With our research work especially, our role doesn’t always end with a final report at the end of a project. We put a lot of time and effort into writing journal articles and presenting at conferences, and this blog provides a bit of information about why this is important. It also gives a few tips that might help anyone who’s just starting to venture in this area.
So why do we publish?
It will obviously depend on what’s been agreed within a project, but if we have interesting findings or positive outcomes for a new intervention that could help someone, we think people should know about it. Articles and presentations not only get our findings out to the wider world, but help us to connect with people and raise the profile of ADS and the organisations we work with. They also help to build the evidence base in the dementia field, and future literature reviews should pick up on our articles in the same way that we pick up on other articles when doing our own reviews.
Journal articles and presentations can also provide the opportunity to focus on different aspects of a project, which you might not be able to do in an end of project report. That’s why you might see that we have multiple outputs from some projects, as each one could be highlighting a different point of interest. Alternatively, presentations might provide a great space to bring together findings from multiple projects around a common theme, for example arts-based interventions or the use of assistive technology. We can also present and write articles about the education we provide, where we may have found a great way to work with and engage participants but are unlikely to write a formal report about it.
Top tips for writing a journal article
- Know your message – you might have some great findings, but what do you actually want people to know about your work? Is there a particular angle that you’re aiming for, rather than a general overview of the findings?
- Pick a journal – the journal you choose will depend on who you are trying to reach, so whether you are aiming at a practice or academic audience. It’s also helpful to choose a journal early on as different journals have different article guidelines, for example word count, structure, limit on numbers of tables and figures etc.
- Use review comments positively – if you’ve submitted your article to a peer-reviewed journal, you will probably get review comments back and be asked to make changes. Rather than seeing these comments as criticism, use them as an opportunity to strengthen and improve your work. Remember, you’ve probably been immersed in your work for a while and understand it inside out, but your reviewer has only just read your article for the first time. If they don’t understand what you’ve written, it’s a good indication that other people won’t either and your message will be lost.
- Don’t be put off by rejection – even if your article is great, there’s no guarantee that it will be accepted for publication. If that happens, have a think about an alternative journal and try again. We’ve all been there, it’s not personal!
- Allow plenty of time – although it varies between journals, the publication process can often take a while. Once you’ve submitted a version you’ll probably have to go through the review process (maybe more than once), then wait for a decision, then wait for publication. It could take anything from a few weeks to a year before you actually see your article in print, so don’t expect it to happen overnight.
Top tips for a conference presentation
- Check the details – make sure you know how long you’ve got and if a particular format is required, as it’s easier to write your presentation with this in mind than adapt it later on. There’s nothing worse than having a whole load of slides because you think you’ve got an hour, then finding out you’ve got 10 minutes and you’ve got to get rid of most of it!
- Know your message – you may only have a short time to talk to people, and you’re likely to be one of many presentations they hear at an event. What do you actually want them to take away from what you say?
- Know your audience – this can help you pitch your presentation at the right level. If you’re very academic but you’re presenting to a non-academic audience, you’ll probably put people off very quickly. Avoid jargon or language that your audience won’t understand – it’s not helpful for them and you won’t get your message across clearly!
- Keep your slides clean – try not have too much text on your slides. Instead, have just the key messages or words as you can always talk around it. It can be good to include images to make your slides more interesting, but don’t overload your slides as it could make them look messy. Also, make sure that any images are relevant and appropriate for your message – don’t include them just for the sake of it.
- Practice presenting – this should give you a good idea if you’re trying to cover too much in the time available. Also consider asking friends or colleagues for feedback on your presentation. You might feel silly or awkward presenting to them at first, but it should help you feel more confident and prepared before the real thing.
2019 so far for ADS
2019 has already been a busy year for us, and work we started last year has been paying off with a number of articles being published and conference presentations taking place. This is what’s happened for us up to the end of April.
- Bray, J. (2019). Permission to speak: encouraging conversations. Journal of Dementia Care, 27(2), 12-13.
- Bray, J., Atkinson, T., Latham, I. & Brooker, D. (2019). Practice of Namaste Care for people living with dementia in the UK. Nursing Older People, 31(1), 22-28.
- Bray, J., Brooker, D., Latham, I., Wray, F., & Baines, D. (2019). Costing resource use of the Namaste Care Intervention UK: A novel framework for costing dementia care interventions in care homes. International Psychogeriatrics, 1-10.
- Cameron, A., Johnson, E., Lloyd, L., Evans, S., Smith, R., Porteus, J., Darton, R. & Atkinson, T. (2019). Using longitudinal qualitative research to explore extra care housing, International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 14:1.
- Carter, C., Bray, J. and Read, K. (2019). The Admiral Nurse Competency Framework: Encouraging engagement and putting it into practice. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 50(5), 205-210.
- Evans, S., Garabedian, C., Bray, J., Kennard, R. and Herz, M. (2019). Evaluation of Active Minds activity kits in care homes. Journal of Dementia Care, 27(2), 22-25.
- Evans, S.C., Waller, S., Bray, J. & Atkinson, T. (2019). Making Homes More Dementia-Friendly through the Use of Aids and Adaptations. Healthcare, 7(1) 43.
- Lion, K., Szcześniak, D., Buliríska, K., Evans, S.B., Evans, S.C., Siabene, F., d’Arma, A., Farina, E., Brooker, D., Chattat, R., Meiland, F., Dröes, R. & Rymaszewska, J. (2019). Do people with dementia and mild cognitive impairments experience stigma? A cross-cultural investigation between Italy, Poland and the UK. Aging and Mental Health, 1-9.
- Tischler, V., Schneider, J., Morgner, C., Crawford, P., Dening, T., Brooker, D., Garabedian, C., Myers, T., Early, F., Shaughnessy, N., Innes, A., Duncan, K., Prashar, A., McDermott, O., Coaten, R., Eland, D. & Harvey, K. (2019). Stronger Together: Learning from an Interdisciplinary Dementia, Arts & Wellbeing Network (DA&WN). Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice.
- Bruce, M., Communication and behaviour. Student Nurse Conference, University of Worcester
- Carter, C. and Bray, J., Working with families living with dementia. Student Nurse Conference, University of Worcester
- Dutton, G. Dementia – key facts and figures. Student Nurse Conference, University of Worcester
- Evans, S.B., Meeting Centres. National Dementia Action Alliance Annual Conference, London
- Latham, I., Implementing Namaste Care for People Living with Advanced Dementia in Care Homes. Clinical Research Network West Midlands Ageing/Enrich Showcase Event, Birmingham
- Latham, I., The Namaste Care Intervention UK. Alzheimer’s Society Workshop – Advanced Dementia Care, London
- Russell, C., Exploring the identity of people with dementia who engage with the activities of community-based leisure and fitness centres. Active Ageing Forum, Churchdown, Gloucestershire
- Russell, C., How does engagement with the activities of community-based leisure and fitness centres enable people living with dementia to maintain and develop their sense of identity? A phenomenological study. ESRC-AHRC UK-Japan SSH Connections Grant Event, Worcester
- Swift, R., Dementia Research: The Use of Music in Dementia. Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Research Lunchtime Seminar Series, Shrewsbury
- Waller, S., Why does dementia design matter? Healthy Ageing – The Grand Challenge, Manchester
We’ve also got plenty more planned and in the pipeline over the coming months.
So good luck if you’re starting to think about publications and presentations. It can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it!
If you would like to contact us about anything in this blog, our email is email@example.com.
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