Training Case Study

Good research practice training programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute

Working in partnership with policy and training staff at the UK’s Wellcome Sanger Institute, Jane Alfred developed a programme of training on good research practice to roll out across all staff at the Sanger Institute. This training programme aims to support staff in every role to understand the key policies and principles that underpin good research practice, to discuss what good research practice consists of in the context of their work, to explore where barriers to good research practice might exist and to acquire skills to navigate the every day pressures of lab life.

Initially planned to take place in the form of in-person training workshops, the training programme was adapted to an online format in the spring of 2020 to enable this mandatory training programme to get underway in autumn 2020.


Testimonial

Sarion Bowers, Head of Policy, at the Sanger Institute says about this training programme

"Jane is our chosen training provider for our ambitious program of good research practice training, which we mandated for over 800 staff at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Our request for proposals included a  requirement to tailor the training to different groups within the 800 strong cohort. This ranged from senior leadership, through to informaticians, and technicians. Jane's proposal showed her in depth knowledge and understanding of the issues around good research practice and how they vary for different roles. Her advice and expertise has been instrumental in shaping the training, and the result has been the provision of high quality training that has been received with praise from many staff, including the senior leaders and faculty at Sanger. Jane's ability to tailor the training to the different groups has been particularly important, both in ensuring the content is at the right level but also in capturing the respect and trust of the attendees. The training has been so successful that it has spurred on interest in developing a range of measures and initiatives to further develop our research culture and underpin good research practice."


Training Case Study

Training editorial staff at IOP Publishing

In 2020, Jane Alfred provided editors and staff at IOP Publishing with training workshops on unconscious bias in peer review and, via the ALPSP, with training on publication ethics. Key objectives of the unconscious bias in peer review training were to raise awareness among editors and editorial staff of where in the editorial process unconscious bias can influence peer review (and who is invited to review) and editorial outcomes, and to support editors and staff in their discussions of how to address the issues raised in their editorial policies, processes and practices.


Testimonial

Kim Eggleton, research integrity and inclusion manager at IOP Publishing, said about the unconscious bias in peer review workshops

"Jane conducted two half-day workshops on unconscious bias with our publishing staff, to help increase awareness of their own bias and others'. Jane went the extra mile to understand how we operate as a company and the roles of the participants so that she could deliver completely tailored sessions for us. The delegates left the sessions with lists of ideas and actions to take forwards, both at an individual and product/company level. Jane presented fascinating research and we all felt much more informed as a result. I would highly recommend these sessions!"


Training Case Study

Research integrity workshops at the Sainsbury Laboratory

Jane Alfred has been running a programme of research integrity and publication ethics workshops at the Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) since 2014. Jane’s work with the TSL kicked off with a discussion with the Lab’s group leaders about research culture and practice and how they are interlinked with research integrity. These discussions helped to shape and influence the content and breadth of the training workshops, which have been tailored to meet the training needs of both academic researchers and research support staff.


Testimonial

Debbie Feather, Head of Administration at TSL, says about these workshops

"Upholding the highest standards of scientific integrity is integral to our research here at the Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL), and we expect our colleagues to conduct their research according to best scientific practise and the highest professional standards. We have been delighted then to work with Jane in developing an on-going programme of research integrity workshops, which have become an integral part of the culture of the Laboratory. Jane’s background and extensive experience, together with her enthusiasm and insight have facilitated a new approach to research integrity and publishing ethics at TSL. We have benefited greatly from working with her over the last couple of years and look forward to a new series of challenging and rewarding workshops in the future!"


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Training Case Study

Peer review workshops for early career researchers

Working in partnership with the open access journal eLife, Jane has put together a series of workshops on peer review that target early career researchers who are taking their first steps as reviewers. A key aim of these workshops is to improve the culture and practice of peer review and to equip workshop participants with an understanding of how peer review works and to develop and strengthen their skills as reviewers. Jane works in partnership with members of the academic editorial community in delivering these interactive workshops, to ensure that participants receive training on the many different aspects of peer review, ranging from ethical conduct in peer review to understanding how to review a research article in different peer review systems, and how to gain credit for peer review.


Testimonial

Professor Maddy Parsons, Professor of Cell Biology at King's College London, says about these workshops

"As an extremely experienced Editor, Jane has recognised that early career researchers really need to be guided through the complexities of peer reviewing to ensure they are able to shape the future of their fields in an informed and responsible way. Jane has crafted a fantastic series of workshops to provide practical advice on every aspect of peer reviewing and awareness of the different models, potential caveats and benefits that peer review has to offer. Having partnered with Jane in a number of these workshops, I have first hand experience of her excellent attention to detail, breadth of knowledge, and careful planning, which ultimately deliver interesting, engaging and interactive sessions for researchers from a range of different backgrounds. The feedback received from the attendees is always excellent and this is testament to Janes' dedication, enthusiasm and passion for this subject. I have no doubt that her work is helping to enhance the quality of future scientific peer review. I have personally learned a lot from Jane and really look forward to working with her again in the future!"


Training Case Study

Peer review workshop for early career researchers at the Francis Crick Institute

Jane provides training workshops on peer review to early career researchers at The Francis Crick Institute. A key aim of these workshops is to improve the culture and practice of peer review and to equip workshop participants with an understanding of how peer review works and to develop and strengthen their skills as reviewers. Jane works in partnership with group leaders at the Institute in delivering these interactive workshops, to ensure that participants receive training on the many different aspects of peer review.


Testimonial

A postdoctoral researcher who attended a peer review workshop in May 2018 said

"The workshop was great  - the most enjoyable and practically useful course done at the Crick thus far."


Editorial Case Study

COMMISSIONING & EDITING: A series of feature articles for eLife

The open access journal eLife approached Jane Alfred with the idea for a series of feature articles on the natural history of model organisms. Jane worked closely with eLife senior editor, Professor Ian Baldwin, and with eLife features editor, Dr Peter Rodgers, in identifying potential authors for this series. Working in close communication with these Editors, Jane commissioned the articles for this series, and was responsible for developmentally editing them, handling them through peer review and for drafting editorial decisions. The article series was published in March 2015, together with an Introductory article co-authored by Ian and Jane.


Testimonial

Ian Baldwin, eLife senior editor, says:

"It was simply a pleasure working with Jane on the Natural History of Model Organisms project. Jane is a biologist’s dream of an editor. She quickly grasps the scientific complexity of an issue and finds ways of guiding authors past the obstacles of their own jargon and down a logical explanatory path that illuminates the complexity in a comprehensible manner. And she does it in a non-obtrusive manner that makes authors feel as if they found this path all on their own. Jane can be completely trusted to mind the editorial store, freeing an Academic or staff editor to deal only with the higher level issues; a dream collaborator!."


Training Case Study

Research Integrity: A presentation to the University of Glasgow

In 2015, following an invitation by Dr Tanita Casci, Head of Research Policy at the University of Glasgow, Jane gave a presentation on research integrity, and about how research communication is changing to support good research culture and practice, to an audience of integrity officers and senior managers.


Testimonial

Dr Casci said about this presentation:

"As an institution we work hard to embed an awareness of good research practice. Jane's talk brought this topic to life by skillfully tying together the rapidly changing landscape of research publishing, the incentives placed on academics to publish, and the opportunities, responsibilities and risks that come with the (welcome) drive towards open scholarship and open data. I thought I had heard it all before, but I was wrong: I left with several urgent actions, and a much more compelling way to present integrity to the research community."


Editorial Case Study

Manuscript editing

Since 2007, Jeremy Allen has worked closely with Edanz Group Ltd, an editorial services company based in Japan, to provide expert editorial services for non-native English-speaking scientists. Jeremy has edited over 800 research manuscripts and has become a preferred editor for several Edanz clients. Examples of publications on which Jeremy has worked include:
Maelstrom coordinates microtubule organization during Drosophila oogenesis through interaction with components of the MTOC. Sato K, Nishida KM, Shibuya A, Siomi MC, Siomi H. Genes Dev. 2011 Nov 15;25(22):2361-73.
Epigenetic regulation of a brain-specific glycosyltransferase N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-IX (GnT-IX) by specific chromatin modifiers. Kizuka Y, Kitazume S, Okahara K, Villagra A, Sotomayor EM, Taniguchi N J Biol Chem. 2014 Apr 18;289(16):11253-61.


Testimonial

Dr Daniel McGowan, Science Director of Edanz Group Ltd, says:

"For several years now Jeremy has been one of our most trusted editors, able to cover a variety of fields and editing regularly for some of our most important (and most prolific) clients. The quality of Jeremy's editing and the added value he provides are both evident in the repeat orders we receive from clients he has edited for and the frequent requests for him specifically. Jeremy's attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, clarity of language, and polite communications (through comments) with authors have made him a valuable member of our freelance team."


Editorial Case Study

DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING: A book

Academic publisher, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, commissioned Jane Alfred to developmentally edit a book by renowned molecular geneticist, David Botstein. Jane worked closely with David on the book, entitled Decoding the Language of Genetics, over several months, providing editorial feedback on drafts of the book’s chapters and on the book’s figures, as well as suggestions for additional chapters, text and figures.


Testimonial

In the book's acknowledgements, David Botstein notes:

"'I am in debt to Jane Alfred for her excellent editing. She eliminated many errors and much awkwardness.'"