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Dr Pekka Belt, Dr Matti Mottonen and Dr Janne Harkonen have developd sevices to fulfil the needs of postgraduate students in writing scientific journal articles and doctoral theses. The service development has been financed by the University of Oulu Research Council in order to help the University of Oulu reach its goals.

Service products

All the service products  have been tailored for the true needs of doctoral students. The services are meant for researchers regardless of their discipline and support the development of transferrable skills. The service products have been created from graduate students' perspective by systematically utilising  requested feedback and project personnel's personal experience. The actual situation and the needs are carefully reviewed on constant basis.

1. Lectures on efficient writing
a) writing scientific Journal articles
b) writing a doctoral dissertation
c) efficient writing of the compiling part of a compilation dissertation once all articles have been accepted

2. Group tutoring for finalising doctoral dissertation

Each tutoring group consists of 5-7 doctoral students. Group tutoring contains solving current challenges relevant to each student’s dissertation writing. These group tutoring sessions are intended for those advanced doctoral students who already have conducted most or all of their empirical studies and would benefit of extra support and guidance. During group tutoring, students receive personal guidance from three doctors specialised in streamlining the writing process for doctoral dissertations.

3. Group tutoring for doctoral students

These group tutoring sessions are intended for doctoral students in their early stages. Ideally, students attending the groups have already been briefed the requirements for doctoral studies and have spent some six months conducting their research. Group tutoring concentrates on providing tips how to work effectively from the beginning of the dissertation project.

4. Field specific course on article writing

Field specific courses on article writing are necessary for swift advancement of starting doctoral students, but do require cooperation with research units. The Vade Mecum group provides practical tips and instructions to different university departments on how to organise post graduate courses on efficient publication. Support is provided by providing lectures and instructing on potential additional elements.

5. Personal instruction for article writing

Personal advice and concrete help for writing are provided for a limited number of people. Once a department, or a smaller unit, gets few successful cases, learnings are disseminated, as both the unit and the individual learn and exchange experiences. Going through concrete cases is a necessity for maintaining adequate touch to practical challenges and for obtaining feedback of doctoral students' true needs. This feedback is utilised for developing the provided services.

6. Personal instruction for writing doctoral dissertation

Personal advice and concrete help for writing are provided for a limited number of people to speed up their dissertation process. The Vade Mecum group can help in solving bottlenecks and in perceiving the whole created by the dissertation.

7. Supervisor training and discussion forum

Training and discussion forums are organised for supervisors, should their own department not have done this previously.

8. Supporting planning departmental/laboratory level research strategies and action plans
The vade mecum team can assist departments or units who are planning actions to develop their research.


Published guidebooks

Practical tips for doctoral students
The document aims to provide tips to PhD students in all fields, for writing a doctoral dissertation, and for writing scientific articles. The central focus is on how to conduct the work effectively and speed up the process. The intention is to enable researchers to rationalise their graduate studies and the writing of their doctoral thesis, while maintaining high scientific standards. The document is continuity for a document “Vinkkejä väitöskirjaprosessin nopeuttamiseen” originally published in Finnish. This English version is more advanced and includes acknowledging the received feedback from multiple scientific disciplines, as well as the feedback from the cases we have personally guided. Publication in PDF format.

Tips for writing scientific journal articles
This guide is intended  for doctoral students and researchers of all fields, providing tips for writing scientific journal articles. The guidebook attempts to provide tangible tips that have been identified as beneficial for writing articles. This guidebook includes learnings from over fifty journal publication attempts, most of which have eventually been successful. Dr Eva Braidwood, Ms Suzy McAnsh, Dr Riitta Sallinen and Dr Outi Toropainen of the University of Oulu language centre have provided important contribution to this guidebook on language issues in writing a scientific journal article. Publication in PDF format

Other publications

by Dr Belt, Dr Mottonen & Dr Harkonen

Links on Scientific Writing   

Contact details

Email: firstname.surname@gmail.com
Telephone: Pekka Belt 040-730 45 41
Room: TF 302

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