Common mistakes in presenting manuscripts to scientific journals
Common mistakes in presenting manuscripts to scientific journals And how we can avoid them Fredy RS Gutierrez MD, MsC, PhD MsC, Basic and applied immunology Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables us to recognize a mistake when we make it.
Why would a scientific paper be rejected from publication?It does not fit the scope of the journalLow priority of the paper compared to other submissionsNo clear applications of the resultsIt did not address an important scientific questionIt is not new and original
Why would a scientific paper be rejected from publication?The experiments did not properly test the hypothesesInitial protocol changed because of practical difficultiesWrong statistical analysisPresented conclusions were not based on their dataToo much conflict of interest
Why would a scientific paper be rejected from publication? A different type of experiments should have beenperformed Unclear objective and aim Poor presentation Figures and tables not clear or not useful Methods lack detail
Why would a scientific paper be rejected from publication?Not well writtenIntroduction is too longResults jumbledDiscussion too longConfusing or inconsistent terminology
TrapsStory plotPlagiarismReusing experimental data setsImprecisionJudgmental adjectives
Most common Statistical Errors Lack of clarity in specifying the study design and analyses Disconnects between study aims and conclusions Making strong conclusions from a weak design or dataset Using within group comparisons to infer between group differences Analyzing correlated observations as if they were independentAm J Gastroenterol 2008;103:262–266
Most common Statistical Errors Failure to account for matching in the analysis of a matched case control study Analysis of “time to event data” as fixed observation time responses, which do not account for censoring or varying lengths of follow-up P values greater than 0.05 do not indicate “similarities” Ambiguous P values Overinterpreting P valuesAm J Gastroenterol 2008;103:262–266
Most common mistakes in Figures Vector graphic format (encapsulated postscript or tagged image file format). Use bitmaps (BMP), GIFs, JPEGs, PNGs, etc... at your peril. For draw your own line art graphs use Powerpoint, not for Photos. Try to keep screen-shots for a manual or technical report, rather than a paper. Dont use Excel to create graphs. Use a software that allow you to save graphs as EPS directly. Table or figure, but not both to show the same datahttp://andrewjpage.com/index.php?/archives/16-Most-common-mistakes-in-scientific-writing.htmlhttp://www.minds.may.ie/~dez/latex/
Most common mistakes in structure of manuscripts Always have an abstract. Taking 1 key sentence from each section in your paper can be helpful Always include a simple overview of upcoming sections at the end of your introduction Always have a literature review Always have a conclusionhttp://www.minds.may.ie/~dez/latex/http://andrewjpage.com/index.php?/archives/16-Most-common-mistakes-in-scientific-writing.html
Most common mistakes in References of manuscriptsCite every single one as a referenceCite insignificant referencesInaccurate Citationshttp://www.minds.may.ie/~dez/latex/http://andrewjpage.com/index.php?/archives/16-Most-common-mistakes-in-scientific-writing.html
Scientific ideas are not for sale Although their products can be Nick Kim http://www.nearingzero.net/
How to Choose a Journal for your Scientific Publication?The scopeCountry and language of issueThe impact factorThe last articles publishedThe guidelines
How to Choose a Journal for your Scientific Publication? The turnaround and publication speed Past experience and editor The rush you have Try the highest journal you’d like and if it gets rejected,to send it a lower authority journal, etc… until it is finallyaccepted for publication.
WritingLong words name little things. All big thingshave little names, such as life and death, peaceand war, or dawn, day, night, love, home. Learnto use little words in a big way—It is hard todo. But they say what you mean. When youdont know what you mean, use big words:They often fool little people.—SSC BOOKNEWS, July 1981
Tips for writing scientific manuscripts Use the tools of your word processor Use printer friendly format (PDF)http://www.minds.may.ie/~dez/latex/http://andrewjpage.com/index.php?/archives/16-Most-common-mistakes-in-scientific-writing.html
Tips for writing scientific manuscriptsSentence and paragraph constructionPassive vs. active voiceCorrect word Correct verb tense Correct noun useNeedless wordsProofread http://web.psych.washington.edu/writingcenter/writingguides.html
Tips for writing scientific manuscriptsAgreement of Subject and VerbUse One Word to Replace a PhraseAvoid GrandiloquenceAvoid Cliches and EuphemismsUse Synonyms “My vocabulary isnt very good. I have to keep looking up words in the dictionary.” Gabriel García Márquez AN OUTLINE OF SC I E NTI F I C WRITING For Researchers with English as a oreign Language
Tips for writing scientific manuscriptsStandardize all termsMaintain consistency in orders and viewpointsCheck that the words mean what you want them to meanAdhere to humanizing and non-emotive termsAvoid double or unnecessary negativesOnly use standard abbreviations
Tips for writing scientific manuscripts Get a native English speaker to proof read your work Type of English (American/British), Stay consistent as well, e.g. Oxford comma, z instead of s If you dont know how to use "s" at the end of a word, look it up, e.g. customers, customers, customers Hyphenation, be consistent with your usagehttp://andrewjpage.com/index.php?/archives/16-Most-common-mistakes-in-scientific-writing.htmlhttp://www.minds.may.ie/~dez/latex/
Tips for improving writing skills Read many papers, and learn from both the good and the bad work of others. The more objective you can be about your work, the better that work will ultimately become. Good editors and reviewers will be objective about your work. If you do not write well in the English language, take lessons early; it will be invaluable later. Learn to live with rejection.Bourne PE (2005) Ten simple rules for getting published. PLoS Comput Biol 1(5): e57.
Writing Novelty of research topic, comprehensive coverage of the relevant literature, good data, good analysis including strong statistical support, and a thought-provoking discussion Good organization, the appropriate use of tables and figures, the right length, writing to the intended audience Start writing the paper the day you have the idea of what questions to pursue. Become a reviewer early in your career Decide early on where to try to publish your paper Quality is everythingBourne PE (2005) Ten simple rules for getting published. PLoS Comput Biol 1(5): e57.
Keep reader in mindScientiﬁc Writing: A Reader and Writer’s Guide
Before you Submit your Scientific Article for Publication The progression and sequence of ideas in each section should be logical. There must be a strong logical relationship between the introduction and the discussion. The transitions between paragraphs should be logical and smooth.http://scienceforall.org/2010/08/22/10-things-to-check-before-you-submit-your-scientific-article-for-publication/
Before you Submit your Scientific Article for Publication Each paragraph should be focused on a specific pointand a principal sentence and in each paragraph thesecondary sentences should support the principal one. The terminology used should be consistent and correct. The references should be cited correctly in the text andthe reference list should be complete and correct.http://scienceforall.org/2010/08/22/10-things-to-check-before-you-submit-your-scientific-article-for-publication/
Before you Submit your Scientific Article for Publication The tables and figures should be numbered correctly. The paper should be free of spelling, grammatical and typographical errors. The authors’ names should be spelled correctly. Change passive constructions to active, shorten longer phrases, remove redundant and superfluous phrases or ideas and colloquial language, modify quirky sentences and ask a colleague to review your paper one last time!http://scienceforall.org/2010/08/22/10-things-to-check-before-you-submit-your-scientific-article-for-publication/
Support systemsFind new writing resourcesImprove your writing through group learningMentor new writers “If I have seen further (than certain other men) it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” Issac Newton
Concluding remarksChoose a Journal “Nunca releo misWrite libros, porque me da miedo” Gabriel GarciaKeep the style MárquezFind a friendly critiqueRead the Paper BackwardsRewriteCheck it twice