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Getting Published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics: An Editor’s Perspective Michael Martin Theory and Methods Editor, ANZJS.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics: An Editor’s Perspective Michael Martin Theory and Methods Editor, ANZJS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting Published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics: An Editor’s Perspective Michael Martin Theory and Methods Editor, ANZJS

2 About the journal Started as the Australian Journal of Statistics in 1959 Became the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics in 1998, as a joint publication of the Statistical Society of Australia and the New Zealand Statistical Association Published by Wiley-Blackwell

3 Impact Factor Four issues per year 2012 Impact Factor = Five-year Impact Factor = ISI JCR Ranking: 91 / 117 (Statistics and Probability) Editor-in-Chief: Professor Alan Welsh (ANU) Applications Editor: Professor James Curran (Auckland) Theory and Methods Editors: Professor Martin Hazelton (Massey) and Professor Michael Martin (ANU) Book Reviews Editor: Dr Petra Graham (Macquarie) Technical Editors: Dr Neville Bartlett, Dr Rolf Turner

4 What we do The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Statistics publishes original articles in the following categories: Applications: Papers demonstrate the application of statistical methods to problems faced by users of statistics. A particular focus is the application of newly developed statistical methodology to real data and the demonstration of better use of established statistical methodology in an area of application. Theory & Methods: Papers make a substantive and original contribution to the theory and methodology of statistics, econometrics or probability. A special focus is given to papers motivated by, and illustrated with, real data. Reviews: Papers give an overview of a current area of statistical research which consolidate and reconcile existing knowledge and make judgements about the most promising directions for future work. Historical and General Interest: Papers discuss the history of statistics in Australia and New Zealand, the role of statistical organisations in private and government institutions and the analysis of datasets of general interest.

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7 Submission

8 So, what are the odds?* About submissions per year About two-thirds Theory & Methods and one- third Applications Acceptance Rate about 10% to 15% Up to half of papers are rejected without review – either because of standard or fit Another ~25% of papers are rejected after review, and ~10% after revision * Not a random process…

9 But all hope is not lost… Einstein once famously chided the Editor of Physical Reviews for rejecting his paper with Rosen because he had sent the work for publication not for review (the work was later published elsewhere – but serious errors pointed out by the original reviewer had been corrected!) The moral of the story: referees can help you improve your paper

10 MUST DO’S Ask yourself “Why am I choosing ANZJS?” – Do they publish the sort of thing you are working on? – Applications paper or Theory & Methods paper? – Do you use real data? Read and follow the Instructions for authors – Basic formatting (font size, margins, spacing) – Structure (introduction, sections, formatting of equations, etc.) – Other matters (references, appendices, supplementary material)

11 Why papers get rejected - I Topic is not interesting or important ✘ Onus on author to convince it is! Topic in not appropriate for journal ✘ If your paper is about rocket science, send it to a rocket science journal Work is not original ✘ Too close to something previous or too derivative Work is wrong, or has serious errors

12 Why papers get rejected - II Work is badly organised and hard to follow Work is badly written or the English is poor ✘ Get help from colleagues with good English ✘ Use English editing service (but $$$) Work suffers from errors and typos ✘ Read, re-read, repeat Work is not motivated ✘ Sure, you are interested in your work*, but why should readers be? *not necessarily

13 Why papers get rejected - III Unclear or muddled arguments ✘ Present your work as a seminar, ask colleagues to read and critique (tell them to be brutal) Bad Statistics ✘ It’s a statistics journal – you cannot afford to have poor design, ignored biases, no standard errors, no controls, poor graphical displays, other crimes against statistics ✘ Have colleagues read and critique your work Conclusions are weak, misleading, unjustified ✘ Don’t over-reach, inform optimism with realism References to other work are old, too self-focused, or important references are missing ✘ Know the literature, keep current ✘ remember you are probably not the only one to think about this (and if you are, that may be a BAD thing)

14 Start… at the beginning Title and Abstract These are the most important parts of the paper to get right!! ☞ May be the only thing that gets read ☞ Choose words carefully to optimise Google searches ☞ Cute and clever sounds fun – but what if nobody can work out what your paper is about? ☞ Abstract has to tell the story briefly but with enough detail ☞ Makes good first impression on Editors, Associate Editors and Referees

15 Making Introductions Motivate, motivate, motivate! Tell me why I should care Brief but informative Where does your work sit within the literature? Hint: it does not stand alone… Acknowledge and cite the work of others What is your unique contribution? Say why it is novel, useful, important Summarise main question

16 The Main Course Ensure all notation is stated and clear Tell the story – be brief but clear Make clear what is new Clarity is critical Give enough detail that the work can be reproduced, but not too much! Very technical details should be moved to an Appendix or left as Supplementary material to be downloaded

17 Illustrate Whenever appropriate*, illustrate with real data Use Figures and Tables judiciously – Don’t go overboard – readers get lost in forests of tables and figures – make them count! – Figures should be able to stand alone and make sense – A picture ‡ paints a thousand words † … In Tables, don’t forget standard errors (if appropriate) – remember, we’re statisticians! *usually ‡ graphic † numbers

18 Discuss & Conclude BRIEFLY re-state main results (BRIEFLY!!) – Focus on what is new and interesting Provide any useful interpretations or remarks – Practical or theoretical Include caveats or limitations – don’t overstate What are the implications of the work? – Where to from here?

19 Before you hit SUBMITT… Don’t submit the paper the moment you’ve finished the work – FIRST: – Get colleagues/mentors to read and advise – Workshop the paper in presentations – LISTEN to criticism – make changes! – Read, re-read, re-write, re-read!! BRACE yourself (Brief, Relevant, Accurate, Clear, Evocative)

20 English Matters Sentence structure (e.g. include a verb…) Brevity with Clarity Punctuate properly! Poor English makes your paper hard to read, hard to understand, hard to review, hard to like – but easy to reject…

21 Expect it – it happens to EVERYONE some time Editors do not enjoy rejecting papers Use critical comments to improve Don’t just ignore sensible comments and submit elsewhere – take on board

22 Revisions Be patient – if you are waiting a while, your paper is being reviewed! If you enquire, be polite! Respond thoroughly and quickly You don’t have to make ALL suggested changes – but you do have to explain why not Include a letter detailing and explaining ALL the changes you made Trivial, Minor, Major DO, DO, THINK

23 It’s not quite over – Technical Editing – Cooperate, be prompt, listen, do Submit all forms promptly – Copyright transfer, declarations Copyright, Open Access, DOI Celebrate!!

24 Be a Referee


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