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Seminar:  The Structure of Scientific Articles



A 4-day seminar based on the course The Structure of Medical Articles designed for the Graham School of General Studies, University of Chicago.
In this course, you will learn the basics of a successful treatment of bio(chemical)/biomedical research articles:

Critical appraisal is the systematic, comprehensive, and detailed evaluation of a study's design, methods, results, analyses, and interpretations, with an aim to determine its scientific merit. Such evaluations require knowledge of research designs and activities, statistical reporting, scientific reasoning, and publication standards.
Substantive editing is the process of making a research manuscript internally consistent by eliminating ambiguities and inconsistencies from the text, tables, and figures, as well as "tightening" the text by eliminating unnecessary or obfuscating words, numbers, and images. Substantive editing requires critical thinking, strong writing skills, and the knowledge of standard formats and conventions.
Both substantive editing and critical appraisal require time, training, and perspective to do them well, because you must learn to dissect an article, not merely read or “understand” it. Both also encompass the entire article, from Title to References, including text, figures, graphs, and other visuals (e.g. side bars). Both are essential to the practice of science and evidence-based bio(chemistry)/medicine.
The abstract is arguably the most critical component of a research article. It is the first and frequently the only part of the manuscript the majority of the audience will ever read. Therefore, it needs to provide a clear, concise, and focused presentation of the field, the study's goal, methods, results, and the conclusions - and all that in approximately 250 words.
The outline is the structural backbone of the manuscript. It helps the reader dissect the paper; it helps the writer create it. The usefulness of a good outline is made apparent by the fact that, almost by definition, all science/medical writers are avid readers at the same time.

Goals of the Course at the end of the course, you will be able to:

Note: A full syllabus and class reading materials will be provided by March 31th, 2011.

The registration form.
Program.

Biography: Vojislav Pejović obtained his B.Sc. (1995) and M.Sc. (1997) degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Belgrade, and a Ph.D. (2001) in Neuroscience from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. The main outcome of his Ph.D. project, a new model system for measuring long-term potentiation (LTP; a phenomenon believed to be the cellular basis for learning and memory), was used as a foundation technology of a biotech start-up company, for which Vojislav worked from 2000 to 2002.
In that company, he was able to fully automate his LTP system and acquire expertise in advanced techniques of protein analysis (2D PAGE, MALDI TOF MS, ES MS, etc.). In 2002, he moved to the United States (New Orleans, LA), where he held two senior post doc positions at Tulane University. His projects at Tulane included investigation of signal transduction pathways responsible for transport of the cytokine TNFα across the blood-brain barrier and the apoptotic mechanisms associated with a rare genetic disease. In 2005, he moved to Chicago, IL and became full-time science/medical writer.
Currently, he is a Senior Manager in a medical communications firm, covering drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and hypertension, and teaches Medical Writing at the University of Chicago. He also writes fiction (first novel published in 2008), used to write a column for the Montenegrin daily Vijesti, and contributes regularly to the web portal Peščanik. He lives in Evanston, IL with his wife and two sons.

This web page is supported by Faculty of Chemistry, University of Belgrade