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  • 1. Introduction to Academic Publishing: Advice from a former journal editor Kyushu University Daniel McGowan, PhD Science Director Edanz Group Japan January 21, 2011
  • 2. A little about me…
  • 3. Why publish? New validated New validated method published method published New findings of New findings of relevance published relevance published Hypothesis Hypothesis Draw Draw conclusions conclusions Design Design research research Perform Perform research research Edanz Group Japan | 3
  • 4. Why publish in English?  English is the international language of science  Other scientists want to hear from you!  Allows you to become an effective science communicator  International reputation enabling collaborations to be developed and opening up work opportunities abroad Edanz Group Japan | 4
  • 5. The importance of reading  Ensures the most appropriate research questions are asked  Ensures the most appropriate methods are used  Ensures results are interpreted in the appropriate context  Ensures the most relevant studies are cited  Helps with identification of suitable target journals Edanz Group Japan | 5
  • 6. The importance of reading Edanz Group Japan | 6
  • 7. Strategies for reading Read Title and Abstract first Read Title and Abstract first Self-assess knowledge of topic Self-assess knowledge of topic Read Results or the relevant parts Read Results or the relevant parts of the Results of the Results Read Discussion for interpretation Read Discussion for interpretation Refer to Introduction and Methods Refer to Introduction and Methods only if necessary only if necessary Edanz Group Japan | 7
  • 8. What do journal editors and reviewers want? Is the manuscript sufficiently novel? Is the manuscript of broad enough interest? Novelty Significance Aims and Scope Impact Factor Edanz Group Japan | 8
  • 9. What do high-impact journals want?  High novelty  Broad significance and interest  Findings that will have a strong impact on the field/open new areas of research  Fully validated results  Mechanistic or translational research  Well written manuscript presenting logic of approach and context Edanz Group Japan | 9
  • 10. What do high-impact journals want? IF: 36.1  “…the finest peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and technology on the basis of its originality, importance, interdisciplinary interest, timeliness, accessibility, elegance and surprising conclusions.”  “…prompt publication of significant advances in any branch of science…” Edanz Group Japan | 10
  • 11. What do high-impact journals want? IF: 32.4  “…findings of unusual significance in any area of experimental biology... The basic criterion for considering papers is whether the results provide significant conceptual advances into, or raise provocative questions and hypotheses regarding, an interesting biological question.” Edanz Group Japan | 11
  • 12. What do high-impact journals want?  “To be appropriate for BMC Medicine, articles need to be of outstanding quality, broad interest and special importance” IF: 5.75 Edanz Group Japan | 12
  • 13. Evaluating significance: importance  Specific interest only or of interest to many  Affect many (e.g. new tool)  Support for (or contradiction of) an existing theory  Substantially improve our understanding of a phenomenon or provide a new technology or disease treatment? Edanz Group Japan | 13
  • 14. Evaluating significance: importance Edanz Group Japan | 14
  • 15. Evaluating significance: importance  Provided the first successful neuronal cell model for SMA Broad interest New tool for testing theories/treatments Conceptual advance (fibroblasts only previous model) Potential for new screens and treatments Edanz Group Japan | 15
  • 16. Evaluating significance: novelty  How new are my results compared those already published? New findings New findings Incremental Incremental advances advances Conceptual Conceptual advances advances Low to medium Low to medium impact factor impact factor Medium to high Medium to high impact factor impact factor Edanz Group Japan | 16
  • 17. Evaluating significance: novelty Edanz Group Japan | 17
  • 18. Evaluating significance: novelty  Show how an epigenetic event underlies bilateral asymmmetry of C. elegans neuroanatomy Surprising and completely new finding Mechanisms uncovered in detail Applicability to a broad range of research fields Conceptual advance Edanz Group Japan | 18
  • 19. Evaluating significance: relevance  Are my findings of relevance only to a specific geographical region or ethnic population or do they have implications for other regions and populations?  High impact factor journals may consider specific findings if they are the first of their kind or of international significance Edanz Group Japan | 19
  • 20. Evaluating significance: relevance Edanz Group Japan | 20
  • 21. Evaluating significance: relevance  Surprising phenomenon described Historically rare and explosive event Event affected much of the world Local relevance but broad international interest Edanz Group Japan | 21
  • 22. Evaluating significance: appeal  Is my work in an area of ‘popular appeal’? E.g. is it likely to be reported in mainstream or lay scientific media  Examples: Edanz Group Japan | 22
  • 23. Enhancing significance  The significance of findings should be accentuated in the manuscript reporting them and the cover letter  Clearly communicating the significance (impact, novelty, relevance and appeal) of findings can increase the chances of acceptance in a highimpact journal Edanz Group Japan | 23
  • 24. Enhancing significance Edanz Group Japan | 24
  • 25. Enhancing significance Importance “Our results… suggest that left-right asymmetric epigenetic regulation can establish bilateral asymmetry in the nervous system.” Edanz Group Japan | 25
  • 26. Enhancing significance Novelty “We report the isolation of the first mutant histone allele recovered from a genetic screen of a multicellular organism” Edanz Group Japan | 26
  • 27. Enhancing significance Relevance and Appeal “We suggest that... could be a conserved epigenetic mechanism that generates bilateral asymmetries in the nervous system in organisms as distant as nematodes and mammals.” Edanz Group Japan | 27
  • 28. Enhancing significance  Clearly explain the rationale and aims in the Introduction and link back to these in the Discussion section  Cite all of the appropriate references—this shows reviewers and editors that you know what you are talking about  Describe the most important finding first followed by validating findings Edanz Group Japan | 28
  • 29. Packaging results: timing  Research is ongoing Grant funding Grant funding Grant funding Grant funding Grant funding Grant funding Research Publication Publication Publication Publication  Deciding when to publish can be difficult Edanz Group Japan | 29
  • 30. Packaging results: timing  Ask yourself:  Will additional supporting results allow me to ‘aim higher’? Array RT-PCR In situ Western Knockout blot RNAi  Do I have the resources available to perform these additional experiments? Salaries Mouse or cell lines Apparatus Within-team knowledge Edanz Group Japan | 30
  • 31. Packaging results: timing  Ask yourself:  Are there competitors working on the same problem? Conference presentations Future work Grant applications  Do I need a publication now or can I wait? Grant deadlines Departmental assessments Job applications Edanz Group Japan | 31
  • 32. Packaging results: to divide or not to divide  Example Gene expression Gene expression analyses analyses In situ and In situ and western blot western blot validations validations Low to medium Low to medium impact factor impact factor Corresponding Corresponding behavioural data behavioural data Low to medium Low to medium impact factor impact factor Edanz Group Japan | 32
  • 33. Packaging results: to divide or not to divide  Example Gene expression Gene expression analyses analyses In situ and In situ and western blot western blot validations validations Corresponding Corresponding behavioural data behavioural data Medium to high Medium to high impact factor impact factor Edanz Group Japan | 33
  • 34. Increasing output Review article Review article following prefollowing presubmission enquiry submission enquiry Commentaries Commentaries Opinion pieces Opinion pieces New method New method developed and novel developed and novel findings obtained findings obtained using it using it Methods paper Methods paper Primary publication Primary publication reporting main reporting main findings findings Follow-up paper(s) Follow-up paper(s) using method using method applied to other applied to other problems problems Edanz Group Japan | 34
  • 35. Choosing a target journal: timing  The target journal should be chosen:  After the results to be published have been obtained (with no new ones coming)  After a decision has been made on how high to aim—high, medium or low impact  Before writing the manuscript Edanz Group Japan | 35
  • 36. Choosing a target journal: how  Journal selection should be based on an honest evaluation of the manuscript and a comparison of this with the stated aims and scope and impact factor of potential target journals Novelty Significance Aims and Scope Impact Factor Edanz Group Japan | 36
  • 37. Choosing a target journal: how  Search the literature for papers describing similar findings with a similar scope and impact—what journals are these papers published in?  What journals were the papers cited in your manuscript published in?  Make a shortlist of potential target journals and thoroughly read the aims and scope of each Edanz Group Japan | 37
  • 38. Reasons for rejection: the science Methods Methods Validations Validations Research question Research question Statistics Statistics Data versus Data versus conclusions conclusions Edanz Group Japan | 38
  • 39. Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Methods detail Methods detail Citations Citations Rationale and aims Rationale and aims Results format Results format Limitations Limitations Edanz Group Japan | 39
  • 40. Reasons for rejection: other Inappropriate journal Inappropriate journal selected: scope, selected: scope, impact, audience impact, audience Inappropriate Inappropriate timing: too early or timing: too early or late late Edanz Group Japan | 40
  • 41. Peer review  Peer review exists to ensure that your paper is as scientifically robust and complete as possible before joining the ‘collective knowledge’ as part of the literature  See it as an opportunity to improve your contribution, not an inconvenience  Open / Blind / Double blind Edanz Group Japan | 41
  • 42. Writing reviews  Writing reviews is a great way to establish an international reputation in your field  Reviews are often highly cited (h index)  However:  Most published reviews are commissioned by journal editors, although this is sometimes in response to an unsolicited enquiry Edanz Group Japan | 42
  • 43. Writing reviews  A good review article should:  Be timely  Present an angle or cover new results not reviewed elsewhere  Have a clearly defined scope  Be more than just a summary of recent literature in the field—author perspective, gaps  Be authored by researchers who have made recent and important contributions to the field Edanz Group Japan | 43
  • 44. Writing reviews  If considering writing a review article:  Read target journal policy on review articles  Write an outline including suggested figures/tables and key references  Write a presubmission enquiry letter  Work with Editor to finalize scope and angle if an invitation to submit is forthcoming Edanz Group Japan | 44
  • 45. Thank you! http://edanzediting.co.jp/kyushu201201 This presentation Templates Guidelines Edanz Group Japan | 45