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Charlesworth Knowledge in Beijing: Questions and feedback from our author education workshops

 

Our team just completed a 10-day tour of university departments and medical schools in the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shenyang, helping young researchers to write and publish their papers more effectively and develop their communication skills in English. We provide templates, tricks, and tips in our presentations as well as course materials distributed via the WeChat social media platform aimed at making the writing and publishing process easier for Chinese authors; we know that it can be very hard to work effectively in a second language! How do you overcome English writing issues and easily put together an academic paper? We can help. Researchers join our education groups so that they can learn together and educate each other; the most effective way to learn new skills is to become part of a community.

 

We emphasise effective communication with editors and reviewers in our presentations, an often neglected (but hugely important) component of the publication process. Our team are unique in the industry in that we actually have experience both writing and publishing high-impact articles as well as handling submissions, dealing with reviewers, and managing journal workflow. Our experience means that we can help with all aspects of academic publishing. This approach works: a very large proportion of our English-as-a-second-language (ESL) authors get their work published in their target journals!

 

Authors learn about the ‘three things you need to know before you start to write an academic paper’: message, target audience, and structure. We provide lots of examples of why it’s important to prepare before starting to write: Charlesworth tips and tricks are applicable to any writing, but are especially important for ESL authors who often lack the necessary confidence to even get started.

 

How do you more effectively manage the process of manuscript submission once your paper is ready to submit? How do you write an effective cover letter that goes beyond a dry, generic template? What happens when the journal returns reviews on your papers? What do the different kinds of ‘revisions required’ letters from editors actually mean, and how do you now best respond to maximise your chances of acceptance in your target journal? Did you know that there are several kinds of ‘major revisions required’ letters you might get from a journal, each of which requires a specific kind of response?

 

Communication with an editor is especially important if your paper gets rejected, in particular if you feel you have been treated unfairly or you disagree with comments received from reviewers. Editors can change their minds; we discuss how to write an appeal letter to send back to a journal in such situations. Don’t miss out on the chance of publication in high-impact-factor journals!

 

Our workshops were very well attended in both Beijing and Shenyang, with lots of audience participation and questions. We’ll post a series of articles over the coming days to cover some of the most common questions people asked us over the last two weeks, starting with perhaps the most basic: How can I improve my English paper writing skills? Stay tuned to this series of articles: perhaps we’ll answer one of your burning questions!