Edanz 121227-2

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Edanz 121227-2

  1. 1. How to Write for and Publish in Scientific Journals II Jeff Robens, PhD27 December 2012 Senior Editor
  2. 2. Today’s presentation … Journal Selection Cover letters Responding to peer review Avoiding Rejection
  3. 3. Section 1Journal selection
  4. 4. Journal Selection Factors to consider Aims and scope Readership Publishing frequency Open access Impact factorWhich factor is most important to you?
  5. 5. Journal Selection Choosing a target journalJournal selection must be based on an honestevaluation of your manuscript Novelty Aims and Scope Significance Impact
  6. 6. Journal Selection Evaluating significance: Novelty How new are my results compared with those already published? New findings Incremental Conceptual advances advances Low to medium Medium to high impact impact
  7. 7. Journal Selection Evaluating significance: Relevance How broadly relevant is my work? Applications for a Has broad applications specific field? across many fields?
  8. 8. Journal Selection Evaluating significance: Appeal Is my work in an area of ‘popular appeal’ Examples: Stem cells Higgs boson Green energy Global warming Tissue engineering Artificial intelligence
  9. 9. Journal Selection Journal Selector Input your abstract or selected keywords Filter your results
  10. 10. Section 2Cover Letters
  11. 11. 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?
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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 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….
  15. 15. Coverage and Cover Letters Staffing Plan General rules Address editor Manuscript title/ Background, personally Publication type rationale, results General rules Why are your Corresponding Reviewerfindings important? author details recommendations “Must-have” statements
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. Coverage andCover Letters RecommendingStaffing Plan reviewers “When submitting a paper authors are requested to suggest 6 international referees…” “The following items are also required as part of the manuscript submission process:…The names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of four or five potential independent reviewers…”
  18. 18. Coverage andCover Letters RecommendingStaffing Plan reviewersFrom your reading and references Networking Aim for younger and mid-level scientistsEditors have the final decision on reviewerchoice
  19. 19. Section 3Peer Review
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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]
  24. 24. 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.
  25. 25. 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.
  26. 26. Section 4Avoiding Rejection
  27. 27. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Incomplete Inappropriate data methodology Weak research motive InaccuratePoor analysis conclusions
  28. 28. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Inappropriate methodology Old, out-of-date techniques/models Not approved/unusual methods
  29. 29. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Poor analysis Does not stand up to scrutiny Inappropriate methods/statistics Consult a statistician
  30. 30. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the science Inaccurate conclusions Based on assumptions Questionable interpretation
  31. 31. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscriptJournal requirements Citations not met Rationale and aims not stated Poor grammar Inappropriate data and style presentation
  32. 32. 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?
  33. 33. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Journal requirements not met Author guidelines not followed Formatting
  34. 34. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Citations Self-citations Old/irrelevant
  35. 35. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Citations Cite properly • Broadly from different research groups • 1‒2 older seminal papers • 1‒2 review articles • Mostly recent original articles • Field-dependent • Generally within the last 2‒3 years
  36. 36. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Poor grammar and style Discussed in the last session Turn on Microsoft’s spell checker
  37. 37. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Inappropriate data presentation Illogical representation Duplication of results Too much data Raw data
  38. 38. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Inappropriate journal selected Aims and scope Journal no longer publishing similar papers
  39. 39. Avoiding Rejection Reasons for rejection: other Rejection letter from NeuroRehabilitation…judged to be unsuitable for publication in NeuroRehabilitation... The following factors contributed to the final decision: The literature review was incomplete The hypothesis is not mentioned or unclear The subjects’ details are not included The manuscript does not follow journal format The authors draw conclusions which are inappropriate or unsubstantiated The statistical methodology is inappropriate, incorrect, or incomplete The manuscript is poorly written…

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