November 2019, Module on Digital Methods for Academic Writing Workshop

The Workshop „Publish or perish”: competences of academic writing in English (original title: „Publish or perish”: competențe de scriere academică în limba engleză în vederea publicării lucrărilor științifice) was organised on November 29th 2019 at the West University of Timisoara, in the frame of the institutional project FDI-2019-0471 (Cercetare de excelență în UVT prin dezvoltarea resursei umane și consolidarea centrelor de cercetare). More than thirty participants (researchers and lecturers)  from several disciplines (Humanities, Psychology, Political Sciences, Economics, Sports, Mathematics, Gepgrapy) attended the workhsop.

The workshop focused on some important aspects of scientific paper writing and included suggestions and exercises of academic writing in English, aiming to facilitate the access to publications with international impact and visibility.

The first module of the workshop, coordinated by Dr Claudia Doroholschi, focused on an an essential section of scientific paper writing, which is often one of the most difficult, namely the introduction. We discussed John Swales’ Creating a Research Space (CARS) model and its applicability in different disciplines and explored ways of writing the introduction through practical exercises, addressing issues related to the integration of sources, clear statement of research direction, and language issues specific to the introduction.

In the second module of the workshop, Dr Mădălina Chitez addressed the topic of linguistic improvement of academic texts using digital methods. We discussed the possibility of using databases built by quantitative-statistical research methods, which include academic expressions and typical formulations. Then, Dr Chitez presented, briefly, the method of using corpus linguistics to identify the necessary linguistic resources for each moment of the writing process. For example, mini-corpora were presented (databases containing texts written by experts in the field, of a high academic level) that can be used for lexical diversification, syntactic accuracy, adequacy at the level of academic discourse, specific terminology disciplines.

Presentation excerpts (Module 2 – Digital Methods for Academic Writing Support):


Dr Madalina Chitez also proposed the creation of a disciplinary expert-corpus, compiled by the experts and trainees at the newly-founded centre CODHUS, to be made available, to all university memebrs, by individual request.

At the end of the workshop, participants were invited to take part in a quiz concerning the usefulness of digital methods as support in scientific writing. The majority of the respondents (95%) expressed their interest in such methods and the desire to learn more about them. A three-prize (marketing products for the project  ROGER) raffle using non-anonymised volunteer answers at the questionnaire closed the Workshop.