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Publishing scientific research - Natalie Pafitis

  1. 1. Publishing Scientific Research Natalie Pafitis, Senior Executive Editor BioMed Central
  2. 2. Outline About us Open Access Publishing scientific articles Defining impact in scientific publishing
  3. 3. About us
  4. 4. Hello! Natalie Pafitis Executive Editor, BMC Public Health Joined BioMed Central in October 2007 Responsible for the performance and success of BMC Public Health
  5. 5. BioMed Central and Springer – open access publishers BioMed Central Led the way in open access publishing Launched its first open access journal in 2000 STM publisher of 258 peer-reviewed open access journals: BMC series (65 titles) Independent journals – some society-affiliated 7 journals with some subscription content Owned by Springer Science+Business Media since October 2008 Open Access journals have a rigorous peer review system, just like subscription journals SpringerOpen Launched in June 2010 160+ peer-reviewed open access journals Launched open access books in August 2012 How our journals work All research articles may be shared and used freely under a Creative Commons licence • You are free to share, remix and make commercial use of the work • You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author/licensor Costs covered by article processing charge (APC)
  6. 6. Open Access
  7. 7. 2000 2013 And many more…
  8. 8. Differences between subscription and open access models Subscription journals Library sales and society membership subscriptions bring in most of the revenue Most born print, so often page budget restrictions, issue planning Access (to recent articles) limited to those who pay for it Library budgets can be an issue Copyright and licensing arrangements govern access. Copyright remains with the publisher. Open access journals Most revenue comes from article processing/publishing charges (APCs) Many born online, so often continuous publication, no issue planning, no page budget restrictions No access limits Author access to funds can be an issue Creative commons licensing means that author keeps copyright and anyone can use.
  9. 9. Similarities between subscription and open access models Subscription journal Editors in chief and editorial boards Peer review Importance of indexing Publishing standards High- and low-threshold journals There are costs: e.g. editorial, technical, production, customer services, marketing, sales PR Registration, certification, dissemination, and archiving of research Open access journal Editors in chief and editorial boards Peer review Importance of indexing Publishing standards High- and low-threshold journals There are costs: e.g. editorial, technical, production, customer services, marketing, sales PR Registration, certification, dissemination, and archiving of research
  10. 10. The benefits of open access Free to read Free to re-use All stakeholders benefit - Easier to find use relevant literature - Increases the visibility, readership and impact of author’s works - Creates new ways of use - Enhances interdisciplinary research - Accelerates the pace of research, discovery and innovation
  11. 11. How are open access publication fees paid? Authors pay out of grant funds Some funders provide dedicated funds Institutions may cover costs centrally (eg: through open access funds or membership arrangements with open access publishers) Some societies cover the costs for their journals
  12. 12. How does institutional membership work? Many publishers offer open access memberships to institutions. BioMed Central offers these options: Prepay Membership The institution covers the whole cost of publishing with no additional fees paid by their authors. The institution benefits from discounts. Shared-support Membership The cost of publishing is split between the institution and author. Discounts apply. Supporter Membership Institutions pay a flat-rate annual membership fee based on the number of researchers and graduate students at their institution. Authors then receive a 15% discount. Foundation Membership A free service enabling institutions from developing countries to demonstrate their support for open access publishing. There is no cost but institutions must fulfil certain criteria. The APC is covered by the BioMed Central waiver fund.
  13. 13. What if an author has no access to publication funds? At BioMed Central APC waivers are available for authors from low-income or lower-middle-income countries Our waivers team assesses all requests for waivers or discounts
  14. 14. Publishing scientific articles
  15. 15. Why you should publish • Publish or Perish: Your research is NOT complete until it has been published • Present new and original results or methods • Exchange ideas, communicate with peers - Advance (not repeat) scientific knowledge and enhance scientific progress • Credibility of results • Grant writing, research funding • Recognition and career advancement • Personal prestige and satisfaction Funding Bodies Grant writing Researchers Scientific Publication
  16. 16. Why you should publish – in English • It is currently the international language of science (it has been e.g. French and German in the past) • Foster (international) collaborations • Scientists will want to hear from other scientists around the world • Develop an international status / reputation • Your number of publications in journals with an Impact Factor (i.e. English language journals) is linked to career advancement and funding
  17. 17. Before you begin • To Write = To Read • Know the status quo of your field of research • Make sure you have access to the most up-to-date scientific literature, scientific communication is about advancing - not repeating - scientific knowledge (remember your library provides access to most of the scientific publications, e.g. on • Work on your writing style, develop concise writing skills as well as specialized vocabulary • Refine your skills by reviewing papers of colleagues. This will help you form a strong framework for your own research writing • Determine a feel of the (kind of) journal you wish to publish in
  18. 18. Before you begin (cont.) • Make sure you do good quality science: • Have a hypothesis or research question • Make sure that the science that supports your research is valid and supports your conclusions • Use appropriate methods and controls • Ensure sample sizes are large enough • Use appropriate statistical tests • Remove investigator/researcher/patient bias • Comply with ethical requirements • Citation of most appropriate research
  19. 19. What journal editors want Good quality science! (use previous slide as your checklist!) Work which will stand up to peer review (quality / language) Novel to the scientific community, original research Research that is interesting to the journal’s readership (so also make sure to choose the right journal!) Active research areas (many citations) Clear concise writing “Thank you for your article submission, the results are new and interesting. Unfortunately the new results are not interesting, and the interesting results are not new.”
  20. 20. How to choose the right journal • Choose the journal after completion of the research, but before writing the article so you can write it according to the journal specific guidelines • Consider your audience (aims and scope of the journal, regional / global visibility) • Consider how often the journal is published • Consider the costs (publishing in traditional - subscription based - journals is in most cases free to the author, however, in Open Access publishing there is an Article Processing Fee) • Read the journal, the product page and the submission guidelines • Talk to colleagues about their experiences with the journal • Make use of the expertise of your library staff
  21. 21. How to choose the right journal (cont.) • Check where collaborating / competing research groups and researchers publish their work • Is an Impact Factor important to you? Or are you more concerned about usage / visibility? • Follow the references in your own paper. Where were the original papers published and read? • Check publisher sites, you can often find useful information in the ‘for authors’ section • Use tools such as the Edanz Journal Selector at • Avoid journals with no clear submission and reviewing process
  22. 22. Types of journals • Letters journal - Rapid communication of interim work, peer-reviewed, a good way to get time sensitive, preliminary or ongoing research initially published and get feedback • Traditional academic research journal - The main venue for primary research, rigorously peer-reviewed • Review journal - Publishes overviews of research, perspective on the state of a field and/or where it is heading, usually peer-reviewed, may contain commissioned material • Professional journal - Mainly review and how-to articles, heavily edited, not necessarily peer-reviewed, but the audience may be who you want to reach with your research outcome: practitioners
  23. 23. How to choose the right journal – journal pages
  24. 24. How to choose the right journal – BioMed Central’s journal selector
  25. 25. How to structure your article • Follow the author instructions of the journal you chose to submit to • Tell a story that is easy to understand: • Beginning (introduction) • Middle (main body: results) • End (conclusion) • The order in which you actually write your paper should be: • Methods and Results • Introduction • Discussion and Conclusion • Abstract and Title
  26. 26. How to structure your article (cont.) Title Read first and most. Keep it short and to the point. Must reflect the content of the paper. Authors Correct spelling, consistency in affiliation. Abstract 100-300 word summary of objective and results. Includes key message of paper. Keywords Synonyms relevant as search terms e.g. in Google. Ideally not words from the title because title words are automatically keywords. Introduction Explain i) why the work was conducted ii) what methodology was employed iii) why you chose this particular methodology iv) How the methodology accomplished the hypothesis set out in your abstract. Methodology Written clearly and concisely so that someone can follow how you did your research and can reproduce it.
  27. 27. How to structure your article (cont.) Analysis/Results Present the results clearly and carefully. Discussion Discuss the results here. If the results were not what you were expecting this is where you can provide insights or speculations as to what happened and/or what you could have done differently. Conclusions Write down your conclusions from the study. Acknowledgements Acknowledge the people and institutions who have made your research possible e.g. funding. References Properly cite your referenced material; use the style of the journal. Supplementary Material List any supplementary materials, appendices.
  28. 28. The importance of your title Grabs the reader’s attention Introduces your manuscript to an editor Label for indexing World Class Physics Manuscript • Convey the main topics of manuscript • Be specific and concise • Avoid jargon, abbreviations and acronyms
  29. 29. Abstract • The majority of people will only read this section • It must be able to ‘stand alone’ • An accurate summary of your research and conclusions reached • No data! • Structured or unstructured? ALWAYS consult the ‘Instructions for Authors’ for specific requirements
  30. 30. How to structure your article - Introduction • Provide background information to put your work into context • It‘s about the research, not the results • Why did you do this research? • How does it provide new insights? • Where does it fit in with the published literature? • DO NOT write a comprehensive literature review of the field
  31. 31. How to structure your article - Methodology • Follow Author Instructions on how to write up the methodology • New methods should be described in such a way that they can be reproduced • Existing methods can be referenced • Statistical methodology • Ethical declarations • Use past tense for write up
  32. 32. How to structure your article – Analysis/Results • Accurately describe your findings • Assemble your findings in a logical order • Use past tense to describe your analysis / results • Use present tense when referring to figures and tables • Do not duplicate data (text, graph, table) • Present the facts, DO NOT explain your results • Include results of statistical analyses in the text
  33. 33. How to structure your article - Discussion • The most difficult section to write. • Present principles, relationships and generalizations shown by the results. • Summarize and discuss your results – DO NOT just repeat them • Past tense to describe results • Present tense to describe their implications
  34. 34. How to structure your article - Acknowledgements • Give credit to those who have contributed • Give credit to those that made the research possible • Declare any conflicts of interest
  35. 35. How to structure your article - References • Format your references according to the author instructions • Be precise in your references; references form the link between your paper and the scientific literature • Tools available to manage your own scientific library
  36. 36. Discoverability of your work: metadata • Your article needs to be found, read, used and cited! • Metadata ensures your work appears with the proper audience through for example • Abstracting and Indexing Services • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  37. 37. Getting ready to submit • Get the agreement from all co-authors on what is submitted and to which journal • Prepare a cover letter • Language editing • Read the guidelines for the journal very carefully and make sure that you conform to the author instructions in terms of set up, reference style, etc. • NEVER submit your paper to more than one journal at the same time, that would be violating publishing ethics
  38. 38. Getting ready to submit – Prepare a cover letter • This is your chance to sell your manuscript to the Editor in Chief (EiC) • Remember that the EiC receives an increasing amount of manuscripts, so be clear and concise • Address the EiC personally in your letter • Give the background to your research • Explain the importance of your article in relation to the scope of the Journal • Emphasize the key take away points - the USPs, the Unique Selling Points - from your article • Recommend reviewers, it will be very much appreciated • Exclude reviewers and include the reason (e.g. members from a competing research group)
  39. 39. Getting ready to submit – Language editing • Professional editing services can help you to improve the text on grammar and to enhance the readability of your manuscript • It is neither a requirement nor a guarantee for acceptance for publication • Professional editing services will raise your chances of acceptance and ensures clear communication of your research • Edanz will give authors who plan to submit to a Springer or BioMed Central journal a 10% discount
  40. 40. Publishing ethics • The work described has not been published before • It is not under consideration anywhere else • Publication has been approved by co-authors and responsible authorities • Permissions have been obtained from copyright owners • No data fabrication or falsification • No plagiarism • No improper contribution of authors • No improper use of humans or animals CrossCheck powered by iThenticate is an initiative started by CrossRef to help its members actively engage in efforts to prevent scholarly and professional plagiarism
  41. 41. Publishing ethics - Common types of misconduct “Scientific misconduct is a continuum ranging from honest errors to outright fraud” (Nylemma and Simonsen (2006) Scientific misconduct: a new approach to prevention. The Lancet 367, 1882-1884) Data Fabrication Falsification Plagiarism Duplicate Publication Disputed Authorship Undeclared Conflict of Interest W.F.C. Curtis, March 2012
  42. 42. Publishing ethics – Publication and research ethics guidelines • ICMJE – International Committee of Medical Journal Editors • COPE – Committee on Publication Ethics • WAME – World Association of Medical Editors • EQUATOR – Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research
  43. 43. The life of a manuscript Writing Editing Submission Peer review Revisions Acceptance Production Publication Marketing Published article
  44. 44. Publishing timeline Submission to publication, 3–12 months Manuscript submitted Quality check Editor assigned rapid rejection or peer review Editor sources reviewers Reviewers evaluate accept, reject or revise Revise manuscript Publication!
  45. 45. Peer review – what it is • Peer review is a process of self-regulation. When you submit an article, other experts in the field evaluate your article, your research and methodology, to determine if your paper is suitable for publication • Peer review is employed to maintain a high quality standard of published papers and to provide credibility
  46. 46. Peer review – how to deal with the feedback • Nearly every manuscript requires revisions, often two or three revisions • If you receive reviewer comments for re-submission, act on them • Consider peer review feedback as advice to help you improve your article, do NOT take offense • Minor revision does not guarantee acceptance after revision; address all comments carefully Acceptance Minor revision Rejection Major revision Very few manuscripts get accepted without the need for any revision (Daniel McGowan, Edanz, 2012)
  47. 47. How to respond to reviewers • Politely respond to ALL the reviewers’ comments in a response letter • Make it easy to see the changes • Refer to line and page numbers • Different color font • Highlight the text • Consider additional experiments when suggested • You can disagree with reviewers BUT provide evidence in your rebuttal (cite references) • Comply with deadlines
  48. 48. Editorial decision after peer review The editor integrates the information received from different experts • ALL important issues must be resolved. • First decision: Rejection Major revisions Minor revisions Acceptance A rejection should not be a negative experience – it ensures that your paper is as scientifically correct and complete as possible before joining the literature
  49. 49. Frequent reasons for rejection Science • Novelty • Research question • Methodology • Statistics • Analysis • Conclusion Manuscript • Formatting • References • Language • Presentation Other • Scope • Expected Impact • Audience • Too hypothetical • Ethical issues with-rejection-without-review/
  50. 50. Acceptance and publication of your article Congratulations! Manuscript will enter production • Tight deadlines • Proof reading – last chance to correct mistakes! • Check title and all names! Check again!
  51. 51. Acceptance and publication of your article (cont.) • Once the article has been accepted and is ready for publication, it will immediately be published online. • The article receives a DOI number (Digital Object Identifier) and can now be read and cited, e.g.: DOI: 10.1007/s10681-012-0632-1 • This is the official publication of the article and can not be changed afterwards Marketing is important! • Meetings and conferences • Social Media, Blogs, websites • Talk to other scientists • Upload your version to an OA repository (like Europe PubMed Central) • Always use the DOI as a reference
  52. 52. Visibility and impact
  53. 53. Defining impact in scientific publishing
  54. 54. Rankings in scientific publishing • Impact Factor • The h-index • Article Level Metrics • Social (media) impact
  55. 55. Impact factor • Measure of the average number of citations articles in a particular journal received in a particular year Formula for the 2012 Impact Factor: Number of citations in 2012 to articles published in 2010 + 2011 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Total citable articles published in 2010 + 2011 Example: 120 citations in 2012 (to articles published 2010 or 2011) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ = 1.5 80 articles published in 2010 and 2011
  56. 56. Impact factor – points to consider • There is much debate over the Impact Factor (IF) in the scientific community, particularly with regard to the fairness of the system • Compare the IF only with journals within the same discipline because the average IF is very different among different disciplines (see chart) • E.g. In mathematics researchers will often cite older work but only citations in the two years after publication count toward the IF 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 Economics Computing, Cybernetics Environmental Sciences Physics, Multidisciplinary Infectious diseases Biochemical Methods Average Impact Factor 2010
  57. 57. The h-index • The h-index is intended to measure simultaneously the quality and quantity of scientific output. • A scholar with an index of h has published h papers each of which has been cited in other papers at least h times • Evaluation of impact of the work of individual researcher, the h-index grows over time, depends on the academic age of the researcher • The index can also be applied to the productivity and impact of a group of scientists, such as a department or university or country, as well as a scholarly journal • A journal with an index of h has the largest number of h such that at least h articles in that publication were cited at least h times each. • The h-index serves as an alternative to more traditional journal impact factor metrics in the evaluation of the impact of the work of a particular researcher
  58. 58. Article Level Metrics • Article-Level Metrics (ALMs, altmetrics, alternative metrics) are not just about citations and usage; the concept refers to a whole range of measures which might provide insight into ‘impact’ or ‘reach’
  59. 59. Article Level Metrics (cont.) • Visit for more information • Here you can find real time listing of: • Usage • Citations • Mention in social networks • Post publication review
  60. 60. Social (media) impact - Growth of non-scholarly citations • Consider the non scholarly citations through the different social media platforms Altmetric data for Sept 2012 24052 2077 2195 471 833 73 174 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 Facebook twitter Blogs Google+ Pinterest Reddit QA sites LinkedIn

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