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Facing "Publish or Perish" in English John Y. Hung Visiting Professor NTUST Taiwan Professor Auburn University USA 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Facing "Publish or Perish" in English John Y. Hung Visiting Professor NTUST Taiwan Professor Auburn University USA 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Facing "Publish or Perish" in English John Y. Hung Visiting Professor NTUST Taiwan Professor Auburn University USA 1

2 My Past That is Relevant Associate Editor –Trans. Control Systems Technology –Trans. Industrial Electronics Special Section Editor (4) > 15 years Conference Organization 2

3 Publishing in IEEE Language is English, and editorial culture favors USA. Yet Asian authors publish equally well !! 3 USAAsia Editors-in-Chief> 70%4% Authors33%

4 Some Facts of Life 1. Good research is objective BUT 2. Publication follows different rules AND 3. Processes are not perfect! 4

5 Some process imperfections Small sample size Human behavior –we tend to be subjective, not objective Volunteer-based system –publication is a high priority, BUT –reviewing tends to be low priority Blind vs non-blind review 5

6 We Write Many Things These serve different purposes: –Proposal –Thesis/dissertation –Research report –Conference or Journal Paper They are NOT written the same way! 6

7 My First Recommendation Volunteer as a Reviewer / Assoc. Editor Helps bring relevant papers TO you You see both "good" and "bad" writing Your review is a way to practice writing –brief assignment –more forgiving regarding English Contact editor/professor – offer your abilities 7

8 My Second Recommendation Write as if reporting the news! To publish in a Journal, Write like a Journalist! 8

9 Journalists Understand These Audience Background Structure Front and Back Materials Terminology, Notation, Math Figures and Tables 9

10 Understand Your Audience All works receive different reactions... The Railway Crossing, Fernand Léger (1919), The Art Institute of Chicago. 10

11 The Engineering Spectrum pure theory pure practice 11

12 Where do you fit? The Engineering Spectrum pure theory pure practice 12

13 Where do you fit? Where is the audience? The Engineering Spectrum pure theory pure practice 13

14 Who is my audience? Attend the related conferences –Study people –Compare topics to your interests Review papers in the journal Study the editorial board –What are their interests? –What are their experiences and strengths? 14

15 IEEE Control Systems Society Transactions on Automatic Control –Panos Antsaklis (PhD, Brown) Trans. on Control System Technology –Thomas Parisini (PhD from Italy) In 2008-09, eighteen (18) journal and conference papers (very impressive) Zero (0) papers with experimental work He has never published in the journal... 15

16 Trans. on Industrial Electronics IES science is not the "best" in any field But 2008 impact factor is #1 in IEEE! 16 Some technical interestOther IEEE societymembers control systemsControl System8,800 power electronicsPELS and IAS7,000 / 10K robotics / mechatronicsRobotics & Automation7,300 neuro-fuzzy-geneticComputational Intelligence6,700 Industrial Electronics Society4,900

17 Journalists Understand These Audience Background Structure Front and Back Materials Terminology, Notation, Math Figures and Tables 17

18 Steps in the Scientific Method 1.Make Initial Observation 2.Form Hypothesis 3.Conduct Experiments 4.Analyze Data 5.Accept or Reject Hypothesis 18

19 Steps in the Scientific Method 1.Make Initial Observation 2.Form Hypothesis 3.Conduct Experiments 4.Analyze Data 5.Accept or Reject Hypothesis OK structure for Project Report... 19

20 Steps in the Scientific Method 1.Make Initial Observation 2.Form Hypothesis 3.Conduct Experiments 4.Analyze Data 5.Accept or Reject Hypothesis OK structure for Project Report... NOT good for Most Journals! 20

21 Purpose of a Journal Paper Record scientific data? NO... Most journal papers report new, good ideas. Try to convince the reader: the idea is new the idea is good 21

22 Basic Parts of an IEEE Paper PartWhy does it exist? Title / AbstractCapture attention! IntroductionShow you understand the problem. BodyExplain the principles underlying the innovation. The ProofConvince reader you did a thorough study. SummaryTell the good news again, and suggest new directions. ReferencesComplements the introduction. 22

23 Creating a Draft Linear Approach –start from the beginning (title, abstract...) –seems "logical" Inside-Out Approach –start with the easy-to-write parts –I advise students to follow this 23

24 Creating a Draft: Linearly PartWhich part do I write first? second?... last? Title / AbstractMost people start here... IntroductionThen work on this... seems easy (no new ideas) BodyMost people can do this part well, but it takes time. The ProofBy now, the author is tired, and quickly puts together some figures. SummaryThe end is near! Oh just repeat the abstract... ReferencesSome people really struggle here. 24

25 Creating the Draft: Inside-Out PartWhich part do I write first? second?... last? Title / AbstractDo this last – it is hardest. Less than 100 words to convince the world you have new, good idea. Introduction#4 – Holding reader attention is not easy. Body#3 – You know the new idea well, so it is not too difficult to describe. But, good development does require planning. The Proof#1 – Simulations and experiments are easiest to explain, especially to other engineers. Summary#2 – Almost as easy as #1, but must be concise. References#4 – Must understand key contribution of others. 25

26 #1: The Proof Section Usually simulations or experiments Easiest part for non-English writers –usually less text, less math, and more figures Do this first – gives feeling of accomplishment !! 26

27 A Good Proof Section Describe so that it can be reproduced Compare to an accepted "standard" –means at least two sets of tests Design figures carefully (more on this later...) Try to highlight differences between old and new 27

28 #2: The Summary Restate the main results – concisely –Avoid terms only understood by specialists Highlight one or two special points "...this approach has several advantages, but the most significant is..." Acknowledge weak points –as directions for future study 28

29 #3: The Body First, explain how you plan to explain... May need several sections Carefully define symbols and terms Design good figures Be careful not to "lose the reader" –Car B follows Car A, but Car A cannot go too fast... must warn the follower of turns. 29

30 Journalists Understand These Audience Background Structure Front and Back Materials Terminology, Notation, Math Figures and Tables 30

31 Front and Back Materials People “judge a book by its cover” –Reviewers decide “accept/reject”, then look for evidence to support their decision What are “front and back” materials? Title Abstract Introduction References 31

32 Reviewer Psychology 32 If the front and back material isthen Reviewers tend to good, interesting accept the body and proof sections not so critical of small errors be more helpful poor, suspicious reject the body and proof sections highlight even small errors be more hurtful

33 #4: Introduction Goals: Convince the reader the work is interesting Convince the reader you understand the issues Draw reader's curiosity Convince him your story will be good 33

34 Introduction "Do Nots" Never use the words "novel" or "new" or "important" Avoid creating new abbreviations Make claims without references Cite references with weak explanation "The problem...has been studied [1-10]" 34

35 The 6 W’s of Journalism "W" wordsSuggested usage in the INTRODUCTION WhoWho else is working on this or related problems? WhatWhat is the problem? What are the issues? What have others contributed? What is the approach you are using? What is a good result of your work? WhenWhen does the problem occur? WhereWhere is the problem found? WhyWhy is the problem "hard"? HowHow are you approaching the problem? How do you plan to present the work? 35

36 (The Background Section) Useful for demonstrating your knowledge of the problem & issues Can be used to define terminology Complement with good references Tends to make Introduction too long –Consider making it a section by itself 36

37 #4: References "Do" Relevant to the problem and reader –Don't cite math paper for non-math reader –Try to be current, but also keep classics. Have sufficient references Accessible to most readers –theses and dissertations are useless –web pages have unpredictable lifespan 37

38 Journalists Understand These Audience Background Structure Front and Back Materials Terminology, Notation, Math Figures and Tables 38

39 Terminology, Notation, Math Explain unusual terms Abbrv. (abbreviations) must be spelled out the first time Equations are seldom easy to follow –use sparingly –symbols must be explained –offer an interpretation of the equation 39

40 Figures and Tables "A picture is worth a thousand words" Assumes a well-constructed figure. –Poor figures are WORTHLESS Same is true for a Table 40

41 Figures by Software Optimized for computer screen –10 point font is OK on 17-inch screen –Screen has lots of space –Colors are wonderful Usually not good for IEEE paper –column is narrow, space is small –scale the figure: 12 pt. font becomes tiny 41

42 Hints for Figures Spend time on the "little things" –choosing line styles some require color (expensive) –rescaling text –Choose caption carefully Highlight difference between "old" and "new" results 42

43 Line Drawings Default in PSPICERedrawn 43

44 Same Data: Different Plots 2 curves are similar hereDifferent story here! 44

45 Color vs Line Style This is expensiveThis may be good enough 45

46 Font Size Default in ExcelManually adjusted 46

47 Flag raising on Iwo Jima, WW-II This was the SECOND flag raising event! Joe Rosenthal, Feb. 23, 1945, Mt. Suribachi 47

48 Journalists Understand These Audience Background Structure Front and Back Materials Terminology, Notation, Math Figures and Tables 48

49 Ask Often This Question Will this paper create a “good picture” in the reader’s mind? will he "see" the state-of-the-art? will he see how your work stands out? 49

50 My Third Recommendation Find a co-author who writes well ! Less expensive than professional writer Good for practicing English Builds your professional circle Builds friendship 1/2 cookie is better than 0 cookie 50

51 Where to find a friend? Conferences Reviewing others Strengths Taiwan (you) can offer –Good in mathematics –Good laboratories –Good work spirit 51

52 Long Term Advice A man’s life is 70 years Today affects tomorrow Be careful of fast solutions 52

53 Summary 1.Volunteer to review other works. 2.Learn skills of a Journalist. 3.Build partnerships. 4.Build for the Long Term. 53

54 Resources / References IEEE Trans. on Education IEEE Trans. on Profession Communication –Editor-in-Chief (Auburn University) –Pierson & Pierson, v. 40, n. 4, pp. 200-304. 54


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