How to Write for and Publish in      Scientific Journals    Kyushu University    Jeff Robens, PhD    Senior Editor    Edan...
About Jeff…Researcher, Teacher, Mentor…
About Jeff…    Author              Senior Editor
Today’s presentation … Abstracts Cover letters Revisions Responding to peer review
Structuring your    manuscript      Writing AbstractsYou are telling a storyMust be easy to read and easy to understand
Structuring your   manuscript      ‘Tell them three times’  Beginning      ‘tell them what you did and why’  Middle      ‘...
Structuring your   manuscript      IMRaD            Abstract            Introduction   The beginning            Methods   ...
Structuring your   manuscript      The ‘write’ order   Methods   Results                   During your research Introducti...
Abstracts                 Important points   Relevance of       Importance of    Validity of your    your aims          yo...
Abstracts     General guide       Background (10%)       Aims (20%)       Techniques; avoid details (10%)       Most impor...
Abstracts                                             Structured abstract     PTEN mutations as a cause of constitutive in...
Abstracts                     Unstructured abstract  Remarkable changes in behavior and physiology of laboratory mice afte...
Abstracts                       Unstructured abstractA devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, fol...
Abstracts            Useful set phrases       Here, we present…       Here, we aim to…       Here, we show…       Here, we...
Abstracts            Useful set phrases  These results show…  To test whether XX, we performed…  To examine if XX, we YY  ...
Abstracts References               Abbreviations                 Don’t               include…                           Nu...
Abstracts                              Do not include a lot of                              numbers and statistics        ...
Abstracts                              Include all First impression                               sections                ...
Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan   High quality research       Good design                        Original and novel...
Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan       Significance                    Why your work        Relevance               ...
Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan             Bad example  Dear Editor-in-Chief,  I am sending you our manuscript ent...
Coverage and  Cover Letters  Staffing Plan       General rules Address editor       Manuscript title/      Backround,  per...
Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan     General rulesOriginal and       Not submitted      Authors agree onunpublished ...
Coverage and      Cover Letters      Staffing Plan                              Template –                             bus...
Coverage and      Cover Letters      Staffing Plan             Template                                    Sell your      ...
Coverage and      Cover Letters      Staffing Plan            TemplatePlease address all correspondence to:NameTitle      ...
Coverage andCover Letters   RecommendingStaffing Plan                  reviewers From your reading and references Networki...
Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan                   Significance ofJournal editor’s      findings       Relevance tof...
Peer Review                           Improves your manuscript  Peer review is a positive process  Improves science  Recom...
Peer Review                  Point-by-point                                       Respond to      Be polite               ...
Peer Review                Revision   Conduct additional experiments and   analyses as suggested      If this is impossibl...
Peer Review      The response –                 point-by-pointDear Dr. _____________: [address editor by name]Thank you fo...
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”          “...
Peer Review      Improves your               Respond to       manuscript               every comment                      ...
Avoiding Rejection   Reasons for rejection:                          the science  Incomplete                         Inapp...
Avoiding Rejection   Reasons for rejection:                          the science                     Inappropriate        ...
Avoiding Rejection   Reasons for rejection:                          the science                     Poor analysis        ...
Avoiding Rejection   Reasons for rejection:                          the science                       Inaccurate         ...
Avoiding Rejection    Reasons for rejection:                         the manuscriptJournal requirements                   ...
Avoiding Rejection    Reasons for rejection:                         the manuscript                     Rationale and aims...
Avoiding Rejection   Reasons for rejection:                        the manuscript                 Journal requirements    ...
Avoiding Rejection   Reasons for rejection:                        the manuscript                         Citations       ...
Avoiding Rejection      Reasons for rejection:                           the manuscript                             Citati...
Avoiding Rejection   Reasons for rejection:                        the manuscript                     Poor grammar        ...
Avoiding Rejection    Reasons for rejection:                         the manuscript                     Inappropriate data...
Avoiding Rejection     Reasons for rejection:                              other                     Inappropriate journal...
Avoiding Rejection       Reasons for rejection:                                other                     Inappropriate jou...
Avoiding Rejection       Reasons for rejection:                                other                     Inappropriate jou...
Avoiding Rejection     Reasons for rejection:                              other                       Unlucky timing     ...
Avoiding Rejection      Proper scientific             Follow journal         methods                    requirements      ...
So remember…    Abstracts      first impression for readers and reviewers    Cover letters      first impression for journ...
Thank you for your attention!         Questions?
edanzediting.co.jp      Download and further reading     @JournalAdvisor          Follow us on Twitterfacebook.com/Journal...
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120927 kyushu section1_edanz

  1. 1. How to Write for and Publish in Scientific Journals Kyushu University Jeff Robens, PhD Senior Editor Edanz Group Japan 27 Septemeber 2012
  2. 2. About Jeff…Researcher, Teacher, Mentor…
  3. 3. About Jeff… Author Senior Editor
  4. 4. Today’s presentation … Abstracts Cover letters Revisions Responding to peer review
  5. 5. Structuring your manuscript Writing AbstractsYou are telling a storyMust be easy to read and easy to understand
  6. 6. Structuring your manuscript ‘Tell them three times’ Beginning ‘tell them what you did and why’ Middle ‘tell them how you did it and what you found’ End ‘tell them again what you did and what it means’.
  7. 7. Structuring your manuscript IMRaD Abstract Introduction The beginning Methods The middle Results and Discussion The end
  8. 8. Structuring your manuscript The ‘write’ order Methods Results During your research Introduction Discussion After selecting target journal Title Abstract Write last
  9. 9. Abstracts Important points Relevance of Importance of Validity of your your aims your results conclusions First impression of your paper Judge your Probably only part writing style that will be read
  10. 10. Abstracts General guide Background (10%) Aims (20%) Techniques; avoid details (10%) Most important results (40%) Concluding statement (20%)
  11. 11. Abstracts Structured abstract PTEN mutations as a cause of constitutive insulin sensitivity and obesityBACKGROUND: Epidemiologic and genetic evidence links type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The tumor-suppressor phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) has roles in both cellular growth and metabolic Background/signaling. Germline PTEN mutations cause a cancer-predisposition syndrome, providing an opportunity to Aimsstudy the effect of PTEN haploinsufficiency in humans.Methods: We measured insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function in 15 PTEN mutation carriers and 15matched controls. Insulin signaling was measured in muscle and adipose-tissue biopsy specimens from 5mutation carriers and 5 well-matched controls. We also assessed the effect of PTEN haploinsufficiency onobesity by comparing anthropometric indexes between the 15 patients and 2097 controls from a Techniquespopulation-based study of healthy adults. Body composition was evaluated by means of dual-emission x-ray absorptiometry and skinfold thickness.RESULTS: Measures of insulin resistance were lower in the patients with a PTEN mutation than in controls(e.g., mean fasting plasma insulin level, 29 pmol per liter [range, 9 to 99] vs. 74 pmol per liter [range, 22 to185]; P=0.001). This finding was confirmed with the use of hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamping, showinga glucose infusion rate among carriers 2 times that among controls (P=0.009). The patients insulinsensitivity could be explained by the presence of enhanced insulin signaling through the PI3K-AKT pathway, Importantas evidenced by increased AKT phosphorylation. The PTEN mutation carriers were obese as compared with resultspopulation-based controls (mean body-mass index [the weight in kilograms divided by the square of theheight in meters], 32 [range, 23 to 42] vs. 26 [range, 15 to 48]; P<0.001). This increased body mass in thepatients was due to augmented adiposity without corresponding changes in fat distribution.CONCLUSIONS: PTEN haploinsufficiency is a monogenic cause of profound constitutive insulin sensitizationthat is apparently obesogenic. We demonstrate an apparently divergent effect of PTEN mutations:increased risks of obesity and cancer but a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes owing to enhanced insulin Conclusionsensitivity. Pal et al. (2012). New England Journal of Medicine 367: 1002-1011
  12. 12. Abstracts Unstructured abstract Remarkable changes in behavior and physiology of laboratory mice after the massive 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan A devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, followed by several long and intense aftershocks. Laboratory mice housed in the Tokyo, located approximately 330 km south of this earthquake’s epicenter, displayed remarkable changes in a variety of behaviors and physiological measures. Although unusual pre-earthquake behaviors have been previously reported in laboratory animals, little is known about behavioral and physiological changes that occur after a great earthquake. In the present study, the effects of Tohoku earthquake on mice behavior were investigated. ‘‘Earthquake-experienced’’ mice displayed a marked increase in food consumption without gaining body weight in response to the earthquake. They also displayed enhanced anxiety, and in a formal fear memory task, showed significantly greater tone- and context-dependent conditioned freezing. Water maze performance of earthquake-experienced mice showed the quicker acquisition of the task, faster swim speed and longer swim distance than the naive mice. Serum corticosterone levels were elevated compared to the naive mice, indicating that the earthquake and aftershocks were stressful for the mice. These results demonstrate that great earthquakes strongly affect mouse behaviors and physiology. Although the effects of a variety of experimental manipulations on mouse behaviors in disease models or in models of higher cognitive functions have been extensively examined, researchers need to be aware how natural phenomena, such as earthquakes and perhaps other natural environmental factors, influence laboratory animal behaviors and physiology. Yanai et al. (2012) PLoS ONE 7:e44475.
  13. 13. Abstracts Unstructured abstractA devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, followed by several long andintense aftershocks. Laboratory mice housed in the Tokyo, located approximately 330 km south ofthis earthquake’s epicenter, displayed remarkable changes in a variety of behaviors and Backgroundphysiological measures.Although unusual pre-earthquake behaviors have been previously reported in laboratory animals,little is known about behavioral and physiological changes that occur after a great earthquake. AimsIn the present study, the effects of Tohoku earthquake on mice behavior were investigated.. Techniques‘‘Earthquake-experienced’’ mice displayed a marked increase in food consumption without gainingbody weight in response to the earthquake. They also displayed enhanced anxiety, and in a formalfear memory task, showed significantly greater tone- and context-dependent conditioned freezing.Water maze performance of earthquake-experienced mice showed the quicker acquisition of the Importanttask, faster swim speed and longer swim distance than the naive mice. Serum corticosterone levels resultswere elevated compared to the naive mice, indicating that the earthquake and aftershocks werestressful for the mice.These results demonstrate that great earthquakes strongly affect mouse behaviors and physiology.Although the effects of a variety of experimental manipulations on mouse behaviors in diseasemodels or in models of higher cognitive functions have been extensively examined, researchers Conclusionneed to be aware how natural phenomena, such as earthquakes and perhaps other naturalenvironmental factors, influence laboratory animal behaviors and physiology Yanai et al. (2012) PLoS ONE 7:e44475.
  14. 14. Abstracts Useful set phrases Here, we present… Here, we aim to… Here, we show… Here, we report… In this work, we introduce…
  15. 15. Abstracts Useful set phrases These results show… To test whether XX, we performed… To examine if XX, we YY We used XX to YY. Using this approach, we identified ZZ.
  16. 16. Abstracts References Abbreviations Don’t include… Numbers &Jargon/slang statistics
  17. 17. Abstracts Do not include a lot of numbers and statistics Transient frictional slip between integrin and the ECM in focal adhesions under myosin-II tensionResultsThis retrograde movement was only seen in nascent adhesions, within 30–90seconds after appearance and occurred in a majority of nascent adhesions observed(65%, nFA=39, ncell=6). The magnitude of retrograde displacement was 0.67±0.33 μm(nFA=39, ncell=6) and, once immobilized, a majority (77%, nFA=39, ncell=6) of adhesionselongated proximally.AbstractWe find that, under low extracellular tension, newly formed adhesions near the cellperiphery undergo a transient retrograde displacement preceding elongation. Aratyn-Schaus & Gardel. (2010). Curr Biol. 20: 1145
  18. 18. Abstracts Include all First impression sections Background Methods Results Summary ConclusionBriefly summarize Stand alone key results
  19. 19. Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan High quality research Good design Original and novel Well executed What do journal editors want? Interesting to Clear and concise journal’s readership English
  20. 20. Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan Significance Why your work Relevance is important! Cover letter: Abstract: First impression for journal editors First impression for readers Recommend Level of English reviewers?
  21. 21. Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan Bad example Dear Editor-in-Chief, I am sending you our manuscript entitled “Techniques to detect entanglement in cats” by Schrodinger et al. We would like to have the manuscript considered for publication in Quantum Theory Frontiers. Please let me know of your decision at your earliest convenience. Sincerely yours, Albert Einstein, PhD No information about Not Too short the manuscript considerate
  22. 22. Coverage and Cover Letters Staffing Plan General rules Address editor Manuscript title/ Backround, personally Publication type rationale, results General rules Why are your Corresponding “Must-have”findings important? author details statements
  23. 23. Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan General rulesOriginal and Not submitted Authors agree onunpublished to other journals paper/journal “Must-have” statementsNo conflicts of Source of Authorship interest funding contributions
  24. 24. Coverage and Cover Letters Staffing Plan Template – business letter[Editor name]Editor-in-Chief (usually)[Journal Name][Date of submission] IntroductionPlease find enclosed our manuscript entitled “[Title name]”, which we would like tosubmit for publication as a [Article Type] in [Journal Name]. Background[Two to three sentences providing background for the journal editor to understandrationale of the study. Why it needs to be done.][Two to three sentences describing key findings.] Key Results
  25. 25. Coverage and Cover Letters Staffing Plan Template Sell your manuscriptOur findings [indicate the significance of the study] and will be of interest to[readership of the journal]. Therefore, we feel that [Journal Name] is the mostsuitable platform for the dissemination of our manuscript to the scientificcommunity. “Must-have”We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is notunder consideration by another journal. All authors have approved the manuscriptand agree with submission to [Journal Name]. The study was supported by [publicand/or private grant(s)]. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.We would like to recommend the following researchers as potential reviewers forthis paper: 1. [Reviewer 1, name and contact information] Reviewer 2. [Reviewer 2, name and contact information] recommendations 3. [Reviewer 3, name and contact information]
  26. 26. Coverage and Cover Letters Staffing Plan TemplatePlease address all correspondence to:NameTitle CorrespondingFull postal address authorEmail addressTelephoneFaxWe look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.Yours sincerely,Your name
  27. 27. Coverage andCover Letters RecommendingStaffing Plan reviewers From your reading and references Networking Aim for younger and mid-level scientists Provide reasons for recommending orexcluding a reviewer Editors have the final decision on reviewerchoice
  28. 28. Coverage andCover LettersStaffing Plan Significance ofJournal editor’s findings Relevance tofirst impression readership Summary Recommend Polite business reviewers letter Check spelling and grammar!
  29. 29. Peer Review Improves your manuscript Peer review is a positive process Improves science Recommend to get involved in the peerreview processhttp://www.springer.com/authors/journal+authors/peer-review-academy
  30. 30. Peer Review Point-by-point Respond to Be polite every comment Revision Refer to line and page numbers Easy to see Use a different color font changes Highlight the text
  31. 31. Peer Review Revision Conduct additional experiments and analyses as suggested If this is impossible, you must explain why You can disagree with reviewers, but provide evidence (cite references) Comply with deadlines
  32. 32. Peer Review The response – point-by-pointDear 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 here]
  33. 33. 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 fully interpretthe data in terms of the prevailing theories. In addition, in itscurrent 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.
  34. 34. 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.
  35. 35. 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
  36. 36. Peer Review Improves your Respond to manuscript every comment Summary Make all possible Comply with revisions deadlines
  37. 37. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Incomplete Inappropriate data methodology Weak research motive InaccuratePoor analysis conclusions
  38. 38. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Inappropriate methodology Old, out-of-date techniques/models Not approved/unusual methods
  39. 39. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Poor analysis Does not stand up to scrutiny Inappropriate methods Conclusions questionable
  40. 40. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Inaccurate conclusions Based on assumptions Questionable interpretation
  41. 41. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscriptJournal requirements Citations not met Rationale and aims not stated Poor grammar Inappropriate data and style presentation
  42. 42. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Rationale and aims not stated Clearly and explicitly stated Why did you do it? Why is it important?
  43. 43. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Journal requirements not met Research too specialized Author guidelines not followed
  44. 44. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Citations Self-citations Old/irrelevant
  45. 45. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Citations Cite properly • Broadly from different research groups • Couple older seminal papers • Couple review articles • Mostly recent original articles • Field-dependent • Cell biology – within the last 2-3 years
  46. 46. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Poor grammar and style Will be discussed at length in the next session
  47. 47. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Inappropriate data presentation Illogical representation Duplication of results Too much data Raw data
  48. 48. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: other Inappropriate journal selected High Impact Low
  49. 49. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: other Inappropriate journal selected Specific Relevance Broad
  50. 50. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: other Inappropriate journal selected High Specific Broad Low
  51. 51. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: other Unlucky timing Hot topics Increased competition
  52. 52. Avoiding Rejection Proper scientific Follow journal methods requirements Summary Clear and concise Appropriate English target journal
  53. 53. So remember… Abstracts first impression for readers and reviewers Cover letters first impression for journal editors Peer Review respond to every reviewer comment Clear and concise English including cover and response letters
  54. 54. Thank you for your attention! Questions?
  55. 55. edanzediting.co.jp Download and further reading @JournalAdvisor Follow us on Twitterfacebook.com/JournalAdvisor Like us on Facebook

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