Career Tips & Advice

Author Profile - Dr Ediriweera Desapriya

Professor Desapriya Ediriweera of the University of British Columbia, shares his thoughts and views on what it is like to be an author of scientific articles, including his views on Open Access

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Dr. DesapriyaDr. Ediriweera Desapriya, PhD, is a research associate and clinical researcher at the department of Emergency Medicine, Vancouver General Hospital at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine. He is also an associate member of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. An internationally recognized leader in injury prevention research, he is also the co-investigator for research funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), Auto 21-Network of Centres of Excellence and Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). The work with CIHR involved Canadian child and youth injury indicator development and traffic legislation evaluation projects. Auto 21-Network of Centres of Excellence involved multiyear whiplash injury prevention work in Canada.

He has published more than 100 peer review research articles, a book and 4 book chapters.

Dr. Desapriya's work has been published in medical, traffic and public health journals including: the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, the British Medical Journal, The Lancet, Pediatrics and the American Journal of Public Health. He is an author/reviewer of Cochrane systematic reviews. He is also an editorial board member of four academic journals. He is a member of the national task force on pedestrian safety of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA). He is a member of the provincial standing committee on traffic data and research. For his work, Dr. Desapriya has received awards from many organizations including Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Health Care.

1. What do you enjoy the most about being an author?
When you see your evidence based research is used to address global public health issues.

2. What advice would you give to a new author?
Please engage in evidence-based research concerning burning global public health issues. Avoid using technical language and use lay language as much as possible to communicate your research findings. This will help you to communicate your research findings more efficiently to the wider academic community as well as lay communities across the globe.

3. How do you think that the move from print to electronic publishing affects you as an author?
I like this new approach and specifically when you think about electronic publishing and how this would be a way of disseminating useful information more rapidly and in a more environmentally friendly way throughout the world.

4. What do you think about Open Access?
I am a very passionate and ardent believer of the open access publication movement. There needs to be free, effective and credible channels to disseminate research findings globally. It is also important that we should have an effective mechanism to disseminate our research findings in a timely manner. However, I have some concern about the quality of the majority of open access journals available today. We need to keep our eyes open and help open access journals to maintain their academic quality. One of the effective ways to increase the quality of publications is to have a rigorous peer review process. Editors and editorial board members need to think about their journal quality and impact factor more seriously. At the same time, publishers also have a responsibility to choose only academically qualified people for their journal editorial boards. Otherwise there won't be a sustainable future for our long awaited, free knowledge dissemination global model.

5. What are your favorite quotes?
"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared". Buddha

6. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My mom is my hero and she raised nine children as a single mother. She was a midwife by profession and she inspired me to be a socially responsible academic in public health. I first learned from my mom's work that dedicated, determined and dependable public health worker can make a whole difference in a community.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
Travelling, bird watching and sharing important information on public health - the value of balanced healthy life-styles (well balanced healthy diet, daily sufficient physical exercise {for example 15 minutes brisk walk}, daily sufficient sleep and meditation/mindfulness) - by using available social media channels.

8. Anything else you would like to add?
Do not be scared to disseminate evidence based knowledge and do not shy away from using social media to spread appropriate science based evidence to enrich vulnerable communities throughout the world.

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