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How to write a high impact paper A few pragmatic tips that might help in getting a high impact paper to your name © Crown copyright Met Office.

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Presentation on theme: "How to write a high impact paper A few pragmatic tips that might help in getting a high impact paper to your name © Crown copyright Met Office."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to write a high impact paper A few pragmatic tips that might help in getting a high impact paper to your name © Crown copyright Met Office

2 How to write a high impact paper ? © Crown copyright Met Office

3 How to write a high impact paper ? © Crown copyright Met Office

4 The three point plan to writing a high impact paper © Crown copyright Met Office

5 The three point plan to writing a high impact paper Develop a nose © Crown copyright Met Office

6 The three point plan to writing a high impact paper Develop a nose Go for it © Crown copyright Met Office

7 The three point plan to writing a high impact paper Develop a nose Go for it Sell it © Crown copyright Met Office

8 Being able to answer the So What ? question © Crown copyright Met Office

9 Being able to answer the So What ? question Is there anything I can do before being interviewed? Tom Feilden, Radio 4s Today programme: Do a bit of homework, sit down and think What do I want to say here? What are the things that are fun, or interesting, or original, or novel, or useful about whatever it is that Ive done? Think of the masters. When Steve Jones answers a question, he wont say Yes, No or go into an elaborate description of the genetics of what hes done, hell tell you a little story. Ask yourself how would you tell your grandparents about what youve done at work today? Sense about Science Standing up for Science, A guide to the media for early career scientists © Crown copyright Met Office

10 So what ? What was the question we were trying to answer ? What did I do ? What did I find ? Why does it matter ? © Crown copyright Met Office

11 So what ? What was the question we were trying to answer ? What did I do ? What did I find ? Why does it matter ? © Crown copyright Met Office

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13 August 2003

14 Develop a nose This idea was already in the air in 2003 when Stott traveled though the worst heat wave in recorded European history on a wedding anniversary trip to Italy and Switzerland. One of the striking consequences he noticed was that the Swiss mountains were missing their usual melodious tinkling of cowbells. "There was no water in the mountains, and the farmers had to take all their cows down in the valley, he says. © Crown copyright Met Office

15 Go for it He decided to see if he could pin part of the blame on climate change after he returned to his office in Exeter, England. "I didn't expect to get a positive result," he says © Crown copyright Met Office

16 Temperature anomaly (wrt ) °C Human influence has very likely at least doubled the probability of European summer temperatures as hot as 2003 (Stott et al, 2004) Stott, Stone, Allen, Nature 2004

17 Sell it In a landmark paper in Nature Stott and colleagues concluded that the chances of a heat wave like the 2003 event have more than doubled because of climate change. © Crown copyright Met Office

18 The European summers of 2003 and 2006 could be normal by 2040 and cool by 2060 Source Gareth Jones, Hadley Centre Black line – Observed temperatures Red lines – Model forecast including human influence Blue line – Model forecast without human influence HadGEM1

19 Criteria for Nature Criteria for publication The criteria for publication of scientific papers (Articles and Letters) in Nature are that they :report original scientific research (the main results and conclusions must not have been published or submitted elsewhere) are of outstanding scientific importance reach a conclusion of interest to an interdisciplinary readership. © Crown copyright Met Office

20 Submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter stating briefly why the conclusion is an important scientific advance and the authors case for the work being published in Nature rather than in a specialist journal. Authors are strongly encouraged to attempt two 100-word summaries, one to encapsulate the significance of the work for readers of Nature (mainly scientists or those in scientifically related professions); and the other to explain the conclusions at an understandable level for the general public. © Crown copyright Met Office

21 Submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter stating briefly why the conclusion is an important scientific advance and the authors case for the work being published in Nature rather than in a specialist journal. Authors are strongly encouraged to attempt two 100-word summaries, one to encapsulate the significance of the work for readers of Nature (mainly scientists or those in scientifically related professions); and the other to explain the conclusions at an understandable level for the general public. © Crown copyright Met Office

22 So What ? © Crown copyright Met Office

23 Submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter stating briefly why the conclusion is an important scientific advance and the authors case for the work being published in Nature rather than in a specialist journal. Authors are strongly encouraged to attempt two 100-word summaries, one to encapsulate the significance of the work for readers of Nature (mainly scientists or those in scientifically related professions); and the other to explain the conclusions at an understandable level for the general public. © Crown copyright Met Office

24 Being able to Answer the So What ? question Is there anything I can do before being interviewed? Tom Feilden, Radio 4s Today programme: Do a bit of homework, sit down and think What do I want to say here? What are the things that are fun, or interesting, or original, or novel, or useful about whatever it is that Ive done? Think of the masters. When Steve Jones answers a question, he wont say Yes, No or go into an elaborate description of the genetics of what hes done, hell tell you a little story. Ask yourself how would you tell your grandparents about what youve done at work today? Sense about Science Standing up for Science, A guide to the media for early career scientists © Crown copyright Met Office

25 Respect the reader There arent enough hours in the day for your readers either Think of all those papers out there Why should your prospective reader want to spend time with your paper ? Arouse and fulfill (Dont be such a scientist: Talking substance in an age of style by Randy Olsen) The importance of the abstract © Crown copyright Met Office

26 Pity the poor IPCC Lead Author We have 600 references in Chapter 10 of AR5 10 minutes on each is 100 hours, An hour on each is 75 eight hour working days, 15 working weeks We need to assess confidence in the validity of each finding So we need to understand What the finding is Its robustness and limitations The papers need to be as clear as possible The abstract is crucial There is nothing to stop you sending the relevant Lead author your 2 or 3 sentence assessment of it when you alert them to your paper © Crown copyright Met Office

27 The three point plan to writing a high impact paper Think very hard if you could be onto something that could have wider significance than your immediate science clique © Crown copyright Met Office

28 The three point plan to writing a high impact paper Think very hard if you could be onto something that could have wider significance than your immediate science clique Go for it – drop everything else if you can © Crown copyright Met Office

29 The three point plan to writing a high impact paper Think very hard if you could be onto something that could have wider significance than your immediate science clique Go for it – drop everything else if you can When youve written it up (First draft : the question, what did we do, what did we find) take a big step back (go for a long walk) and ask yourself again Why does this matter to a lot of people ? How can I encapsulate what Ive shown and why it matters in 2 or 3 sentences ? © Crown copyright Met Office

30 The three point plan to writing a high impact paper Think very hard if you could be onto something that could have wider significance than your immediate science clique Go for it – drop everything else if you can When youve written it up (the question, what did we do, what did we find: First draft) take a big step back (go for a long walk) and ask yourself again Why does this matter to a lot of people ? How can I encapsulate that in 2 or 3 sentences ? Then write the paper all over again (Second draft) © Crown copyright Met Office

31 The three point plan to writing a high impact paper Think very hard if you could be onto something that could have wider significance than your immediate science clique Go for it – drop everything else if you can When youve written it up (the question, what did we do, what did we find: First draft) take a big step back (go for a long walk) and ask yourself again Why does this matter to a lot of people ? How can I encapsulate that in 2 or 3 sentences ? Then write the paper all over again (Second draft) © Crown copyright Met Office

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33 The So what ? question Take a lot of trouble over the two 100 word paragraphs Be as clear as possible in the abstract about what this new work has shown © Crown copyright Met Office

34 Is writing a high impact paper the same as doing good science? Posted by Tom Webb on Jul 28, 2011 Mola Mola A Nature network blog by Tom Webb © Crown copyright Met Office


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