Scientific Writing and Communication

Language: English


The objective of this course is to introduce participants to the details of communication and writing scientific publications. The main emphasis is on the most common form, the “primary scientific paper”, but other forms will be covered. Matters related to oral presentations, poster preparation and proposal writing will also be discussed. Thus participants will become familiar with the forms of presenting new findings to various scientific forums.

Please note that the main focus of this course is on how to structure a scientific text, i.e. the rules and requirements, building up the actual text, presenting findings, etc., and not very much on the actual language, i.e. grammar, vocabulary, language structure, etc. The latter will only be touched briefly upon

Learning outcomes and competences:

At the end of the course the student should be able to:

- Judge and decide about the appropriate form and forum for their work

- Evaluate potential publication forums

- Write a scientific manuscript that conforms to the rules and requirements

- Analyse their presentation efficiency and improve it in their written work

- Deal with scientific editors, and others involved in the scientific publishing process

- Prepare and present effective oral presentations and posters

Directed to: PhD students in the phase of writing or preparing to write would benefit most from this course. MSc students can sign up if places remain available.

General Plan

Compulsory programme:

Participants have to be present at 80% of the lectures (this means that you can miss two half-days), and actively participate in the group discussions and exercises. Additionally, participants have to complete four written assignments.

Course contents:

- The current structure of scientific literature, the basics of scientometrics, the main features of the scientific information ‘industry’, how to decide where to publish

- The different parts of a primary scientific paper and how to write them

- The publication process (manuscript preparation, submission, dealing with editors, technical editing and printing)

- Requirements of grammar and style

- Principles of preparing figures and tables

- Oral presentations: preparation and delivery, poster preparation, conference participation


Type of course/teaching methods:

Lectures, exercises, group discussions



Gastel B, Day RA 2016. How to write and publish a scientific paper. 8th ed. Cambridge Univ. Press

Cargill M, O’Connor P 2009. Writing scientific research articles. Wiley-Blackwell


Course assessment:

Pass/fail on the basis of attendance, activity, and appropriately prepared assignments:

  1. On the basis of an abstract of a published paper, analyse and if necessary, modify the title.
  2. Write a max. 2 page evaluation of a summary of a published paper or conference abstract.
  3. Write an analysis of a published figure.
  4. Prepare and send a larger piece of (your own) work, either a major part of a manuscript: an introduction, material & methods section, results, discussion AND at least one figure designed by yourself, complete with title/caption. You can send more, also a complete manuscript, or a poster (electronically).



Students Fees.


ACDA - Associação Ciência e Desenvolvimento dos Açores -



100 € for  Ph.D and Master students; 200 € for Professional and postdocs (payments to ACDA -contact:

Contacts for Inscription

Candidates should send a short CV and motivation letter explaining why they are interested in the course, including a brief description of their research projects. Send all information and requests to Gabor Lovei (  and