1 Student and Early Career Researcher Workshop: Publishing and Reviewing in International Journals. Presented by: Prof. Mike Elliott, University of Hull, UK Prof. Victor de Jonge, University of Hull, UK Prof. Eric Wolanski, AIMS and James Cook Univ, Australia Ackn. Dr. Luaine Bandounas, Elsevier Ltd., Oxford, UK
2 January Academic publishing The publishing cycle 30-60% rejected by > 13,000 editors Solicit & manage submissions >700 million downloads by >11 million researchers in >120 countries! Publish, Disseminate & Archive Manage Peer Review 557,000+ reviewers 12.6 million articles available Production Edit & prepare 365,000 articles accepted
3 3 Publishing models Traditional publishing Authors publish free of charge Institutions or individuals subscribe to journals Open access publishing Author (or institution/funding agency) pays an article publication fee Article is made freely available to all online Some journals publish exclusively open access Gold Open Access journals Other subscription journals offer open access options - Hybrid journals
4 4 Difference between Gold & Green Open Access? Access Fee Gold Open Access Free public access to the final published article Access is immediate and permanent Open access fee is paid by the author, or on their behalf (for example by a funding body) Green Open Access Free public access to a version of your article Time delay may apply (embargo period) No fee is payable by the author, as costs are covered by library subscriptions Use Determined by your user licence Authors retain the right to use their articles for a wide range of purposes Open versions of your article should have a user license attached Options Publish in an open access journal Publish in a journal that supports open access (also known as a hybrid journal) Link to your article. Selected journals feature open archives Self-archive a version of your article after embargo period
5 Ethics & Plagiarism
6 6 The most serious ethical issues to avoid These are the 3 most common forms of ethical misconduct that the research community is challenged with: 1. Fabrication Making up research data 2. Falsification Manipulation of existing research data 3. Plagiarism Previous work taken and passed off as one s own Unethical behaviour by Researchers degrades the scientific record and the reputation of science and medicine in the broader community. It can unfairly affect the reputation and academic record of individual researchers/authors.
7 7 Plagiarism high amongst ethics issues Sample of cases reported to Elsevier Journals publishing staff in 2012
8 8 Plagiarism Detection Software Huge database of 30+ million articles, from 50,000+ journals, from 400+ publishers Software alerts Editors to any similarities between the article and this huge database of published articles Many Elsevier journals now check every submitted article using CrossCheck Committee on Publication Ethics Independent body that provides Codes of Conduct & training Many large Publishers are members of COPE Website with searchable database of sample cases back to 1997 publicationethics.org COPE arbitrates where a complainant is still unsatisfied after contacting Editor & publisher
9 9 Can you plagiarise your own work? Text re-cycling/selfplagiarism A grey area, but best to be cautious: always cite/quote even your own previous work For example You publish a paper and in a later paper, copy your Introduction wordfor word and also include a figure or two without citing the first paper. Editors may conclude that you intentionally exaggerated your output
10 10 Question A researcher notices a paragraph in a previously published article that would be suitable as the Materials and Methods in his article. The researcher decides to copy that paragraph into his paper without quotes or attribution. Has the researcher violated any ethical boundaries? Yes Re-using text in the materials and methods when you followed the same technique and used the same equipment as another author may be a less serious form of plagiarism. However, it is still unacceptable: instead, just say that you followed the same technique as another author and cite them fully.
11 11 Consequences A researcher has plagiarized another author s article What are the potential consequences and what actions can the publisher or researcher s institution/funding body take? Potential consequences can vary according to the severity of the misconduct and the standards set by the journal editors, institutions and funding bodies. Possible actions include: Written letters of concern and reprimand Article retractions Some form of disciplinary action on the part of the researcher s institute or funding body
12 Avoid 3 main reasons to be rejected up-front 60% of papers from China 1. Plagiarism; Do not go there! 2. Poor English 1. The editor may reject you up-front. 2. Reviewers are the most important resources of a scientific journal. They give their time for free for science and not to get lost in poor English. Do not upset them and waste their time with a manuscript written in poor English. Solution: Use a professional English editor or a US/UK colleague. 3. Do not write a data report Ask yourself 2 questions -where is the science? -will a scientist in Los Angeles, Sydney or London want to read it? 12
13 Selecting a journal & preparing your manuscript Prof. Mike Elliott Editor Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science
14 14 Choosing the right journal Best practices Aim to reach the intended audience for your work Choose only one journal, as simultaneous submissions are prohibited Supervisor and colleagues can provide good suggestions Journal Finder Tool: (shown on next slide) Shortlist a handful of candidate journals, and investigate them: Aims & Scope Article types Readership Current hot topics Review speed Publication speed Articles in your reference list will usually lead you directly to the right journals.
16 16 Planning your article Types of manuscripts Full articles Substantial, complete and comprehensive pieces of research Is my message sufficient for a full article? 2 year IF calculation Letters or short communications Quick and early communications Are my results so thrilling that they should be shown as soon as possible? Review papers Summaries of recent developments on a specific topic Often submitted by invitation Your supervisor or colleagues are also good sources for advice on manuscript types.
18 Preparing your manuscript Read Guide for Authors Find it on the journal homepage of the publisher Keep to the Guide for Authors in your manuscript It will save you time 18
19 19 Manuscript language - Why is language important? Poor language quality can delay or block publication of work Proper English should be used throughout the manuscript Proper English is important so editors and reviewers can understand the work Use short, concise sentences, correct tenses, and correct grammar Refer to the journal s Guide for Authors for specifications Have a native English speaker check your manuscript or use a language editing service Check the spelling throughout Do publishers correct language? No! It is the author s responsibility......but resources are available
20 20 Preparing your article Make it more discoverable Search Engine Optimization (SEO) SEO will help your article appear higher in the results returned by search engines like Google. Title Authors Link Abstract with keywords in context Use strong, descriptive keywords in titles and headings Interlink your paper with other content on the web e.g. other papers by proper citation; linking to data repositories Make sure the authorship information is complete and correct Pay special attention to the captions of images and tables, including strong keywords there as well. Keywords
21 21 Preparing your article High Quality Graphical Abstracts Linking with data repositories Highlights Embedded video
22 22 General structure of a research article Title Abstract Keywords Play an important role in allowing the article to be easily found, easily indexed, and advertised to potential readers. Introduction Methods Results and Discussion Present your work and convey the main messages and findings effectively. Reader s time is not unlimited. Make your article as concise as possible. Conclusion Acknowledgements References Supporting materials Artificial groupings and the order can change. Some journals request the Discussion section to be combined with the Conclusion or Results. There are also different arrangements of the order (e.g., Methods put after R & D ). Read the Guide for Authors for the specific criteria of your target journal.
23 23 Effective manuscript titles ( catchy title ) Attract reader s attention Contain fewest possible words Adequately describe content Are informative but concise Identify main issue Do not use technical jargon and rarely-used abbreviations Colons, question marks, humour etc improve citations! Editors and reviewers do not like titles that make no sense or fail to represent the subject matter adequately. Additionally, if the title is not accurate, the appropriate audience may not read your paper.
24 24 Authorship: Do s and don ts General principles for who is listed first: First Author: Conducts and/or supervises the data analysis and the proper presentation and interpretation of the results Puts paper together and submits the paper to journal Abuses to be avoided: Ghost Authors: Leaving out authors who should be included Co-Author(s): Makes intellectual contributions to the data analysis and contributes to data interpretation Reviews each paper draft Must be able to present the results, defend the implications and discuss study limitations Scientific Writers and Gift Authors: Including authors when they did not contribute significantly Co-author vs Acknowledgement? Vancouver Protocol Be consistent in how you write the author names.
25 25 Keywords Are the labels of the manuscript Are used by indexing and abstracting services Should be specific Should use only established abbreviations (e.g. DNA) No need to repeat words in the title Check the Guide for Authors for specifics on which keywords should be used. Article title An experimental study on evacuated tube solar collector using supercritical CO2 Keywords Solar collector; supercritical CO2; solar energy; solar thermal utilization
26 26 Abstract Summarize the problem, methods, results, and conclusions in a single paragraph (no paragraph breaks!) Make it interesting and understandable Make it accurate and specific A clear abstract will strongly influence whether or not the reader will continue reading your paper Keep it as brief as possible Acts as an advertisement for your article since it is freely available via online searching and indexing It may be the only part of the paper that is read!. Take the time to write the abstract very carefully. Many authors write the abstract last so that it accurately reflects the content of the paper.
27 27 The process of writing building the article Title, Abstract, and Keywords Conclusion Introduction Methods Results Discussion Figures/Tables (your data)
28 28 Introduction (what is to be done and why) Provide a brief context/background to the readers Address the problem Identify the solutions and limitations Identify what the work is trying to achieve Provide a perspective consistent with the nature of the journal Give Aim(s), Objectives & Hypotheses Write a unique introduction for every article. DO NOT reuse introductions.
29 29 Methods (what was done and how) Describe how the problem was studied Include detailed information Do not describe previously published procedures, rather refer to them and cite them fully Identify the equipment and materials used
30 30 Methods ethics committee approval Experiments on humans or animals must follow applicable ethics standards Approval of the local ethics committee is required and should be specified in the manuscript, covering letter, or the online submission system Editors can make their own decisions on ethics
31 31 Results (what was found by you) Include only data of primary importance Use sub-headings to keep results of the same type together Be clear and easy to understand Highlight the main findings Feature unexpected findings Provide statistical analysis Include illustrations and figures
32 32 Discussion (what it means, compare & contrast, the so what and what if questions) Interpretation of results Most important section Make the discussion correspond to the results and complement them Compare published results with your own Be careful not to use the following: - Statements that go beyond what the results can support - Non-specific expressions - New terms not already defined or mentioned in your paper - Speculations on possible interpretations based on imagination (but hypothesis generation is OK)
33 33 Conclusion (the main findings) Be clear - help the reviewers, editors and readers judge your work and its impact Provide justification for your work e.g. indicating uses, extensions, or applications of the work. Do not just repeat the Abstract here. The Abstract and Conclusion serve different purposes, although some of the same messages may be mentioned. Don t list the experimental results here trivial restatements of your results are unacceptable in this section. No need to cite references here. Explain how your work advances the present state of knowledge Suggest future experiments and point out any relevant experiments that may already be underway.
34 34 Acknowledgements Advisors Financial supporters and funders Proof readers and typists Suppliers who may have donated materials Referees if they have been helpful!
35 35 References Do not use too many references Always ensure you have fully absorbed the material you are referencing Avoid excessive self citations Avoid excessive citations of publications from the same region or institute Conform strictly to the style given in the Guide for Authors Use a reference management software You can get help from Mendeley ( a free reference manager and academic social network. The Mendeley Reference Manager generates citations and bibliographies in Word, OpenOffice, and LaTeX.
36 36 Prepare a Cover Letter Your chance to address the Editor directly Sell your work - WHY did you submit the manuscript to THIS journal? Do not summarize your manuscript, or repeat the abstract Mention special requirements, e.g. if you do not wish your manuscript to be reviewed by certain reviewers Declare whether the current manuscript is based on previously-published (conference) paper(s) and how it has been (significantly) extended/altered Although most editors will not reject a manuscript only because the cover letter is bad, a good cover letter may accelerate the editorial process of your paper
37 37 Suggest potential reviewers (& mention conflicts!) Your suggestions may help the Editor to pass your manuscript to the review stage more efficiently The reviewers should be widely international. They should not be your supervisor, direct colleagues at the same institute or close friends. Give an institutional address for the reviewer if possible Generally you are requested to provide 3-6 potential reviewers. Check the Guide for Authors
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