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Getting Published and Understanding Peer Review

Instructor: Brian Cusack
Date: Thursday/Friday, March 9/10, 2017, 9am-5pm
Location: Seminarzentrum, Kerpener Str. 15, 50937 Köln

Target group: Advanced doctoral candidates in all disciplines
Language: English
Participation fee: 40 Euro
Registration closed

Learning to write and respond to reviewers' comments is a vital step for young researchers who wish to become established scientists. However, these essential skills are often neglected, forcing young researchers to learn them by trial and error. By learning to address reviewers' comments, young researchers not only increase their chances of getting their own research published but also learn to think critically about their own research. Equally by becoming better reviewers, researchers can raise their profiles with journal editors. Becoming an invited reviewer for a prestigious journal is a valuable opportunity for a researcher to enhance their CV thereby promoting their research career.


This two day workshop guides young researchers through the peer review process using a practical approach that explores the roles of the author and the reviewer. As future authors, participants first learn how to engage the interest of the journal editor with a cover letter. They next learn to respond comprehensively and courteously to reviewers' comments. As future reviewers, participants learn how to review a research article and to phrase their criticism in a constructive dialogue that facilitates the scientific process. By considering the perspectives of both reviewer and author, participants will learn about the responsibilities and opportunities associated with each of these roles.

 As preparation for the workshop, participants will receive a manuscript of a short research article (<1500 words) and an accompanying cover letter. Before the workshop, participants will be required to write a short review of the manuscript (estimated preparation time 90 minutes).

Brian Cusack

Brian Cusack holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. He is a native English speaker and speaks German as a second language.
As a researcher, he published as a first-author in PLoS Genetics, PLoS Perspectives, and Nature Reviews in Genetics. As a funding applicant, Brian Cusack applied to the Volkswagen Foundation to perform advanced postdoctoral research in Münster and successfully reached the final evaluation round. In 2012, Brian chose to dedicate himself to supporting research and its communication and co-found Science Craft in Berlin.