AuthorAID: A global network for early career researchers from low and middle-income countries
By Jennifer Chapin
Jennifer Chapin is Programme Manager, Research and Communications at INASP, an international development charity based in Oxford, UK. INASP works with a global network of partners in Africa, Latin America and Asia to support individuals and institutions to produce, share and use research and knowledge. Projects are running in 28 countries.
“…being an AuthorAID mentor goes beyond a conventional teacher-student relationship – it is a really stimulating and worthwhile learning process for both mentee and mentor”
Dan Korbel, UK
Researchers in the developing world have long been under-represented in published research. This is not a huge surprise. They face many of the same intense pressures to publish as academics in the UK, yet they lack access to the fundamental resources needed to communicate their research: information and training, writing support and mentorship. How can they manage the pressure of publishing rigorous scientific research and communicating findings in a way that meets publisher expectations?
In order to address some of these issues, the AuthorAID programme (www.authoraid.info) was launched in 2007 by the Oxford-based organisation INASP (www.inasp.info) to support researchers in low and middle-income countries to publish and communicate their work. It also serves as a wider global forum to discuss and disseminate research.
One of the cornerstones of AuthorAID is a popular online mentoring system (www.authoraid.info/en/mentoring) that allows volunteer mentors to use their crucial skills and experience to guide less experienced researchers through the challenges of publishing and communicating their research. Since the platform was set up in 2008, requests for mentoring assistance have intensified, and mentors are in demand. The platform is open to researchers from all subject areas and currently comprises almost 2,000 active mentors and mentees. Support is available in a number of languages, including English, French and Spanish.
The mentoring system helps pair together experienced mentors with researchers who need support at any stage of their writing project. It is easy to make contact with mentors or mentees: we have a ‘find a researcher’ search facility and our mentoring dashboard will automatically suggest suitable ‘matches’ based on subject and skills – rather like a dating website for researchers!
Fifteen of the most common types of support needed by new mentees include:
- Article planning
- Grant proposal development
- Language editing or proofreading support
- Career mentoring
- Theses and dissertation writing
- Literature reviews
- Study design
- Presentation planning
- Responding to peer review
- Publication ethics
- Technical reports
- Dealing with the publishing process
Over the years, AuthorAID has amplified its scope to provide support to researchers in a number of other ways:
- One primary aim is to embed research writing skills training in universities and research institutes, with the objective of building local training capacity face-to-face and online. We are currently working with ten partners in four countries: Ghana, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
- In recent years, AuthorAID has launched free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in research writing. So far, these courses have attracted over 2,800 researchers from 76 countries (www.authoraid.info/en/e-learning).
- Small grants to host workshops and travel to conferences are offered twice annually (www.authoraid.info/en/funding).
- Over the last year, AuthorAID has focused on supporting women in research to address gender inequalities they face in progressing in their careers. AuthorAID has recently produced a Gender Mainstreaming in Higher Education Toolkit (available online soon), which is hoped will be a valuable resource for universities and institutions tackling gender inequality in academia.
- AuthorAID also provides training materials and resources free of charge online. Resources are available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish (www.authoraid.info/en/resources).
- An increasing number of our members also provide informal mentoring, advice and support by replying to questions about publishing on the Discussion Group, now numbering over 2,300 members.
Whether you’re an early career researcher in a developing country who could benefit from support and mentoring, an established academic with a strong track record who wants to give something back to the research community, or are just keen to get involved in some stimulating discussions, you can easily register now on the AuthorAID website at www.authoraid.info.
“My experience with AuthorAID has been great! Through the AuthorAID website, I met my mentor, a PhD student at the University of Michigan. She has been very dedicated in offering me guidance on how to improve my writing skills”
Rhoune Ochako, Kenya
More like this
FEX: Treatment of malnutrition in Lebanon: Institutionalisation with the Ministry of Public Health – steps and lessons learned
By Linda Shaker-Berbari, Pressila Derjany Khoueiry and Dima Ousta View this article as a pdf Linda Shaker Berbari works with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)...
Essential Job Duties/Scope of Work: International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering...
Summary of research1 A Lancet published article puts forward a definition of operational research, articulates its relevance to infectious-disease-control programmes, and...
an online course in effective writing If you find writing a chore, perhaps know what you want to say, but not how to say it, or feel you need to polish your writing skills,...
We are looking for A NUTRITIONAL CAUSAL ANALYSIS EXPERT Country: Yemen, based in Sana’a Length of Contract: 5 months from the 15th of April Responsibilities: In that...
By Stephanie Stern Stephanie Stern leads the Action Against Hunger LAB project which aims to reinforce the impact and uptake of knowledge. Before joining Action Against...
We are looking for: A NUTRITIONAL CAUSAL ANALYSIS EXPERT Country: Afghanistan, based in Kabul with regular trip in the field Length of Contract: 4 months starting from the...
From July to November 2012, the ENN undertook an evaluation of Field Exchange (FEX) use amongst its readers. The aims were to establish how FEX is used to inform programming,...
To highlight the critical role that doctors, researchers, policymakers and others play in advocating their leaders to support research in their institutions, Research4Life and...
The ENN extends thanks to Alex Bycroft Masters student, at Oxford Brookes University, UK who undertook a Field Exchange citations review, included in this summary, on a...
en-net: Nutrition Traineeship
Job Title: Nutrition Trainee Reports to:Nutrition Advisor Job Location: Months 1 to 3 - Dublin, Ireland Months 4 to 12 - a Concern working country to be decided Year 2 - a...
Job Title: Health and Nutrition Advisor Reports to: Assistant Country Director Programmes Job Location: Lilongwe, Malawi Contract Details: 7 month fixed term contract...
Job Location: Sierra Leone Contract Length: 1 year Start Date: ASAP Job Description Immunization is often claimed to be one of the most cost-effective methods to improve...
The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) has launched the online INASPHealth Directory 2003/2004. The Directory is a networking tool...
Which online short courses and links can benefit a non-nutrition technical staff supporting the scaling up nutrition? For example, technical knowledge on SAM, MAM, CIMAM and...
WorldFish is urgently looking for a Nutrition Scientist to further WorldFish’s research agenda and ensure that production gains made through sustainable aquaculture...
In April - May 2015, an evaluation of the ENN's publication, Nutrition Exchange, was conducted through an online survey. Nutrition Exchange is an annual publication produced in...
Apply on our site:
Men at work on gulley control in CFW programme in Somalia In a food crisis, distributing cash in a targeted manner can often meet people's immediate needs more quickly and...
FEX: Accessing quality research to enable evidence-informed national policy: experiences from Zimbabwe
By Willie Ganda View this article as a pdf Willie Ganda is Director for Research Development and Innovation, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science & Technology...
Reference this page
Jennifer Chapin (2016). AuthorAID: A global network for early career researchers from low and middle-income countries. Field Exchange 53, November 2016. p53. www.ennonline.net/fex/53/authoraid