Before you start … Strategies for reading Read Title and Abstract first Self-assess knowledge of topic Have you read similar papers? Familiar with the terminology? Do you understand the relevance of the hypothesis
Before you start … Strategies for reading Read Title and Abstract first Self-assess knowledge of topic Read last paragraph of introduction for hypothesis/objectives Read Figures and Results Read Discussion for interpretation Refer to Introduction and Methods if necessary
Before you start … Relevant Appropriate hypothesis methodology Good Experimental Design Proper Accurate analysis conclusions Consult a statistician
What is the association? Present quickly and efficiently Take time to build suspense
Structuring your manuscript Telling a story 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’.
Structuring your manuscript IMRaD Abstract Introduction The beginning Methods The middle Results and Discussion The end
Structuring your manuscript The ‘write’ order Methods Results During your research Introduction Discussion After selecting target journal Title Abstract Write last
Abstracts General GuideBackground Why the study was done (20%) Aims Your hypothesis (10%) Methods Techniques (10%) Results Most important findings (40%)Conclusion Conclusion & implications (20%)
Structuring your manuscript Introduction Sufficient background information Puts your work into context General Specific Comprehensive literature review Cite reviews
Structuring your manuscript Methods Subheadings with multiple methodsNew methods must be described in sufficientdetail that they can be reproduced Established methods can be referenced
Structuring your manuscript Results Past tense to describe your results 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 Keep it simple — use separate panels ifnecessary Label all parts of your figures Legends must be able to ‘stand alone’
Structuring your manuscript Tables Clear concise legend/caption ) Dataformattedfor clarity Abbreviations defined
Structuring your manuscript Discussion Summarize key findingsBeginning State major conclusion Interpret results in context of other Middle studies Describe limitations Restate major conclusion End Applications/implications Suggest future work
What is the theme? Impact factor Publishing frequency JournalReadership Open access Selection Aims/scope
Journal selection Factors to consider Aims and scope Readership Publishing frequency Open access Impact factorWhich factor is most important to you?
Journal selection Evaluating significance Are your findings: Novelty Incremental advances? Conceptual advances? Are your findings: Relevance Geographically/ethnically specific? Relevant to the human condition? Are your findings: Appeal In an area of popular appeal?
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
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?
Coverage and Cover Letters Staffing Plan Bad example Not personal No information about Dear Editor-in-Chief, the manuscript 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.Too short Sincerely yours, Albert Einstein, PhD
Coverage and Cover Letters 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 ofthe mutant huntingtin protein and ubiquitin in the brain tissues of Huntington’s disease (HD) patients; however, the role of Give thethese 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-likeinclusions showing green birefringence by polarized microscopy, in a variety of cortical regions.... ….detected inclusions done and whatobserved in parallel sections, suggesting that only a relatively small proportion of inclusions in HD adopt an amyloid-like was foundstructure.We believe our findings will be of particular interest to the readership of Neurogenetics, which includes researchers and Interest toclinicians studying the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, we feel that your journal’s readersjournal provides the most suitable platform for the dissemination of our work to the research community.Please address all correspondence to….
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
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
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
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
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]
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.
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.
Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscriptJournal requirements Citations not met Rationale and aims not stated Poor grammar Inappropriate data and style presentation
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?
Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Journal requirements not met Research not appropriate for the aims/scope of the journal Author guidelines not followed Formatting
Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Citations Self-citations Old/irrelevant
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
Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Poor grammar and style Clear and concise English spelling No speling or grammatical errors Short sentences, easier to understand
Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Inappropriate data presentation Illogical representation Duplication of results Too much data Raw data
Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: other Inappropriate journal selected Unlucky timing
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