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Media Research : Croatian journal for journalism and the media, Vol.8 No.2 November 2002. -

most problems in communication between scientists and the general public

could be avoided if scientists underwent training in communication skills early

in their careers. Unfortunately, such training is ignored by most university

curricula. Scientists are primarily trained to become dexterous in the technical

aspects of science, whereas the acquisition of communication skills is almost

completely overlooked, despite the fact that communication and clear presentation

of research results is a constituent part of scientific work. Above all,

scientists are evaluated according the number and quality of their scientific

publications, which largely depends on their skill in presenting their research

data to their colleagues in a clear and comprehensible way. We present the

theoretical framework for understanding the confounding factors that hamper

communication among scientists and between scientists and the general public.

Poor or non-existent systematic teaching of scientific methodology, low

academic criteria, and low quality of the journals are the main confounding

factors affecting scientific communication in a small scientific and academic

community. We describe the example of the Croatian Medical Journal CMJ,

which while struggling successfully to become an internationally recognized

journal made an effort to teach its authors the principles of scientific communication

and to institute an author-helpful policy of manuscript review. This

experience helped us realize that the writing-communication skills should be taught as early as possible, i.e., to undergraduate students – future medical researchers.

With the support of the Zagreb University School of Medicine, we

introduced a compulsory undergraduate course in scientific research in medicine,

while the second-year students are taught the principles and ethics of

scientific research, access to literature and citation databases, critical reading

of scientific articles, and application of medical statistics in practice. In addition,

they are taught about the principles of scientific writing and the importance

of clarity and simplicity in presenting scientific research.

communication skills; scientific communication; education of the authors; principles of communication in science; writing of scientific paper; scientific work in biomedicine

Autor: Ana Marušić - Aleksandra Mišak - Matko Marušić -



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