Publishing your First Few Papers_TUE_130_catlos


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Publishing your First Few Papers_TUE_130_catlos

  1. 1. PUBLISHING YOUR FIRST FEW PAPERS Dr. Elizabeth Catlos, UT Austin Dr. Eric Peterson, Illinois State Univ. Dr. Michael Wysession, Washington Univ. in St. Louis
  2. 2. OUTLINE Pressure to publish Writing strategies Preparing manuscripts Common problems Our advice
  3. 3. PRESSURE TO PUBLISH Consider your departmental/university expectations with publishing  „For tenure they say two articles or a book or whatever. I’ve made up my own rules for what I should do based on what I think I understand of all the expectations. I’ll have a couple of articles and several conference papers.‟  One the one hand, this faculty member demonstrates autonomy, self- direction, and personal achievement.  On the other hand, he could be heading down a road of self-destruction. (Menges and Associates, 1999) What is your h-index?  The h-index is an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and impact of the published work  A scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np − h) papers have no more than h citations each  How important is your h-index (or other indices) to your department?  How can you increase your h-index?  How can you increase the value of your work to others?
  4. 4. PRESSURE TO PUBLISH Consider having an active academic social networking profile  Other researchers can follow you/your updates via numerous on-line sites  Easy for those tasked to evaluate your tenure application  Easy access to download your publications (important to those who may not have subscriptions)  Facebook, Linked-In are standard not as important as  Google Scholar includes # citations, h-index, i10-index; follows your publishing career  Researchgate ( can upload all pdfs, keep track of downloads, compare to colleagues in dept. and university  Researcherid ( Can manage their publication lists, track their times cited counts and h-index, identify potential collaborators and avoid author misidentification. Integrates with the Web of Knowledge and is ORCID compliant.  Others?
  5. 5. WRITING STRATEGIES Support your writing  Be aware of your writing rituals and make them work for you  Read and study manuscripts in your field regularly  Set aside a regular time without interruptions. The more you write, the easier it is  Refuse frustration and „defeatist‟ attitudes  Read books about how to improve your writing Just write  Record the amount of time spent writing  Start as you collect data  Make use of an outline  Use larger blocks of time to cut the project into manageable pieces  Post key „data‟ where they are easy to view and write to them  Organize around key sentences  Write, and then continually revise and update
  6. 6. PREPARING MANUSCRIPTS Write with the journal in mind  Importance of the impact factor  Special issue?  Open access? Contact your librarian if “invited” to submit a paper to an odd, but reputable sounding journal or issue  Color figure cost, publication costs, urgency? Consider breaking up the research  1 paper? Many papers? Work on improving your writing  Read books about scientific writing, how to improve your writing  Read and try to emulate authors your respect and understand Write to convince an imagined adversarial reviewer  Anticipate problems  Cite literature appropriately  Write concisely  Assume no one will read the entire paper  Assume someone will check your references and count the page #s
  7. 7. PREPARING MANUSCRIPTS Structure your paper like an hourglass  Introduction/background discuss the big picture then zone into a particular topic Write the title carefully  Least number of words to describe what has been done Write strategically  Introduction first, then methods/background, then your results Importance of the abstract  The abstract is like an expanded title  Consider abstract like a series of headlines Make sure all figures/tables/images convey critical information Write a cover letter to accompany your submission  Not exceed 2 pages  Long enough to help the editor see the relevance of your work and choose appropriate reviewers
  8. 8. COMMON PROBLEMS Logical flaws or rhetorical leaps in the text  Problems in the science  Errors in interpretations or data collection  Reviewers unconvinced of the value The manuscript does not fit the content or style of the journal to which it has been submitted Poor organization  New observations, data, or interpretations appear in the Summary or Conclusion sections  Critical arguments appear late in the text.  Figures are cited out of order or are missing.  Incorrectly cited references or too many references. Spelling errors or other grammatical mistakes  Have someone (mentor/student) read before submitting
  9. 9. OUR ADVICE Seek feedback before submission Review manuscripts if asked Suggest possible reviewers Make the most of your reviews and revise your manuscript if its not rejected  Take *all* reviewer‟s and editor‟s comments into account in revising  “Reviewers have now commented on your paper. You will see that they are advising that you revise your manuscript. If you are prepared to undertake the work required, I would be pleased to reconsider my decision.” Communication is the key  Strive to communicate as clearly as possible in your writing – keep the exposition simple  Use your cover letter to facilitate communication with the editor.  Answer each criticism and „communicate‟ with the editor and reviewers. Indicate in the letter both the positive comments made about your manuscript and the issues that you have addressed. Do not be discouraged if the paper is rejected
  10. 10. REFERENCES Boice, Robert. (1989). Procrastination, busyness and bingeing. Behavior Research Therapy, 27, 605- 611. Boice, Robert. (2000). Advice for new faculty members: Nihil nimus. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, & Joseph M. Williams. (2003). The craft of research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Fiske, Donald W., and Louis Fogg. (1990). But the reviewers are making different criticisms of my paper! Diversity and uniqueness in reviewer comments. American Psychologist, 45, 591-598. Gopen G. D., and Swan, J. A. (1990). The science of science writing, American Scientist, 78, 550-558. Gray, Tara (2005). Summary (by the author) of Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar, posted on „tomorrow‟s professor (see footnote 1) Tue, 6 Sep 2005. Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar is available at McCloskey, Deirdre. (2000). Economical writing (2nd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. Menges, R.J. (1989) Faculty in New Jobs: A Guide to Settling In, Becoming Established, and Building Institutional Support. Jossey-Bass, 338pp. Van Hinsbergen, Douwe, Video lecture on writing papers, available at Williams, Joseph, with Gregory Colomb. (1990). Style: Toward clarity and grace. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.