NIEHS Takes Training to Nepal to Improve Research Communication
By Audrey Pinto
In November 2014, the NIEHS continued its long-standing commitment of collaborating with international organizations in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC’s) to support research-related training and professional development.
The NIEHS Global Environmental Health (GEH) Program sponsored a two-day workshop to provide training on the fundamentals of scientific writing and the peer-review process. Organized by the Partnership for Sustainable Development (PSD)–Nepal, the workshop’s goal was to provide Nepalese researchers and doctoral students with training that would help them share their research findings with the global community by increasing the number of scientific manuscripts they have accepted for publication in international journals.
The 25 workshop participants included faculty, researchers, and doctoral candidates from 20 institutions in 13 Nepal districts, who were selected to attend the Scientific Writing and Publishing seminar. In addition, a representative from the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment observed the workshop.
Publishing scientific findings
Scientists are conducting exciting and innovative research in low- and middle-income countries, but their manuscripts often do not get accepted for publication in Western peer-reviewed journals. Many scientists and students in low- and middle-income countries simply do not have access to the myriad of training and educational resources available to their counterparts in developed countries. The lack of resources, coupled with language barriers, prevents many researchers from successfully sharing their findings, which in turn, limits their opportunities for collaborations within the global community.
Recognizing this gap in knowledge and training, Bono Sen, Ph.D., program coordinator of the NIEHS GEH Program, developed the Scientific Writing and Publishing workshop to focus on clear scientific writing, the peer-review and publication processes, and how to target written findings for a specific journal. Sen facilitated the two-day workshop in Kathmandu City, Nepal, during which she combined practical, hands-on sessions with technical training in all aspects of scientific publishing.
After the workshop concluded, Prakash Bhave, Ph.D., senior air quality specialist with the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, and Anup K.C. of PSD–Nepal talked to the participants about their personal experiences with the peer-review process and the importance of scientific publishing. They each offered personal advice on how to get published in international journals.
The organizers of the workshop acknowledged the importance of this training in filling a gap in education within academic communities in low- and middle-income countries. The participants said that their understanding of the peer-review process publishing process was greatly improved and recommended that the workshop be expanded to include more hands-on experience and additional time to review and revise their own manuscripts.