If you would like to organize a Paper in a Day yourself, in this Traumatic StressPoints article you will find a description and many tips. Feel free to get in touch if you have questions about how to do it. Below is a short description for researchers in mental health/trauma but it actually doesn’t matter: PiaD can be organized for any discipline.
Paper in a Day has grown out of a wish to foster collaborations between young researchers from around the world. Many of them will be future leaders in the domain of mental health and the field will benefit from their partnerships and teamwork.
The purpose of Paper in a Day is to stimulate international connections and the exchange of ideas by working on a tangible outcome: an article, opinion paper or commentary for a peer-reviewed journal.
Paper in a Day gets together a group of international early career researchers (within 5 years post-PhD) for one day, immediately ahead of an international conference. In this day, the participants:
- Develop a collaborative manuscript
- Exchange ideas about mental health in the face of trauma
- Get to know colleagues from around the world
We turn the process of starting collaborations upside down. We don’t start with a networking event from which possibly, a few years down the track, a collaboration develops. No, we start by directly working together, and socialize along the way. Because it is about a small project, the stakes are low: you can find out shared interests and approaches, or the lack of them, very quickly.
The three events that I have organised so far have led to great results: 2 peer-reviewed articles (Fodor et al., 2014; Alisic et al., 2014), 1 conference presentation at the ISTSS annual meeting of 2013, 2 more conference submissions under review, 1 journal article in preparation, and lasting contacts between the participants.
In addition, participants’ feedback has been that they learned a lot: it is about working together with people from different disciplines and cultures. In our event at the ESTSS we learned a lot about the challenges for early career researchers in middle-income countries, just by trying to conduct a systematic review together.
The program runs from 8:30am to 5pm and includes plenary discussions, writing time in subgroups, and breaks. The topic of the manuscript is decided in advance based on the group’s shared interests. Because one day is very short, a few commitments are required to make the event a success:
- To prepare in advance of the meeting, involving eight hours in the two weeks prior
- To be present during the full day
- To contribute to the completion of the manuscript & final editing after the event
Paper in a Day is intensive, fun and productive. Because the event takes place ahead of the conference, participants can continue conversations over the following days and introduce each other to colleagues.