Submitted by Katherine Chew
Bio-Medical Library, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, MN
The "Road to Collaboration" started in October of 2003, when Katherine Chew, collections coordinator and reference librarian at the Bio-Medical Library, part of the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Libraries, developed a webpage entitled Writing Guides and Style Manuals in the Biological and Health Sciences. The webpage was in response to the number and variety of questions asked by patrons about citations styles and other publication issues. It grew from just a guide to style manuals to encompass such issues as copyright, plagiarism and Open Access.
During the fall of 2005, Katherine attend the MLA CE session "Developing a New Role for Librarians: Teaching the Publication Process," taught by Ann Weller and Carol Scherrer. Inspired by the class, Katherine developed a library-sponsored one session class for the following spring 2006 semester called "The Publication Process". Based on the feedback from that first class, for fall 2007, Katherine expanded the initial one and half hour session into a three part-series entitled "Writing in the Health Sciences," which contained the modules on the research process, health statistics and data sources, and the publication process.
With the success of the initial workshops, for the spring of 2007, the modules were re-grouped to highlight other library workshops that were complementary to the original, such as literature search techniques and RefWorks, taught by another health sciences librarian, Liz Fine.
Brenda Hudson, the science writer from the Academic Health Center's Office of Clinical Research attended several of the fall 2006 "Writing in the Health Sciences" workshops. Impressed, she contacted Cindy Gruwell, coordinator of instruction, to discuss the possibility of collaborating on workshops for researchers, faculty, and staff. Brenda was in the process of exploring and planning similar workshops, which would be hosted by her office.
Beginning in November 2006 and continuing through March 2007, Brenda chaired a planning committee comprised of librarians, rhetoric faculty, and staff directly involved in editing, reviewing, and teaching writing standards for publications in the sciences to develop, brainstorm, create and deliver this new writing series.
Hence, the "Scientific Writing Development" series was born. Consisting of four modules and held on successive Fridays, the modules explored a variety of topics, the writing process, anatomy of manuscripts, writing effective introductions /abstracts, and responding to reviewer comments, using panels comprised of librarians, rhetoric faculty, and other staff members.