Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

Writing Tips for Your Next Research Article

Matteo Cavalleri
February 16, 2021

Writing Tips for Your Next Research Article

An academic article is often regarded just as an archival device for storing a completed research program. Actually, a successful paper is also the blueprint for planning your research in progress. We will discuss how to write articles that not only successfully navigate the peer-review process, but are also discovered, read, cited, and make an impact in the research community.

Matteo Cavalleri

February 16, 2021
Tweet

More Decks by Matteo Cavalleri

Other Decks in Science

Transcript

  1. Wiley
    Writing Tips for your next research article
    Dr Matteo Cavalleri, Publisher, Materials Science & Physics, WILEY
    @physicsteo
    22 de Abril 2020, UNAM-FES Cuautitlán

    View full-size slide

  2. Wiley
    Ojalá me hubiesen contado esto cuando escribia mi primer
    articulo

    View full-size slide

  3. There is no universal formula…because every paper is different and
    different disciplines have different standards.
    Disclaimer:

    View full-size slide

  4. Who I am
    M.S. in Chemistry (1999)
    PhD in Chemical Physics (2005)
    PostDoc 2005-2008

    View full-size slide

  5. Who I am
    Editor-in-Chief
    Publisher

    View full-size slide

  6. Where I work
    HOBOKEN, NJ
    • Founded in 1807 in NYC
    • Headquarter in Hoboken, NJ
    • Publicly listed in NYSE
    • ~5000 staff worldwide
    • ~1600 journals
    • ~9000 books
    …in partnership with 1085 organizations
    (865 scholarly societies, + institutes,
    universities, goverments,…)

    View full-size slide

  7. Where I work
    HOBOKEN, NJ
    • Founded in 1807 in NYC
    • Headquarter in Hoboken, NJ
    • Publicly listed in NYSE
    • ~5000 staff worldwide
    • ~1600 journals
    • ~9000 books
    …in partnership with 1085 organizations
    (865 scholarly societies, + institutes,
    universities, goverments,…)
    View from the office (not my office)

    View full-size slide

  8. Wiley journals: 200 years of heritage and quality publishing

    View full-size slide

  9. Why publish?
    •Fame
    •Recognition by peers
    •Fortune
    •Promotions
    •Grant applications
    •Establish precedence
    •Responsibility
    •Taxpayer-funded research
    • Making your research
    public
    • “If your research does
    not generate papers,
    it might just as well
    not have been done.”
    –George Whitesides
    • Papers provide the
    shoulders that others
    can stand on

    View full-size slide

  10. What to publish?
    LITERATURE REVIEWS
    -Discuss knowledge accumulated in published literature
    -Reviews, mini-reviews, overviews, perspectives, essays,…
    ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLES
    -Share NEW results
    -Rapid Communications, Letters, Full Papers,….
    Seek advice from
    colleagues and coauthors

    View full-size slide

  11. Where to submit?
    • Journal Impact Factor is not
    everything!
    • What are the implications of your
    research?
    • Whom do you want to reach with this
    publication? Whom can you
    (realistically) reach?
    • How important will others find your
    research?
    • In your field?
    • In related fields?
    • Where do you read papers related to
    your research? Which do you like the
    most?
    • What is the scope of your candidate
    journal?
    • Who reads your candidate journal?
    • What is the format of your candidate
    journal?

    View full-size slide

  12. Where to submit?
    • What is the journal’s
    copyright policy?
    • Is that subscription
    based or Open Access?
    • How fast is their
    submission to publication
    time?
    • What’s the journal stand on
    self-archiving?
    • Does the journal allow you to
    comply with your funder’s
    mandates?
    • What is their policy on prior
    publication?
    • In online/only printed
    conference proceedings
    • In online preprint servers
    (arXiv, ChemRxiv…)
    • On your own website
    DO NOT submit to several journals at the same time

    View full-size slide

  13. Content Access
    • Subscription only journals:
    • Free to publish but need to be subscriber to read
    • Open Access journals:
    • Articles are freely accessible online
    • Authors pay an Article Publication Charge (APC)
    • The APC can be paid via the author’s institution or funding
    • Hybrid journals:
    • Subscription journal that allows Open Access publications
    • Article can be published behind or outside paywall
    https://journalfinder.wiley.com/

    View full-size slide

  14. Beware of predatory journals
    • Use the Open Access publication model (Most Open Access journals are okay)
    • Do not provide legitimate writing , peer-review, and publishing services
    • Send frequent spam messages
    • Sometimes use names of researchers without their consent
    • Look carefully at the publishing company, the affiliated scholarly society and the journal indexation
    • Beall’s List of Predatory Journals and Publishers: https://beallslist.net/
    • Cabells’ Journal Blacklist: https://www2.cabells.com/about-blacklist
    • Stop Predatory Journals: https://predatoryjournals.com/
    • Useful Appraisal Tool: https://thinkchecksubmit.org/
    PREDATORY JOURNALS
    INFORM/DEFEND YOURSELF

    View full-size slide

  15. Let’s Start!

    View full-size slide

  16. Where to start
    • ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, readcarefully thejournal’s guidelines for authors
    • What is required at submission? In which format?
    • Is there a template?
    • Is there a graphical abstract? How long?
    • Check the definition of authorship
    • Word/Page limits are imperative
    • Find out & follow the best practice in the field
    • Data deposition
    • Reporting standards
    • Think like a referee, check the journal’s reviewer guide
    • Violating ethical guidelines is the fastest way to rejection, and worse
    • No cover letter = wasted opportunity

    View full-size slide

  17. Language and presentation
    • Make sure you set the language on your work
    processing software to English.
    • Carry out at least one spell-check.
    • Ask a colleague in your field to proof-read your
    manuscript.
    • Ask a native or fluent English speaker to proof-read
    your manuscript.
    • Be consistent with heading/subheading format.
    Use the Style function of your word-processing
    software.
    • Be accurate and consistent with formatting in the
    text. Certain scientific terms (e.g., genes, species
    names, etc.) require italics.
    • Do your best to ensure the manuscript is free from
    typos and careless mistakes.
    • Be consistent in formatting in figures/graphics.
    • Ensure abbreviations are defined in the first
    instance, and then used consistently thereafter.
    Note, the abstract should stand-alone.
    Editors and reviewers are impressed
    by a well-presented manuscript
    Wiley language editing service: http://wileyeditingservices.com/en/

    View full-size slide

  18. General structure of a scientific article
    1. Have something to say
    2. Say it
    3. Stop as soon as you have said it.
    Billings, J., An address to our medical literature. British Medical Journal 1881, 262-268

    View full-size slide

  19. Writing strategy
    • Write down, in any order, all important ideas that occur to
    you concerning the paper
    • Sort all your ideas into three major sections:
    • Introduction
    • Results and Discussion
    • Conclusions
    • Organize each of these sections on yet finer scale
    George M. Whitesides, “Writing a Paper” Adv. Mater. 2004, 16, 1375
    ABSTRACT & TITLE
    FIGURES
    Introduction, Methodology,
    Results, Discussion, Conclusion,…

    View full-size slide

  20. Figures & Tables = Your paper’s storyboard
    Figure 1
    Figure 2
    Figure 3
    …..
    Figure 7
    Figure 8
    Star Wars, Episode V; The Empire Strikes Back

    View full-size slide

  21. The A,B,C of good scientific writing
    • Avoid vague language and be
    precise/specific
    • Say EXACTLY what you mean and
    avoid over/under statements
    • Make the discussion concise but informative. Focus on the
    important and unexpected results. Not on small details.
    • Use as few words as possible while retaining meaning without
    sacrificing scientific details
    • Use simple words and avoid jargon
    • Use verb tense consistently throughout the paper
    • Where possible, use verbs instead of noun forms

    View full-size slide

  22. The core of the article
    MATERIALS AND METHODS
    INTRODUCTION
    • Introduce the reader to what is really relevant to your
    research, and explain why.
    • Provide the necessary background information.
    • Put the study into context. Make sure that the cited
    literature reflects the current state of knowledge in
    the field.
    • Characterize methods and materials fully, in
    extensive details, and according to journal
    requirements
    • Be transparent with editors, reviewers, and readers.
    Impurities, missing data, problems encountered
    • Already published techniques should simply be
    referred to
    RESULTS & DISCUSSION
    • Focus on the important and unexpected results.
    Not on small details.
    • Stand proudly on the shoulder of giants. Don’t sell
    an old idea as a new one; cite the source.
    • Tell your main results as a logical easy-to-
    understand story (this is not necessarily the order
    in which you performed the investigation).
    • Discuss all results, and any limitations in your
    data
    • Salami are for eating, not publishing
    • ”Salami slicing”: Fragmentation of results into
    multiple papers
    Tips for writing better science papers, Series in ChemistryViews: http://bit.ly/ChemistryViews_BetterPapers

    View full-size slide

  23. Title
    Better as:
    “Tree-climbing behavior by mountain
    cottontail rabbits”
    OR
    “Mountain cottontail rabbits can
    climb trees”
    • Include only one key message of the study
    • Completely understandable on first reading
    • Simple and specific to describe the content.
    • Be concise, use less words possible.
    • Not too technical, no jargon.
    • Include keywords
    1st IMPRESSION COUNTS!

    View full-size slide

  24. Abstract
    You have 20 seconds to explain your work to a
    scientist who is unfamiliar with it.
    • Don’t cram the abstract with details. Tell the audience that the butler did it in the 1st sentence!
    • Stand alone. Use plain language, avoid citations and non-standard abbreviations
    • Include keywords
    • In 7-10 sentences: Key results, what you did, unanswered questions, broader view/implications
    SHORT, STAND-ALONE SUMMARY OF YOUR RESEARCG

    View full-size slide

  25. Keywords
    • Choose 5-10 keywords / phrases
    • Test your keywords with free tools
    • Use keywords in:
    • The title (2-4)
    • The abstract (3-4)
    • Subtitles
    • The fields reserved for keywords (5-7)
    • Use the keywords in a natural way
    • Avoid excessive use
    KEY TO SEO
    https://authorservices.wiley.com/author-resources/Journal-Authors/Prepare/writing-for-seo.html

    View full-size slide

  26. References
    • Cite the main scientific publications on which your work is
    based.
    • Make sure that the cited literature is up to date and
    reflects the current state of knowledge in the field.
    • Do not “cherry pick” papers that support your viewpoint
    only; acknowledge contrasting hypotheses.
    • Do not inflate the manuscript with too many references –
    it doesn’t make it a better manuscript! Cite Reviews
    instead!
    • Avoid excessive self-citations.
    More mistakes are found in the references than any other part of the manuscript!
    STAND PROUDLY ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS

    View full-size slide

  27. Authorship
    Definition*:
    1. Substantial contributions to conceptionand design, acquisition of data, or analysis
    and interpretation of data, AND
    2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, AND
    3. final approval of the version to be published
    *International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)

    View full-size slide

  28. Authorship
    Best Practices:
    • Discuss and agree on individual contributions and author order prior to submission
    • Changes post-submission (NEVER post-acceptance) are admissible, if explained and agreed by all
    • All listed authors are accountable for accuracy and integrity of all parts of the work
    • Reveal conflict of interest (financial, personal, academic, …)
    • Make sure you are recognized. Use ORCiD!
    • Provide statement of individual contribution, if requested (or even if not)

    View full-size slide

  29. Be identified, be credited
    Persistent digital identifier that
    distinguishes researchers from each
    other. http://orcid.org
    High-level taxonomy that can be used to represent the roles
    typically played by contributors to scientific scholarly output.
    https://casrai.org/credit.html

    View full-size slide

  30. Poor cover letter = wasted opportunity
    Explain to the editor:
    • Why work is significant
    • What is the major advance
    • What is new (novel!), better on previous works
    • Why the journal is the right on for the work
    • Disclose conflicts of interest
    • List related papers in press, submitted-prepare to
    provide copies!
    • Disclose data (crystal structures, spectra,…) that
    are available to the editors and reviewers in open
    repositories, websites
    • Provide reviewers suggestions
    The cover letter should take shape from the
    paper’s intro & conclusion
    PRO TIP: Get the journal/editor’s names right!
    Especially if not 1st choice…
    Dear Editor of JOURNAL B,
    We would like to submit our
    manuscript *******. We hope
    you will found suitable for
    JOURNAL A.
    Best wishes

    View full-size slide

  31. Ethical issues in submitted articles
    1.Duplicated publications
    2.Plagiarism
    3.Fraud: falsification and fabrication
    4.Authorship issues

    View full-size slide

  32. Ethical issues in submitted articles
    • Don’t republish the same findings
    • Don’t submit the same paper to multiple
    journals simultaneously
    • No Salami slicing”: (Fragmentation of results
    into multiple papers)
    • Plagiarism: Unreferenced use of previously
    published ideas and concepts
    • Including verbatim reproduction of text (yes,
    even your own)
    • Submissions are prescreened for
    plagiarism with software
    • Falsification: Distortion of data or results
    • Hiding outliers, selective removal of data
    points,…
    • Post-hoc analysis
    • Fabrication: Invention of data or results
    DUPLICATED SUBMISSION PLAGIARISM AND FRAUD
    Editors wants you to succeed! In doubt, seek editorial advice
    WILEY Ethical Guidelines https://authorservices.wiley.com/editors/ethical-guidelines/index.html Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE): https://publicationethics.org/

    View full-size slide

  33. Muchas gracias
    por su atención.
    Dr. Matteo Cavalleri
    [email protected]
    @physicsteo

    View full-size slide