Explore mindfulness to improve your research–life balance

The human mind can be trained to cope with and relieve stress. This training is called mindfulness. By increasing awareness of thoughts and emotions in a given moment, it helps to avoid getting carried away. Mindfulness is proven to improve mental and even physical health – and now Elsevier’s Researcher Academy is bringing mindfulness to researchers in a brand-new module.

See the new Mindfulness module

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Why is mindfulness important to researchers? The work of a researcher can feel overwhelming. The pressures associated with funding, competition and deadlines can affect a researcher’s wellbeing and peace of mind. In turn, this can mean a poorer work–life balance, reduced work efficiency and burnout. Mindfulness can help researchers take charge over their own lives.

The new Researcher Academy module will explore the practice of mindfulness in coping with stress as well as improving mental health and overall wellbeing. It will include an exploration of the scientific background of the practice and step-by-step guide to mindfulness in daily research routines.

The Mindfulness module will go live on 14 November at 11:00 a.m. (UTC). Register today!

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Webinar: How to write an excellent review article – an editor’s guide

By My Pham

Writing a compelling review article is an opportunity to contribute to the development of your field by creating a synthesis of the best resources available and potential new research areas to explore in the future.

Webinar How to write an excellent review articleYet, writing a review article is not at all an easy task. How to best structure it? Is an editor’s invitation a must to write reviews? How to distinguish an adequate review from an excellent one? Those are among many questions that researchers often have in mind when it comes to writing review articles. To help address these concerns, Lindsey Drayton, Editor at Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and Matt Pavlovich, Editor at Trends in Biotechnology, will offer their editorial perspective on what they’re looking for in a review in Researcher Academy’s upcoming webinar on June 27th, 1pm (UTC). The experts will discuss how to both conceptualize and write a review, how to distinguish your review by making a strong statement, and why writing a review is worth your time. They will also dispel some common myths about review articles and give advice for how to propose a review to an editor.

You can now send the speakers questions in advance by joining the Researcher Academy Mendeley group and post your queries there.

Register for the webinar here

Case Reports Live Webinar: How to write good case reports and get them published

Good case report foldersAs a scientific documentation on a single clinical observation, case reports offer timely and valuable information of best medical practices, especially on rare diseases. They show doctors how fellow practitioners have acted in similar situations and thus aid in the decision-making process. Not only do they significantly contribute to the medical knowledge pool, but they also help add to researchers’ portfolio. For those reasons, case reports have been a time-honoured and rich tradition in medical publication.

Writing a good case report, however, requires much more than just an interesting case. In fact, the most common reason for the rejection of case reports lies in writing styles. This can be a real challenge, especially for early-career researchers who are sharing their clinical experiences for the first time. Apart from that, it is also important to take into consideration the ethical issues and the journals to publish in. As suggested by Professor Oliver Kurzai, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Mycology Case Reports, case reports are often not as well cited as other publications, and therefore, publishing your work in the right journal will ensure it is read by the right people.

Case reports may sound quite overwhelming with all the work they demand. Yet, there are a lot of resources that can help you solve this puzzle. Adding to this knowledge, Researcher Academy, is hosting a webinar on How to Write Case Reports with Oliver Kurzai and Adilia Warris, the Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board member of Medical Mycology Case Reports journal. The webinar will be held on Thursday, February 28th (2pm UTC) to give researchers a chance to interact with the editors who will talk them through the process of choosing suitable subjects, setting up and writing case reports, considering ethical issues as well as selecting an appropriate journal to publish in. You can now send the speakers questions in advance by joining the Researcher Academy Mendeley group and post your queries there.

Register for free here and see you at the webinar!

Staying healthy while you research: Live webinar on mental health, imposter syndrome and dealing with the stress of research

By Priyanka Kalra

impostorEver had the feeling that you have faked your way into your career and you don’t deserve to be where you are? Well, to prove that you are not the only one, there is actually an entire psychological concept called imposter syndrome devoted this feeling. According to Hugh Kearns, an expert on self-management, positive psychology and work-life balance, “imposter syndrome is that nagging feeling you have, that somehow you don’t belong, you haven’t earned your success and that at any moment you will be uncovered.”

The syndrome manifests itself strongly and comfortably within academia, given its elite nature and competitive atmosphere. In addition to feeling like a fake, research also shows that imposter phenomenon can impact researchers in ways that they “conduct less research and are less willing to present at conferences or publish.” These feelings and thoughts can manifest into insecurities resulting in or leading to anxiety and self-doubt.

So, the question then is, what can researchers do to control these feelings or keep them from effecting their work? Other than recognising these doubts and categorising them under the phenomenon of imposter syndrome, individuals can use other techniques to curb these feelings. According to Hugh, if the imposter feelings start to take over, researchers can focus on the evidence and separate imposter feelings and imposter syndrome from a real imposter. “The crucial feature of imposter feelings and the imposter syndrome is that there is clear evidence that you are not an imposter, but you still feel like one. So, if you want to know whether you are an imposter or not – look at the evidence,” he adds.

Yet, advice around these issues can be rather ambiguous and to concretely address these pertinent issues, Researcher Academy, with the help of Hugh Kearns, is devoting the month of November to discuss mental health and imposter syndrome. In a live webinar to take place on 23rd of November (2pm UTC), Hugh Kearns will discuss the not-so-exciting part of research and share techniques that can help you stay healthy while you work. The webinar will tackle the perineal issues within research that add stress and inhibit imposter feelings and will further ways of dealing with setbacks, strategies to efficiently counter imposter syndrome and most importantly, teach you how to switch off and take care of yourself. The webinar will give you a chance to interact with Hugh and ask any questions you have about maintaining a healthy research career. You can also join the Researcher Academy Mendeley group to ask any questions in advance which Hugh can make a part of the webinar.

See you then and happy researching!