Hints and and  Coverage tips   Staffing PlanStarting off on a scientific          careerMelanie de Souza, PhD   Valéry Rid...
Customer Service  Introduction                   About Melanie …                                     Senior Editor
Customer Service   Introduction                      About Valéry …Associate Professor
Scientific publishing                        Your goals….              Exchange                      Top                id...
Scientific publishing                        Adopt a winning strategy     Footballer                               Scienti...
Preparation               Good data                                    Impact              • Importance?              • Si...
Communication                   Your manuscript   Clear and             Tell an                                        Rea...
Understanding                        Submission process                            Peer review                            ...
Understanding      What do journal editors                   want?                    Read a good story!                  ...
Avoiding rejection   Reasons for rejection: the                     science     Inactive                    Weak research ...
Avoiding rejection   Reasons for rejection:                     the science                        Inactive               ...
Avoiding rejection     Reasons for rejection:                       the science                      Weak research        ...
Avoiding rejection     Reasons for rejection: the                       science      Incomplete                 Inappropri...
Avoiding rejection    Reasons for rejection: the                      science                                     Inaccura...
Avoiding rejection   Reasons for rejection: the                     manuscript                     Publication ethics     ...
Avoiding rejection    Reasons for rejection: the                      manuscript                     Publication ethics   ...
Avoiding rejection   Reasons for rejection: the                     manuscriptJournal requirements                        ...
Avoiding rejection    Reasons for rejection: the                      manuscriptPoor grammar and                Inappropri...
Any questions?
Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan   Journal Selection
Before you start …                      Factors to consider                        Indexing status      Impact factor     ...
Before you start …                     Timing• Choose your target journal:    – After you have decided you have enough res...
Hints and andCoverage tips    Your target journal in Staffing Plan                 minutes not days
Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan   Journal Selector Step 1                                 Insert your            ...
Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan   Journal Selector Step 2                                Recommended             ...
Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan   Journal Selector Step 3                                     Refined            ...
Hints and and       Coverage tips        Staffing Plan   Journal Selector Step 4Semantic matching     termsJournals IF, Ai...
Knowledge                           Read regularly                                    Published                           ...
Any questions?
Peer review              Improves your manuscript                  Rejection     Acceptance                               ...
Peer review                  Decision letters Reject        • Alternative journal               • Major or minor revisions...
Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan   Speed up submission processEditor             Manuscript         Cover letter  ...
Hints and and Coverage tips  Staffing Plan             Write a cover letter!Dear Editor-in-Chief,I am sending you our manu...
Hints and and           Coverage tips            Staffing Plan                             An effective cover letterDear D...
Peer review               Revision   • Politely respond to all the referee’s     comments in a response letter   • Make it...
Peer review                         AgreementReviewer Comment: In your analysis of the data you have chosento use a somewh...
Peer review                        DisagreementReviewer Comment: In your analysis of the data you have chosento use a some...
Peer review       Understanding reviewer                  comments           “The English needs to be improved”          “...
Hints and and   Coverage tips      Help your readers    Staffing Plan                      understand“If you can’t explain...
Any questions?
Thank you Good luck!
Appendix
Scientific publishing   Checklist for avoiding                        rejection                            Ethical        ...
Coverage andHints and tips                  Recommending Staffing Plan                    reviewers    From your reading a...
Knowledge        Reading improves                     manuscript writing                           How?What to do      Str...
Knowledge                 Make time to read                     Read often            • At least …              – 20–30 mi...
Knowledge              How to read an article            Figures & Tables, then Results            Discussion for interpre...
Manuscript structure                       You need to tell a story         Beginning     Middle     End • Must be easy to...
Manuscript structure                         ‘Tell them three times’    • Beginning        – Assertion        – ‘tell them...
Manuscript structure                       IMRaD                   •   Introduction   Assertion                   •   Meth...
Manuscript structure                       The ‘write’ order • For maximum clarity and consistency:     Methods     Result...
Manuscript structure                       Abstract          • Concise          • Describe problem(s) addressed           ...
Manuscript structure                       Introduction      What problem was studied?         Why was it investigated?   ...
Manuscript structure                       Introduction Beginning       • Sufficient background information          – Put...
Manuscript structure                       Introduction Middle    • Rationale       – The reason(s) for doing this work?  ...
Manuscript structure                       Introduction End        • Clearly and explicitly state specific          aims o...
Manuscript structure                       Methods• Subheadings• Past tense• New methods must be described in sufficient  ...
Manuscript structure                       Results      • Use subheadings      • Past tense to describe your results      ...
Manuscript structure                       Display items   •   Present data quickly and efficiently   •   Most significant...
Manuscript structure                       Discussion  What do these findings mean?                Answer in Discussion   ...
Manuscript structure                       Discussion Beginning•   Avoid just restating results•   Answer the research que...
Manuscript structure                       Discussion Middle      • Interpret your results          – Compare with other s...
Manuscript structure                       Discussion End     • Restate major conclusion(s)        – In summary …     or  ...
Appendix: structured abstractsWhy? Easy for authors to write Easy for readers to understand Good for computerized indexing...
Appendix: structured abstracts Example
Appendix: useful set phrases AbstractHere, we present…Here, we show…Here, we report…In this work we introduce…
Appendix: useful set phrases Abstract These results show… To test whether (past tense), we performed.... To examine if (pa...
Appendix: useful set phrases Introduction We demonstrated previously… Previous studies have shown that… We have previously...
Appendix: useful set phrases Introduction Therefore, we tested the hypothesis … This report describes experiments designed...
Appendix: useful set phrases Methods To test whether XX (past tense), we performed.... To examine if XX (paste tense) we p...
Appendix: useful set phrases Results Among the cases we analyzed… XX was/were observed…. The results are summarized in Tab...
Appendix: useful set phrases Discussion In the current study, we have shown… In summary… To conclude… In conclusion… In de...
Appendix: useful set phrases Discussion The above data collectively show… Our data supports the idea that XX Our study sup...
Appendix: useful set phrases Cover lettersPlease find enclosed our manuscript entitled (title) by(First Author) et al., wh...
Appendix: statements Cover lettersAll cover letters should contain these sentences: We confirm that this manuscript has no...
Appendix: statements Cover lettersMost medical research cover letters should containthese or similar sentences: We have re...
Appendix: useful set phrases Response lettersPlease find enclosed our revised manuscript entitled(title) by (First Author)...
Appendix: statistics  Consult an expert!  State the statistical tests used to analyze data  Provide the name, version and ...
Appendix: statistics A few rules  Precision: Life expectancy of 22.085 years → 22 years Always give numerator and denomina...
Appendix: simple words    Prefer               Avoid    more                 additional    enough               adequate  ...
Appendix: simple words    Prefer               Avoid    size                 magnitude    aim                  objective  ...
Appendix: simple words   Prefer                Avoid   later                 subsequently   enough                sufficie...
Appendix: useful set phrases AbstractHere, we present…Here, we show…Here, we report…In this work we introduce…
Appendix: useful set phrases Abstract These results show… To test whether (past tense), we performed.... To examine if (pa...
Appendix: useful set phrases Introduction We demonstrated previously… Previous studies have shown that… We have previously...
Appendix: useful set phrases Introduction Therefore, we tested the hypothesis … This report describes experiments designed...
Appendix: useful set phrases Methods To test whether XX (past tense), we performed.... To examine if XX (paste tense) we p...
Appendix: useful set phrases Results Among the cases we analyzed… XX was/were observed…. The results are summarized in Tab...
Appendix: useful set phrases Discussion In the current study, we have shown… In summary… To conclude… In conclusion… In de...
Appendix: useful set phrases Discussion The above data collectively show… Our data supports the idea that XX Our study sup...
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Starting off on a scientific career

  1. 1. Hints and and Coverage tips Staffing PlanStarting off on a scientific careerMelanie de Souza, PhD Valéry Ridde, PhDSenior Editor Associate ProfessorEdanz Montreal University
  2. 2. Customer Service Introduction About Melanie … Senior Editor
  3. 3. Customer Service Introduction About Valéry …Associate Professor
  4. 4. Scientific publishing Your goals…. Exchange Top ideas scientist globally You must publish in English International Grant Career collaborations applications advancements
  5. 5. Scientific publishing Adopt a winning strategy Footballer Scientist Physical fitness Preparation Results Team members Communication Manuscript Rules of the game Understanding Submission process Opposition Knowledge Published literature Win games Tactics Publication record
  6. 6. Preparation Good data Impact • Importance? • Significance?Results • Implications? • Who will benefit? Target audience
  7. 7. Communication Your manuscript Clear and Tell an Readable concise English interesting story Non-text Tables Figures/Schemes representation Meet reader Editors/Peer Target audience expectations reviewers
  8. 8. Understanding Submission process Peer review Results novel? Topic relevant? Journal requirements met?Manuscript Editor Reject New experiments Improve readability Accepted— Add information publication! Revision
  9. 9. Understanding What do journal editors want? Read a good story! Clear and Interesting to theNovel research concise English readers RelevantTopical research scientific Correct format field message
  10. 10. Avoiding rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Inactive Weak research research field motive Inappropriate Incomplete methodology data Inaccurate Poor analysis conclusions
  11. 11. Avoiding rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Inactive research field • Scientifically irrelevant • Results can be deduced from literature • Does not advance the field Rejection
  12. 12. Avoiding rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Weak research motive • Scientifically irrelevant • Unclear or not explicitly stated • Not supported by data Negative opinion
  13. 13. Avoiding rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Incomplete Inappropriate data methodology • Not enough controls/samples • Hinders proper analysis • Conclusions questionable Invalidates study
  14. 14. Avoiding rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Inaccurate Poor analysis conclusions • Incorrect statistical tests • Inappropriate methods • Use assumptions Invalidates study
  15. 15. Avoiding rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Publication ethics ignoredJournal requirements Old references not metPoor grammar and Inappropriate data style presentation
  16. 16. Avoiding rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Publication ethics ignored • Plagiarism • Multiple submissions • Conflicts of interest not disclosed • Non-compliance with ethical standards Rejection
  17. 17. Avoiding rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscriptJournal requirements Old citations not met • Ignore author guidelines • Missing compliance statements • Old/self citations Rejection
  18. 18. Avoiding rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscriptPoor grammar and Inappropriate data style presentation • Unable to follow your logic • Too much data/information • Duplication of results Negative opinion
  19. 19. Any questions?
  20. 20. Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan Journal Selection
  21. 21. Before you start … Factors to consider Indexing status Impact factor Target audience Target Open access Publication Journal type Publishing language Society Publishing Membership frequency
  22. 22. Before you start … Timing• Choose your target journal: – After you have decided you have enough results for a publication – After a decision has been made on how high to aim—high, medium or low impact – Before writing the Title, Abstract, Introduction or Discussion sections
  23. 23. Hints and andCoverage tips Your target journal in Staffing Plan minutes not days
  24. 24. Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan Journal Selector Step 1 Insert your proposed abstract
  25. 25. Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan Journal Selector Step 2 Recommended journals Abstract Advanced Impact factor Matching and type of journal
  26. 26. Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan Journal Selector Step 3 Refined recommended journals
  27. 27. Hints and and Coverage tips Staffing Plan Journal Selector Step 4Semantic matching termsJournals IF, Aims & Scope, and Frequency Similar published articles
  28. 28. Knowledge Read regularly Published LiteratureImprove your Established Journals writing researchers Topic Good scientifically Journal Club layout/ relevant? structure? Methods/ Conclusions analysis logical? appropriate?
  29. 29. Any questions?
  30. 30. Peer review Improves your manuscript Rejection Acceptance Minor revision Major revision• Few papers are accepted without revision• Rejection and revision are integral• Peer review should be a positive process
  31. 31. Peer review Decision letters Reject • Alternative journal • Major or minor revisionsRevision • Extending deadlines • Deadlines for final versionAccept • File formats
  32. 32. Hints and andCoverage tips Staffing Plan Speed up submission processEditor Manuscript Cover letter Peer List UpdateEditor review reviewers references Revised Point-by-pointEditor Manuscript response letter
  33. 33. Hints and and Coverage tips Staffing Plan Write a cover letter!Dear Editor-in-Chief,I am sending you our manuscript entitled “Techniques to detect circoviruses inAustralian bird species” by Raye et al. We would like to have the manuscriptconsidered for publication in Virology Methods Online.Please let me know of your decision at your earliest convenience.Sincerely yours,Warren Raye, PhD Guide Sells your work
  34. 34. Hints and and Coverage tips Staffing Plan An effective cover letterDear Dr Graeber,Please find enclosed our manuscript entitled “Amyloid-like inclusions in the brains of Huntington’s disease patients”, byMcGowan et al., which we would like to submit for publication as a Research Paper in Neurogenetics.Recent immunohistochemical studies have revealed the presence of neuronal inclusions containing an N-terminal portion of Give thethe mutant huntingtin protein and ubiquitin in the brain tissues of Huntington’s disease (HD) patients; however, the role of background tothese inclusions in the disease process has remained unclear. One suspected disease-causing mechanism in Huntington’s …… the researchTo confirm if the immunohistochemically observed huntingtin- and ubiquitin-containing inclusions display amyloid features, we What wasperformed Congo red staining and both polarizing and confocal microscopy on post-mortem human brain tissues obtainedfrom five HD patients, two AD patients, and two normal controls. Congo red staining revealed a small number of amyloid-like done and whatinclusions showing green birefringence by polarized microscopy, in a variety of cortical regions.... ….detected inclusions ….. was foundWe believe our findings would appeal to a broad audience, such as the readership of Neurogenetics. As a wide-reaching journal Interest topublishing original research on all aspects of neuroscience… journal’s readersPotential list of reviewers Reviewers with contact detailsConflict of interest forms are attached.……. CompliancePlease address all correspondence to…. statements
  35. 35. Peer review Revision • Politely respond to all the referee’s comments in a response letter • Make it easy to see the changes – Refer to line and page numbers – Different color font – Highlight the text
  36. 36. Peer review AgreementReviewer Comment: In your analysis of the data you have chosento use a somewhat obscure fitting function (regression). In myopinion, a simple Gaussian function would have sufficed.Moreover, the results would be more instructive and easier tocompare to previous results.Response: We agree with the reviewer’s assessment of theanalysis. Our tailored function makes it impossible to fullyinterpret the data in terms of the prevailing theories. In addition, inits current form it would be difficult to tell that this measurementconstitutes a significant improvement over previously reportedvalues. We have redone the analysis using a Gaussian fittingfunction.
  37. 37. Peer review DisagreementReviewer Comment: In your analysis of the data you have chosento use a somewhat obscure fitting function (regression). In myopinion, a simple Gaussian function would have sufficed.Moreover, the results would be more instructive and easier tocompare to previous results.Response: We agree with the reviewer that a simple Gaussian fitwould facilitate comparison with the results of other studies.However, our tailored function allows for the analysis of the datain terms of the Smith model [Smith et al, 1998]. We have addedtwo sentences to the paper (page 3 paragraph 2) to explain theuse of this function and Smith’s model.
  38. 38. Peer review Understanding reviewer comments “The English needs to be improved” “Your writing is difficult to understand” • Grammar and spelling • Long, complex sentences and paragraphs • Gaps in the logic • Poor manuscript organization • Too much information
  39. 39. Hints and and Coverage tips Help your readers Staffing Plan understand“If you can’t explain something simply, youdon’t understand it well.” – Albert Einstein• Write to express not impress• Use simple language• Consider your audience – their native language may not be English
  40. 40. Any questions?
  41. 41. Thank you Good luck!
  42. 42. Appendix
  43. 43. Scientific publishing Checklist for avoiding rejection Ethical Journal Comply with… guidelines requirement Scientific Updated Manuscript has… relevant references message Point-by-point Prepare a… Cover letter response letter
  44. 44. Coverage andHints and tips Recommending Staffing Plan reviewers From your reading and references Networking/attending conferences Aim for younger and mid-level scientists Provide reasons for recommending or excluding a reviewer Editors have the final decision on reviewer choice
  45. 45. Knowledge Reading improves manuscript writing How?What to do Structure & style Journal quality Argument Get new ideas What not to do structure
  46. 46. Knowledge Make time to read Read often • At least … – 20–30 min each day – 60 min, once a week • Discuss with colleagues – Journal club – Group meetings
  47. 47. Knowledge How to read an article Figures & Tables, then Results Discussion for interpretation Refer to Introduction and Methods if necessary
  48. 48. Manuscript structure You need to tell a story Beginning Middle End • Must be easy to read and easy to understand
  49. 49. Manuscript structure ‘Tell them three times’ • Beginning – Assertion – ‘tell them what you are going to tell them,’ • Middle – Evidence – ‘tell them,’ • End – Affirmation – ‘tell them again what you told them’.
  50. 50. Manuscript structure IMRaD • Introduction Assertion • Methods Evidence • Results • and Affirmation • Discussion
  51. 51. Manuscript structure The ‘write’ order • For maximum clarity and consistency: Methods Results During your research Introduction Discussion After selecting target journal Title Abstract Write last
  52. 52. Manuscript structure Abstract • Concise • Describe problem(s) addressed (10%) • Objectives/hypotheses (20%) • Techniques; avoid details (10%) • Most important results (40%) • Concluding statement (20%)
  53. 53. Manuscript structure Introduction What problem was studied? Why was it investigated? Beginning Middle End
  54. 54. Manuscript structure Introduction Beginning • Sufficient background information – Puts your work into context General Specific • Comprehensive literature review • Cite publications
  55. 55. Manuscript structure Introduction Middle • Rationale – The reason(s) for doing this work? – Why is it important? • Explain how you addressed the problem • Do not state results from your work • General statement regarding methods
  56. 56. Manuscript structure Introduction End • Clearly and explicitly state specific aims of your study
  57. 57. Manuscript structure Methods• Subheadings• Past tense• New methods must be described in sufficient detail that they can be reproduced• Established methods can be referenced
  58. 58. Manuscript structure Results • Use subheadings • Past tense to describe your results • Present tense when referring to figures and tables • Do not explain the results • Avoid duplication
  59. 59. Manuscript structure Display items • Present data quickly and efficiently • Most significant result as a figure or table • Keep it simple • Label all parts of figures • Legends must be able to ‘stand alone’
  60. 60. Manuscript structure Discussion What do these findings mean? Answer in Discussion Beginning Middle End
  61. 61. Manuscript structure Discussion Beginning• Avoid just restating results• Answer the research question(s) posed• Emphasize the major finding(s) first• What is your major conclusion, based on the results you have presented?
  62. 62. Manuscript structure Discussion Middle • Interpret your results – Compare with other studies • Same or different? • Unexpected results • Briefly describe limitations – How could experiments be improved?
  63. 63. Manuscript structure Discussion End • Restate major conclusion(s) – In summary … or In conclusion … • Possible applications and implications • Suggest future work
  64. 64. Appendix: structured abstractsWhy? Easy for authors to write Easy for readers to understand Good for computerized indexing Follow the IMRaD format:Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of ReportingTrials) recommends Structured Abstract for RCTpapers (randomized controlled trials).
  65. 65. Appendix: structured abstracts Example
  66. 66. Appendix: useful set phrases AbstractHere, we present…Here, we show…Here, we report…In this work we introduce…
  67. 67. Appendix: useful set phrases Abstract These results show… To test whether (past tense), we performed.... To examine if (past tense) we (past tense) We used XX to YY. Using this approach, weidentified ZZ
  68. 68. Appendix: useful set phrases Introduction We demonstrated previously… Previous studies have shown that… We have previously shown that… The topic of XX has recently been reviewed1.(insert reference) To determine whether … The purpose of this study was …
  69. 69. Appendix: useful set phrases Introduction Therefore, we tested the hypothesis … This report describes experiments designed to determine whether … Therefore, our first objective in these studies was to determine whether … In this study, we sought to extend our observations and specifically test …
  70. 70. Appendix: useful set phrases Methods To test whether XX (past tense), we performed.... To examine if XX (paste tense) we performed…
  71. 71. Appendix: useful set phrases Results Among the cases we analyzed… XX was/were observed…. The results are summarized in Table 1. Figure 2a shows the effect of X on Y. Group X showed higher/lower levels of Y thanthe control group.
  72. 72. Appendix: useful set phrases Discussion In the current study, we have shown… In summary… To conclude… In conclusion… In demonstrating XX, our findings showthat/illustrate that… Taken together these results suggest…
  73. 73. Appendix: useful set phrases Discussion The above data collectively show… Our data supports the idea that XX Our study supports the hypothesis that ZZ Our study is limited by… There were some limitations to the currentstudy.
  74. 74. Appendix: useful set phrases Cover lettersPlease find enclosed our manuscript entitled (title) by(First Author) et al., which we would like to submit forpublication as a (Publication Type) in (Journal name).To our knowledge, this is the first report showing…We believe our findings would appeal to the readershipof (Journal name).Please address all correspondence to:We shall look forward to hearing from you at yourearliest convenience.
  75. 75. Appendix: statements Cover lettersAll cover letters should contain these sentences: We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal. All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with submission to (Journal Name).
  76. 76. Appendix: statements Cover lettersMost medical research cover letters should containthese or similar sentences: We have read and have abided by the statement of ethical standards for manuscripts submitted to (Journal Name). The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.Or briefly give information describing any conflicts
  77. 77. Appendix: useful set phrases Response lettersPlease find enclosed our revised manuscript entitled(title) by (First Author) et al., which we would like toresubmit for publication as a (Publication Type) in(Journal name).Your comments and those of the reviewers were veryhelpful.In the following pages are our point-by-point responsesto each of the comments of the reviewers.
  78. 78. Appendix: statistics Consult an expert! State the statistical tests used to analyze data Provide the name, version and maker of the statistical package used E.g. SPSS 11.0; SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA Only use the word “significant” when describing statistically significant differencesAlternatives: notable, substantial, marked
  79. 79. Appendix: statistics A few rules Precision: Life expectancy of 22.085 years → 22 years Always give numerator and denominator e.g., 25%(740/2958) Avoid using percentages to summarize small samples Be very clear with percentages within subgroups:“Of the 1000 patients, 800 (80%) were women; (31%) had aBMI of…” “Of the 1000 patients, 800 (80%) were women; of these, 250 (31%) had a BMI of…”
  80. 80. Appendix: simple words Prefer Avoid more additional enough adequate clear apparent try attempt show demonstrate try endeavor very exceedingly
  81. 81. Appendix: simple words Prefer Avoid size magnitude aim objective take part participate done performed asked requested lives resides keep retain
  82. 82. Appendix: simple words Prefer Avoid later subsequently enough sufficient end terminate use utilization
  83. 83. Appendix: useful set phrases AbstractHere, we present…Here, we show…Here, we report…In this work we introduce…
  84. 84. Appendix: useful set phrases Abstract These results show… To test whether (past tense), we performed.... To examine if (past tense) we (past tense) We used XX to YY. Using this approach, weidentified ZZ
  85. 85. Appendix: useful set phrases Introduction We demonstrated previously… Previous studies have shown that… We have previously shown that… The topic of XX has recently been reviewed1.(insert reference) To determine whether … The purpose of this study was …
  86. 86. Appendix: useful set phrases Introduction Therefore, we tested the hypothesis … This report describes experiments designed to determine whether … Therefore, our first objective in these studies was to determine whether … In this study, we sought to extend our observations and specifically test …
  87. 87. Appendix: useful set phrases Methods To test whether XX (past tense), we performed.... To examine if XX (paste tense) we performed…
  88. 88. Appendix: useful set phrases Results Among the cases we analyzed… XX was/were observed…. The results are summarized in Table 1. Figure 2a shows the effect of X on Y. Group X showed higher/lower levels of Y thanthe control group.
  89. 89. Appendix: useful set phrases Discussion In the current study, we have shown… In summary… To conclude… In conclusion… In demonstrating XX, our findings showthat/illustrate that… Taken together these results suggest…
  90. 90. Appendix: useful set phrases Discussion The above data collectively show… Our data supports the idea that XX Our study supports the hypothesis that ZZ Our study is limited by… There were some limitations to the currentstudy.

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