EHPG meetings provide a forum for presenting and discussing scientific research papers in development. Papers cover the broad spectrum of European health policy, health system governance and health services and management research. Papers will be introduced to the group by the discussant (rather than authors) and discussed by the plenum. It is expected that all participants have read the papers and contribute to the discussion. Authors need to send their draft papers about two weeks before the meeting to give discussants and participants an opportunity to prepare. Papers should be about 5000 words in length, although shorter and longer papers can also be submitted.
We take on average one hour for each paper so that the authors are assured of a thorough discussion. Discussants have a vital role at EHPG meetings. Their primary task is to introduce the paper and summarise its main findings. They can then comment on the strength and weaknesses of the paper and suggest ways to strengthen the argument or analysis. They also often add their own perspective on the topic informed by their discipline or country background. The aim of the discussion is to help authors improve the final version of the paper. The role of the discussant is therefore one of a critical friend or friendly critic as opposed to a hard-nosed peer reviewer.
Each session begins by the Chair introducing the author(s), discussant(s) and the title of the paper(s) to be presented and discussed. The Chair then invites discussant(s) to present the paper and to highlight issues for discussion. Each discussant is allowed 20 minutes to do this. We look to Chairs to structure the discussion in such a way that we can learn about other countries and other disciplines. Thus Chairs aim to generate general discussions between participants and try to avoid a session becoming simply a series questions to authors.
A fee is charged for participating in meetings to cover the costs of the organisation. We aim to keep the costs of meetings as low as we can. A dinner will be organised on the evening of the first day of the meeting, typically in a local restaurant. Participants have to arrange for their own travel costs and accommodation.