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eLearning course in Scientific Writing and Reference Management (eSWaRM) Trailer

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Aim of the course: To enable health professionals to write scientific research articles that can be published and to equip them with skills to cite and manage references/ bibliography while writing using a reference management tool such as Mendeley.

Course description: In this course, we will introduce participants to the different types of scientific articles and provide an outline of how to write an original research article describing their original scientific research.

The course will also enable an understanding of the importance to cite other scientific literature while reporting research work and will equip them with skills to cite literature appropriately. They will learn about reference management software tools that are commonly used to read, manage and create bibliographies. The course will provide detailed hands-on training in Mendeley, one of the widely used reference management tools. It will also introduce them to use of this tool in networking, sharing and collaborating with other researchers and experts.

Course objectives

- To write an original research article in a format that can be published avoiding common language errors.

- To appreciate the importance of citing to avoid plagiarism.

- To cite literature appropriately and accurately - Paraphrasing and quoting and create citations linked to references in the bibliography of the research article.

- To use a reference management tool - Mendeley to cite while they write, manage their references, create a bibliography and network, share or collaborate with other researchers.

- To Identify common software tools for managing references other than Mendeley.

Course rationale: Recent studies report that the research output in terms of publications from Indian medical institutions in particular is very poor. These institutions however, do mandate that postgraduate students conduct original research in partial fulfillment of their degrees. Thus while research is being conducted, very few appear as published research articles. This is not only limited to research conducted at medical institutions but also at other public health organisations. This may be partly due to the fact that writing and reference management are seldom taught in universities/medical schools/research courses. Also, there is a need to sensitise health professionals conducting research to the importance of citing and acknowledging another person's ideas in writing and that failing to do so accurately is plagiarism.
This course is an attempt to address these gaps and to equip students and researchers with skills to write original scientific research articles with attention to the quality. Further, it also seeks to equip them with skills to use software such as Mendeley to cite while they write and efficiently manage their references. It is difficult to manually manage and cite the volume of literature available today.

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