Who is this course for?

The course is designed for researchers in low- and middle-income countries working in the life sciences, physical sciences, or social sciences. It is particularly suitable for early career researchers, or those with limited experience in publishing papers in reputable peer-reviewed journals.

There is no cost to participate in this course. It is offered as an open online course by INASP.

Why join this course?
  • Improve your knowledge and skills in research writing through a proven online course managed by the AuthorAID programme since 2011. This course that has been completed by several thousand researchers from all around the world
  • Share your learning journey and make new research connections with your course colleagues via discussion forums
  • Receive expert advice from an international team of experienced guest facilitators
  • Learn with instructional materials designed for developing country researchers and grounded in a neutral point of view
What did previous participants say about the content in this course?
  • "I love it and enjoyed it. Hope to be knowledgeable like the facilitators and even beyond. Thank you to everyone for putting this together and sharing with the world."
  • "The units were interesting, the questions asked and the feedback shown almost immediately was what fanned my enthusiasm to continue till the end. I salute the efforts of all the members of the team who put this together to help upcoming researchers like myself (especially those of us in developing countries with numerous challenges)."
  • "This is one of the best online courses I have taken. It was very clear and easy to understand."
  • "This online course is structured well, adequate time is given to complete the quizzes and assignments. Most importantly it's a free course which makes it accessible for people in developing countries."
What will you learn?

On completion of this course, you will have developed or improved your skills in:

  • Using appropriate pathways to access published research literature
  • Describing the key issues in research and publication ethics
  • Identifying suitable target journals for publishing your research
  • Drafting a research manuscript by following journal guidelines
  • Dealing with the peer review process

Length of the course

6 weeks: 16 April to 27 May 2024

Topics covered
  • Unit 1 / Week 1: Understanding previous research
  • Unit 2 / Week 2: Knowing the ethics of research
  • Unit 3 / Week 3: Preparing to write your research paper
  • Unit 4 / Week 4: Writing your research paper
  • Unit 5 / Week 5: Proceeding to publication

The sixth week is for wrap-up activities.

Expected time commitment

5 hours per week

Learning resources and activities

Text-based learning resources; multiple-choice quizzes; writing activities including peer assessment; discussion forums with facilitator support.

Note: This is a largely asynchronous course: you can study in your own time and engage on the forums whenever you'd like to. There may be a few optional live sessions held via Zoom.

What support you can expect

We will have a team of guest facilitators who will respond to questions on the course forums. Most participants in our previous courses have reported high satisfaction with the responses they received on the forums from not only the facilitators but also their fellow course participants.

When the course begins, limited technical support will be available on the Technical Support forum in the course. Unfortunately we will not be able to respond to individual email requests for support before or during the course.

What feedback you can expect

There will be two writing activities that include peer assessment. To take part in these activities, you should submit your work and assess a few of your course colleagues’ submissions that are allocated to you. At the end of these activities, you can expect to see feedback on your work from your course colleagues. Please note that you will not get feedback on your work from the guest facilitators.

Completion criteria

Basic completion criteria: Going through the learning resources and attaining a passing score in each quiz. If you complete the writing activities as well, you will receive a 'Merit' grade.

You will receive a certificate from INASP if you meet the course completion criteria. The certificate will contain a code that can be used to verify its authenticity.

Internet and device requirements

To make the most of this course, you should ideally have reliable access to the internet for the duration of the course.

The course materials are not particularly heavy as they are text based. Videos and live sessions are optional. As per the metrics available from our learning platform, the size of this course is 35 MB. However, the actual internet data that you will use by participating in this course will likely be more than this figure, depending on (1) how you engage with the course resources and activities, and (2) whether you attend the live sessions.

While we recommend a computer for the coursework (especially for the writing activities), you may use a mobile device such as a smartphone. We will provide more information when the course begins.

Can the learning resources be reused or adapted?

Yes. The learning resources have been developed by INASP and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

You should first be logged in to this site. Create an account for yourself on this site (if you don't have one) or log in with your existing account. Click the 'Log in' link on the top right hand corner to proceed.

After you have logged in with your account, come back to this page, that is, the page you are reading now. Bookmark this page in your browser to come back to it easily. You will see a field near the bottom of the page to enter an enrolment key. (If you don't see the enrolment key field, make sure you are on the course information page.)

Enter one of the following keys under 'Join as a participant' and click 'Enrol me'.

  • If your area of study/research is related to the life sciences or health sciences, use this key: aa-mooc-group1
  • If your area of study/research is related to the physical sciences or formal sciences, use this key: aa-mooc-group2
  • If your area of study/research is related to the social sciences, use this key: aa-mooc-group3

Copy the enrolment key carefully and paste it in the box under 'Join as a participant'. Make sure there are no spaces or other characters.

Note: If you have received a special invitation to join the course, check whether that invitation contains an enrolment key. If so, please use that key. Do not use any of the above keys.