Scientific Communication
2015-2016 - IMT6261 - 5 ECTS

Prerequisite(s)

None

Expected learning outcomes

The course will teach the candidates how to produce presentations and papers for communicating scientific ideas and results, both to the public and to other scholars.  The course will focus on the popular science and literature review formats 

The course contributes towards the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge

Knowledge of the most advanced research in the candidate's specialisation area.  The candidate will learn how to target a particular written/oral message in the chosen area.  Candidates being at an early stage in their PhD study will be required to produce a literature review paper relevant for their chosen area of specialization.

Strong understanding of academic theory and the preparation of high‐quality research.  The candidate will have learned how to effectively communicate their research, using the style and format appropriate for their chosen are of specialization.

Understanding the current state‐of‐the‐art and applying knowledge to the development of new knowledge, theories and presentation of research in their field of study.  This knowledge will be acquired through the production of the deliverable `review paper’.  This entails identification and assimilation of the key results in their chosen area of specialization.

Skills

Ability to support and participate in Industrial and Academic research projects at a high international level.  Typically, a research project will build on existing knowledge.  Both national and international projects (e.g. EU), require that a significant effort is spent both during the project definition and preparation phase on producing a literature review.  The candidate will learn, practise and document that he/she has acquired the skills necessary to produce high quality literature reviews.  Being able to produce high quality literature reviews is essential in contemporary research.

Ability to understand and challenge the existing knowledge and practise in their chosen field of specialization.  The literature review produced as part of this course will identify key results, assumptions, open problems etc. as reported in the published literature.  The literature review will group/contrast the most significant papers in the field providing the candidate with an improved understanding of the field chosen for the literature review.

General competence

Ability to manage interdisciplinary projects with diverse groups of individuals to bring results in the chosen area of specialization to fruition.  Having acquired the competence to produce high quality literature reviews – i.e. a well structured overview of a complex field, the candidate can utilize this competence both to acquire interdisciplinary knowledge but equally important to offer scientists from other disciplines an easily accessible overview of key results, challenges, assumptions, method use etc. in his own area of specialization.   

Ability to organise and participate in research and development through established national and international research frameworks. The production of high quality literature reviews is a key skill both when initiating and running national and international research projects.  Furthermore, during networking, having established oneself as producer of high quality literature reviews, one may find it easier to gain access into a consortium.   

Capability of applying latest abstract research within the chosen area of specialization to specific real‐world problems in creative and innovative ways.  Innovation often require that a user/domain expert interacts with a researcher.  Mastering a variety of communication formats suitable for communicating research results and findings, will enhance interactions with users or others that are looking for solutions to practical real world problems.

Topic(s)

  • Overview of communication formats
  • The literature review format
  • Communicating science to the public

Teaching Methods

Project work
Meeting(s)/Seminar(s)
Other

Teaching Methods (additional text)

  • Self study reading of books/articles

Course is offered at the discretion of the course responsible. There will be organized seminars where different communication formats will be presented and discussed. Candidates and their supervisors will be required to propose scientific cases and subjects suitable for the communication formats covered by the course.     

Form(s) of Assessment

Other

Form(s) of Assessment (additional text)

  • The popular science article (2 pages) is evaluated relative to the quality criteria specified in the course literature.
  • The scholarly review article (10 pages/) is evaluated relative to Best Practises for constructing review articles as described in the course literature.
  • Each candidate is required to give 2 presentations in seminars (popular science style: 15 min/5 slides; Scholarly review presentation 30 min/10 slides)

Grading Scale

Pass/Failure

External/internal examiner

Internal examiner – Supervisor and course responsible in cooperation. Or external and internal examiner.

External examiner will be used within 5 years period, next time at latest in 2018.

Re-sit examination

The whole course must be repeated.

Coursework Requirements

None

Teaching Materials

The course will be based on reports, papers such as the following:

[Fink 2005] A. Fink, Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publication, 2005

[Cresswell 2011] John W. Creswell, Tonette S. Rocco and Tim Hatcher. The Handbook of Scholarly Writing and Publishing (The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series) . John Wiley & Sons (5 April 2011)

[Okoli 2010] C. Okoli and K. Schabram , A Guide to Conducting a Systematic Literature Review of Information Systems Research, Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 10(26), 2010, http://sprouts.aisnet.org/10-26, http://sprouts.aisnet.org/867/1/OkoliSchabram2010SproutsLitReviewGuide.pdf

[EBSE 2007] Guidelines for performing Systematic Literature Reviews in Software Engineering, Version 2.3, EBSE (Evidence-Based Software Engineering) Technical Report, EBSE-2007-01, 9 July, 2007, http://www.elsevier.com/framework_products/promis_misc/525444systematicreviewsguide.pdf

[Kitchenham 2009] B. Kitchenham, O. P. Bre, D. Budgen, M. Turner, J. Bailey, and S. Linkman, Systematic literature reviews in software engineering – A systematic literature review, Information and Software Technology 51 (2009), 7–15

[Gregory 2000] Jane Gregory. Science In Public: Communication, Culture, and Credibility. Basic Books; Reprint edition.

[Huff 1988] Anne Sigismund Huff.  Writing for Scholarly Publication. Sage Publications. 1988.

[Zobel 2004] Justin Zobel. Writing for Computer Science: The Art of effective Communication. Springer; 2nd ed. 2004 edition.

[Strunk 1999] William Strunk Jr. and  E. B. White. The Elements of Style.  Longman; 4 edition (23 July 1999).

[Giovanni 2006 ] Giovanni Carrada.  Communicating science – A Scientists Survival kit.  European Commission – Europa.  Available from   http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/pdf/communicating-science_en.pdf  Visited March 16, 2013.

[Blum 1997]  Deborah Blum, Mary Knudson.  A Field Guide for Science Writers, Oxford University Press, 1997.

[Baruch 2006]  Yehuda Baruch (Editor), Sherry Sullivan (Editor), Hazlon Schepmyer (Editor).  Winning Reviews: A Guide for Evaluating Scholarly Writing.  Palgrave Macmillan. 2006.

Additional information

The course is stipulated to require 150 hours of student work.  This estimate is broken down as follows:

  • Select and read literature relevant for the course  (20 hours)
  • Prepare 2 seminar contributions each including (total 2 contribs * 10 hours/contrib = 20 hrs)
  • Attend seminars, including giving 15+30 min talks + answering questions (5 hours).
  • Produce a review article (10 pages), including the 15 most significant works on the subject chosen, formatted according the guidelines specified by a UHR approved scholarly journal (90 hours).  Note that the review of 15 papers in most cases would not suffice for a publication quality review article.
  • Produce a popular science version (2 pages) of the review article (15 hours).