Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) is one of the oldest universities in Indonesia, located at the Bulaksumur Yogyakarta Campus.
UGM has partnered with Nature Research in 2019 to support and grow the university’s publications in international scientific journals. The university’s approach is to build a sustainable program of publishing training to equip their researchers with the knowledge and skills to improve the quality of the university’s publications.
We wanted to offer the training for researchers and faculty members because they are the driving force in publication - researchers, postgraduate students and faculty members are the main actors who do research and publish their findings in journals. Dr Widodo, UGM
Nature Research training services
UGM has partnered with two Nature Research training services: Nature Masterclasses and Nature Research Academies.
The university invited Nature Research Academies to host publishing workshops, to provide comprehensive, foundational training for all its faculty members and researchers, covering core topics such as authorship, plagiarism, manuscript preparation and submission, and reviewer feedback.
UGM also wanted to target their more advanced researchers and faculty members, many of whom already have a track record in publication. For these individuals, UGM invited Nature Masterclasses to host a series of intensive workshops delivered by Nature Research journal editors.
And for postgraduate students writing their first papers, UGM subscribed to the Nature Masterclasses online course in scientific writing and publishing, granting institution-wide access to the course for 12 months.
Hosting the training
UGM hosted its first Nature Research Academies workshop and first Nature Masterclasses workshop on 2-3 May 2019 and 9-10 July 2019 respectively.
At the Nature Research Academies workshop, a group of 75 researchers and faculty were joined by Dr Jeffrey Robens, an Editorial Development Manager at Nature Research. The academies can cater to all disciplines but the majority of UGM's participants were from the life sciences (39.6%), physical sciences (22.9%), and clinical medicine (22.9%). Day 1 of the workshop covered effective writing strategies and manuscript structure, while day 2 reviewed publication ethics, submission strategies, peer review, and presenting at an academic conference.
The Nature Masterclassses workshop in July was delivered by Dr Louise Adams, Senior Editor of Nature Reviews Disease Primers, and Dr Kyle Legate, Senior Editor of Nature Communications. The participants were a group of 30 senior scientists, mainly lecturers. All the participants had some publishing experience; 6% had between 1 and 5 published papers and 69% of participants had more than 15 published papers. As part of the workshop, the participants brought in a draft paper of their own to discuss with the editors and get feedback on the abstract.
In October 2019, UGM will host its second Nature Research Academies workshop and start its Nature Masterclasses online subscription. The university is proactively encouraging researchers to take advantage of the upcoming October training and is looking into initiatives such as:
- The certificates-of-attendance received by every Nature Research Academies participant could become a mandatory requirement of the university’s funding application process.
- The Nature Masterclasses online course could become compulsory for UGM’s postgraduate students, with a particular emphasis on the course modules covering ethical issues, such as plagiarism.
UGM researchers participating in the Nature Research Academies and Nature Masterclasses workshops were asked to complete feedback forms and the results can be found summarized below. UGM received post-workshop reports with the full results.
Feedback from Nature Research Academies participants:
- 97.9% of respondents felt the overall quality of the workshop was either excellent (89.6%) or good (8.3%).
- 100% strongly agreed that the trainer was knowledgeable.
- 100% either strongly agreed (83.3%) or agreed (16.7%) that they will be able to apply what they have learnt to their work.
The speaker was not only giving the important aspects of publishing a manuscript, but also significant pragmatic do's and don'ts to increase success. Researcher, UGM
Feedback from Nature Masterclasses participants:
- 100% of respondents either strongly agreed (61%) or agreed (39%) that they “learnt a lot from the workshop”.
- 94% thought the level of the workshop was appropriate.
- 83% either strongly agreed (44%) or agreed (39%) that they “felt more confident in writing and submitting manuscripts”.
Both the content of the workshop and the method of delivering it was very clear, easy-to-follow and engaging. Within two days, I could evaluate my previous writing and make some strategies to publish. Researcher, UGM
Through these workshops and their overall Nature Research training program, UGM is providing valuable support to its researchers, helping them publish in higher quality journals and establish themselves as experts in their field.
As an institution, UGM hopes for longer-term reputational and societal impacts as a result of the training program. As put by Dr Widodo at UGM, if “the increased publication reports novel academic findings, hopefully they can be adopted by industry and then delivered to the benefit of society”.