What you should know before preparing a manuscript

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What you should know before preparing a manuscript. A. M. Abd El- Aty , PhD Managing and Associate Editor Journal of Advanced Research. There is no way to get experience except through experience. Scientific Written Communication. Reports Theses or dissertations Journal articles - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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What you should know before preparing a manuscript

What you should know before preparing a manuscript

A. M. Abd El-Aty, PhDManaging and Associate EditorJournal of Advanced ResearchThere is no way to get experience except through experienceScientific Written CommunicationReportsTheses or dissertationsJournal articlesSlide presentationsPostersBooks and book chaptersTechnical manuals/users guidesResearch or grant proposals3Why Write and Publish Research Papers?Ideally to share research findings and discoveries with the hope of improving the science

Practically to get fundingto get promotedto get a jobto keep your job! 4Where to Publish? Spend time to select the right journal! Seek advice from an experienced person in your field. Check current contents for journals matching the paper topic. Read articles from recent issues of potential journals. Examine the "References" section of your paper for common journals. Final decision will depend on: (i) prestige (always go for the best topic based journals). (ii) time to publish (as indicated on first page of every paper). (iii) past performance (avoid journals that consistently reject papers). Final Choice of a JournalBe realistic!Do not publish only in 1 journalPage chargesCharges for color imagesReduced fees for membershipCriteria for Acceptance Clarity of objectiveness

Originality

Novelty

Appropriate experimental design and methods

Appropriate statistical analysis

The importance of topic to the journal7Major Reasons for Rejection Confirmatory (not novel) Poor experimental design - Poor controls - Hypothesis not adequately tested Inappropriate for journal Poorly written Wrong journal

What to Publish? Full-length contributed articles are around 5000 words. They usually are made of a series of experiments that form a coherent story. Short notes are around 2000 words. They usually are made of one or two experiments that are stand alone pieces of work. General rule: its better to publish one solid contributed paper than it is to split the same work into two or three short notes! Articles in edited books are usually less prestigious than journal articles. First publish your data in a journal then consider publishing in a book. But do publish a review article Points of ConsiderationsBefore submitting a paper, therefore, be sure that you have something important and publishable to say. To know this, you should discuss your results with others working in the field, both in your own institution and elsewhere The best way to do this is to present your results at scientific meetings if you can get to them Use short sentences 10ContdFollow Instructions for AuthorsEnsure correct format (line and page numbers, line spacing)Check grammar, spelling and punctuationUse a spellchecker, but be aware that they don't catch all mistakesBe familiar with online submissionA scientific paper is not literature. If the ingredients are properly organized, the paper will almost write itselfEthics of Scientific WritingAvoid the dual publication

Dont use the work of others without appropriate attribution

List co-authors who contributed substantially to the work12Scientists are rated by what they finish, not by what they attempt13Best luck in your publications !

Any questions?

14IMRAD FormatExperimental process Section of Paper What did I do in a nutshell? Abstract What is the problem? Introduction How did I solve the problem? Materials and Methods What did I find out? Results What does it mean? Discussion Who helped me out? Acknowledgments (optional) Whose work did I refer to? Literature Cited Extra Information Appendices(optional) 15Anatomy of a Scientific PaperTitle (the really important stuff)The title is the only part of your paper most people will read (only a few read the paper) - make it clear, concise (self-contained) and informativeActual findings should be described with claims that can be supportedIt should be catchy / memorableThe title is a label, not a sentence Put important words near the beginning Check format regarding capitalization May need to provide running title Most common error is poor syntax (difficult to read)

16AuthorshipAn author of a paper should be defined as one who takes intellectual responsibility for the research results being reported

Familiar with content, able to defend

Give credit where it is due. It does not cost anything, and it creates friends. Science is more of a social activity than you might think

17Order of AuthorsFirst author has primary responsibilitySecond author also importantLast author is often senior scientistHowever, sometimes only the first name or the first few names are listedTitle PageFollow Instructions to AuthorsComplete affiliations and addressesDegrees and qualifications?Present address (if have moved)Corresponding AuthorImportant roleClearly indicate on title pagePhone, fax and e-mailPermanent e-mail addressNonstandard abbreviationskeywords Abstract (the really important stuff)First (perhaps only) access to paperShould contain all elements of a paperBrief introduction (include objectives)Combine Mat. & Methods and Results?Means and P values (no statistical methods)Abstract (continued)Brief discussion, primary conclusion(s) and strong final sentenceUsually 1 paragraphStand alone from remainder of paperDescriptive (high-impact) wordsDetermine and respect word limits (often 250 words, risk being cut)As a summary of work done, it is written in past tense

Common Errors (Abstract)Does not stand aloneNo or inadequate means and P valuesToo general (lacks specific information)Excessive materials and methodsToo longIntroductionDescribe problem (usually present tense)Brief review of knowledgeExplain how your study will challenge, expand or improve existing knowledgeObjectives/hypotheses at the end (be as specific as possible)Common Errors (Introduction)Excessive detail/length (like a thesis)Lacks focusExcessive number of references citedObjectives absent, inappropriate, or inconsistent (with other sections of paper)Including a brief summary of results (at the end of the Introduction)Materials and MethodsAllow replication by a competent researcherDescribe all equipment, materials, software, etc., and indicate source (city, state, country)Reference common procedures (explain modifications)Use subheadings as needed for clarityAsk a colleague if he/she can follow the methodologySince your procedures have been completed, report them using past tense

Experimental Animals, Plants, MicroorganismsList genus, species, strain/breed (do not need genus or species for domestic livestock)

Journal may require statement regarding animal care, reference to animal care guide, or indication that the study was approved by Institutional Animal Care Committee

Definitions and Experimental DesignDefine terms usedKeep the experimental design simpleImportance of controls (nature and number)Remember that the goal is to publish!ResultsConsistent with Materials and Methods (mirror image)Clear, comprehensive, easy to interpret Should be short and sweet, with no excess verbiageSeek to combine data (on basis of non-significant differences)Findings described in past tenseTablesFor data unsuitable for textPut common elements vertically (columns)Eliminate repetitionMust be easy to interpretExplore and revise; may need > 1 versionFigures and GraphsY=dependent, X=independentSimple labels, consistent axesInsert a break in axis if neededP-values on graph or in legendIndicate significant differencesLegendsSufficient for table/figure to stand-alone but not long and tediousExplain all abbreviationsExclude citing statistical methodsMay include P-values for main effects and interactionsDiscussionHeart of paper and the hardest section to writePrimary purpose is to explain relationships among observed facts, NOT restate resultsRefer to own data first, discuss with reference to the relevant literatureConsider similarities, differences, advantages, disadvantagesMay suggest future studiesTensePresent study is described in past tenseWell-accepted literature in present tenseRecent literature (not well accepted) may be in past tenseConclusion in present tense? (may be a cultural difference)ConclusionFinal paragraph of discussionSummarize major findingsAvoid citing references and new speculationStrong concluding sentenceThank you AcknowledgmentsTechnical assistanceAdvice on research or manuscriptGifts of materialsAssistance in preparing manuscriptFinancial assistance

36Revising the Paper Check the time limit given for re-submission Wait at least a few days before revising the paper Write a cover letter to the editor addressing ALL reviewers' comments Don't attack the reviewer Address criticisms and refuse them if you think you are right Be polite and indicate that you are doing everything possible and more

Language RevisionsEnlist assistance of a colleagueCommercial assistance availableRe-submitting the Paper Follow instructions from Editor

Proof-read carefully

Indicate current date on cover page

Proofs

Galley proofs will arrive shortly before publishing paper

Cross-check with original version carefully

Respond within 24 hours of receiving proofs

Indicate precise changes in a cover letter

RejectMAY be able to appeal to editor, especially if you feel that they have a fundamental misinterpretation of the paperGenerally simply have to accept the decisionOnce the paper is formally rejected, you are free to submit it to another journalDealing with Rejection A typical paper of average quality submitted to a ranking journal has less than 33% chance of getting a good report from a reviewer Everyone must deal with having a paper rejected

Wait before revising paper in line with reviewers comments

Sometimes it may be appropriate to challenge the reviewer's decision

Don't be discouraged!

Re-submit to another journal within a month of rejection