Two New ICUDDR Activities Promote Writing and Publication of Scientific Papers

The International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR), in cooperation with the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE) and with funding from the NIDA International Program, in 2021 launched two new initiatives aimed at helping researchers write scientific papers and get them published. 

The first initiative involved Learning Collaboratives—online courses that used a “train the trainer” model and were delivered in ten 90-minute sessions by established addiction science journal editors as facilitators. Each session included a presentation by the facilitator on a topic commonly encountered in papers by early-stage investigators or by investigators in low-income countries. These presentations addressed topics such as: 

  • Why you should publish your research 
  • How to submit a paper 
  • Writing the introduction, methods, results, discussion, limitations, and conclusion sections 
  • Qualitative research 
  • Writing a review paper 
  • Ethical issues 
  • Responding to reviewers 

Participants also prepared abstracts and draft papers, which were then reviewed and critiqued by course participants. Each participant had the opportunity to have at least one full-length paper reviewed and critiqued by the entire group. 

The first Learning Collaborative ran from February 16 to August 3, 2021, and included 10 participants from Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Korea, South Africa, and the United States. The second Learning Collaborative, which included 11 participants from Indonesia, Jamacia, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Africa, ran from June 8 to August 12, 2021. A post-course survey showed that participants found the training very helpful and would use it in their future activities. Additionally, four participants have had papers published, and two have papers under review. 

The second initiative was a project by ICUDDR and ISAJE to develop a graduate-level course on writing scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals in low- and middle-income countries. The chosen submission by Beatrice Kathungu, Ph.D., of Kenyatta University in Kenya, entitled “Publishing Addiction Science,” aims to equip learners with knowledge, skills, competencies, and attitudes that enable them to publish in peer-reviewed international journals. 

After a thorough review process at Kenyatta University, the course was accepted in early September by the university board as a required course for the addiction studies certificate program and as an optional course for the master’s in psychology and social work programs. It will be offered in fall 2022 as a required course for the current certificate students. In winter 2022, it will be offered as an optional seminar for students who will graduate before it is included in the program and for staff and other students who wish to take the course.