Designing and Preparing a Research Publication (May 2022)

Designing and Preparing a Research Publication

Participant profile

Doctoral students of the UPV/EHU


May 2022

Duration / Timetable

  • 10 hours* (three three-and-a-quarter hour clases run over three weeks)
  • Time: 10:00 to 13:15

*The certificate of attendance and achievement will include a total of 10 hours.


Students will be expected to attend 100% of the clases together with submission of all three practical work assignments.




A real-classroom

Location and dates

Carlos Santamaría building
Room 4
Tuesday May 03 May 10 May 17
Micaela Portilla Research Centre
Room 0.6
Wednesday May 04 May 11 May 18
Biblioteca building
Room 7
Thursday May 05 May 12 May 19

Speaker, Trainer and Profile

Tim Smithers: I have a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, from Kingston Polytechnic, London, and a PhD from Cambridge University, for research on computational techniques for the design of cyclically symmetric structures, which I used to design the main reflector support structure of the James Clerk Maxwell millimeter wave telescope built on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Following this, I worked for a small company on the design of parallel algorithms and parallel hardware architectures for finite element analysis -- a widely used numerical modelling technique. I then moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to work in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Department, on intelligent design support systems, and intelligent robotics. I also taught Masters' and PhD courses on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning and Intelligent Robotics, and supervised PhD students. After a two year sabbatical at the VUB AI Lab in Brussels, where I continued my robotics and AI in Design work, I moved to Donostia. Here I have worked in all of the Universities in the region, and several Technology R&D Centres, leading international research projects, directing research groups, designing and running PhD programmes, and teaching undergraduate, Masters' and PhD courses. For the past ten years I have worked as a freelance Research Practitioner, developing and teaching courses on the Foundations of Research Practices for mixed discipline groups of PhD students, helping research groups design research programmes and strengthen their research practices, and working for the EU Commission. Over the years I have worked with many different people, on a variety of different research topics, including with artists, bio-chemists, historians, medical doctors, and physicists. I continue to design things, make paintings using Logo, and currently work in a small collaboration on a topic in Number Theory.

Group size

There is a maximum of 18 students in Donostia-San Sebastián and in Leioa, and 15 in Vitoria-Gasteiz.


Registration closed


Research,all kinds of research, requires good quality, complete, and honest, communication of its outcomes, and how these were arrived at.

A good research publication is more than a well written document. It is a peer-reviewed publication that other people researchers and non-researchers like and enjoy reading, often go back to look at, cite often, recommend to others, use in their teaching, and is a work that stands out from other publications in the relevant and related literature. Achieving all of these qualities in a single publication is difficult, and unusual, but this should always be your ambition when preparing a publication.


The course is composed of three three-hour classes run over three weeks, with practical work set each week to be completed and presented for the following week. There will be a 15 minute break about mid-way through each class. And the practical work will need between three and four hours each week.

All classes will work as seminars, and include both presented material and open discussion. So, researchers should come prepared to make their own notes, and actively engage in, and contribute to, each class.

All classes will be conducted in English and it will be expected to use and work in English during the classes. A good level of confidence of working in English is therefore recommended. But the English does not need to be perfect, just good enough!


The three classes of this course:

  • Properly identifying your research outcome, assembling and organising all your records and data from what you did to arrive at this outcome, and how to decide where to try to publish your research communication;
  • Designing, specifying, dimensioning, and planning theproduction of your research publication; and,
  • Producing and preparing your research communication for submission (including research writing in English), and responding to reviewers.

See more

Foundations of Research Practices

This course is offered in collaboration with Euskampus Fundazioa.