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Scientific publishing 27.1.2011 Risto Lahdelma Aalto University School of Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "Scientific publishing 27.1.2011 Risto Lahdelma Aalto University School of Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scientific publishing Risto Lahdelma Aalto University School of Engineering

2 2 Why should we publish articles? Strategy of Aalto favors publishing –Article-based PhD theses are preferred to monographs –”Five is better than one” Scientific results do not ’exist’ until they are published ”Publish or perish” – everybody in academia is required to publish Writing articles can be pleasurable and rewarding once you learn the process –Makes research results visible, concrete and eternal Two high-quality articles per year is sufficient for a good researcher

3 3 Evaluation and valuation of scientific work Historical and personal development: –Number of articles – naive way, but widely used –Quality of articles, measured by impact factor of journal –Quality of articles measured in terms of citations (Hirsh-index, Crown indicator) –Citations excluding self-citations Impact factor of journal = average number of citations that an article receives within two years of publication. Hirsh-index (H-index) of an author = number of articles N by author that have received at least N citations. Crown indicator of research group = number of citations to the group’s articles divided by world average within the discipline

4 4 How to write journal articles One idea = one article –If you have two ideas, write two articles Try to write as well as possible –Error-free, clearly structured and presented, linguistically correct –If in doubt about your linguistic skills, consult a native proof-reader Publishing is a slow but continuous process – keep your pipeline full of articles at different phases Publishing is best started together with an experienced co-author Project/research plans should mention articles to be published explicitly –Otherwise project and funding may end before publishing starts

5 5 Publishing media Only peer-reviewed articles have scientific value –The review process aims to guarantee quality and novelty –The referee comments may improve the article significantly According to the Aalto strategy, you should favor indexed high-quality scientific journals Some disciplines have the tradition to publish mostly in conference proceedings or as reports –These disciplines may face hard times, unless they change their tradition

6 6 Review process The referee is the king and kingmaker 1.The referee is always right (if the referee is wrong, see point 1) 2.If the referee has misunderstood you, that is your fault because you have not explained your idea clearly enough 3.Consider all referee comments in your reply letter and revision 4.Be always extremely polite to the referee and editor 5.When you get negative feedback, don’t get depressed – improve your article and re-submit 6.The more comments the reviewer makes, the more committed he will be to ultimately accept the paper 7.If your article is rejected, improve it and submit to another journal

7 7 Choosing the journal Choose a journal indexed by ISI (>8000 of these) –Indexing means that everyone in the world can find your article using various searches –Also citations to your ISI journal article are indexed and counted Choose a journal with suitable scope and readers –This journal should be one whose articles you cite –Then the editor can easily find referees he/she can trust It is good if the impact factor of the journal is high, but –it may be more difficult to get the article accepted in a high- impact journal (lots of competition) –a high impact factor does not guarantee high number of citations

8 8 Cumulation of citations during years The majority of citations accumulate during several years –Impact factor = average number of citations to articles in two (2) previous years

9 9 Does my article in a high-impact journal receive many citations? Not necessarily –A small fraction of articles collect the majority of citations –5-15% of articles collect half of the citations –15-55% of articles collect zero (0) citations!

10 10 Strategic issues concerning publishing International collaboration and contacts –make it easier to get articles accepted and –increase the number of citations Agree to review articles for journals where you publish –As referee, you are the first to see new research results –The editor is happy to publish articles by a trustworthy reviewer Refer to relevant recent (and to-appear) articles in the journal where you publish –These improve the impact factor of the journal (editor is happy) –Authors of such articles are likely reviewers for your article (they are happy)


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