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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 session 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. A few years ago, we developed our first SWAG at SOM, and this group has also documented significant increases in the number of publications submitted.

Based on the success of the pilot, including the enthusiasm of its members, who have elected to continue meeting, we are forming new SWAGs.

During the first session, Stacie Mendoza, Research Support Specialist, will provide an orientation to the SWAG program, and will provide program material.

For more information, or to participate in a SWAG, please contact:

Stacie Mendoza
Research Support Specialist
Email: smendoza@som.umaryland.edu
Phone 410-706-5434

Helpful Scientific Writing Resources:

To view slides that were presented at the "Publish, Don't Perish! How to Write and Publish a Biomedical Research Paper" on January 22, 2015, click on the topic below:

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