Walk the supply chain at latest N8 AgriFood Doctoral Seminar

The latest in N8 AgriFood’s Doctoral Seminar Series will see students walk the supply chain of a dairy food system in the North West.

Hosted by the University of Liverpool, the two day event starts on Monday 10th June at Liverpool docks, joining the supply chain where animal feed is imported. Students will then visit a number businesses involved in processing, and finish the day on the university’s farms. Following dinner and discussions on the evening the delegation will reconvene on Tuesday morning for visits to Mueller, and Tesco.

The seminar, which is open to students studying within the N8, and is free to attend, has been designed to provide an insight into the dairy food system  and also the tools required to make sense of the biological, economic, social and cultural background of that system.

See the attached flyer for more information and a full itinerary, or to register please click HERE.

The seminar is the fifth in N8 AgriFood’s PhD Seminar Series, which last month saw more than 40 students from seven of N8’s universities attend Durham University’s Event. The seminar, which focussed on Scientific Publishing was attended by early career scientists and covered the logistics of getting work published and the publishing industry, alongside a workshop on publishing ethics and how fraudulent conduct is regulated, and an insight into careers in the publishing industry.

Reviewing the event, Cian Rynne, a PhD student at the University of Durham, wrote:

Prof Alistair Hetherington, the Editor in Chief of New Phytologist, kicked off proceedings with an informative discussion about the structure and business models utilised by various publications, the different kinds of publications that exist and the different publishing models they use. He also explored the  general hierarchal layout of a publication and some of the steps involved in going from submission to publication.

Prof Keith Lindsey, Editor of New Phytologist and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the New Phytologist Trust, eloquently continued the discussion with  insights from the perspective of the author, considering essential points to be considered through the writing and submission process. He stated that failure to follow the remit of the papers publishing instructions was one of the most common failings of prospective authors and how it is okay to challenge peer reviewers decision if comments are deemed unreasonable.

Dr Flora Hetherington, N8 Agrifood Knowledge Exchange Fellow, led a workshop on ethical behaviour in publishing and explored some of the more  nuanced misconduct that can occur such as double submissions, self-plagiarism and image manipulation. There was a significant amount of debate about  the severity of repercussions for mistakes that could be made as a result of ignorance of the standards required. Dr Hetherington explained the role of ethics advisory body COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics ) and how they assist in bringing misconduct cases to a conclusion.

Dr Rita Gemayel, Assistant Scientific Editor for Cell Reports, explained to the participants her career trajectory into Editing a major scientific publication.  She explored the role of editing in the academic community and how it could be a potential career path for the present audience. She explained how the role requires the ability to understand and break down papers to its concise points, often outside of the editors’ direct experience and how effective time management and robust skills in comprehension and writing are essential.

Finally, there was a panel discussion allowing the audience to discuss questions and thoughts with their colleagues and with the invited speakers. Interesting points that arose dealt with the incentives to be a peer reviewer if there was no financial remuneration for their work. The balance between publishing for the number of papers vs quality of papers, the importance of high impact factors in helping the author choose an appropriate publication  and more. Discussion was rich and varied and continued into the drinks reception.

The day was a great success with many early career scientists coming away with an increased understanding of the world of publishing and enjoying the  opportunity to network with each other and engage with the experience of the workshop leaders.