Hello Kristin\n\nThank you for teaching me the basics of academic writing and editing with proper grammar. In this course, I was introduced to the scientific panel which further enriched my knowledge.
This was an amazing course that really helped me with my medical writing skills and understanding how making things clear for all audiences can help in spreading scientific knowledge across the world.
von Kristin W•
While there were some helpful general tips, this course should really be called "Medical Journal Writing". With a course title like "Writing in the Sciences", you would expect it to apply to all (or a least a broad range of) branches of science. However, 99% of the examples were about medical science journal papers. This is not at all helpful to those of us who aren't doctors or medical researchers. It is very difficult to slog through when you can't understand the underlying examples. Either change the name of the course to Writing in the MEDICAL Sciences or broaden the scope of the examples. Because as is, this course was all but useless.
von Melisa A•
This course was excellent! I have learnt a lot in just 8 weeks. I am excited to apply this knowledge to my field. I was actually disappointed when I reached the end of the course, because It was fun!
von Daniel K•
Extremely helpful for someone who is just beginning his scientific career (me). It is particularly convenient to have examples from medical articles, as this is the science field I am exploring.
von Erkan O•
Dr. Sainani really is a great tutor, she inspired me and gave confidence about how to approach writing in the sciences with a very fun and thorough style. Wouldn't be better !
von Nicole Y•
The course covers wide range of skills in the academic writing; especially for scientific manuscripts. The contents are clear and concise, easy to follow!
von Mohamad R P•
The certificate has a bad quality. "Standford" sign just like a copy-paste name from the web. Not good
von Archana D•
I am sure that the knowledge and skills I acquired by taking this course will help me write publishable scientific articles for my research. Dr Kristin Sainani has covered the fundamental aspects of writing scientific papers and provided insights with practical examples. With a decade-long clinical experience working as a psychotherapist, I am now in a process to shape my career as a researcher, and I believe completing this course with honors will be instrumental in my pursuit.
von Carol R•
Excellent, comprehensive course even though it is ranked as beginner level. I definitely honed skills from it. The professor's lectures are excellent.
von brian b•
The course greatly improved my writing skills. I would definitely advertise this course to my colleagues.
von Malay B•
It was a great learning experience. Highly recommended for non-native English speakers
von Sampada P•
EXCELLENT COURSE..I have learned so much..in these past 8 weeks. THANK YOU SO MUCH
von Christine G H•
Very informative - a must for anyone embarking on an academic writing journey!
Excellent course. Enjoyed it. Thanks to Coursera & Prof Kristine
von Gabriela M•
I love the course. Yes it is long but it is also covering a lot.
von Zunaira A•
It was an incredible course and improved my knowledge very well.
von Indira C P•
excellent course for a beginner in scientific writing...
von asma a•
this course help me easing my fears about writing.
von Dung Q•
This is the greatest course I have ever learnt.
von Alessandro S•
I felt the second part of the course rather uninteresting. I'm much more interested in improving my writing style rather than knowing how to write a captivating tweet. Additionally, some editing exercises are hard for those of us that are not from the biology field, because we are not accustomed to terms and concepts this discipline. Maybe proposing editing exercises on more generic texts would be helpful.
von William S•
I have zero complaints about the course. A retraction of the article used in the assignment below is no doubt after the material was released in the course. I write to address the issue and believe it may be useful as a teaching point.
Writing in the Sciences, Week 8, Peer Graded Assignment:
Below is an exact copy of the assignment.
The following summary appeared in a paper in PLOS Biology.
"Despite scientific and technological advances, communication has remained impossible for persons suffering from complete motor paralysis but intact cognitive and emotional processing, a condition that is called completely locked-in state. Brain–computer interfaces based on neuroelectrical technology (like an electroencephalogram) have failed at providing patients in a completely locked-in state with means to communicate. Therefore, here we explored if a brain–computer interface based on functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)—which measures brain hemodynamic responses associated with neuronal activity—could overcome this barrier. Four patients suffering from advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), two of them in permanent completely locked-in state and two entering the completely locked-in state without reliable means of communication, learned to answer personal questions with known answers and open questions requiring a “yes” or “no” by using frontocentral oxygenation changes measured with fNIRS. These results are, potentially, the first step towards abolition of completely locked-in states, at least for patients with ALS."
https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002593 Published Jan 31, 2017.
https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000089 Correction published Dec 12, 2018.
https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000607 Retraction Notice, Dec 16, 2019.
https://www.dfg.de/service/presse/pressemitteilungen/2019/pressemitteilung_nr_46/index.html Misconduct by Birbaumer Chaudhary cited and upheld by the German Research Foundation (GRF).
Student Recommendation, William Sparks (completed the course):
If the paper continues as the Week 8, Peer Graded exercise, I believe the model answer should be adjusted to add one sentence about the charges, subsequent investigation, and findings of the GRF. It is unknown if the deficiencies would have made any difference to the outcome of the research. I believe this paper remains a fantastic assignment and in some respects is now better due to the conflict and the path that thorough research of the exercise should no doubt discover by students in the course.
I reviewed 8 exercises for this module and zero mentioned the retraction or findings of the misconduct investigation. Of note, I was fully aware of it but did not mention it either. I said nothing to keep the question internal to Stanford and Coursera. Perhaps others felt the same way.
von Charul S•
Although I'm not from the medical field, I am thoroughly satisfied with the course content. The course is well structured and the short duration of the modules is so comfortable to adjust to. The quizzes are thorough and actually test your knowledge, post listening to the weekly lectures.
I used to be confused and frustrated regarding the writing process in academics, but attending this course has opened my eyes and broadened my mind. It is an all encompassing course that touches on the minutest details of academic writing: editing, grammar, writing process, stages in writing, publishing, peer review and what not.
I am so thankful to the teacher of the course for making this information available and that too in such an engaging manner, there was not a dull moment during this course, the teacher always kept my mind engaged with relatable and easy to understand examples. One of the best attributes of the course is that it is 'succinct' and 'crisp', without any 'unnecessary clutter' and 'dead weight' lectures, much like the requisites of academic writing that this course advocates. I feel confident to dive into my academic writing after attending this course, and I'm going to come back to it whenever I'm unsure about writing a research paper again.
von Liz C•
If you are a scientist, you need to take this course. This is - bar none - the very best course I have ever taken. Every single scientist should take this course, preferably at the undergraduate level, but minimally in the early days of graduate school before they attempt to write anything. I am lamenting not having access to this course when I wrote my thesis, or struggled my way though writing manuscripts for publication. I am sharing this with everyone on my team and people from my former positions. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Sainani, and hope more of her courses become available on Coursera in the future; now that I have my communication skills honed, my biostats could use some brushing up!
I am not exaggerating when I say this free Coursera program was more beneficial than any formal training I had in undergrad, grad school or my post-doc positions, either in scientific writing or in simple science. Science only matters if we can communicate it.
von Mithra M•
This is a fantastic course with an exceptional instructor. I earned my Ph.D. quite a while ago and have written plenty. I've never had trouble writing "correctly," but also was never trained in how to write or plan papers efficiently. The material provided in this course has totally helped me by filling in gaps in how to write papers, how to pay attention to the reader, how to edit other people's work, and even how to think about moving into science journalism. The instructor describes her thought processes in editing, and this is a fantastic help. I wish there were a second course and/or a book or blog. Thank you to Dr. Sainani and thank you to Stanford for making this course available. It gives me faith in online learning. One suggestion: if doing a Part II, it would great to more fully include social sciences, which are not the focus of this course.
von Roxana K•
The best online course I have ever taken. This course eased my way in writing. I can not believe how much I learned (and tried to unlearn!) during this 8 weeks. I am a postdoc with 22 peer reviewed publications, still some materials in this course were brand new for me. My first language is not English and I learned science writing here and there mimicking old style writers and picked up all those unnecessary sometimes incorrect ROLES of science writing. I have a much better feeling and confidence in my writing now.
Well done and thanks for making it available for free. My writing, or better to say my thinking process during writing, is now more organized and purposeful. Keep offering it so a greater number of students and professionals could benefit from it. I loved it too much!!!!
von Talita P•
I took this course aiming to improve my writing skills focusing on papers and manuscripts. Turns out it showed me how to be a better science communicator for a general audience and that was fantastic! The strategies presented in the course are interesting and powerful, independently if you are a student or an expert. Professor Kristin Sainani has an excellent didatics, that engage you the course.