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Some Points on
Publishing Research Results
Mehrnoush Shamsfard
Dean of Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering
Answering to:
 How to read a Paper?
 How to structure a good Paper?
 How to write a readable Paper?
 How to select a r...
Why read papers
 So you know what’s happening
 Avoid reinventing the wheel
 does happen commonly,
too many wheels alrea...
Why not to read papers
 Cannot read everything
 Should not read everything
 Can suppress innovation
 once you see solu...
Read or not to read,
that is the question
 Read, of course
 Know what’s important
 Know what can be ignored without sig...
What to read
 Major conferences
 Journals are a few years behind, but still can be
useful
 Tech reports from active res...
What’s in a paper
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Motivation
 Problem description
 Solution
 ...
 Performance Analysis
 C...
How to read a paper?
Know why you want to read the paper
 To know what’s going on (e.g., scanning
proceedings)
 title, a...
What to note
 Authors and research group
 Need to know where to look for a paper on
particular topic
 Theme of the solu...
More Details to Note
 The problem
 What are the new/ important/ unsolved aspects
 Previous solutions
 What are the sho...
So this paper is in print ...
 Be skeptical
 If it sounds too good to be true, it often is
How to Write
The Structure
 Authors and Affiliations
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Related Work
 The Main Contribution
 Results and Di...
How to write a paper
The IMRAD structure:
 Introduction answers “why?”
 Methods answers “when, where, how, how
much?”
 ...
How to write a paper
 Most papers are not that exceptional
 Good writing makes significant difference
 Better to say li...
Readability a must
 If the paper is not readable, author has not
given writing sufficient thought
 Two kinds of referees...
Do not irritate the reader
 Define notation before use
 If you use much notation, make it easy to find
 summarize most ...
How to write a theory paper
 Unreadability is not the same as formalism
 Reader should be able to understand
contributio...
How to write a systems paper
 Provide sufficient information to allow people to
reproduce your results
 people may want ...
Discuss related work
 Explain how your work relates to state of the art
 Discuss relevant past work by other people too
...
Discuss your own Results
 Why some results are obtained
 What happens if some parameters change
 What are the best and ...
Tell them your shortcomings
 If your ideas do not work well in some
interesting scenarios, tell the reader
 People appre...
How to write weak results
 If results are not that great, come up with better ones
 Do not hide weak results behind bad ...
Miscellaneous
 Read some well-written papers
 award-winning papers from conferences
 Some papers from your selected Jou...
How to select a right Call for Paper?
Impact factor
 In any given year, the impact factor of a journal is the
average number of citations received per paper
pu...
Indexers and Rankers
 Indexing organizations
 ISI (Thomson reuters)
 SJR
 ISC
 Scopus
 DBLP
 …
 Ranking organizati...
Metrics for Scientists
 H-Index: 
 A scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at
least h citations each, and...
Summary
 Read good papers
 Write good papers
 Publish in good conference/ journals
Useful references

Speaker’s Guide, Ian Parberry
http://hercule.csci.unt.edu/ian/guides/guides.html

The Best Method for...
References
 How to Read, Write, Present Papers, Nitin
H. Vaidya, University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign, 2002
 How ...
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  1. 1. Some Points on Publishing Research Results Mehrnoush Shamsfard Dean of Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering
  2. 2. Answering to:  How to read a Paper?  How to structure a good Paper?  How to write a readable Paper?  How to select a right Call for Paper?
  3. 3. Why read papers  So you know what’s happening  Avoid reinventing the wheel  does happen commonly, too many wheels already  Find interesting research topics
  4. 4. Why not to read papers  Cannot read everything  Should not read everything  Can suppress innovation  once you see solutions using a particular theme, often hard to think differently
  5. 5. Read or not to read, that is the question  Read, of course  Know what’s important  Know what can be ignored without significant loss of information
  6. 6. What to read  Major conferences  Journals are a few years behind, but still can be useful  Tech reports from active research groups  need to know which groups to look up  Survey / overview papers  ACM Computing Surveys  CACM, IEEE Computer, Spectrum  more technical - IEEE Personal Communications, …  newsletters - ACM SIGCOMM, ACM SIGMOBILE, ...
  7. 7. What’s in a paper  Abstract  Introduction  Motivation  Problem description  Solution  ...  Performance Analysis  Conclusions  Future Work
  8. 8. How to read a paper? Know why you want to read the paper  To know what’s going on (e.g., scanning proceedings)  title, authors, abstract  Papers in your broad research area  introduction, motivation, solution description, summary, conclusions  sometimes reading more details useful, but not always  Papers you may want to improve on  read entire paper carefully
  9. 9. What to note  Authors and research group  Need to know where to look for a paper on particular topic  Theme of the solution  Should be able to go back to the paper if you need more info  Approach to performance evaluation  Note any shortcomings
  10. 10. More Details to Note  The problem  What are the new/ important/ unsolved aspects  Previous solutions  What are the shortcomings or differences  Current solution  What are the superiorities and limitations  What are the presuppositions  Results  Pros and cons/ Best and worst results  Evaluation methods / Test conditions  Further work
  11. 11. So this paper is in print ...  Be skeptical  If it sounds too good to be true, it often is
  12. 12. How to Write
  13. 13. The Structure  Authors and Affiliations  Abstract  Introduction  Related Work  The Main Contribution  Results and Discussions  Conclusion and Further Work
  14. 14. How to write a paper The IMRAD structure:  Introduction answers “why?”  Methods answers “when, where, how, how much?”  Results answers “what?” And  Discussion answers “so what?”
  15. 15. How to write a paper  Most papers are not that exceptional  Good writing makes significant difference  Better to say little clearly, than saying too much unclearly
  16. 16. Readability a must  If the paper is not readable, author has not given writing sufficient thought  Two kinds of referees  If I cannot understand the paper, it is the writer’s fault  If I cannot understand the paper, I cannot reject it  Don’t take chances. Write the paper well.  Badly written papers typically do not get read
  17. 17. Do not irritate the reader  Define notation before use  If you use much notation, make it easy to find  summarize most notation in one place  Avoid Using Too Many Acronyms  AUTMA ?!  You may know the acronyms well. Do not assume that the reader does (or cares to)
  18. 18. How to write a theory paper  Unreadability is not the same as formalism  Reader should be able to understand contributions without reading all details  If some proofs are not too important, relegate them to an appendix  Proofs are not as worthy as new proof techniques
  19. 19. How to write a systems paper  Provide sufficient information to allow people to reproduce your results  people may want to reproduce exciting results  besides, referees expect the information  Do not provide wrong information  Sometimes hard to provide all details in available space  may be forced to omit some information  judge what is most essential to the experiments  cite a tech report for more information
  20. 20. Discuss related work  Explain how your work relates to state of the art  Discuss relevant past work by other people too  Remember, they may be reviewing your paper.  Avoid: The scheme presented by Shamsfard performs terribly  Prefer: The scheme by Shamsfard does not perform as well in scenario X as it does in scenario Y  Avoid offending people, unless you must
  21. 21. Discuss your own Results  Why some results are obtained  What happens if some parameters change  What are the best and worst cases  What are the bottlenecks, critical points, limitations, pros and cons of your work
  22. 22. Tell them your shortcomings  If your ideas do not work well in some interesting scenarios, tell the reader  People appreciate a balanced presentation
  23. 23. How to write weak results  If results are not that great, come up with better ones  Do not hide weak results behind bad writing  Be sure to explain why results are weaker than you expected  If you must publish: write well, but may have to go to second-best conference or Journal  Only a few conf/Journals in any area are worth publishing in  Too many papers in poor conf/Journals bad for your reputation  Just because a conference is “IEEE” or “ACM” or “International” does not mean it is any good  If results not good enough for a decent conference, rethink your problem/solution
  24. 24. Miscellaneous  Read some well-written papers  award-winning papers from conferences  Some papers from your selected Journal  Avoid long sentences  Avoid too many paraphrasing  Obey the writing style of the publisher  Correctly cite the others  Write about the problem and the solution clearly  Point to your contribution(s) explicitly  If you have nothing to say, say nothing
  25. 25. How to select a right Call for Paper?
  26. 26. Impact factor  In any given year, the impact factor of a journal is the average number of citations received per paper published in that journal during the two preceding years.  "Citable items" for this calculation are usually articles, reviews, proceedings, or notes; not editorials or letters to the editor
  27. 27. Indexers and Rankers  Indexing organizations  ISI (Thomson reuters)  SJR  ISC  Scopus  DBLP  …  Ranking organizations
  28. 28. Metrics for Scientists  H-Index:   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.  M-Index:   The m-index is defined as h/n, where n is the number of years since the first published paper of the scientist; also called m-quotient.  i10-index  Created by Google Scholar and used in Google's My Citations feature. i10-Index = the number of publications with at least 10 citations
  29. 29. Summary  Read good papers  Write good papers  Publish in good conference/ journals
  30. 30. Useful references  Speaker’s Guide, Ian Parberry http://hercule.csci.unt.edu/ian/guides/guides.html  The Best Method for Presentation of Research Results, Veljko Milutinovic http://rti.etf.bg.ac.rs/rti/ir3ppk/materijali/VM_the_best_method.pdf  A comprehensive guide from the Power and Energy Society- http://www.ieee-pes.org/publications/information-for-authors
  31. 31. References  How to Read, Write, Present Papers, Nitin H. Vaidya, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 2002  How to Write for Technical Periodicals &  Conferences, IEEE Authorship Series (www.ieee.org/go/authorship)  Writing a Scientific Research Paper,  https://facultystaff.richmond.edu/~ggilfoyl/intermediate/writing.pdf

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