Better Posters

Ah, the poster presentation, a genre with almost limitless possibilities, but more often than not a stepchild to the more prestigious podium paper presentation!

Designing an effective poster is an art, and, indeed, may be art.

Read more here:

Recommended Reading: Collaborative writing

You should include on your summer reading list, this recent article:

“A Formula for Collaborative Writing” by Cynthia Clark, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, Journal of Nursing Education, March 2014 – Volume 53 · Issue 3: 119-120, DOI: 10.3928/01484834-20140220-10

Warning: Predatory Publishers Gone Phishing

Reported today by Jeffrey Beall on the ScholarlyOA web site, a scam involving predatory open-access publishers posing as a distinguished publisher (e.g., Elsevier):

“Phishing” is the practice of attempting to secure information by posing as a reputable entity. In this case, the “phishers” do not direct you to the legitimate web site of the publisher and they insist on conducting business via email.

Always check the official web site of a publisher and the official email of the editor. Typically, most journals will require that you register for a manuscript account on their web site and that you submit your material on such a system.

Seductive Posters

Writing in the Chronicle’s Vitae section, Kathryn Everson summarizes guides for creating effective poster session posters:

She reviews the need for planning, attention to layout, typography, and color, and software tools. About the latter, she suggests that Microsoft’s PowerPoint, which is typically used by academics for posters but was designed for projection systems, is not ideal for the print medium of the poster. She suggests alternatives.


Write Ahead

One evidence-based method of increasing your writing productivity is to cultivate a daily writing habit. (See the extensive research literature of Robert Boice and his colleagues.) Writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Vitae, Joli Jensen has identified three techniques for “taming” a large writing “beast”:

And she has suggested a method of auditing your time to figure out where it goes (when you know it’s not going to writing):

Daily Writing

Ryan Cordell, writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s ProfHacker section reminds us of the efficacy of cultivating a daily writing habit, which relies on accountability, scheduling, limits (at least 15 but no more than 30 minutes), and momentum. Details here:

Research Article on Facilitators/Inhibitors of Productivity

Research Article on Facilitators/Inhibitors of Productivity

Dowling, D. A., Savrin, C., & Graham, G. C.. (2013). Writing for publication: Perspectives of graduate nursing students and doctorally prepared faculty. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(7), 371-5.

Abstract: Publication is a common expectation for both faculty and graduate students in schools of nursing. Little is known about the perceptions of students and faculty regarding what supports or interferes with students’ success in writing for publication. Perceptions of supports and barriers to writing for publication and the differences in perceptions between graduate nursing students and faculty were examined. A descriptive comparative design was used to sample master’s (n = 62), Doctor of Nursing Practice (n = 66), and Doctor of Philosophy (n = 7) students and graduate faculty (n = 35) using two investigator-developed surveys. Students (71.1%) and faculty (57.6%) identified working with faculty and mentors as the greatest support. Students’ primary barrier was finding time (64.5%). Faculty identified not knowing how to get started (63.6%) as the students’ greatest barrier. Findings support that mentoring and finding sufficient time for writing are priorities for the development of a plan to support students in writing for publication. [Abstract provided by the journal.]

Guidelines for Case Reports

A new set of guidelines for writing and publishing case reports has been developed and disseminated. Details here:

How to Write a Successful NIH Grant Application

NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases offers an on-line guide to effective writing:

Why You Should Blog About Your Research

Sent us by a colleague in the English department, an interesting reflection on the utility of blogging about your research agenda by social scientist Mark Carrigan:

Informal writing on the Web has visibility that more formal genres of writing do not. For example, two book reviews on this blog (written by a colleague in the School of Nursing) have been the two most popular articles on NursingWriting during the past year.


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