A global network of researchers

Automated online tool gives free advice on article structure and reporting ethics for Southern researchers

By AuthorAID Team | Jan. 30, 2018  | Resources

Partnership between Penelope.ai and INASP provides manuscript checking tool free of charge to researchers in the Global South

INASP’s AuthorAID project has formed a partnership with Penelope.ai, an automated manuscript checking service.

Penelope automatically analyses scientific papers and makes suggestions on correct structure, reporting ethics and guidelines, referencing, and authorship.

The AuthorAID project supports early-career researchers in the Global South in publishing and communicating their work by providing free online training, resources, and an online mentoring and collaboration system.

Through this new partnership, Penelope will offer its tool free of charge to the AuthorAID network, under the name “AuthorAID manuscript checker, powered by Penelope”. Created specifically for AuthorAID, this version also provides additional support by recommending free resources on the AuthorAID website and elsewhere on the web.

The tool will be useful to authors who are preparing to submit a manuscript to a journal by reducing the likelihood of rejection due to structural or reporting errors. The service has been trialled with 60 AuthorAID users who rated the tool very highly - the average score was 8/10. Although designed primarily for life sciences, most of the advice offered by the tool is applicable to other research areas. It will now be available to the whole AuthorAID community and beyond for free.

Andy Nobes, Programme Officer at INASP, said: “Through our experience with running large-scale online courses in research writing for thousands of early-career and mid-career researchers in developing countries, we know that many struggle with structuring their papers, and how to include the correct ethical and data guidelines. This can be can be a significant barrier to successfully publishing and sharing their research, which has a knock-on effect on scientific progress and therefore development.”

James Harwood of Penelope said: “We are very pleased to support AuthorAID and to get feedback from a wider range of users. We want Penelope to be valuable and accessible to authors from all backgrounds. Integrating AuthorAID’s resources enriches the feedback Penelope gives and makes those resources more discoverable to the authors that need them.”

The new service can be accessed at app.penelope.ai/manuscript-check/authoraid


Notes for editors

About Penelope

Penelope is an online tool that automatically checks academic manuscripts written in Microsoft Word. In seconds, it assesses structure, declarations, author information, referencing and other common problem areas.

Penelope is being piloted by some journals published by BMJ and Wiley. Authors submitting to these journals can check their own work and get instant feedback specific to their target journal. The feedback tells them what they need to address before an editor will consider their submission. Initial results have shown a 50% reduction in the number of errors in submitted manuscripts.

An example of the kind of feedback Penelope gives can be seen at app.penelope.ai/submissions/demo


About INASP and AuthorAID

Founded in 1992, INASP (www.inasp.info) is an international development organization working with a global network of partners in Africa, Latin America and Asia. In line with the vision of research and knowledge at the heart of development, INASP works to support individuals and institutions to produce, share and use research and knowledge, which can transform lives.

INASP’s approaches are based on the core pillars of capacity development, convening, influencing and working in partnership. INASP promotes equity by actively addressing the needs of both men and women across all our work and addressing issues of power within the research and knowledge system. INASP has projects in 28 countries, supporting all aspects of research and knowledge systems, from facilitating the provision of information to researchers to helping parliamentarians and civil servants to use research and evidence in policy making.

INASP's AuthorAID project (www.authoraid.info) is a global network that provides support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in lower- and middle-income countries.

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