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Table 1 Themes, subthemes and quotations from interviews

From: A feeling of flow: exploring junior scientists’ experiences with dictation of scientific articles

Theme Subtheme and quotations
Preparing and then letting go Preparation
‘I agree the work has to be done. The question is whether you want to put the effort in to the manuscript outline or struggle with it afterwards. There is no way out of critically deciding what has to go in the article.’ (Male, interview 4)
‘I think that to be able to dictate… I mean the entire process of dictation requires that you release control in relation to perfectionism. At least I experienced that sitting there with this Dictaphone, and for me it was the first time and it was really challenging to let go of all these words. As opposed to the control associated with a document, […] so to express oneself to this machine was atypical and unusual.’ (Female, interview 4)
‘My first draft was a FIRST draft. I could see that it was not entirely coherent and the language was not short […] Apparently I can talk for a very long time without dots.’ (Female, interview 4)
The big dictation machine Writing teams
’Well, I don’t know if you could use any of the feedback we gave you, but we all contributed to your subject without grasping all the details of it. It was not just the team leader that gave good advice. The statistics were also discussed in the team, so I see a clear advantage in trying to understand each other’s subjects and using it to learn something yourself’ (Female, interview 1)
Time pressure
’I also think that we had too little time from starting until we had to go [to the retreat]. I would have liked more time; I did not achieve all I wanted in the preparatory phase. (Female, interview 2)
Undisturbed surroundings
‘I think there is the advantage in the feeling of community that others are sitting in the room next door dictating. On the other hand it is also a bit stressful when you sense doors opening and people are finishing, and I haven’t finished yet […] But the advantages that out-weighs everything is that others are close by doing the same thing – it’s like: Wow we’re being productive and it will be good to celebrate with the others this evening. You look forward to this as opposed to just going home, it wouldn’t have been the same feeling. A feeling that helps with the process of dictating.’ (Female, interview 4)
‘Well the social aspect goes hand in hand with working and that was the idea. You feel like a big article-writing machine’ (Male, interview 4)
Barriers to and drivers for publication Motivation
‘It may be connected to the fact that it was a subject that came upon because we were going to the retreat. And then it became, well something that just had to be done so I could get back to what I am really working on right now. It is possible that my feeling would be different if the subject was something I was going to focus on for a while.’ (Female, interview 1)
’It is more fun to work on a subject that you have chosen yourself, that you have helped develop and something you find interesting. But especially on this occasion – with this type of paper that was different from the sort I usually write, since it was an editorial, and within my field of research in which I am still excited that we have found something new – that was in fact motivating in itself.’ (Male, interview 3)
’I still really can’t put it into words, but for me the flow process is synonymous with momentum. When you get into a phase of productivity where 2 plus 2 equals 4, because you get more done, you can do more, I think faster and work more efficiently. And it is on the other hand, like X said, dreadful when you for some reason don’t have it – due to busy times or other activities. It is really a feeling to make you feel high; when you make something you succeed with, fast and efficiently and you get it submitted. It is the most awesome feeling and on the other hand it is stressful not to feel it, once you have tried.’ (Male, interview 4)
’I think that for me it [dictating] is absolutely fantastic. It is perfect for my way of thinking. I do not think that my written language differs much from my spoken language. And it sets the creative process free, because you can associate much faster. And while you are in the middle of constructing a sentence, then something new pops up, something that you hadn’t thought about and you can dictate that right away. You get deeper into a subject. I feel that there is no brake - that the language flows better when I dictate, than when I write.’ (Male, interview 2)