With the objective of offering scientific editors, researchers, health professionals and post-graduate students the most important elements to keep in mind while writing scientific articles, Dr. Lilian Calò, BIREME/PAHO/WHO Scholarly Communication Coordinator, gave a workshop in Asunción, Paraguay, on September 17-19.
The Representation of the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Paraguay, through its Knowledge Management team, in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) of the Ministry of Health and BIREME/PAHO/WHO, organized this technical cooperation activity, given the growing interest in promoting and communicating the scientific findings produced in the country.
A previous analysis had been made on the current situation of the twelve health journals published in Paraguay, followed by the elaboration of a series of general recommendations in terms of editorial quality and standards compatible with current international practices, always looking towards the future of scholarly communication. Before the workshop, a meeting was held with the editors of the aforementioned journals in order to discuss the evaluations and recommendations, and this meeting turned out to be very productive. Ideas for ways to support editors to comply with the recommendations emerged from this discussion, such as, for example, creating a multidisciplinary association of scientific editors in Paraguay, following models existing in other countries.
United in a similar collegiate body, the editors would have a greater probability of obtaining resources for financing the journals, as well as facilities for the latter, such as the online manuscript management system Open Journal System (OJS), Digital Object Identifier (DOI), automated systems for detecting plagiarism, among others.
The theoretical and practical workshop on scholarly communication was attended by 55 participants. The first days were dedicated to six classes on scholarly communication topics that ranged from its basics to emerging topics in publication management, such as open peer evaluation, preprints and research data sharing. The classes ended with exercises in order to practice the topics addressed. On the third day, a summary writing workshop was held, during which participants were divided into groups of 3 to 5 people, and each group had to write a summary of a work to be presented in a congress, including an attractive title and a few key words. At the end of the activity, all the groups had the opportunity to receive comments and constructive criticism on their work.
“This workshop was very gratifying for me, since I had the opportunity to introduce innovating concepts in the field of scholarly communication. The interaction and dynamics in the theoretical and practical classes were very good, also according to the evaluation survey taken at the end of the workshop, which displayed very positive results, with many suggestions to follow up and give continuity to the activity”, affirmed Dr. Lilian Calò, scholarly communication specialist.
Dr. Luis Roberto Escoto, PAHO/WHO Representative in Paraguay, evaluated the initiative as very relevant and recommends that the scholarly communication workshop be updated periodically, as well as the training of new actors. According to Dr. Escoto, “the event was very relevant for the country, since it contributed to promote the generation of scientific evidence in health, communication and use of results for the decision making process and the formulation of health policies based on evidence”.
Within the framework of the Plan for strengthening the Virtual Health Library on Public Health of Paraguay (VHL), an indexation Course for librarians and editors of scientific journals on health according to the LILACS methodology will be held on October 1 to 3, and will be delivered by librarian Sueli Suga, BIREME Supervisor of Information Sources.
Link of interest
Capacities on scholarly communication and writing in health are strengthened. PAHO Paraguay. Available at: https://www.paho.org/par/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2258:fortalecen-capacidades-en-comunicacion-y-redaccion-cientifica-en-salud&Itemid=212 (in Spanish)