Designing and Preparing a Research Publication (November 2022)

Designing and Preparing a Research Publication

Participant profile

Doctoral students of the UPV/EHU


November 2022


13 hours (four three-and-a-quarter hour clases run over four weeks)


  • Donostia-San Sebastián, Leioa and Vitoria-Gasteiz: from 10:00 to 13:15
  • Bilbao: from 15:00 to 18:15


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




A real-classroom

Location and dates

Micaela Portilla Research Centre
Room 0.3 / 0.2
(10:00 - 13:15)
Nov 08 (Classroom 0.3) Nov 15 (Classroom 0.2) Nov 22 (Classroom 0.2) Nov 29 (Classroom 0.2)
Biblioteca building
Classroom 6B
(10:00 - 13:15)
Nov 09 Nov 16 Nov 23 Nov 30
Carlos Santamaría building
Classroom 4
(10:00 - 13:15)
Nov 10 Nov 17 Nov 24 Dec 01

Time: 15:00 to 18:15
Faculty of Engineering Bilbao
(Building II_Block M Green_ 4th floor)
Classroom P4M4A
(15:00 - 18:15)
Nov 09 Nov 16 Nov 23 Nov 30

* In the group offered in Bilbao, priority will be given to students enrolled in the following fields of knowledge: Engineering and Technology, Law and Management and Economics

Speaker, Trainer and Profile

Tim Smithers: I have a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, from Kingston Polytechnic (now University), London, and a PhD from Cambridge University for research on computational techniques for the design of cyclically symmetric structures, which I then used to design the main reflector support structure of the James Clerk Maxwell millimetre wave telescope built on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Following this, I worked for a small company in Cambridge 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 twelve years I have worked as a freelance Research Practitioner, developing and teaching courses on the Foundations of Research Practices for mixed discipline groups of PhDers, 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 reseachers, on a variety of research topics, including with artists, bio-chemists, historians, medical doctors, scocial scientists, 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 Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastián and in Leioa, and 15 in Vitoria-Gasteiz.


NOTICE: in order to participate in the school's transversal activities it is necessary to have paid the registration fee for the new academic year 2022/23 on the first day of the course.


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 four three-hour classes run over four 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 four classes of this course cover the following basic aspects of designing and preparing a research publication:

  • 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 the production 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.