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09 May 2016

Doherty Institute expertise help Mongolian epidemiologists get published

Epidemiologists in Mongolia are publishing their research in English-language, peer-reviewed journals thanks to the expertise of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Doherty Institute.

The WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific runs its own scientific journal and as part of its program, teaches epidemiologists from national field epidemiology training programs in the region, including Mongolia, how to write scientific papers.

The Doherty Institute’s Dr James Fielding, a Royal Melbourne Hospital epidemiologist, has just returned from Mongolia after a week-long teaching workshop.

“The students are trained to conduct epidemiological field and outbreak investigations; they analyse surveillance and other epidemiological data but generally their reports aren’t written in English so are not read outside the country,” Dr Fielding said.

“The purpose of this course is to build capacity in scientific writing – we teach them how to structure scientific papers in English.”

During the most recent workshop,  Dr Fielding with colleague Dr Calvin Cheng, the Coordinating Editor of the Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal, edited and provided feedback on the draft papers and by the end of the week, students mostly had complete drafts of their manuscripts, which may eventually be submitted to the journal.

Dr Fielding said it was professionally rewarding to see the students complete the workshop and have their work peer-reviewed

“It allows them to think more critically and comprehensively about their own work,” he explained.

“It also improves knowledge about infectious diseases more broadly by getting a more complete picture of epidemiological investigations in countries where such studies are not normally published in English-language.”