Developing a culture of publication through a writing retreat model


When did you first introduce the innovation?

Between 12 and 24 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

To support post registration students to develop their academic project work into submissions for peer review publications, we designed and offered a writing programme including a writing retreat. This brought undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare students and their supervisors together with the aim of co-producing publications and participating in a community of scholarly practice.

The project is delivered over a nine month period. Student and supervisors apply to participate as a team. The innovation involves four days ‘compulsory’ attendance, including a preparatory workshop, a two day ‘off campus’ writing retreat and a dissemination event.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

The high quality of post registration students projects that clearly have the potential to inform the wider health care community. Many students irrespective of level of study produce excellent course work, which if given support and opportunity, is clearly of a publishable standard. In turn, academic staff are expected to produce peer-reviewed publications although may be relatively novice authors. All are engaged in some aspects of academic writing practices but not as often involved in co-production of publications emanating from student work. Mindful of these issues, we applied and were awarded funding to run the first phase of the project in 2013.

In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?

With the support of an expert team, students work collaboratively with their supervisors to develop their academic work into a co-authored publications.

To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?

The innovation supports qualified health professionals who have undertaken a final project to think about producing work not only for academic award but also for publication which in turn supports the development of evidence based healthcare practice.

To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?

Publication is increasingly becoming recognised as part of academic development within the University.

What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?

Kirkpatrick (2006) four-stage classic model for evaluating training of reaction, learning, changes in behaviour and real world results was used as an evaluation framework resulting in overwhelmingly positive feedback. However a key indicator of the projects success is evidenced in the 9 peer review publications and 4 student/supervisor conference papers.

Following the success of phase 1 and 2, 2015 (phase 3) was more popular than ever and from this cohort (n=15 students) 20 publications are planned.

To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?

The writing retreat is now in its third year of successful implementation. The team have also published the project (Garside et al., 2015) and conference papers have been delivered at Nurse Education Today 2015 in Cambridge and Nurse Education Today/Nurse Education in Practice 2014 in Holland.

Garside, J., Bailey, R., Tyas, M., Topping, A., Stone, G., Ormrod, G. and Gillibrand, W. (2015) Developing a Culture of Publication: a joint enterprise writing retreat’ Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education . ISSN 2050-7003.

Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.

Ongoing funding has been secured to continue to implement and develop the innovation with NHS funded students. We continue to evaluate and develop the initiative and hope to widen access to different student groups in the future.