Training Tip: Effective reading and writing

Published: Friday 4th March 2016
Category: Blog

Did you skim-read that scientific paper adequately? Does your writing draw conclusions and link concepts clearly enough for your reader?


Low and behold, not all scientists are natural writers.

In fact one of the issues that researchers often find themselves up against is how to boil down their complex findings into an engaging roadmap that isn’t top-heavy with specialized terms and jargon.

With writing, this means knowing where to trim the fat, while leaving the crux of your argument intact. It also means being able to effectively read and write scientific papers; to compile web bibliographies, and more crucially, being aware of copyright laws.

Research4Life’s Authorship Skills training course covers all of the above and more.

The ten-module course on the Research4Life training portal takes around 5-7 hours to complete. It guides you through the entire process of publishing research, via a series of readings, activities, group discussions and assignments, which check your level of understanding as you go along.

Not only does it give you a real sense of the architecture of good writing and scientific reporting, it’s a practical resource that you can flick back to throughout your research.

R4L’s Authorship Skills training contains the following modules:

  • Effectively reading scientific papers
  • Effectively writing scientific papers
  • Strategies for effective writing
  • Intellectual property
  • Web bibliographies
  • FAQs (this last section is based on the questions from a librarian in a low-income country and is used as a basis for some lively discussion groups.

Other R4L training courses

Research4Life is the umbrella name for a quartet of core programmes – AGORA, HINARI, OARE and ARDI, which provide developing countries with free or low cost access to research.

Being able to navigate R4L’s programmes effectively is the key to getting the best out of it. As well as Authorships Skills training, R4L offers four other training courses for anyone using its core programmes, including a module on the differences between the four entities (handy if you’re new to R4L).

In addition, the R4L training portal features a course on “Other Resources”. This gives you an insight into marketing and managing change strategies for R4L materials, as well as resources on information literacy.