How to Write for and GetPublished in Scientific Journals: Part II Kyoto University The Graduate School of Human and Environmental Sciences Warren Raye, PhD Senior Life Sciences Editor Edanz Group 7 July 2012
Structuring your manuscript Manuscript title World Class Manuscript IntroduceGrab reader attention manuscript to editor Index label Convey main topics Be specific and concise Avoid jargon, abbreviations and acronyms
Structuring your manuscript Abstract アブストラクトは論文の中で最も重要なセクション Concise (100–300 words) Describe problem(s) addressed Objectives/hypotheses Techniques; avoid details Most important results Concluding statement アブストラクトは独立したものとして読めること
Structuring your manuscript Introduction What question (problem) was studied? どのような問題を研究したのか？The answer to this question is contained within your Introduction Beginning → Middle → End
Structuring your manuscript Introduction Beginning Sufficient background information Puts your work into context General Specific Comprehensive literature review Cite reviews
Structuring your manuscript Introduction MiddleRationale The reason(s) for doing this work? Why is it important? Justify your workExplain how you tried to address the problem(1–2 sentences)Do not state results from your work
Structuring your manuscript Introduction End State the methods you plan to use Clearly and explicitly state 1–3 specific hypotheses or objectives of your study
Structuring your manuscript Methods 問題をどのように研究したのか？ Subheadings Past tenseNew methods must be described in sufficientdetail that they can be reproduced Established methods can be referenced
Structuring your manuscript Results 何を発見したのか？ Use subheadings Past tense to describe your results Present tense when referring to figures and tables Do not explain the results Avoid duplicating data among figures, tables and text
Structuring your manuscript Display items Present a large amount of data quickly andefficiently Present most significant result as a figure ortable Keep it simple — use separate panels ifnecessary Label all parts of your figures Legends must be able to ‘stand alone’ 図表は効果的なコミュニケーション方法
Structuring your manuscript Tables Clear concise legend/caption ) Dataformattedfor clarity Abbreviations defined
Structuring your manuscript Discussion What do these findings mean? 発見が意味するものは？ The answer to this question is in the Discussion Beginning → Middle → End
Structuring your manuscript Discussion Beginning Avoid repeating the results section Answer the research question(s) posed Emphasize the major finding(s) first What is your major conclusion, based on the results you have presented?
Structuring your manuscript Discussion Middle Interpret your results Compare with other studies Same or different? Unexpected results Briefly describe limitations How could experiments be improved?
Structuring your manuscript Discussion End Restate major conclusion(s) In summary … or In conclusion … Possible applications and implications Suggest future work“Clinical and research priorities include furthering our understanding of thepathogenesis of M. pneumoniae-associated CNS disease, development ofmore reliable serologic assays, and defining the role of quantitative PCR indistinguishing acute infection from asymptomatic carriage and prolongedpost-infection shedding” – Bitun & Richardson Curr Infect Dis Rep 2010, 12:282-290
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Section Four Clear communication Language Cover letters Responding to reviewer comments
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Expectations Information is easier tointerpret when placedwhere most readers expectto find it Good writers are aware ofthese expectationsReadability
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan 1. Verb placementReaders expect verbs to closely follow subjects読者は主語の後ろに動詞が続くと考えている Subject Sentence Verb . Subject and verb far apart = poor readability
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan Verb placement Readers become confused if subject and verb are separated by too much contentThe smallest of the URFs (URFA6L), a 207-nucleotide (nt)reading frame overlapping out of phase the [NH2]-terminalportion of the adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6gene, has been identified as the animal equivalent of therecently discovered yeast H-ATPase subunit 8 gene. 読者にとって理解しやすくする
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan Avoid reader confusionThe smallest of the URFs is URFA6L, a 207-nucleotide (nt) reading frame overlapping out of phasethe [NH2]-terminal portion of the adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6 gene, has beenidentified as the animal equivalent of the recently discovered yeast H-ATPase subunit 8 gene.The smallest of the URFs (URFA6L) has been identified as theanimal equivalent of the recently discovered yeast H-ATPasesubunit 8 gene; URFA6L is a 207-nucleotide (nt) reading frameoverlapping out of phase the [NH2]-terminal portion of theadenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6 gene.We identified the smallest of the URFs (URFA6L) as the animalequivalent of the recently discovered yeast H-ATPase subunit 8gene. URFA6L is a … .
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Which voice?Use the active voice unless yourtarget journal states otherwise Blood samples were collected from 256 patients. We collected blood from 256 patients. 可能な限り能動態を使う
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan 2. Active voice Subject Verb Active Sentences written in the active voice are: Simple Direct Clear Easy to read
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan 3. Stress positionReaders focus on information at the end of asentence. Subject Verb take-home information .
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan Stress positionThe dog sat when her mistress offered a treat.The dog sat when a treat was offered by her mistress.When the mistress offered her a treat, the dog sat. Readers, without thinking, concentrate on the end of a sentence.無意識に、文書の末尾にある情報に重点を置く
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan 4. Topic positionReaders expect a sentence/phrase to be a storyabout whoever shows up first Subject Topic position Verb Stress position .
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan Topic position sentence idea idea idea idea Topic link Linkage and contextThe family went into the courtyard to see the newpuppy. The dog sat when her owner offered a treat.Everyone was so excited they broke into applause.However, as the courtyard was situated right next to mybedroom, the sound woke me from my sleep.
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan 5. Topic sentencesIndicates the main idea of a paragraphProvides the writer with a focusShould be the first sentence of a paragraphThen discuss/explain the topicSummarize with a concluding sentence Beginning → Middle → End
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Readability “only 4% of readers understand a 27-word sentence the first time” Consider the reader Only need to read once Do not have to read slowly Can understand author logic immediately
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Sentence length We examined numerous peer-reviewed journals Easy to read articles had an average sentence length of around 17 words Sentences that are 15–20 words One sentence: one idea 文につき1つのアイデア 1文につき つのアイデア 文につき
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Goals to aim for …Maximum 25–30 words per sentenceNot more than four 30-word sentences in thewhole manuscriptThink about ‘reader expectation’ and matchthe expectation with the contents 読者にとって理解しやすくする
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Simple is best 簡潔な表現が理解しやすいSimple language is bestMakes your science more relevantMinimizes confusion – maximizes understandingScience is often complex Use simple language to help more people understand your work
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Simple wordsAvoid Preferredadditional moreadequate enoughapparent clearattempt trydemonstrate showendeavor tryexceedingly very
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan Unnecessary wordsAvoid PreferredFor the reason that BecauseIn the first place FirstIn the not too distant future SoonFour in number FourGreen color GreenSubsequent to AfterPrior to BeforeExcept in a very few instances Usually
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan Cover letters Competition for publication space and for editors’ attention is very highDear Editor-in-Chief,I am sending you our manuscript entitled “Techniques to detect circoviruses inJapanese 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
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Your cover letter Address to the editor personally State manuscript title and publication type Provide brief background, rationale and description of results Explain the importance of your findings and why they would be of interest to the journal’s target audience Provide corresponding author details
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan A good 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 ofthese inclusions in the disease process has remained unclear. One suspected disease-causing mechanism in Huntington’s background todisease and other polyglutamine disorders is the potential for the mutant protein to undergo a conformational change to a the researchmore stable anti-parallel β-sheet structure…To confirm if the immunohistochemically observed huntingtin- and ubiquitin-containing inclusions display amyloid features, weperformed Congo red staining and both polarizing and confocal microscopy on post-mortem human brain tissues obtained What wasfrom 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 foundobserved in parallel sections, suggesting that only a relatively small proportion of inclusions in HD adopt an amyloid-likestructure.We 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 readersPlease address all correspondence to….
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan Peer review Rejection AcceptanceVery few papers are Minor revision Majorimmediately accepted revisionwithout need for anyrevisions Complete rejection Journal editor Major revisions decision Minor revisions Acceptance
Coverage andHints and tips Reasons for rejection: the Staffing Plan science Methods Validations Research question Data versus Statistics conclusions
Coverage andHints and tips Reasons for rejection: the Staffing Plan manuscriptMethods detail Citations Rationale and aims Results format Limitations
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan Reasons for rejection: otherInappropriate journal Inappropriate timing: selected: scope, too early or late impact, audience
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Revision査読者はボランティアゆえ、礼儀正しく接しましょう！ 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
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Revision Conduct the additional experiments suggested If this is impossible, you must explain why You can disagree with reviewers but provide evidence (cite references) Comply with deadlines
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan Your response letterDear Dr _____________: [address editor by name]Thank you for your consideration of our manuscriptentitled _____________ [insert manuscript title]. Wehave reviewed the comments of the reviewers and havethoroughly revised the manuscript. We found thecomments helpful, and believe our revised manuscriptrepresents a significant improvement over our initialsubmission.In response to the reviewers’ suggestions we have[summarize the key changes]
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan AgreementReviewer Comment: In your analysis of the data you have chosen touse a somewhat obscure fitting function (regression). In my opinion,a simple Gaussian function would have sufficed. Moreover, theresults would be more instructive and easier to compare to previousresults.Response: We agree with the reviewer’s assessment of the analysis.Our tailored function makes it impossible to fully interpret the datain terms of the prevailing theories. In addition, in its current form itwould be difficult to tell that this measurement constitutes asignificant improvement over previously reported values. We haveredone the analysis using a Gaussian fitting function.
Coverage and Hints and tips Staffing Plan 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 to compare toprevious 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 data interms of the Smith model [Smith et al, 1998]. We have added twosentences to the paper (page 3 paragraph 2) to explain the use ofthis function and Smith’s model.
Coverage andHints and tips Understanding reviewer Staffing Plan comments “The English needs to be improved” “Your writing is difficult to understand” Grammar Long, complex sentences and paragraphs Non-native expressions Gaps in the logic Poor manuscript organization Too much information
Coverage and Hints and tips Understanding reviewer Staffing Plan comments“The authors hypothesized to look for the pharmacokinetics ofthe insulin using this 4 mm needle; However they didnt dobioequivalence analyses for glucose pharmacodynamics. Thatis one of my concerns about this methodology.” Questions from reviewers may not always be apparent Cosmetic changes
Coverage and Hints and tips Help your readers Staffing Plan understand“If you can’t explain something simply,you don’t understand it well.” – Albert Einstein Write to express not impress Consider your audience – their native language may not be English 読者に研究を理解してもらう
Coverage andHints and tips Staffing Plan Online resources Edanz edanzediting.co.jp/kyoto201207 Springer Exemplar www.springerexemplar.com/ Google Scholar scholar.google.com/ Purdue Online Writing Lab owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/