriate one. In selecting a journal, academics may want to consider their target audience, the standing of the journal within their discipline, the journal’s readership, and its reach and impact factor. Scholars may also want to consider whether there are constraints such as a high rejection rate of submitted manuscripts, the maximum prescribed number of words and/or tables, and whether or not there are submission or publication fees to be paid. But most important of all, the chosen journal needs to be appropriate for the paper in question.
Professors Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen
- van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Shanker, S. (2022) Writing an Academic Paper, In: Wasti, S.P., et al. (Eds.) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books: 20-31.
This past three weeks Bournemouth University (BU) has strengthened our existing collaboration with MMIHS (Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Science) in Kathmandu. Until 2023 we have a staff and student Erasmus+ student exchange with MMIHS. Currently one FHSS PhD student is in Nepal at MMIHS as part of this Erasmus+ exchange. Two weeks Dr. Pramod Regmi, Senior Lecturer in International Health, was here for the GCRF-funded health and migration workshop which was organised in Kathmandu jointly with MMIHS. See the BU Research Blog of 15th April for more details (click here!).
Yesterday Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen met colleagues from the UK and Nepal at MMIHS to analyse some of the data from the Nepal Federal Health System Project. This three-year major collaborative project examines the consequences for the health system of Nepal’s move to a federal government structure in 2015. This is a joint project led by the University of Sheffield with Bournemouth University, the University of Huddersfield, and two institutions in Nepal: MMIHS and PHASE Nepal. This interdisciplinary study is funded by the UK Health Systems Research Initiative [Grant ref. MR/T023554/1].
At BU we are looking forward to welcoming MSc students and academic staff from MMIHS to BU as part of this exchange. We hope to generate interest among Nepalese postgraduate student to apply for a PhD place at BU.
Last, but not least, last week Prof. Vanora Hundley and I launched the book Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences in Kathmandu. This textbook has three chapter authors who are currently (or were recently) affiliated with MMIHS: Prof. Sujan Marahatta, Dr. Pratik Adhikary and Dr. Yubaraj Baral.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P.P., Hundley, V. with Shreesh, K. (Eds.) (2022) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books. [ISBN: 9789937117609]
Earlier this week Bournemouth University (BU) ran the ‘Migration and Health Research Capacity Building Workshop for Early Career Researchers’ in Kathmandu. The organisation of this two-day event was jointly with the University of Huddersfield, Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS) in Kathmandu and the charity Green Tara Nepal. The event was part of the BU-led Health Research Network for Migrant Workers in Asia whose formation was supported two years ago by GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund). The workshop plan was designed by BU’s Dr. Pramod Regmi and Dr. Nirmal Aryal. Our recently started FHSS PhD student Yagya Adhikari and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen also contributed to the workshop in Kathmandu. Yagya spoke about his PhD which focuses on ‘Parental migration and its impact on the health and well-being of left-behind adolescents in Nepal’.
Further contributions to the workshop were from former BU PhD student Dr. Pratik Adhikary (now working for PHASE Nepal) and two of our academic colleagues from the University of Huddersfield: Dr. Sharada Prasad Wasti and Prof. Padam Simkhada. Prof. Simkhada is also Visiting Professor in FHSS.
Two days ago Bournemouth University (BU) Professors Vanora Hundley and Edwin van Teijlingen together with University of Huddersfield academics Dr. Sharada Prasad Wasti and Prof. Padam Simkhada launched their edited collection Academic Writing and Publishing in Health and Social Sciences. This textbook is a guide for people attempting any kind of writing on social science or health science. Whether an MSc student, a PhD student, a health professional, a researcher, an academic or an editor, the book is packed with practical tips, expert advice, and examples to develop skills and build confidence. Each chapter addresses a different aspect of the art and science of writing and publishing. Written in a most accessible style, the book will be a particularly handy tool for budding academics who want to see their work in print.
The volume has been put together by editors with a long and wide-ranging experience as journal editors, peer reviewers, book authors and authors of papers published in scientific journals across the globe. They have brought together authors from Europe, Nepal, the Middle East, and the USA to share their skills, wisdom, and experience in the production of this very useful and usable book. The collaborators are all listed in the box on the side, but we would like to highlight those authors with a BU link. The authors include former BU PhD students Dr. Jib Acharya and Dr. Pratik Adhikary. We have contributions from both the current and a former BU librarian, Emma Crowley and Janet Ashwell respectively. There are contributions from several BU Visiting Faculty: Prof. Padam Simkhada & Dr. Bibha Simkhada (both University of Huddersfield), Dr. Emma Pitchforth (University of Exeter), Dr. Brijesh Sathian (based in Qatar), and Jillian Ireland (Professional Midwifery Advocate at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust). Several BU staff contributed to various chapters: Prof. Ann Luce, Dr. Shanti Shanker, Dr. Preeti Mahato, Dr. Nirmal Aryal, Dr. Pramod Regmi, and last but not least, current BU PhD student Sulochana Rai Dhakal.
The launch in Kathmandu was hosted by Martin Chautari and supported by Green Tara Nepal (GTN). Over one hundred people attended this book launch. Part of the deal with Social Science Baha and the publisher Himal Books is that the book price will be kept low to keep it affordable for students and poorly paid lecturers in Nepal .
This year’s BNAC (Britain-Nepal Academic Council) Study Days are hosted by the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford. The Study Days are held today (14th April) and yesterday. BNAC promotes academic and scholarly links between Britain and Nepal through, among other things, collaborative research, exchange programmes, and the organisation of annual lectures, and seminars on areas of mutual interest to both British and Nepali academics and researchers.
Three presentations at this two-day event are co-produced by BU colleagues.
All of us at Bournemouth University working with Nepalese students, colleagues and collaborators wish to them a Happy New Year today. Welcome to the year 2079!
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhikari, & Dr. Pramod Regmi (all currently in Kathmandu)
Today say the start of the Eight National Summit of Health & Population Scientists in Nepal. Bournemouth University is involved in two presentation. The first will be one by University of Huddersfield PhD student Tamang Pasang, and her supervisors Prof. Padam Simkhada (FHSS Visiting Faculty), Dr. Bibha Simkhada (former BU Lecturer in Nursing and current FHSS Visiting Faculty) and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen. Pasang will be talking about her thesis fieldwork: ‘Impact of Federalisation in Maintaining Quality of Maternal and Neonatal Care in Nepalese Health System’.
The second presentation will focus of the Nepal Federal Health System Project, our major collaborative project examining the consequences for the health system of Nepal’s move to a federal government structure in 2015. This is a joint project led by the University of Sheffield with Bournemouth University, the University of Huddersfield, and two institutions in Nepal: Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences MMIHS) and PHASE Nepal. This interdisciplinary study is funded by the UK Health Systems Research Initiative [Grant ref.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternity & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
Congratulations to Charlotte Clayton, PhD student in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) on the publication of an article based on her PhD study. The paper ‘The public health role of case-loading midwives in advancing health equity in childbearing women and babies living in socially deprived areas in England: The Mi-CARE Study protocol’ is co-authored with her supervisors Prof. Ann Hemingway, Dr. Mel Hughes and Dr. Stella Rawnson .
This paper in the European Journal of Midwifery is Open Access, and hence freely available to everybody with an internet access. Charlotte is doing the Clinical Academic Doctoral (CAD) programme at Bournemouth University. The CAD programme provides midwives with bespoke research training, which includes conducting a piece of independent research whilst also remaining in clinical practice. The CAD programme is part of the NIHR Wessex Integrated Academic Clinical Training Pathway and in her PhD study supported by BU and University Hospital Southampton (UHS), where Charlotte works as a midwife). Charlotte use the Twitter handle: @femmidwife.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Clayton S, Hemingway A, Hughes M, Rawnson S (2022) The public health role of caseloading midwives in advancing health equity in childbearing women and babies living in socially deprived areas in England: The Mi-CARE Study protocol, Eur J Midwifery 6(April):17
Today the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology published our latest paper on academic writing, under the title ‘The Art of the Editorial’.  This editorial highlights the importance of writing and publishing editorials in scientific journal. Writing editorials seems sometimes to be a dying art. This is perhaps due to more and more online journals not publishing regular issues, but adding papers online as and when they have been reviewed, revised and accepted. This paper is co-authered by Bournemouth University’s Professors Vanora Hundley and Edwin van Teijlingen, two of their four co-authors are also BU Visiting Faculty: Prof. Padam Simkhada based at the University of Huddersfield and Dr. Brijesh Sathian based in the Geriatric Medicine Department, Rumailah Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar. This paper is an Open Access publication.
This paper on the art of writing editorials follows on from a series of papers on a wide-range of aspects of academic writing and publishing by FHSS (Faculty of Health & Social Sciences) authors [2-18]. FHSS co-authors on aspects of academic writing include: Dr. Orlanda Harvey , Dr. Pramod Regmi [2-3,4,16], Prof. Vanora Hundley [1,3,5,6,12-14], Dr. Nirmal Aryal [3-4], and Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhihari [4,16], Dr. Preeti Mahato [3,16].
- van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V, Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., Robinson, J., Banerjee, I. (2022) The Art of the Editorial Nepal J Epidemiol, 12(1): 1135–38.
- Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, A., Regmi, P.R., Ireland, J., Rijal, A., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2022) Co-authors, colleagues, and contributors: Complexities in collaboration and sharing lessons on academic writing Health Prospect 21(1):1-3.
- Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V. with Shreesh, K. (2022) Writing and Publishing Academic Work, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books
- van Teijlingen, E.R., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, A., Aryal, N., Panday, S. (2021). Publishing, identifiers & metrics: Playing the numbers game. Health Prospect, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v20i1.37391
- Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Simkhada, BD. (2013) Writing an Abstract for a Scientific Conference, Kathmandu Univ Med J 11(3): 262-65. http://www.kumj.com.np/issue/43/262-265.pdf
- van Teijlingen, E, Hundley, V. (2002) Getting your paper to the right journal: a case study of an academic paper, J Advanced Nurs 37(6): 506-11.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Bick, D. (2014) Who should be an author on your academic paper? Midwifery 30: 385-386.
- Hall, J., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) The journal editor: friend or foe? Women & Birth 28(2): e26-e29.
- Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Roy, B, Banerjee, I. (2016) Grant writing for innovative medical research: Time to rethink. Med Sci 4(3):332-33.
- Adhikari, S. D., van Teijlingen, E. R., Regmi, P. R., Mahato, P., Simkhada, B., & Simkhada, P. P. (2020). The Presentation of Academic Self in The Digital Age: The Role of Electronic Databases. International J Soc Sci Management, 7(1), 38-41. https://doi.org/10.3126/ijssm.v7i1.27405
- Pradhan, AK, van Teijlingen, ER. (2017) Predatory publishing: a great concern for authors, Med Sci 5(4): 43.
- van Teijlingen, E (2004), Why I can’t get any academic writing done, Medical Sociol News 30(3): 62-63. britsoc.co.uk/media/26334/MSN_Nov_2004.pd
The popular medical textbook ‘Psychology & Sociology Applied to Medicine’ published by Elsevier has been translated into Greek. This 2022 Greek addition was, published last month, was preceded by a Spanish translation last year. Elsevier’s website call this fourth edition of the textbook, the “definitive and popular introduction to human behaviour in the context of health and illness includes three new chapters, many new contributors and a new co-editor. It is arranged in nine sections to cover the core concepts of psychology and sociology as they apply to medicine.”
Professor Edwin van Teijlingen
Congratulations to Dr. Orlanda Harvey who was cited last week in The Daily Telegraph in an article with the underlying question whether Vladimir Putin is experiencing so-called “roid rage” from steroid treatment. This theory has been suggested by by Western intelligence services. Orlanda’s PhD study at Bournemouth University focused on men using anabolic androgenic steroids for non-medical use. She published several academic papers on the topic [1-3].
- Harvey, O., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E, Trenoweth, S. (2021) Libido as a reason to use non-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy (online first). https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2021.1882940
- Harvey, O., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E., Trenoweth, S. (2020) Support for non-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroids users: A qualitative exploration of their needs Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 27:5, 377-386. doi 10.1080/09687637.2019.1705763
- Harvey, O., Keen, S., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E. (2019) Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Literature Review into what they want and what they access. BMC Public Health 19: 1024 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7288-x https://rdcu.be/bMFon
A few weeks ago I was invited as Associate Editor for BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth to draft a few paragraphs about how my research links to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth is an international scientific journal published by Springer. The edited version of my draft was put online earlier today, click here for access.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)
Introducing the BMC Series SDG Editorial Board Members: Edwin van Teijlingen
In late 2021 I was contacted by an Indonesian science journalist, Dyna Rochmyaningsih, who was investigating the ethics around international studies on human population genetics to build expand genomic libraries of people in the Global South. She highlights that “these international studies, often led by Western scientists, have contributed to a more global understanding of ancient patterns of human migration and evolution. But on some occasions, they’ve also sidestepped local regulatory agencies in the developing world, and ventured into murky research ethics terrain as a result”. The reason for contacting me was because we had published several papers here at Bournemouth University about the need for applying for ethical approval for research in developing countries [1-3]. I had a long Skype conversation with her about the various perspectives on the matter she was investigating.
Today she emailed me that her piece ‘Opinion: Genomics’ Ethical Gray Areas Are Harming the Developing World. A recent controversy in the Philippines illustrates the pitfalls and pressure points of international genomics research‘ has been published online. In the email she made a really nice comment: “It was nice talking to you even though you might see that I disagree at some of your points. However, the discussion gave me insights that there is a wide disagreement on what considers ethical research.” I think that is what science should be all about, disagreements, discussions, disputes, etc. and, at the same time, learning from these disputes and gaining greater insight.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. (2015). Failure to Apply for Ethical Approval for Health Studies in Low-Income Countries. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, 5(3), 511–515. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v5i3.13609
Regmi, P. R., Aryal, N., Kurmi, O., Pant, P. R., van Teijlingen, E., & Wasti, S. P. (2017). Informed Consent in Health Research: Challenges and Barriers in Low-and Middle-Income Countries with Specific Reference to Nepal. Developing World Bioethics, 17(2), 84–89. https://doi.org/10.1111/dewb.12123
In academic life rejection is the norm, for both journal articles and grant applications, the average academic is more likely to fail than to succeed at any time. This can also be true, although to a lesser extent, for applications to present at academic conferences. At the time of writing this blog (12 February 2022), I have 299 published papers listed on the databases SCOPUS. Of these nearly 300 papers only two papers ever were accepted on first submission as submitted. Most papers went through one or two rounds revision in the light of comments and critique offered by reviewers, and sometimes also additional feedback from the journal’s editor.
After rejection by the first journal, your paper needs to be rewritten before submitting it to another journal. Obviously, this process of rewriting and resubmitting takes time as different journals have different styles, lay-outs, sub-headings, audiences, and often peculiar ways of referencing. I would guess more than half of my papers have been through the review process of at least two journals. Quite a few of my published papers were accepted by the third or even fourth journal to which we had submitted them. Persistence is the name of the game. Some paper fell by the wayside often after second submission, if especially if review process had been time-consuming and the reviewers very critical and demanding too many changes.
Peer review can be very good and constructive but also brutal and destructive. Blind peer-review is a fair process as it means the quality of the paper is all that counts in getting accepted. I have had the pleasure of being co-author on papers rejected by journals for which I was: the book review editor at the time (Sociological Research Online), on the journal’s editorial board at the time of submission (e.g. Midwifery, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology), one of journal’s Associate Editors (BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth) and, to top it all, on which I was one of the two editors (Asian Journal of Midwives).
Grant applications in the UK have a one in eight to one in ten chance of success. Most of our successful grant applications have been resubmissions, with attempts to improve the application each time in the light of reviewers’ comments. For example, our successful application to THET (Tropical Health & Education Trust) resulted in the funded project ‘Mental Health Training for Rural Community-based Maternity Care Workers in Nepal‘ , led by Bournemouth University (see picture). This THET project was organised by Tribhuvan University in collaboration with Bournemouth University and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). However, I was only successful during our second submission. Our first submission was rejected the year before with feedback that our partner organisation in Nepal was deemed to be too small. In the resubmission we changed to work with colleagues at Tribhuvan University, the oldest and largest university in Nepal. Apart from some further, but minor changes, this was really the main change between the rejected and the successful application.
The situation for conferences is slightly better, the success rate for an application to present a paper or poster are higher. This is partly because conference organisers realise that most academics are unlikely to get funding from their institution unless they present something. Conferences are often themed and submitted abstracts are peer-reviewed. This makes in important to write a clear abstract, focusing in on the conference theme. In the past I have had the honour of being rejected to present a paper at a BSA Medical Sociology Conference, whist I was on the organising committee.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Simkhada, BD. (2013) Writing an Abstract for a Scientific Conference, Kathmandu University Medical Journal 11(3): 262-65. http://www.kumj.com.np/issue/43/262-265.pdf