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Publishing in High Impact Journals John K. Schueller University of Florida

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1 Publishing in High Impact Journals John K. Schueller University of Florida schuejk@ufl.edu

2 Glad to be here Enjoyed previous visits Excellent reputation of UPM Interesting topic

3 Glad to be here Excellent reputation of UPM Enjoyed previous visits Interesting topic First time spoke on this topic Tentative opinions Interested in your opinions

4 Qualifications Editor-in-chief, editorial boards, reviewer Won reviewer awards Published in about a dozen journals But … Every journal is different Everyone has different opinions There is no standard approach

5 Duties of university faculty (and similar public sector employees) What must they do to justify collecting salaries from taxes on citizens?

6 Duties of University Faculty Teaching: educate young people most visible and most important

7 Duties of University Faculty Teaching: educate young people most visible and most important Service: help the people of the state underappreciated and neglected combination of research and teaching

8 Duties of University Faculty Teaching: educate young people most visible and most important Service: help the people of the state underappreciated and neglected combination of research and teaching Research: develop new knowledge duty to help advance society provide information for teaching and service

9 Duties of University Faculty Teaching: educate young people Service: help the people of the state Research: develop new knowledge Universities need to do all three well Faculty members should do all three

10 Duties of University Faculty Teaching: educate young people Service: help the people of the state Research: develop new knowledge Universities need to do all three well Faculty members should do all three But not divide time evenly (And individuals do not perform evenly well)

11 Research Emphasized by University Administrators University reputations based upon research Example: Kyoto University counts Nobel prizes Example: USN&WR rankings

12 Research Emphasized by University Administrators University reputations based upon research Some believe more variation in faculty research performance Example: John V. Lombardi (former President of University of Florida, University of Massachusetts, and Louisiana State University)

13 Research Emphasized by University Administrators University reputations based upon research Variation in faculty research performance Difficult to evaluate teaching and service – Research evaluation difficult also – But less difficult, so that is what do

14 How Evaluate Research? Money --- Commonly Done – Gets university money – Priorities from outside university Serious Problems – Confuses inputs and outputs – Causes changes in university – What is funded dominates (e.g., defense, health) – Important research neglected I believe this emphasis not good for university or country

15 How Evaluate Research? Publications --- very commonly done Much better measure – Research not complete unless published--- New knowledge useless unless spread Problem for engineers – Better in math and science than writing – Humans like to do what they do best – So engineers don’t like to write papers

16 Publications Take Many Forms Popular and Trade Press – (e.g., Prairie Farmer, Off-Highway Engineering) – Important and faculty should do more Conference Posters and Presentations – Important to share information and get feedback

17 Publications Take Many Forms Popular and Trade Press – (e.g., Prairie Farmer, Off-Highway Engineering) – Important and faculty should do more Conference Posters and Presentations – Important to share information and get feedback Problems: – Quality varies widely – Information may not be found easily later

18 Publications Take Many Forms Popular and Trade Press Conference Posters and Presentations Refereed Journal Article – Experts verify quality – Archival storage Refereed Journal Articles are the primary basis for evaluating engineers and scientists

19 University Wants More Research Assumes more articles indicates more research Standard procedure has been to count articles – (e.g., Professor with 25 articles better than one with 24) – So faculty members produce more articles – Break research into least publishable units (LPU’s) – Many new journals to provide venues

20 Secret Techniques to Get Many Articles Hammer --- “to someone with a hammer, everything is a nail” E.g., if you have a spectrophotometer – “spectral properties of wheat”, etc. – “spectral properties of oats”, etc., – “spectral properties of rice”, etc., – If run out of materials switch to a different frequencies and repeat all these papers

21 Secret Techniques to Get Many Articles Chinese menu --- “one from Column A and one from Column B” E.g., if you are doing intercropping – Intercropping corn and soybeans – Intercropping corn and wheat – Intercropping corn and oats – Intercropping sorghum and soybeans – Intercropping sorghum and wheat …

22 Secret Techniques to Get Many Articles Salami Science --- “A single sausage (research project) can provide many slices (articles)” E.g., If you are studying the viscosity of yoghurt “A critical review of studies of yoghurt fluid properties” “A theory of yoghurt viscosity” “Instrumentation to measure yoghurt viscosity” “A standard testing procedure for yoghurt viscosity” “Viscosity of nonfat milk yoghurt” “Viscosity of 2% fat milk yoghurt” Etc., etc.

23 Secret Techniques to Get Many Articles Many Roses --- “A rose by any other name is still a rose” E.g., If you change the title and some written material you can publish the same knowledge in Computers and Electronics in Agriculture Precision Agriculture Biosystems Engineering Applied Engineering in Agriculture Transactions ASABE Agricultural Engineering International Etc., etc.

24 I don’t like this!!! Information is scattered in many articles I can’t keep up with all the articles in my field Quality of individual articles is low Many resources (financial, time, paper, etc.) are wasted But it doesn’t matter what I like, because …

25 University Wants More Research Assumes more articles indicate more research Standard procedure has been to count articles – (e.g., Professor with 25 articles better than one with 24) – So faculty members produce more articles – Break articles into least publishable units (LPU’s) – Many new journals to provide venues Net result: Many, many articles are published – Many are seldom or never read – Faculty promoted on research that has no impact

26 University Wants More Research Assumes more articles indicate more research Standard procedure has been to count articles – (e.g., Professor with 25 articles better than one with 24) – So faculty members produce more articles – Break articles into least publishable units (LPU’s) – Many new journals to provide venues Net result: Many, many articles are published – Some are seldom or never read – Faculty promoted on research that has no impact Problem: How judge quality?

27 Count Citations If somebody refers to a researcher’s article, perhaps the article is significant Counting citations (either total number or H- factor) has become very important Good in that it has some (very imperfect) relationship to readership, impact, and (maybe) quality

28 Count Citations But it is very imperfect because Hurts topics of local interest (e.g., first person to find terahertz properties of durian vs. rice) Hurts smaller fields (e.g., ABE vs. MechE) Discriminates to famous people and institutions Tendency to cite friends Leads to excessive citing (not needed in Google age)

29 Count Citations Journals also want to have good citation statistics to increase prestige High impact factor increases number of submissions Is it affecting journal behavior? – Editors request submissions cite own journal? – Editors select articles based upon citation potential?

30 Result of Citation Mania High Impact Factor (HIF) journals are flooded with submissions It is becoming very difficult to publish in HIF journals due to competition But UPM administrators (for faculty) and future employers (for students) want you to do so. I will try to help. (But, I only have limited knowledge, others have different opinions, …)

31 Most Important Is To Do Good Research Must contribute to advancing knowledge and be significant Must provide useful knowledge Generally smaller subject done well is better than larger subject done poorly

32 Most Important Is To Do Good Research Must contribute to advancing knowledge and be significant Must provide useful knowledge Must be accurate (accurate instruments, proper procedure, controlled conditions, etc.) Must have statistical validity (replications, randomization, restriction errors, inference space, etc.)

33 Must Advance State-of-the-Art What is new and novel? Hard to determine what is significant

34 Must Advance State-of-the-Art What is new and novel? Hard to determine what is significant Some things which are now common Simulations Expert systems Neural networks Spectral responses Etc., etc.

35 Must Advance State-of-the-Art Examples of how to justify publication: New technique (e.g., unique expert system or neural network structure) Fundamental understanding (e.g., why light reflection varies) New application (e.g., detect spoilage in closed carton by spectral response)

36 Be in appropriate category Original Research Article Technical/Application Note Review Book Review

37 Example Requirements: Transactions of the ASABE Your manuscript must meet the following requirements: The material represents original, important contributions to research or design literature of interest to the Society. It clearly represents the design or development of technology, or research into problems of direct interest to the profession. The manuscript must clearly state the scope and purpose of the research. The information must be objective and well organized, and the conclusions must be adequately supported. Your manuscript should also contain at least one of the following elements: Original data, analysis or design, or synthesis of existing information. Research information for the improvement of design, construction, or manufacturing practice. Significant and convincing evidence that confirms and strengthens the findings of others, or that revises ideas or challenges accepted theory. A critical review of research or design information of comprehensive and well-defined scope.

38 Must Be Well-Written Organization: Biggest writing problem for both native and non-native speakers – E.g., Must have easy-to-follow structure Only relevant information: Tendency to include too much – E.g., Experiments that are not useful and pertinent Must have details with parameters of software, instruments, raw materials, equipment, etc.,: – E.g., 1966 John Deere 4020 wide-front, eight-speed powershift, tractor rated at 91.7 HP

39 Must Be Well-Written Stylistically Readable: Problem for non- native (and some native) speakers. – Sentence structure – Example of BAD: “Before recording data, we bought the equipment and set it up after calibrating it.” Keep in Proper Sections – E.g., Introduction, Previous Work, Equipment and Materials, Procedures, Results, Discussion, Conclusions

40 Must Be Grammatically Correct Not the most important – But still very important

41 Must Be Grammatically Correct Not the most important – But still very important Fortunately, the easiest to fix – Must get help if needed – Must put in time, whether get help or not

42 Which is WORST section heading ? 1.Malaysian flag colors are red, white, yellow, and blue 2.Malaysian Flag colors Are red, White, yellow, And blue 3.Malaysian Flag Colors Are Red, White, Yellow, And Blue 4.Malaysian Flag Colors are Red, White, Yellow, and Blue

43 OK Heading, Bad Sentence Malaysian flag colors is red, white, yellow, and blue The Malaysian flag is red, white, yellow, and blue. Common errors: Inconsistent capitalization Articles (a, the, …) Singular/plural (toe/toes, arch/arches, foot/feet, …) Possessives (John’s, its, …)

44 Common Grammatical Errors Unclear pronouns (it, they, them, he, she, …) Sentence fragments (e.g., “Ran experiments.”) Runon sentences (e.g., “Before field experiments, first we did tests on apples and then oranges followed by tests on limes and lemons and then tests on pears and peaches and finishing later with tests on grapes, bananas, and more oranges, after calibrating the instruments.”) But there should not be too many short sentences either. Perhaps a figure or table here instead.

45 Always Follow Journal Guidelines Especially pay attention to directions for: Section headings Figures and tables References (A very common problem is incomplete references.)

46 Title is First Impression Clear and about subject matter or conclusion of the paper Not too short (“Citrus juice”) Not too long No “Research about” or “Investigations of …” or “Studies on …” or other words which don’t contribute

47 Abstract is Real First Impression Absolutely crucial Not too long Little or no literature review “Although the electromagnetic properties of citrus have been extensively studied, knowledge of the terahertz response has been lacking.” Very brief methods and equipment Summarize main results and conclusions Hint: Write after the paper is done

48 Some Figure Concepts

49 Bad Figure

50

51 What Happens to Your Submission? Varies depending upon journal, editor, and your manuscript You read journal website You edit your manuscript to conform You upload your manuscript to journal website Technical review (by nonengineers) Editor handles (or passes to Associate Editor)

52 What Happens to Your Submission? Editor reads manuscript Increasingly may reject without review – Off-topic or Poor Quality (Research or Writing) Select Reviewers Invite Reviewers Wait for Reviewers to Respond Invite Replacement Reviewers Send Manuscript to Accepting Reviewers

53 What Happens to Your Submission? Wait for reviews Remind reviewers with late reviews When all reviews are in, read the reviews Make decision ( reject, revise, accept ) Ask authors for revisions Authors revise and resubmit Repeat review and revise until article is acceptable Process article for publication Wait for article to get space in an issue

54 Remember Reviewer Dependence Many more manuscripts now Volunteer effort – few institutions value reviewing Budget cuts at many institutions Inexperienced reviewers now reviewing Note: You have a duty to help review

55 Dealing With Low Acceptance Rates Don’t get discouraged Do high quality research Most articles being revised eventually get published (May take many revisions) There are many journals now

56 Choose Target Journal Correctly Respected journal Aim to educate readers – Appropriate subject matter coverage – Appropriate target audience – Large enough audience

57 Unfortunate Example Schueller, J.K., and T.M.P. Wall. 1991. Transverse impact of fruit on beams to determine modulus of elasticity. Experimental Mechanics. 31(2):118-121. Excellent journal But target audience did not read it

58 Publish in HIF Journals Do good, complete research

59 Publish in HIF Journals Do good, complete research Spend time on writing

60 Publish in HIF Journals Do good, complete research Spend time on writing Submit to appropriate journals

61 QUESTIONS? John K. Schueller University of Florida schuejk@ufl.edu


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