Scientific Writing And Peer Review A Guide Hoey Queens Sep08

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  • Scientific Writing And Peer Review A Guide Hoey Queens Sep08

    1. 1. Epi 821 Fall 2008 <ul><li>Elements of scientific writing and peer review </li></ul><ul><li>John Hoey, Queen’s University </li></ul>
    2. 2. In this presentation <ul><li>Understand the editorial process </li></ul><ul><li>Picking a journal </li></ul><ul><li>Getting started </li></ul>
    3. 4. Picking a Journal <ul><li>General Medical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Larger number of submissions, more competitive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specialty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>generally smaller number, less competitive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Country </li></ul><ul><ul><li>despite editor efforts, geography important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>journals are interested in ‘international’ authors </li></ul></ul>
    4. 5. What are your goals for publishing? <ul><li>Altruism? </li></ul><ul><li>Advancement? Promotion? </li></ul><ul><li>Your mother? </li></ul><ul><li>To tell others? Who? </li></ul>
    5. 6. What are you writing? <ul><li>Research findings </li></ul><ul><li>Review article </li></ul><ul><li>Case reports </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal, Criticism, Polemic, Essay, </li></ul><ul><li>Other - Book review, creative writing, letter to editor </li></ul>
    6. 7. Pick 3 Journals <ul><li>rank according to goals </li></ul><ul><li>expect rejection </li></ul><ul><li>the 2 week turnaround promise </li></ul>
    7. 8. Read a few issues of the Journal <ul><li>what do they publish? </li></ul><ul><li>What categories of articles? </li></ul><ul><li>Usual length </li></ul><ul><li>Find an article that looks like yours </li></ul><ul><ul><li>study design, for example </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use a similar format </li></ul>
    8. 9. Discernible Point Methods Introduction Results Discussion
    9. 10. What is the discernible point?
    10. 11. Tables &/or Figures <ul><li>T1 Descriptive </li></ul><ul><li>T2 Main crude results </li></ul><ul><li>T3 Multivariate results </li></ul><ul><li>T4 Additional analyses </li></ul>
    11. 12. Introduction <ul><li>P1 What is the SPECIFIC problem? </li></ul><ul><li>P2 What did we think we could do? </li></ul><ul><li>P3 Our specific objectives </li></ul>
    12. 13. Methods <ul><li>Sample </li></ul><ul><li>Instruments used to collect data </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis plan and explanation </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical Approval statement </li></ul>
    13. 14. Results <ul><li>Built around the tables </li></ul><ul><li>Do not duplicate in the text data in the tables </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provide a written overview/summary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>highlight the main points </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Additional data/analyses not in Tables </li></ul>
    14. 15. Interpretation <ul><li>P1 Summary of most important findings </li></ul><ul><li>P2 Relate these to the existing literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what do we know now that we didn’t know before? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>P3 Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>be critical of your own work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>P4 A message to your mother </li></ul>
    15. 16. References <ul><li>Informative </li></ul><ul><li>Accurate (meaning you’ve read the source) </li></ul><ul><li>Thus not too many - be specific (avoid batch referencing) </li></ul><ul><li>“Hangnails are an important health problem <references 1 - 97> </li></ul><ul><li>If possible choose freely accessible sources </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it up to date. Check again before submitting manuscript </li></ul>
    16. 17. Cover Letter <ul><li>It is a pleasure to send CMAJ this manuscript. </li></ul><ul><li>Discernible point explanation in plain English </li></ul><ul><li>Any other particularities of your manuscript </li></ul><ul><ul><li>excessive length </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the questionnaire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other publications with the same dataset </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>prior publication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authorship/duplicate publication/ single submission etc... </li></ul></ul>
    17. 18. Electronic and Print publication <ul><li>Use the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Additional tables, data, methods, analyses, questionnaires search strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Video/audio </li></ul><ul><li>podcasts, blogs </li></ul>
    18. 19. How to get the editor’s attention? <ul><li>Make the discernible point clear </li></ul><ul><li>Make the format suitable for the Journal </li></ul><ul><li>Omit to reference an important recent publication in the target journal. </li></ul><ul><li>Use as a cover letter the one you sent to your first pick: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dear Editor of BMJ </li></ul></ul>
    19. 20. How an editor pick’s reviewers? <ul><li>From references in your paper </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Scholar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From ‘related’ search in PubMed </li></ul>
    20. 21. How to get a reviewer’s attention? <ul><li>Omit to reference the reviewer’s paper. </li></ul><ul><li>Careless writing </li></ul>
    21. 22. Orwell’s 6 rules <ul><li>Never use a metaphor, simile or figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. </li></ul><ul><li>Never use a long word when a short one will do. </li></ul><ul><li>If possible to cut out a word, always cut it out. </li></ul>Orwell: Politics and the English language - 1946
    22. 23. Orwell’s 6 rules <ul><li>Never use the passive where you can use the active. </li></ul><ul><li>Never use a FOREIGN PHRASE, a scientific word or a JARGON word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. </li></ul><ul><li>Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. </li></ul>Passive A retrospective cohort study was done. Active We did a retrospective cohort study. We examined the records of all patients seen in our clinic in 1998 and telephoned then in January 2002 to determine their compliance with our previously offered advice on weight loss.
    23. 24. Journal web site <ul><li>Register </li></ul><ul><li>Agree to do peer reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Read </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructions for authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructions for peer reviewers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Submit manuscript </li></ul>
    24. 25. Peer Reviews - General - for authors <ul><li>Look at journal instructions for peer reviewers </li></ul><ul><li>Meet the requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Usually takes 2 hours of concentrated work if you are familiar with the field. </li></ul><ul><li>If not familiar, refuse the invitation or expect to spend most of a day doing the review. </li></ul><ul><li>Watch tone - ojective, robust </li></ul><ul><li>Not rude, derrogatory </li></ul>
    25. 26. Peer Reviews - Specific - for authors <ul><li>General comments - a few sentences. Say something positive about the paper. </li></ul><ul><li>Major points - list these by numbers. discuss </li></ul><ul><li>Minor points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>List and number </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give page /paragraph or line numbers. </li></ul></ul>
    26. 27. Peer Reviews - Editor comments <ul><li>Clear Recommendation - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Or arguments - for and against publication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember - the editors will decide </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rationale for the recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestions for editors - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>commentary to go with article </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>suggestion of commentary author </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other... </li></ul></ul>
    27. 28. After peer review <ul><li>Editor’s rate peer reviewers </li></ul><ul><li>Usually send copies of the other peer reviews </li></ul>

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