Presentation on theme: "Publishing Your First Three Academic Papers in the Sciences Steve Miles, MD University of Minnesota."— Presentation transcript:
Publishing Your First Three Academic Papers in the Sciences Steve Miles, MD University of Minnesota
Caveats This course is about writing for academic publication. It is not about creative writing, study design, human subjects protections, statistical methods, etc.
A Basic Personal Library on Writing. BUT, Writing is not “Writing for Academic Publication.” Writing Composition Marketing
Get a Good Dictionary! A dictionary is not just a spell- checker. Effect v affect Denote: indicate “flashing yellow denotes caution” Connote: imply “hospice should not connote giving up” Etymology: a word’s origin adds resonance to your writing. Palliate comes from pall, appall, pale.
I: What is Writing for Academic Publication?
Academic Writing Journal articles Editorials Letters to academic journals. Peer reviews Grant Applications Personal Writing Journaling Poetry, Haikus, Limericks Memos Personal letters Academic Writing is / is not
Writing Self expression. Personal problem solving. Maintain personal relationships. Recreation. Academic Writing is Published To change minds, policies. To build or sustain professional networks. To advance a career. To earn money. Writing has different aims than Academic Writing.
Academic Publishing Connecting your passion to an audience to make things happen. What are you passionate about? Who/Where is your audience? What can you make happen?
Getting Started: Find your passion. Do I care? Why do I care? How can I get someone else to else care? What do I want this paper to accomplish?
Getting Started: Find your audience. Journals you admire/know. Writers you admire on same topic; Where are they publishing? Medline Search your topic for last 3-5 years Sort by journal name. Voila!
#SearchesResults 1HIV Infections193,706 2Prisons6,630 3Mass Screening83, and 2 and limit 4 to (english language and yr=" ") 17 Find your audience (An editor who shares your passion) : Who publishes on HIV Screening in Prisons?
Partial output: Who cares about HIV Screening in Prisons? 1. AIDS & Public Policy 1. HIV testing in correctional institutions: evaluating existing strategies, setting new standards Spring- Summer: 2. AIDS Policy & Law 1. Testing. Delaware proposes to test all inmates for TB, hepatitis and HIV May American Journal of Public Health 1. HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases among correctional inmates: transmission, burden, and an appropriate response. [Review] [73 refs] 2006 Jun. 4. Clinical Infectious Diseases 1. Routine HIV testing in jails is critical for the early diagnosis of HIV infection in men Nov Opportunities to address the hepatitis C epidemic in the correctional setting Apr Is routine testing mandatory or voluntary? Jan Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 1. Rapid HIV testing in rapidly released detainees: next steps Feb 2. Sexually transmitted infections and HIV prevalence among incarcerated men who have sex with men, Feb 3. Responding to the burden of STD, HIV, and viral hepatitis in correctional populations through program collaboration and integration Feb Market in AIDS, STD, or Public Health Journals.
Assignment 1 Write a one page argument in which you take a position. Underline the topic sentence of each paragraph. Submit by two days before the next class.
II: The Literature Search
The Foundation: Your Literature Search. Your arguments about the newness of your findings and soundness of methodology rest on your lit search. Search the topic very carefully with Medline, web, news and citation tracking, etc. Search reviews on your method: e.g., meta- analysis, cost-effectiveness studies, qualitative research. Do not use proforma citations of classic works. Reviewers can tell!!
And/Not AND SnakesPets AND Not Constrictors Pets that are Snakes (except Constrictors) NO WAY!
Or/Not SnakesBirds Not Constrictors Birds or Snakes (But not Constrictors)
#SearchesResults 1Resuscitation orders2774 2DNR.mp (do not resuscitate).mp. [mp=title, abstract, original title, name of substance word, subject heading word, protocol supplementary concept, rare disease supplementary concept, unique identifier] "do not resuscitate".mp.1026 Search: Key Words v Text Words
Iterative Dynamic Search: Using ‘Complete Reference’ to find search terms. In the course of a search, look at the highly relevant articles Complete Reference Characteristics of cancer patients who refuse do-not-resuscitate orders. Cancer. 116(12): , Adult African Americans Cancer Care Facilities Case-Control Studies Female Humans Male Middle Aged Nausea / co [Complications] Neoplasms / di [Diagnosis] Neoplasms / mo [Mortality] Pain / co [Complications] Palliative Care Patient Acceptance of Health Care Resuscitation Orders Retrospective Studies Survival Analysis Adult African Americans Cancer Care Facilities Case-Control Studies Female Humans Male Middle Aged Nauseaco [Complications] Neoplasmsdi [Diagnosis] Neoplasmsmo [Mortality] Painco [Complications] Palliative Care Patient Acceptance of Health Care Resuscitation Orders Retrospective Studies Survival Analysis Do any of these search terms give you ideas? If so, redesign and rerun your search.
Iterative Dynamic Search Citations: Method II: Take a relevant article and note new articles that you missed in its citations Add that article to your file. Look it up on PubMed or Medline to see its Complete ReferenceComplete Reference Take the new search terms and redesign your search. Characteristics of cancer patients who refuse do-not-resuscitate orders. Cancer. 116(12): , Adult African Americans Cancer Care Facilities Case-Control Studies Female Humans Male Middle Aged Nausea / co [Complications] Neoplasms / di [Diagnosis] Neoplasms / mo [Mortality] Pain / co [Complications] Palliative Care Patient Acceptance of Health Care Resuscitation Orders Retrospective Studies Survival Analysis Adult African Americans Cancer Care Facilities Case-Control Studies Female Humans Male Middle Aged Nauseaco [Complications] Neoplasmsdi [Diagnosis] Neoplasmsmo [Mortality] Painco [Complications] Palliative Care Patient Acceptance of Health Care Resuscitation Orders Retrospective Studies Survival Analysis
Assignment 2. Lit search Send me the screen dump of the search strategy that you used to find literature on a topic of your choice. Tell me what you were looking for in the subject line of your to me that contains the search. Submit by two days before the next class.
III: Good Papers are Well Written
Murder your darlings.’ “Style is not—can never be—extraneous ornament. Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it— whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.” Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch On the Art of Writing
Mark Twain Letter to D. W. Bowser, 3/20/1880 I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English. … Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.
A Grammar Checker won’t make you a great writer. (But it can stop you from being a turgid one.) Passive sentences Keep less than 20% Active is shorter and more fun to read. Flesch Reading Ease: should be over 60 (easily read by 13 year olds) F-K Grade Level : 13 or less. Gettysburg Address is 69 and 9.1 Law school tenure policy 23, 16.6 Use the Grammar Checker on each section of your paper in addition to the whole paper.
Writing Tips Average sentence: < words. Paragraph: words sentences Must have a topic sentence ! (Until you can do so by instinct, underline each topic sentence.)
Eradicate word-milfoil! Also, while it is true… It is a fact that… To me, … It is my opinion that… Modern science shows… Current research finds… For example, consider the case of, …
Reduce wordiness. Patent law defines that products of nature are beyond the scope of a patentable subject matter. On the other hand, the opponents of Euthanasia have a different standpoint, they argue that… Framing the question this way distorts the important practical issue at hand. Products of nature are not patentable by law. Opponents of euthanasia argue that … This framing distorts the practical issue.
Non-Working sentences drive readers away Reasons are many; literature is cluttered with them. This is an important issue.
Topic sentences should tell the reader what this paragraph is about. Randomized control trials are a fundamental aspect of approving new pharmaceuticals for market. However, with the pharmaceutical industry pulling in over $300 billion annually, the temptation to circumvent scientific merit is ever present. When determining the efficacy of a drug, the FDA insists that a drug is at least 5% more effective than a placebo. However, little attention is paid to the scientific validity of the placebo group. Special regard for placebo composition needs to be taken in order to ensure that pharmaceutical trials stand up to rigorous scientific review.
Do not create unfulfilled expectations. Cover each point in your list. The use of unmanned aerial drones by the US military and CIA to execute alleged enemies of the US is unethical, unconstitutional, and undermines its credibility as a source of global leadership, justice, and integrity. Mandated insurance coverage for services related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the duty of any society that values the lives of children.
One idea per paragraph Health information exchange can succeed without resorting to a single medical identifier. Alternative approaches put patients in control of their own medical records. Patients own their healthcare data and are at the center of requests to link or release it. This requires patients to be actively engaged. Just as use of a patient’s healthcare data without their permission is unacceptable, so too is patient apathy toward how their healthcare data is used. We put our trust in our medical professionals. We do not turn over control of our rights or responsibilities when we engage the healthcare system. Unique medical ids make it easier for healthcare organizations, insurance and government agencies to forget that an individual person is behind every piece of medical information. Certainly many will permit the use of their data for research, or prefer, for example, that any provider can access their records in an emergency. In all cases, patients should set the rules about what information should be shared and under what circumstances. Proponents correctly claim that a UPI would make data exchange easier. A patient’s right to privacy is more important than the convenience of the healthcare industry.
Add specificity The result is that one in three people killed by a U.S. drone in Pakistan has been a civilian, with at least 1700 dead (a conservative estimate). According to the Defense Department, 1700 civilians have died in U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan; conservatively a third of drone casualties.
Fact check every assertion. Private payer or well-insured patients have access to a coveted awareness of gene mutations to guide early intervention. The class of patients tied to state coverage or without insurance altogether is deprived of this potentially life-saving knowledge.
Hot rhetoric weakens a paper. I am appalled. I am beyond appalled. The current protection of intellectual property has manifested a monster which is impossible to overcome without radical changes in the current patenting system.
Hot rhetoric weakens a paper. …fertile females … are pumped full of extra hormones over the course of a month to develop and mature an unnatural number of eggs for harvesting. The eggs are then removed during an outpatient procedure and the donor is sent on their merry way to heal and recover from the physically traumatic process. … Donors include young college girls who typically are strapped for cash and are easily influenced by the disguise of a good deed. Unbeknownst to most of them, however, they are being used and manipulated by desperate and rich infertile, wannabe parents.
Ungrounded moral exhortation is not an argument. overlooks the moral imperatives of society to care for the needs of citizens. the right to end a painful, impaired living with absolutely no expectancy to benefit from a discovery of a cure in short term, is a free will and justified by the same constitutional laws that protects other rights.
Use pronouns to shorten text. It is quite possible the patient or research participant will disregard all or a portion of the presented information, which is often technical and complicated. They might disregard some or all of the technical and complicated information.
The implicit first person is unnecessary. I believe that gene patents are morally wrong and should be stopped in their current form. I argue that the current patent system does not promote science; instead it promotes and rewards unethical behavior. I recommend a patent system that promotes science, rewards inventors, benefits society, and introduces mechanism for publicly discussing ethical issues..
An argument cannot be built by piling up rhetorical questions. Is it fair that one physician is paid differently for the same work because of where he chooses to practice? Wouldn’t it be more just to pay the Mexican physician who earns $50,000 annually the same as the US physician who earns $250,000? Is it fair that a physician is compensated for a presentation based on what they earn for treating patients? Wouldn’t there be greater confidence and trust if patients knew that physicians were earning less for collaborating with industry than in practice? …
Read Your Drafts out loud! PS: A publishable paper will have drafts! Find yourself a quiet room.
Polishing Cannot be done enough. Start at various points in the paper as you write. (Avoid a polished start and a rough middle.) Relying on a spell checker is like staring at a GPS and ignoring detour signs.
Getting Past Writer’s Block They all can produce a scientific paper. Write from your passion—the scientific form comes during editing. Outlines. Network of ideas mixing text and glyphs (asemic writing). Free writing. Meditation (automatic) writing Note cards. Inspiration capture., e.g., text yourself, notepad in pocket or next to your bed.
IV: What is Authorship?
Authorship: Unitary Model Substantial Contribution to: Conception. Design. Drafting intellectual content. Complex data acquisition. Analysis. Final guarantee of claims.
Authorship: Contributor Model Each Contributor-Author has a disclosed substantial role: Conception. Design. Drafting intellectual content. Complex data acquisition. Analysis. Each Guarantor-Author takes overall responsibility for the paper as a whole.
Types of Misconduct Seen by a Dispute Resolution Committee Acta Onco 1999;38:89-92
Retracted Papers Proceedings of National Academy of Science 10/1/12. J Med Ethics 2011; 37: All retractions from 2005 – 2008.
Cut Authorship Fights off at the Pass! The lead author is project manager, director, screenplay writer, producer. Author assignment, evaluation and ranking should be continuously updated in writing. No paper should be submitted with an open authorship conflict.
Acknowledgements Contributors not meeting authorship criteria. Persons providing purely technical help, writing assistance Department chair who provided only general support. Persons who contributed materially to the project but not as authors, e.g., “participating investigators” with descriptors of their function Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. All persons must give written permission to be acknowledged.
Honorary Authors Acquisition of funding, Collection of data, General supervision of the research group alone Does not constitute authorship.
V: Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of Interest Financial: “I have a financial interest in this paper being published.” Intellectual: “I cannot be intellectually fair to this topic.” Institutional: “My institution has exercised its authority over the content of this paper. Control of authorship—ghostwriting.
Favorable Outcomes of Corporate v Independent Research Published in JAMA, LANCET and NEJM JAMA 2006;295: N=205, p.002 N=39, p.=07 N=104, p.001
Open Access Conflict of Interest Authors pay publishing fee. Profit making. Meet authors need to publish. Science editor submitted 304 versions of paper with fake names, fake institutions, bad science claiming anticancer effect of tree mold. 167 acceptances by “peer reviewed” Open Access journals, even those not covering the field. Science: 2013;342 (6154): 60-5.
Ghost Authors People who write the paper behind the scenes without attribution: Drug or medical device companies or their PR departments. Special academic assistants. Undisclosed conflicts of interest. Plagiarism Punished by editorial death!
Steve’s Scandal Rag Corporate Ghostwriters 75% in industry-sponsored trials. (JAMA 2008; ) Refoxecoxib (Vioxx) 50% of review ghost authors disclosed support. JAMA 2008; Ghostwriter: “I was given explicit instructions about what to play up and what to play down—whether to enhance broader off-label use of the pain product or go strictly by the FDA.” Lancet 1999;354:136. Note to self: Editors call ghostwriting: Undisclosed conflicts of interest Plagiarism and punish it with editorial death!
Conflicts of Interest- Peer Review Financial: “I have a financial interest.” Intellectual: “I cannot be intellectually fair to this topic.” Institutional: “My institution has exercised its authority over the content of this paper. Collaboration conflict—not known to editor. (e.g. author is your student, colleague. Breach of confidentiality of review.
Avandia – 9/2010 Sales begin. Divided vote, poor data on risks. Minority report dissents. WHO warns about heart effects. GSK ordered to post unpub trials because of corporate suppression of data on antidepressant suicides. GSK internal study (that ignores some MIs) finds 31% heart attack. P=NS. GSK conceals memo. BMJ: Risks> benefits; withdraw it. UK: Ditto. Europe stops sales. FDA restricts sales; divided vote (Avandia speakers vote). GSK to European Heart Journal: “Withdraw this editorial (critical of Avandia) and refrain from publishing it in any way.” Sales from $3B to $1B/Yr. NEJM Meta-analysis shows 43% heart attack. Extra deaths~ 47,000. (A peer reviewer leaked review to Glaxo.) FDA: Stronger label. Sales:$500 M/Yr. BMJ 2010:341:c Million Rxs, 22%
Conflicts of Interest Seek the Oracle. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Disclose all. Violators will be punished.
Assignment Find me a really bad graph that applies to your field.
VI: Graphs, Charts, Tables The purpose of graphics is to communicate a point, not to display data!
Rules for Visual Data Display As with text, the purpose of a graph or table is to carry your argument forward. Clear and Simple. Honest “Kill your darlings”
The US health care system is expensive. OECD 2009: 2007 The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was founded in 1961 to compile statistics and policy reports to promote economic growth. Graphs should tell an instant story: This one does. $/yr PER CAPITA SPENDING ON HEALTH CARE
Bubble Size = % non compliant with meds Health Aff 2008;27: Out Of Pocket drug costs: compliance. Graphs should tell an instant story: This one doesn’t.
Vanishing Point Distortion
2-D Distortion of 1-D Data
A clean chart says more. Are the treatments better than placebo?This is the same data!
Use Honest Charting Worse Better Months Actual chart from a drug company study showing how a drug improved dementia scores. Same Data!
Cute: Chart or Table?
300, , , ,000600,000900,000
Complex Graphics A complex graph should tell a story.
3 D Charts should tell a 3 Variable Story. Nope Yep
The Greatest Chart Ever Made! Temperature during retreat
Is there a story here?
Multidimensional Graphs Eschew Obfuscation
A Good Table, like good text, tells a story. Change and difference sizzle. Counts say little. Alphabets are not variables: Sort on important variable. Vary typeface or insert markers to make points. Avoid excessive or pseudo- precision If it can’t be grasped, it won’t be read. Klass G. Presenting Data: Tabular and graphic display of social indicators, atadisplay/sections/goodtables.htm
Bad Tables, like bad graphs, show off but do not communicate. Keep them simple with common terms and clear conclusions. If a reviewer/reader can’t grasp it quickly, they will not look at it. A table like this can move your paper from a high circulation journal to a small circulation, specialized journal. Complex data should go as online appendix This necktie would fit the mentor who told me to try to publish this table!
VII: Assembling the Whole Paper Step 1, 2, 3: Consult Oracle.
VII: The Whole Paper Title IDs Keywords Abstract Introduction Methods Results Discussion References Appendices for data
Title and Search Terms Titles Avoid cute titles for academic publications. Avoid rhetorical claims: “A revolutionary advance in living wills.” Keep them short. Journal titles should avoid subtitles. Brain Death: New Perspectives Search Terms Don’t bury your work alive! If keywords are requested, use Medline, MeSH keywords. Do not dream up your own. It is always OK to suggest search terms to the editor with the MSS.
Methods Set the context. Be succinct; not a review. Define the starting point for your work. State what you are out to do (or find). State why it matters. Hypothesis Sample selection Power calculation Variables, measurement tools, and instruments. Statistical tests and/ relevant software. On line data appendices. Everything someone would need to duplicate your work. Introduction
Results The sequential application of your method. Sample collection, exclusions, final population. Standardization. Comparisons Graphics No analysis! (Save it for the discussion.) No reference to past studies (especially your own). Etiquette Content
Discussion Etiquette Minimize self citation (It even annoys reviewers). Do not repeat data or introduction. Content Discuss what you add to the (previously stated) context). State the limitations. Discuss its utility, importance, value. Discuss future research that might confirm or elaborate on this work.
Write the Abstract Last! Avoid Contradiction. “Many abstracts disagree with the text of the article.” Avoid non-therapeutic amputations. Abstracts are the online content of your article. Follow length rules! Evolution of tropomyosin functional domains: differential splicing and genomic constraints. We have cloned and determined the nucleotide sequence of a complementary DNA (cDNA) encoded by a newly isolated human tropomyosin gene and expressed in liver. Using the least-square method of Fitch and Margoliash, we investigated the nucleotide divergences of this sequence and those published in the literature, which allowed us to clarify the classification and evolution of the tropomyosin genes expressed in vertebrates. Tropomyosin undergoes alternative splicing on three of its nine exons. Analysis of the exons not involved in differential splicing showed that the four human tropomyosin genes resulted from a duplication that probably occurred early, at the time of the amphibian radiation. The study of the sequences obtained from rat and chicken allowed a classification of these genes as one of the types identified for humans. The divergence of exons 6 and 9 indicates that functional pressure was exerted on these sequences, probably by an interaction with proteins in skeletal muscle and perhaps also in smooth muscle; such a constraint was not detected in the sequences obtained from nonmuscle cells. These results have led us to postulate the existence of a protein in smooth muscle that may be the counterpart of skeletal muscle troponin. We show that different kinds of functional pressure were exerted on a single gene, resulting in different evolutionary rates and different convergences in some regions of the same molecule. Codon usage analysis indicates that there is no strict relationship between tissue types (and hence the tRNA precursor pool) and codon usage. G + C content is characteristic of a gene and does not change significantly during evolution. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
To cite or not to cite: Don’t cite. Indisputable facts. There are billions of stars. Eponym ideas E.g., Boyle’s Law Except when critiquing the seminal work, This paper discusses a unrecognized error in Hubble’s Constant.] Cliches (a nod, not a cite) As Descartes said, “I think therefore I am.”
To cite or not to cite..., Cite Disputed truisms (no matter how ‘self evident.’) Crack babies have life-long learning disabilities. 1 Sources to blow up myths. 1 A Christian Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892 to sell flags to schools. Bellamy regarded capitalism as the idolatry of greed and therefore inherently hostile to equality. 1 Congress added the words “Under God” in 1954 during the McCarthy era to express opposition to atheistic communism. 1 Unusual ideas. This paper evaluates whether the fall in crime is due to greater access to abortions between 1975 and 2000.” 1 Quotations.
To cite or not to cite... Hard cases. Secret source (discuss with editor). Research data files (offer to append on line). Newspaper letters or opinion pieces or journal editorials (usually invited). Include fact checking list in cover letter to editor.
Authorities International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Seek. Bookmark. Obey. Violators will be punished. Instructions for Authors Beware publishing fees.
VII (a): Submitting your Paper: The Cover Letter
Assignment: Write A Cover Letter Address it to a particular named professional publication. It should conform to that journal’s Instructions to Authors. Dream up the content of the article that you are submitting with it. It should conform to all of the instructions in this section of the course.
Academic Publishing Connecting your passion to an audience to make things happen. What are you passionate about? Who/Where is your audience? What can you make happen?
The Cover Letter is a Job Application for Your Paper! One page TOPS. 2-3 sentence synopsis, 50 words TOPS (not the abstract). “This submission is Perfect for your readers. Perfect for your brand.” Mandatory content from the Oracle (ICJME).
Thy Chatty and Friendly Cover Letter! This is not being considered by any other journal. This paper has not been previously submitted to your journal (or if it has why you have the gall to resubmit). No conflicts of interest or they are disclosed per your policy. Copyright. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUTHORS! Promises The cover letter should be friendly and collegial, not stuffy and pretentious. “Business casual.” It should pique interest, show professionalism and invite a conversation.
Re: Torture Survivors: Screening, Assessing, Referring Dear Dr. Sussman, (Journal of Family Practice) The enclosed article is the only article that I am aware of that comprehensively discusses the role of the primary care physician in identifying and referring torture survivors. There are about as many torture survivors in the United States as persons with Parkinson’s disease. Accordingly, even physicians who do not undertake the treatment of such persons should be familiar with case finding and referral. Should you wish, I do have a PowerPoint slide set of this material and can offer a stable link to this slide set at my faculty page at the University of Minnesota. Sincerely, Steven H. Miles, MD
Suggesting Reviewers Quality of peer review is comparably high. Acceptance recommendations are higher. Avoid conflicts of interest. Not your institution, teacher, etc. J Peds 2007;151: JAMA 2006;295:314-7.
Never Make an Editor Mad at You! Thou shalt not Simultaneously submit the same piece to two journals. Publish the same piece twice (no matter what media). Violate embargo dates. Editors never forget.
VII(b): Submitting your Paper: behind the black box
Peer Review Editor Editorial Board Peer Reviewers Author Section Editor Section Editor Poor quality. Not my audience. Not a prestigious author for us. I am mad at you. Not timely. No! Plan B. ASAP! Yes?
VII(c): Dealing with Rejection Don’t take it personally or you wind up...
Editorial or Analytic Papers Reviews: Narrative or Meta-analysis. Academia and Clinic Clinical Guidelines and Position Papers* Health Policy Editorials* Essays (history, patient care, poems, travel, bios Case Reports Quality Improvement Letters Book Reviews * Usually solicited or submitted by an institution.
Far East Economic Review "We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sightedness and timidity."
Why do papers get rejected? Paper factors Out of date. Don’t procrastinate. Flawed lit search. Flawed methods. 16% Poorly written. 36%! Grumpy reviewers are not friendly. No passion. Nor are bored reviewers. Journal factors So many submissions -- so little space. Just published on this. Not our audience/issue. 22% Bad luck with reviewer/editor.
Dealing with Rejection Is it really a rejection? (Some are, “We can’t take this paper but revise and we may take another look.”) What can you learn from the reviews? Are the criticisms about the paper or about its fit with the journal’s audience? Papers in minor journals can have MAJOR influence.
Dealing with Rejection Read the paper aloud. Does it flow as well as I thought it did? How many grammar mistakes were there, really? Does it convey my passion? Did I speak to the journal’s audience?
Dealing with Rejection. Have your next journal in mind when you submit a paper. Re-edit to reviewers’ comments. Update literature search! Resubmit ASAP (you have put a lot of work into this). My personal record is 17 rejections for one paper not counting the dead papers lying on my hard drive.
VII(d): Acceptance (is not the final stage.)
Acceptance is an Emergency! Answer queries and complete various forms on same day if possible. Your paper may be timely—e.g., delay can harm its inclusion in a special issue. Then relax!
VIII: Peer Review
Peer Review Is this paper for my journal, my audience? Topic Author Depth
Peer Review Is it important? Is it relevant to the journal? Is it sound? It is well written? Are the references up to date/well chosen? Should be accepted, revised, rejected? Are you willing to reread? Are you willing to write commentary?
IX: THE BIG MANUSCRIPT Books and Theses
Coherence, Balance, Organization Story Boards Outlines Dynamic Tables of Contents Subdocument for each page. TitleTopicsWordsTarget IntroHow I got to subj, Methods Part I Ch 1Torture Ch 2Med and Torture Part II … Totals
X: Building a Career with your Academic Papers
Summary of Course Definition/Purpose of Academic Writing. Find your audience Literature Searching Authorship Conflicts of Interest Effective Writing Effective Graphics Elements of a paper. Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion Abstract, Title Submitting paper Cover letter Rejection/acceptance Peer Review Big Paper
Anthologizing and Spinoffs Restructure and update chapters for publication Collect articles by you or others for an anthology, add commentary, etc
Plagiarism/self plagiarism Others Web is poison to this. Least publishable unit and salami publications. Self referential work Repeating yourself
After the Publication: Connecting your passion to an audience to make things happen. Scientific Meetings Academic Lectures Follow-up confirmatory or outcome papers. Legislative testimony Community Education Op-ed pieces Legal work
NAME Use same name & initials on all work. Allow editors to print your address (get asked out). Allow editors to use you as a reviewer. BRAND At least three times on Each topic. Present at Academic & public meetings. Peer Review— openly.
Readings International Council of Medical Journal Editors Holmes DR Jr, et al. Manuscript preparation and publication. Circulation. 2009;120(10): Turka LA. J. After Further Review. J Clin. Invest. 2009;119:1057. Ushma N. How to write an effective referee report. J. Clin. Invest http//www.jci.org/articles/view/39424/pdf Skandalakis JE. Mirilas P. Plagiarism. Archives of Surgery. 2004; 139(9): Anonymous. Self-plagiarism: unintentional, harmless, or fraud? Lancet 2009; 374(9691):664. Irwin RS. The role of conflict of interest in reporting of scientific information. Chest (1): Davidoff F, et al Sponsorship, authorship, and accountability. JAMA 2001;286: Angell M, Relman AS. Redundant publication. New Engl J Med 1989;320:
Slides available on request. Steven H. Miles, MD University of Minnesota