How to publish in journals with impact

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Seminar given on 20 June, 2012 within the course: La comunicación intercultural euroasiática en las condiciones del proceso de Bolonia from the University of Granada

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  • Dear Colleagues.
    Since January 29, I publish a video blog with graphic tutorials to
    scientific publishing, called KEEP CALM and PUBLISH PAPERS. I hope,
    you may find this interesting when writing your thesis, paper or
    making a presentation.

    Best regards
    Pawel Jerzy Wojcik, Ph.D.

    https://www.facebook.com/keepcalmandpublishpapers

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqKuaNlHwxUVDSRt8iLPeNw
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How to publish in journals with impact

  1. 1. How to Publish in Journals with Impact? Nicolás Robinson-García Grupo de investigación EC3 Evaluación de la Ciencia y de la Comunicación CientíficaCourse: La comunicación intercultural euroasiática en las condiciones del procesode Bolonia Date: 20, June, 2012 Place: Casa de la Cultura de Almuñécar
  2. 2. Summary1. Brief introduction to scholarly communication2. Defining impact and impact journals3. Selecting journals in our specialty4. Getting published: the How-to guide
  3. 3. Brief introduction to scholarly communication
  4. 4. How do researchers communicate? University cafeteria, e-mail, telephone Web 2.0: blogs, [interpersonal, private] facebook, twitter. Congress [without Peer Review, [Peer Review, interpersonal, public] interpersonal, public] Repositories preprints Data Sharing Scientific paper Data Banks [Peer Review, Final and Public, Specialized] Books and monographs Reference books
  5. 5. How do researchers communicate? University cafeteria, e-mail, telephone Web 2.0: blogs, [interpersonal, private] facebook, twitter. Congress [without Peer Review, [Peer Review, interpersonal, public] interpersonal, public] Repositories preprints Data Sharing Scientific paper Data Banks [Peer Review, Final and Public, Specialized] Books and monographs Reference books
  6. 6. Books are the main communication channel for scientists 1665Creation of the two firstscientific journals Exponencial increment of scientific journals 1950 ¿? 2012
  7. 7. How do researchers communicate? Where do they publish?
  8. 8. How do researchers communicate? What do they cite?
  9. 9. How do researchers communicate? Experimental Sciences Social Sciences Humanities 5% 10% 10% 10% 30% 40% 50% 85% 60% Journals Books Others Is it the same everywhere?
  10. 10. Defining impact and impact journals
  11. 11. How do we define an Impact Journal? Science Citation Index Social Science Citation Index Arts & Humanities Citation Index
  12. 12. How do we define an Impact Journal?
  13. 13. How do we define Impact? The Impact FactorLozano, Larivière & Gingras, 2012 arXiv:1205.4328v1
  14. 14. How do we define Impact? The Impact Factor
  15. 15. Due to low citation rates, journals in Humanities do nothave an Impact Factor. For this, the only requisite will be to be indexed in the database
  16. 16. JCR Allergy in 2009. Ranking IF – 21 journals 4º Q 3º Q 2º Q 1º Q
  17. 17. What does the Impact Factor measure?• All researchers aim at and need to publish most of their research output in“Journals with Impact”• These are international journals, we compete with researchers from all overthe world• They receive lots of manuscripts and therefore, they reject many• The peer review process is harder and made by the best experts in the area As they receive more manuscripts they have more where to choose andtherefore, more possibilities of publishing better papers in the area. This are theones which get more cited and are well received by the community, obtaining a better IF. Delgado López-Cózar defines the IF as an indicator of competitiveness
  18. 18. Why publish in a Journal with Impact? You will develop a successful research career Most of the research policy guidelines and research evaluation exercises consider them as key factor
  19. 19. Why publish in a Journal with Impact? Evaluation agencies
  20. 20. Why publish in a Journal with Impact? You will improve your university’s status
  21. 21. Why publish in a Journal with Impact? You will increase your budget
  22. 22. Excuses for not publishing in journals with Impact My research line and my articles are of national interest International reviewers are uncapable of understanding the wide scope of my research papers I do not publish in English, we must defend our language!! International journals usually take a long time to publish my papers In my research area books and book chapters are more important There are no international journals covering my research interests
  23. 23. Some myths…FOUR MYTHS FROM NATURE WE CAN APPLY TO ALL IMPACT JOURNALS1st Myth. If I want to get published in Nature I mustbe famous.2nd Myth. If I want to get published in Nature Imust have influential friends.3rd Myth. If I want to get published in Nature I mustspeak English as exquisitely as the Queen.4th Myth. If I want to get published in Nature mysurname must be White and not Blanco. JUAN CARLOS LÓPEZ, editor de Nature Medicine
  24. 24. …as Cajal stated…“El investigador obrará muy cuerdamentepidiendo hospitalidad en las grandes revistasextranjeras y redactando o haciendotraducciones de su trabajo enfrancés, inglés, alemán...""... quienes se obstina en escribir exclusivamenteen revistas españolas se condenan a serignorados hasta dentro de su propianación, porque, como habrá de faltarles siempreel exequator de los grandes prestigios ningúncompatriota osará tomarlos en serio“Los tónicos de la voluntad, 1923
  25. 25. I may have to change some things • CHANGE THE PERSPECTIVE Adapt to international standards • CHANGE THE STRATEGY Less papers but better • CHANGE THE TOPICS Search for relevant research questions in your area
  26. 26. Selecting journals in our specialty
  27. 27. Where to publish?Identify the audience to which you are targetingProfessional Academic
  28. 28. Where to publish?Always publish in peer-reviewed journalsThat is, your papers will be anonimouslyevaluated by two or more experts
  29. 29. Where to publish?
  30. 30. Where are those journals? BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATABASES INREC-H
  31. 31. It belongs to Elsevier, the biggest scientificpublisher in the worldIt includes around 16500 journals from allresearch fields.They have their own ‘impact indicator’ calledSJR.
  32. 32. Developed by the European Science FoundationIt includes 6459 journals in Humanitiespublished in any European language.Journals are classified according to their impact(International1, International2 and National) and15 thematic categories.
  33. 33. Along with INRECJ and INRECS, this is an Indexfor Spanish journals which fills the gap left byother databases.It ranks journals according to the averagenumber of citations per paper.It classifies journals in 15 categories dependingon the specialty.
  34. 34. Getting published: The How-to guide
  35. 35. First comes first…• It is better to articulate a good research question and look out for the necessary tools in order to answer it than to pose a research question according to the tools you already have.• You must try to be original. A curious thing I’ve found out from papers authored by Spanish-speaking people is that, the more evidences they find in the literature supporting their results, the more assertive they feel over the importance of the contribution they are making.• We must address the difficult issues. Unfortunately, that is the interesting one and the one which will be getting published in Nature or any other of our journals. That is the main difference between famous researchers and the rest of us.
  36. 36. Things you must take in mind• Focus on innovative aspects• Be clear in your mind about the structure of the paper• Make it comprehensible and interesting• Select carefully which is the best place to get it published• Be honest and upstanding• Focus on quality rather than quantity• Be patient when writing the article
  37. 37. Always contemplate several journals in which your paper could be publishedPhil. Science - in 2009. Ranking – 35 journals Select the right journal 3º Q 2º Q 1º Q
  38. 38. Select the right journalBEWARE: Read the journal’s scope carefully
  39. 39. Select the right journal Because if you don’t, this will be the answer you will receive“Dear Mr Daniel Torres-Salinas,Thank you for your submission for Journal of Informetricsentitled "State of the Library and Information Scienceblogosphere after social networks boom: a metric approach".The editorial office has, however, decided that this paper isoutside the scope of this journal.Yours sincerely”
  40. 40. Select the right journalDouble check which type of papers they publish
  41. 41. Select the right journal
  42. 42. Look out for partners when publishingEffects of collaboration on the impact of the University of Navarre’s research output
  43. 43. Be honest with authorship
  44. 44. Be honest with authorship BEWARE: The authors’ position reflect their contribution to the paper Authorship: Criteria and PolicyAuthorship implies accountability. Listed authors must have contributeddirectly to the intellectual content of the paper... Authors should meet all ofthe following criteria:• Conceived and planned the work that led to the article or played an important role in interpreting the results, or both.• Wrote the paper and/or made substantive suggestions for revision. • Approved the final versionAUTHOR 1; AUTHOR 2; AUTHOR 3
  45. 45. Make a good literature review Be honest when citing, do not omit competitors Cite the most recent literature Cite international papers, use scientific databasesMake sure to cite all papers on the topic published in the journal to which you are submitting your manuscript
  46. 46. When writing the manuscript1. Many papers are rejected or loose their value because they are not well written, presented or structured.2. If we do not pay attention to the details, probably the main message and good ideas expressed in our paper will be missed out and go unnoticed.3. Just taking care of a series of basic details our paper may improve substantially.4. Work out which are the main conclusions of your work and write and present the paper always keeping them on mind.5. Give some thought to the introduction, in it we must present what has been previously done and what will we contribute with.
  47. 47. Approach the topic from an international perspective Because if you don’t, this will be the answer you will receive“[…]However, the paper does is utmost best to present itselfas a contribution to just Spanish national matters. Then, non-Spanish readers may not be very interested, and that includesmost of Research Evaluation readers. Thus, unfortunately, thepaper as it stands now is only of marginal interest to RE and ismuch more suitable for a Spanish national journal. Now, thepaper could certainly be improved: focus on what isinteresting for an international public, present the study asdealing with a general issue[…]”.
  48. 48. Respect authors’ guidelines Pay a special attention to the journals’ instructions for authors • Abstract, keywords • Structure, tables and figures • Length • Referencing IF WE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUTHORS WE WILL AVOID HAVING THE EDITOR AND REVIEWERS CALLING OURATTENTION. THESE ERRORS MAY BE CRUCIAL ON THE FATE OF OUR PAPER Check some papers previously published by the journal
  49. 49. Look out for your English• Journals hate bad written manuscripts• Check the terminology you use• If you are hiring a translator • Choose someone specialized in your field ofendeavour• If you have written the text • Have a native English-speaker to check it• Beware the type of English you use • American or British http://www.ease.org.uk/guidelines/index.shtml
  50. 50. Look out for tables and figuresSometimes tables and figures are the most important part of our workor even the only one our readers will pay attention to.Include only the neccessary ones, only those that reinforce our results. Do not transform your paper into a list of tables, try to compriseresults in just a few tables always preserving their quality. More tables and figures do not neccessarily mean more results! Avoid redundancy. Avoid overlapping tables and figures. Use explicative titles avoiding acronyms if possible. Make sure the tables and figures can be interpreted without reading the text.Make attractive figures, take your time, they summarize part of themessage you are sending
  51. 51. Aspects that must be taken into account Some aspects journals take into account when reviewing manuscripts Revista Española de Documentación Científica
  52. 52. Writing a research paper Before submitting a manuscript Writing a research paperYou may as well send it to some colleagues to check some aspects. Don’t forget to thank them!
  53. 53. Writing a research paper Sending a research paper the manuscript Writing• Include a “Cover Letter” underlining the paper’soriginality and novelty, also pointing out its potentialinterest to the journal’s readers• List the main results of your research and emphasize itsimportance How are you contributing to the field?• Sometimes it may be interesting to suggest somepossible reviewers, especially if the paper is of greatnovelty
  54. 54. Writing a research paper Sending the manuscript Not all journals ask for a “cover letter” but it is advisable to always send itExample extracted from the “authors guidelines” of: Authors should include a cover letter detailing the key findings of their manuscript. The cover letter should highlight the novel aspects of their data and briefly describe how the authors feel their results will generate progress in their field. ….Furthermore, if the authors feel their work merits publication as a breakthrough paper, they should indicate this in the cover letter...
  55. 55. Writing a research paper Regarding research paper research data Writing a•Always have your research data organized conveniently beforesubmitting a paper as reviewers may ask for them or you mayhave to reprocess them after the review process.• Create complementary datasets well documented that wouldallow to replicate your study if neccessary or display moreresults not included in the paper because of the length. You mayupload them in your personal website or in data banks. Theyadd value to your paper.
  56. 56. Writing a research paperRegarding research paper research dataWriting a
  57. 57. The peerareview process Writing research paperACCEPTED √MINOR CHANGES √MAJOR REVISIONS ¿?REJECTED X
  58. 58. The peerareview process Writing research paper This may be one of the hardest moments, we must study the reviewers comments and respond to them in a letter.1) Answer to all the commentaries, even if you don’t agree or are minor issues.2) Be well-mannered when answering and use solid scientific arguments when you disagree with the reviewer.3) If necessary, get ready, you may have to retrieve more data, undertake more observations or perform new experiments.4) If the changes suggested do not require an excessive effort and do not alter the paper excessively, make them, don’t waste your time arguing with the reviewer.
  59. 59. The peer review process What can we have in a review?Coments implying retrieving new data, processing it and redoing the paper“Reviewer: I do not think that computer science is theappropriate field for the method to be tested. In computerscience there is heavy reliance on proceedings… It would begood to test the method on additional fields as well”Comments which do not imply changing the paper but responding to the reviewer“You say that CS is well represented in JCR. I strongly disagree with this” Comments which involve minor changes “TOPCIT - you should provide a more detailed definition”Comments which imply modifying the text without further discussion “Page 8, first line "proving" I suggest to replace this by "indicating"
  60. 60. The peer review processExample of a structured response to a review TITULO
  61. 61. The peerareview process Writing research paper Accept rejected papers with good nature • NEVER take it as something personal • Be honest and try to understand why the paper was rejected• Make the most of reviewers’ comments to improve your work • Rewrite a new paper but don’t send it to another journalwithout correcting the facts why it was rejected on the first place
  62. 62. The peer review process Maybe your paper was not that bad after all!“Undeniably, the most common way to communicate a givenfinding, theory or discovery is through its publication in articlessubmitted to learned journals. It may happen that the editorsand referees who read articles reporting a novel discovery arenot able to assess the value of innovative work”Campanario, JM. Rejecting and resisting Nobel class discoveries... Scientometrics, 2009
  63. 63. Final tips• Good and well-focused research lines• Good knowledge of research methodologies in ourspecialty• Ambition for publishing internationally• Patience with the research, writing and reviewing• Neatness, clarity and conciseness when presentingresults• Persistence against failure
  64. 64. Epilogue
  65. 65. Don’t throw in the research paper a revision Writing a towel: story of WE HAVE A PAPER! A methodology for Institution-Field ranking based on a bidimensional analysis: the IFQ2A index OBJETIVE –INFORMATION AND LIBRARY SCIENCE •JOURNAL OF INFORMETRICS: 4ª Position • SCIENTOMETRICS: 10ª Position 1º DELIVERY TO JOURNAL OF INFORMETRICS EDITOR’S RESPONSE I am sorry to inform you that your paper entitled, "A methodology for Institution-Field ranking based on a quantitative and qualitative bidimensional analysis: the IFQ2A index", has been rejected for publication. Please find the referees comments below for your reference
  66. 66. Don’t throw in the research paper a revision Writing a towel: story of 1º DELIVERY TO JOURNAL OF INFORMETRICS REVIEWERS’ MAIN OBJECTIONS -They are proposing a new indicator, so making the hypothesis the indicator could be useful for describing institutions. They provide empirical results but they do not test these results against anything. There is no interpretation, no confirmation of goodness, no correlation with other sources. - The population of the study (a small group of Spanish regional universities) is very limited. If the aim of the authors is provide a new tool it should be tested on a larger and better known group of universities. • CHANGES: WE INTRODUCED AN ANALYSIS COMPARING THE METHODOLOGY FOR INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES • WE CHANGED OUR SAMPLE FROM ANDALUCIA TO SPAIN
  67. 67. Don’t throw in the research paper a revision Writing a towel: story of 2º DELIVERY AGAIN TO JOURNAL OF INFORMETRICS EDITOR’S ANSWER I am sorry to inform you that your paper entitled, "A methodology for Institution-Field ranking based on a quantitative and qualitative bidimensional analysis: the IFQ 毬 index", has been rejected for publication. Please find the referees comments below for your reference. REVIEWERS’ MAIN OBJECTIONS There is no mathematical evidence for the way they aggregate the variables to build the composite indicator The two sets of variables are strongly correlated. Why not substitute them by factors after a factor analysis is performed? • WE INCLUDED A CORRELATION ANALYSIS IN OTHER TO JUSTIFY THE CONSTRUCTION OF OUR INDICATOR • WE INCLUDED A FACTOR ANALYSIS
  68. 68. Don’t throw in the research paper a revision Writing a towel: story of 3º DELIVERY TO SCIENTOMETRICS EDITOR’S ANSWER We have received the report from our advisor on your manuscript, "A methodology for Institution-Field ranking based on a bidimensional analysis: the IFQ毬 index", which you submitted toScientometrics. Based on the advice received, I feel that your manuscript could be reconsidered for publication should you be prepared to incorporate major revisions REVIEWERS’ MAIN OBJECTIONS Overall the paper is well written, however I do not think that computer science is the appropriate field for the method to be tested. In computer science there is heavy reliance on proceedings papers, not covered by JCR, and only partially by the Web of Science. It would be good to test the method on additional fields as well. •WE DID THE SAME STUDY ALTHOUGH THIS TIME INCLUDING A NEW RESEARCH FIELD FOR THE ANALYSIS OF SPANISH AND INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES
  69. 69. Don’t throw in the research paper a revision Writing a towel: story of 4º DELIVERY TO SCIENTOMETRICS INCLUDING CHANGES EDITOR’S ANSWER We are pleased to inform you that your manuscript, "A methodology for Institution-Field ranking based on a bidimensional analysis: the IFQ2- index", has been accepted for publication inScientometrics. AND FINALLY, A HAPPY REVIEWER Reviewer: I am completely satisfied with the revision. I am impressed that the authors added an additional field (Chemistry) to back up their findings.
  70. 70. How to Publish in Journals with Impact? Questions?Nicolás Robinson-García elrobin@ugr.es http://www.ugr.es/~elrobinThis is an adapted version of:- Torres-Salinas, D. Cómo publicar en revistas de impacto. Unidad deBibliometría, Universidad de Granada.

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