Scientific Writing Accountability Group (SWAG) Program
The SWAG program is designed as a peer accountability/support program to increase writing productivity among UMB junior faculty who often find it difficult to find time to write. This program does not provide instruction in scientific writing, although some helpful written materials are included. Rather, this program is based on the premise that small groups of faculty who want to increase their writing productivity can achieve this by a program of regularly scheduled, structured meetings with their peers.
Each SWAG "semester" consists of 10 one-hour weekly meetings. Participants must commit to participate in a minimum of 7 of the 10 sessions. Each session is one hour in length, with the first 15 minutes consisting of participants’ identification of goals; one half hour of writing; 15 minute wrap up, including goals for coming week. In addition to attendance at weekly sessions, SWAG participants keep track of their daily writing, and are encouraged to interact with the group on a regular basis. In summary, SWAG is not a program of formal instruction regarding writing a research paper, but is a peer accountability group designed to increase productivity via weekly structured meetings, in addition to regularly scheduled writing blocks.
The SWAG program is being used at multiple major medical schools. The data which have been reported on the results of this program are very favorable, reflecting marked increases in the quantity and quality of writing by junior faculty participants. Thus, RCD initiated its first group in 2014 and continue to form new groups.
Stacie Mendoza, Program Director, provides each new member with an orientation to the SWAG program and program materials.
For more information, or to participate in a SWAG, please contact:
Helpful Scientific Writing Resources:
Writing resources and services offered by the UMB Writing Center
Resources and services offered by the HS/HSL Library
How to Write A Lot by Paul J. Silvia, PhD available at Amazon
“The encouragement and camaraderie from my peers has helped me be a more productive researcher. “ Wendy Lane
“SWAG is an amazing program that keeps you motivated and helps you become a more self-disciplined writer!” Yan Wang
“SWAG has been an amazing motivator. Thank you to everyone for being so supportive. I just can’t say enough good things about this program . . .” Samer El-Kamary
“My group has been very supportive, especially in the weeks when it’s just not going well with the writing, and the weekly meetings have helped me regain focus on what needs to be written.” Katharina Richards