Writing Academic Articles
The process of writing academic articles can be rather daunting for those who do not have experience in this area. Below are a couple resources aimed at community members who are part of community-based research teams involved in academic writing:
1) Bordeaux, B.C, C. Wiley, S.D. Tandon, C.R. Horowitz, P.B. Brown and E.B. Bass. 2007. Guidelines for Writing Manuscripts About Community-Based Participatory Research for Peer-Reviewed Journals. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action 1(3): 281-288.
Available at: http://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/progress_in_community_health_partnerships/1.3bordeaux.pdf
(Feel free to also browse the journal of Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, which welcomes submissions from community organizations involved in health research)
2) The following table is an excerpt from O’Toole, T.P, K.F. Aaron, M.H. Chin, C. Horowitz and F. Tyson. 2003. Community-based Participatory Research: Opportunities, Challenges, and the Need for a Common Language. Journal of General Internal Medicine 18(7): 592-294 (available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1525-1497.2003.30416.x/full). It provides a good template for the outline of an academic paper adopting a community-based research approach.
|Proposed Process for Describing Community-Based Participatory Research Findings in Health Sciences Literature
- What is the problem being studied, including its prevalence? Are there population groups or communities that are disproportionately affected?
- Are the affected communities or population groups historically difficult to research, poorly understood, or traditionally disenfranchised, making CBPR an appropriate methodology?
- What are the limitations or biases associated with using traditional research techniques in studying the problem? Are these limitations evident in the current body of literature?
- What are the advantages to adopting a CBPR approach to this study?
- State the explicit outcomes intended from this study in terms of (1) advancing the field of knowledge about a particular problem; (2) testing a community-based or targeted intervention; or (3) describing a process for sustaining or translating research findings, interventions, or outcomes within a community.
- Describe the study population in terms of how it defines a community. How is it organized or structured? What re the points of contact and means of influence?
- How is the setting for your study or intervention relevant to the community?
- What roles did community members, community leaders, or a community board play in each stage of the project, from design and implementation through analysis and interpretation?
- What safeguards were in place to ensure data integrity and methodologic rigor in the study design and implementation?
- How was a community perspective incorporated into the data analysis and interpretation?
- Describe your results in the context of the stated study objectives, adhering to established standards and practices for presenting scientific data
- Report both process and outcomes measures related to an intervention, including community-level findings
- What is happening as a result of this study within the community where the project occurred?
- What contributions does your research bring to the field?
- What were the challenges and opportunities specific to adopting a CBPR approach that you encountered during your study?
- How were the results shared with the community?
- How are your findings generalizable to and replicable in other communities, in other settings or circumstances, or to policy makers?
- What limitations need to be considered and how should they be viewed when considering your findings?
Obviously, different journals utilize different formats and styles. Always check with the editor for submission specifics…Good luck!