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Your hard work in the lab has finally paid off, it is time to write down your results and send them to an academic journal. What happens to your paper after you submit it? Who is deciding on its fate? ...

Your hard work in the lab has finally paid off, it is time to write down your results and send them to an academic journal. What happens to your paper after you submit it? Who is deciding on its fate? What is the role of the journal editor and the editorial office? How does the peer-review process work and is it really important? Who are the referees of your paper? How do scientific journals work? How do they finance themselves? This introductory lecture will cover these and other aspects of scientific publishing from a journal editor’s perspective. We will also discuss authors’ best practices when writing the papers, what to consider when choosing where to publish your work and how measure the impact of your paper after its publication.

The Speaker:
Dr. Matteo Cavalleri works in the Editorial Office of the journals family ‘physica status solidi’ (Wiley-VCH, Berlin). Before joining the “other side” of scientific publishing he coauthored circa 20 scientific papers in the fields of theoretical and physical chemistry, based on the research carried on during his PhD at Stockholm University and PostDoc at the Fritz-Haber-Institut in Berlin.

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'How Journals Work' 'How Journals Work' Presentation Transcript

  • The Life Course of your Academic Paper from a Journal Editor’s Perspective Matteo Cavalleri physica status solidi Wiley-VCH Dahlem Research School - Transferable Skills » 23.07.09
  • Outline • Who I am and Where I work • Why and Where to publish? • Peer review • The review process – What editors and referees look for – Accept, reject, or revise: how decisions are made and how to respond • Copyright and copyright transfer • Publishing ethics • Selecting the journal – Impact factor is not everything
  • Who am I? • Native of Como, Italy • M.S. @ University of Milan – Erasmus in Valencia, Spain • Ph.D. @ Stockholm University – Thesis ―Local structure of hydrogen-bonded liquids‖ • Postdoc @ FHI-MPG, Berlin – Theory Department – Surface science, catalysis • Editor, Wiley-VCH – Office, Berlin F-hain – physica status solidi (pss) • 19 published papers – Science, JCP, J. Cat., pss, … – h-index: 12
  • Wiley-VCH-Blackwell • Global publishing business – Founded in NYC in 1807 – Specialized in academic publishing – +3500 employes, 1.6 b$ revenues • Acquisition VCH in 1996 – Verlag Chemie, Weinheim, 1921 – Akademie Verlag, East Berlin, 1946 (to VCH 1991) • Acquisition Blackwell Publishing in 2007 – ~ 1400 academic journals
  • physica status solidi • Founded in East Berlin, 1961 – Published in English, not subjected to state control • 4 Journals focused on Solid State Physics – physica status solidi (a) – Applications and Devices – physica status solidi (b) – Basic Solid State Physics – physica status solidi (c) – Conference Proceedings – physica status solidi – Rapid Research Letters • Internal Editorial Office in Berlin, F-hain – Editor-in-chief: Prof. Martin Stutzmann (TUM) – Managing Editor: Dr. Stefan Hildebrandt • ~ 2000 articles published/year
  • The Editorial Office • Editor-in-Chief • Technical Editor – Direct policy decisions, – Copy-editing future directions – Language polishing – May or may not be also • Production Editor Managing Editor – Process accepted • Managing Editor papers for ―production‖ – Overview peer-review – Assemble issue process, editorial office • Editorial Board • Editor – Advise Editor-in-chief • Editorial Assistant – Adjudicators in critical – Interact with authors cases and reviewers – Help with topical issues – No decision-making acquisitions powers
  • What editors do • Manage peer-review, pre-screen manuscripts • Take the editorial decision over manuscripts • Invite authors for feature/review articles • Organize/Plan topical issues with Guest Editors • Promote journal at conferences • Communicate with Editorial Board • Assemble issue (with Production Editor) – Cover layout – Editorials, extra contents (news, call for papers, meeting calendar, ...)
  • Why publish? • Fame • Making your – Recognition by your research public peers – ―If your research • Fortune does not generate – Promotions papers, it might just – Grant applications as well not have • Establish precedence been done.‖ • Responsibility – Papers provide the – Taxpayer-funded shoulders that others research can stand on
  • Publish where? • Peer-reviewed journals – Subscription based – Open Access (Authors Pay) • Books • Internet Repository – Nature precedings – arXiv.org • Blogs, your Webpage • Conference Proceedings
  • What is peer review? • ―Peer review is the critical assessment of manuscripts submitted to journals by experts who are not part of the editorial staff.‖ – International Committee of Medical Journals Editors, from Hames, p. 1.
  • What is peer review? • ―[Peer review] is the worst form of [research evaluation] except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.‖ – Winston Churchill, 1947 (paraphrased)
  • Types of peer review • Anonymous • Signed – Most common – Non-anonymous referees • Double-blind • Technical peer review only – Medical journals – Evaluation by community • Open after publication – Nature experiment – PLOS One – Atmospheric Chemistry • None and Physics – Evaluation by community after publication – arXiv.org
  • What should peer review do? • Filter out bad work • Identify work of great interest to readership • Make as sure as possible that work is reported correctly • Make sure results have been interpreted correctly and convincingly • Improve the quality of the publication - Critical feedback - New ideas Competitive and cooperative
  • What it doesn’t do (automatically) • Detect fabrication • Prevent duplicate publication • Ensure the paper is right for the journal • Pick the most interesting papers • Ensure quality Relays on trust
  • The review process
  • Submitting … ...and Today Yesterday...
  • …Editorial prescreening…
  • What editors look for • What all editors look • What some journals for require – Scope – Novelty • Does the topic fit the • How different is it journal? from previous work? – Format – Importance • Communication, full • In those in specific paper, review… field – Understandability • To those in related • Readability, clarity,… fields – Interest Editors are normally not qualified to evaluate the technical merits of manuscripts: this is the job of the referees.
  • What editors look for • Cover letter to editor and conclusion – Did they interest you? If not, they will be unlikely to interest our readers. • References and introduction – Is topic in scope? – Is the work important and relevant? – Are references up to date? – Does the paper adhere to guidelines? • Method and discussion – Does it seems technically correct? – Figures are critical! Basically, is the work new, interesting and solid?
  • How referees are chosen • Referee database – >10,000 in Wiley-VCH database – Keywords, interests, history • Author suggestions – very helpful! – ―Big names‖ are often busy—highly qualified, less-well-known scientists even better choices – Respect of authors exclusion requests of reviewers • Related papers – Cited in manuscript – Literature searches • Editor’s knowledge and experience
  • Conflicts of interest • Potential conflicts of interest: – Competitor that could ―scoop‖ you – Current or former collaborators, grant co-applicants – Members of your institution – Current or former thesis or postdoc advisor • Anyone you believe could not give an impartial report – within reason…
  • …Refereeing… Reviewers advise and make recommendations, Editors make the decisions
  • What referees look for • Is the motivation • Are the results clear? important? • Is the motivation • Are the results important? interesting? • Is the work novel and • Are the correct original? references cited? • Are the conclusions • Is the English supported by the satisfactory? data? • Is the presentation • Are there ethical clear? questions? Think like a referee: Wiley-VCH Material Science’s guidelines for referees
  • Side note: Refereeing a manuscript • When you receive a • If you can’t review: request: – Tell the editor ASAP – Am I familiar with the – Suggest alternative topic? reviewers – Do I have time? • If you can review: • Budget 2—5 hours! – Submit on time – Can I meet the deadline? – Keep manuscript – Do I have conflicts of confidential interest? – Contact the editor with – Do I read/publish in this questions, not the authors journal?
  • …Referees suggestions • Acceptance – Without changes – Subject to changes • Rejection • Revision – Reconsideration and resubmission possible after major revisions
  • Rejection • Direct (―in-house‖) • On reports – Outside scope – Technical/scientific issues – Wrong format – Motivation – Novelty unclear unclear/unimportant – Impact/importance – Less novel, less original unclear – Conclusions do not – Interest unclear support the data – … – Results less important – Results less interesting – Ethical questions – Unclear presentation
  • Should I appeal? • Usually, no • Occasionally, yes – Editors and referees – Importance / impact / know journal novelty missed by – Criticisms may be editor/referees valid! • Need for a good cover letter! – Risk of long time to publication – Factual errors in referee reports that led – Good papers are cited to rejection Be calm, argumentative and provide new information in the appeal
  • Revision • Carefully consider referee • Prepare revision comments – Revise manuscript – Not all changes have to • Highlight changes in be made… manuscript – …but need convincing – Point-by-point response arguments for changes to all referee criticisms not made • Changes made • Why changes not made – Response may go back to referees! • Need to convince editor and referees
  • Acceptance • Congratulations! • In the Editorial Office • Revise manuscript – Typesetting – Highlight changes in – Language polishing manuscript • If necessary – Point-by-point response – Copy-editing to all referee criticisms • Same journals • Changes made • Technical Editors • Why changes not made • Production data checklist • On the web first – Text format – Within days after acceptance – Figure preparation – Wiley’s ―Early View‖ • Proofs – Assigned DOI number – Return quickly! • In printed issue – Check copyediting changes/queries – Journal frequency – Ask colleague to check
  • Copyright • Copyright protects • Copyright does not works ―fixed‖ in a protect ideas ―tangible‖ form of – Patents expression • Copyright does not – Words protect names, – Images symbols – Scientific papers – Trademarks
  • Copyright owner rights • The copyright owner • Journal publishers has exclusive rights to need to – Reproduce and – Reproduce and distribute copies distribute copies – Make derivative works • Print journals • Translations, – Make derivative works abridgements, • Copyedit adaptations • Layout – Display publicly • Typeset • On a web page – Display publicly • www.pss-a.com
  • Copyright transfer • Publisher cannot legally • Wiley-VCH materials publish copyrighted work science journals: without publishing rights – Rights transferred upon • Author transfers publishing acceptance rights to publisher – Publishing license – Usually exclusive • Exclusive for 3 years – Can be limited time • Nonexclusive thereafter – In print and/or online – In print (journal copies) – Online (www.pss-a.com)
  • Copyright permissions • Example: including a figure • Identify the figure that has been published • Is it subject to copyright elsewhere in the review protection? I’m writing – Public domain • Acquiring permissions is (government agencies) usually the author’s – Expired copyright responsibility • Identify owner and request • Not subject to ―fair use‖ permission in writing • Forward result to publisher • Attribute original source in figure caption
  • What if it is my article?! • If exclusive publishing • If derivative work rights transferred to made by publisher, publisher, need need permission permission – Example: figure – Some publisher redrawn by journal to agreements improve presentation automatically transfer • Review journal needs scholarly publishing permission agreement reprint rights back to author to legally publish
  • Publishing ethics • Code of conduct for • Ethical guidelines scientists – Authors • Peer review relies on – Editors trust – Referees – Does not test for fraud • Journals follow • Science ideally should – EuCheMS guidelines be competitive, but – ACS guidelines fair – …
  • Author responsibilities • Present data honestly and accurately, not fabricate or falsify data • Reference and cite properly, not plagiarize or ignore related work • Avoid fragmentation and redundant publication • Inform the editor of related manuscripts under consideration or in press • Submit to only one journal at a time • Disclose conflicts of interest More information under “For Authors” at pss-a.com
  • Editor responsibilities • Ensure efficient, fair, and timely manuscript processing • Ensure confidentiality of submitted manuscripts • Make the final decision for accepting or rejecting • Base decision to accept or reject only on the merits of the manuscript • Not use work reported in a submitted manuscript for their own research • Ensure fair selection of referees, including those suggested or requested for exclusion by author • Respond to suggestions of scientific misconduct • Deal fairly with author appeals
  • Referee responsibilities • Ensure confidentiality of manuscripts • Inform editor quickly if not qualified or unable to review • Judge manuscript objectively and in timely fashion • Return to editor without review if conflict of interest • Explain and support recommendations with arguments and references where appropriate • Not use work reported in a submitted manuscript for one’s own research • Inform editor of similarities between submitted manuscript and published or unpublished manuscripts elsewhere • Inform editor if plagiarized or falsified data is suspected More information under “For Referees” at pss-a.com
  • Selecting the journal • Journal Impact Factor • Where do you read is not everything! papers related to your • What are the research? Which do implications of your you like the most? research? • What is the scope of • How important will your candidate others find your journal? research? • What is the format of – In your field? your candidate – In related fields? journal?
  • Journal Impact Factor (IF) Devised by Eugene Garfield, founder of ISI (Chairman Emeritus of Thomson Scientific) 1955
  • Journal Impact Factor (IF) • The journal impact factor is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the JCR year. The impact factor is calculated by dividing the number of citations in the JCR year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years. Citations C12 published Articles A1 A2 time published Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
  • Journal Impact Factor (IF) • The journal impact factor is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the JCR year. The impact factor is calculated by dividing the number of citations in the JCR year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years. Citations 100 published Articles 40 60 time published 2005 2006 2007
  • Impact Factor is relative  Average Impact Factors vary from subject to subject • Median IF: Median value of all IFs in category • Aggregate IF: IF of category calculated as if entire category were one journal
  • Journal Immediacy Index • The immediacy index is the average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published. The immediacy index is calculated by dividing the number of citations to articles published in a given year by the number of articles published in that year. Citations C3 published Articles time A3 published Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
  • Journal Immediacy Index • The immediacy index is the average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published. The immediacy index is calculated by dividing the number of citations to articles published in a given year by the number of articles published in that year. Citations 60 published Articles time 100 published 2005 2006 2007
  • And more Indices • Journal Cited Half-Life – Median age of article cited in the JCR year • 5-Year Journal Impact Factor • Eigenfactor Score – http://www.eigenfactor.org – 5-Year impact factor, no self citations (within same journal) – Weights each4(6): e6022 PLoS ONE 2009 reference according to a stochastic measure of the amount of time researchers spend reading the journal • Article Influence Score – Eigenfactor Score normalized by number of published articles
  • Selecting the journal • Journal Impact Factor • Where do you read is not everything! papers related to your • What are the research? Which do implications of your you like the most? research? • What is the scope of • How important will your candidate others find your journal? research? • What is the format of – In your field? your candidate – In related fields? journal?
  • Selecting the journal • What is the journal’s copyright policy? • Is that subscription based or Open Access? • How fast is their submission to publication time? • What is the journal’s policy on prior publication? – In peer-reviewed online only/printed journals – In online/only printed conference proceedings – In online preprint servers (arXiv,…) – On your website
  • By Nick Kim (www.nearingzero.net); used with permission
  • Thank you and to… • Dr. Dave Flanagan (Advanced Functional Materials) • Dr. Barbara Janssens (Biotechnology Journal) • Dr. Stefan Hildebrandt (physica status solidi) • Dr. Sabine Bahrs (physica status solidi)
  • Resources • Peer review – I Hames, Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals, 2007 – E Wager, F Godlee, T Jefferson, How to Survive Peer Review, 2002 – Sense About Science, Peer Review and the Acceptance of New Scientific Ideas (www.senseaboutscience.org.uk) – Nature’s Peer Review Debate (www.nature.com/nature/peerreview/debate) – Advanced Materials “Guide for Authors” (www.advmat.de) • Impact Factor and h-index – JE Hirsch, PNAS 2005, 102(46), 16569 (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0507655102) – J Bollen, H Van de Sompel, A Hagberg, R Chute, PLoS ONE 2009 4(6): e6022. (DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0006022) – ISI Web of Knowledge (www.isiknowledge.com/) – Journal Citation Reports (thomsonreuters.com/products_services/science/science_products/scholarly_research_analysis/research_evaluation/journal_cita tion_reports) • Publishing ethics – EuCheMS Ethical Guidelines for Publication in Journals and Reviews (www.euchems.org/Publications/) – ACS Ethical Guidelines (pubs.acs.org/ethics/) – COPE – the Committee on Publishing Ethics (www.publicationethics.org.uk/about) • Preparing the manuscript – AM Coghill, LR Garson, ACS Style Guide, 3rd edition, 2006 – GM Whitesides, ―Writing a Paper‖ Adv. Mater. 2004, 16, 1375 (DOI: 10.1002/adma.200400767) – Advanced Materials ―Guide for Authors‖ (www.advmat.de) – Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, 2003 mcavalleri@wiley.com