Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

How to get your papers published in Nature journals

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "How to get your papers published in Nature journals"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to get your papers published in Nature journals
Rachel Pei Chin Won, PhD Associate Editor Nature Photonics 5 March 2008

2 Overview ● nature and Nature research journals How to get published
- Manuscript preparation - Manuscript submission Summary

3 nature & Nature research Journals

4 nature nature was launched on 4 Nov 1869
The world’s foremost weekly scientific journal For 2006, nature’s impact factor is A flagship journal of Nature Publishing Group (NPG)

5 nature A weekly print copy (>65,000)
An anytime-anywhere electronic rendition of an item or of a print copy (>3 million users of per month) A gateway to a seamless flow of relevant and timely information and opinion

6 NPG’s Biological Sciences Division

7 Nature Nanotechnology
NPG’s Physical Sciences Division Nature Materials Launched in 2002 Impact factor Nature Physics Launched in Oct 2005 Impact factor Nature Nanotechnology Launched in Oct 2006 Nature Photonics Launched in Jan 2007 & Nature Chemistry will be launched in Jan 2009 Nature Geoscience Launched in Jan 2008

8 Nature Publshing Group’s Publications
Nature Research Journals Nature Biotechnology Nature Cell Biology Nature Chemical Biology Nature Genetics Nature Geoscience (Jan 2008) Nature Immunology Nature Materials Nature Medicine Nature Methods Nature Nanotechnology Nature Neuroscience Nature Photonics (Jan 2007) Nature Physics Nature Protocol Nature Structural and Molecular Biology Nature Chemistry (Jan 2009) Nature Review Journals Nature Reviews Cancer Nature Reviews Drug Discovery Nature Reviews Genetics Nature Reviews Immunology Nature Reviews Microbiology Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biol. Nature Reviews Neuroscience Nature Clinical Practice 8 titles Academic Journals Around 40 titles The ISME Journal

9 What makes Nature titles distinct?
Highly selective Focus is on quality rather than volume High impact Full-time professional editorial staff No external editorial board or affiliations Editorially independent of each other Share general policies but not submissions Pass on manuscripts only at request of authors

10 Publications from China

11 Submissions from China to nature

12 Myth of Editors’ Bias Ever since Nature’s foundation in 1869, Nature’s editors and editors of all Nature journals have been 100% responsible for selection of papers – no editorial boards. Editors read and assess papers in a way that is independent of country of origin. Editors are of many nationalities, including Asian. Editors visit many countries, including China. There is no bias against countries by the editors of Nature or Nature journals. A great paper is not only dependent on how incredible your results are. If you don’t know how to present and explain them to the readers, the paper is not as great. Nature believes that in order to write a good paper to capture the attention, thoughtful research, thorough preparation and logical exposition are important steps. You need to know the motive and the reason behind the research, what you should do to achieve the objectives of the research, how the observation leads to a significant conclusion and how to explain it to readers in a logical way.

13 How to get published in Nature journals?

14 Steps to a great paper Thoughtful research 深思/周道的研究
Thorough preparation 彻底的准备 Logical exposition 逻辑的说明 A great paper is not only dependent on how incredible your results are. If you don’t know how to present and explain them to the readers, the paper is not as great. Nature believes that in order to write a good paper to capture the attention, thoughtful research, thorough preparation and logical exposition are important steps. You need to know the motive and the reason behind the research, what you should do to achieve the objectives of the research, how the observation leads to a significant conclusion and how to explain it to readers in a logical way. Plan your papers When you plan your research Again before you start writing the draft

15 Before writing a paper Why does the topic interest YOU?
What are the key findings of your work? What was thought/known/done before this work? What’s the main message for your readers? Re-evaluate the original data, not only the ‘for publication’ figures How does new data change thinking, or support current approach, or open new avenues or research? So, before writing a paper, there are some questions that you need to answer to yourselves. Why does the topic interest you? Is it because nobody has done it before? Is it an important problem that is worth exploring to bring great impact to the way we live, communicate and think? What are the key findings of your work? Have you found a new way of solving a problem? Have you improved tremendously the performance of a technology or the resolution of a measurement technique? What was thought/known/done before this work? Has anybody explored in the area before? If so, what have been achieved to date? What is the main message for your readers? What are you trying to tell to the world? Have you just proposed something that is novel, creative or more advance than before? Are you trying to share with them that your findings can also be adapted to wide-ranging research areas? Have you reevaluated your original data thoroughly? Are there any results that are conflicting with the “for publication” results? Have you checked over and over again to make sure that? How does your work change the thinking of researchers, or support current approach? Does it provide a better alternative and more efficient approach to solve a problem? Or does it open new avenues or research in the field? These are the important things that you need to think about before you write a paper.

16 孙子兵法: 知己知彼 百战百胜 孙子曰 yue: 知zhi己知彼 才能百战百胜sheng
Historically, this well-known saying by Sunzi is about an art of combating. It means “by knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your enemy as well as of yourself, the victory is always yours”. In the modern world, we can put it in our context today, it’s not enough if you only know what the best you can offer. You also need to know what Nature journals want from you and the things that you need to take care of when you are doing, writing and reporting about your work. What is the best strategy to achieve the goal of reporting a great paper?

17 What editors seek High degree of novelty or innovation 高度新奇或创新的主题
Interesting to a broad range of readers 能引起广泛的读者感兴趣 Significant step forward 值得注意的的进步 Breakthrough in performance 突破的表现 High impact in the field 重大的影响 Important advance in scientific understanding that provides new directions for research 在科学理论上有显著, 优越的进展为研究提供新的方向 Data persuasively supports conclusions 可说服性地支持结论的数据 Well, the first thing that you need to know is what editors are seeking for when we are reading the manuscripts from you. Basically, editors are looking for papers with high degree of novelty or innovation, manuscripts that report work no one has done before. As Nature journals are read by readers with different backgrounds, editors want to make sure that the papers are interesting not just to a specific group of researchers but a wider range of readerships. Papers with significant step forward, breakthrough in performance and high impact in the field always capture the attention of editors in which we believe that these kinds of papers will help progress the research in the world, not only in the specific area but also in other related fields. Editors also fall for papers with important advance in scientific understanding that provides new directions for research. We look for papers that would stimulate new ideas not only in conceptual understanding but also experimental approach. And of course, we have to make sure that the papers provide sufficient data that support the conclusions made by authors. If you think your work falls in one or two of these criteria, then you should send your paper to us without delay. Speaking about this, from my personal experience, sometimes just when I start to get excited by a particular paper, I find out that the authors have just published something similar in other journals. That said, the novelty of the work is being compromised by previous publication done by the authors themselves. The thing that I would like to say here is that, you may be the first one who report such findings, but you are not reporting the findings for the first time. This undermines the degree of novelty of your paper which is one of the important ingredients of editorial criteria. So, the advice here is that while preparing for your work and manuscript, you should have a strategic plan in my mind. Which journal are you planning to submit? Do you want to share your findings to others through Nature journals that have great impact in scientific communications or journals that report progressive work? If Nature journals are your choice, then you should not do things that may discount the impact of your work, for example, do not publish piecemeal reports.

18 Editorial Processes Editorial assessment Submission Decline Revision requested External peer review Editorial decision Decline Accept

19 Results Several possibilities:
Accept, with or without editorial revisions Invite the authors to revise their manuscript to address specific concerns Reject, but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission Reject outright, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or technical/interpretational problems

20 How to make an appeal? Write (not phone) to us and explain why you believe we (referees and editors) have overlooked or misunderstood something Revised manuscripts normally go back to the same referees; need a strong case to replace a referee as they normally come back with new set of points The paper must not be submitted for publication elsewhere during this time It is likely that some time will elapse before we can respond

21 Manuscript preparation
How to get your point across… HINT: Write for both the beginner and the expert

22 Which journal? … Nature is for broadest or deepest impact
Research journals overlap Depends on the editorial scope of the journal and your target audience

23 Presubmission enquiry
Ask us! All Nature journals have a presubmission enquiry procedure on the submissions page It is not compulsory Simply send in a fully referenced summary with a cover letter and we’ll tell you within 2–3 working days if it’s suitable Editors cannot make an absolute commitment to have a contribution refereed before seeing the entire paper

24 Manuscript Transfer System
All Nature journals including Nature are editorially independent A rejection from one does not mean a rejection from the others Manuscripts rejected from one journal can be automatically transferred to any of the others Eliminates need for author to re-input a manuscript Author’s choice if they wish to do full transfer or just partial transfer Transfer link can be found at the end of the rejection letter

25 Types of submission Letter
usual format for research findings, up to 1500w Article more detailed study, around 2000 – 3000w Review article overviews of an up and coming topic, 4000 – 5000w Commentaries opinion articles on topics that are considered of wide-ranging appeal and timely News & Views short articles explaining the significance of a recent piece of research (not your own)

26 General format for Letters and Articles
Double-spaced Normal A4 paper, single column in word or Latex format English as in Oxford English dictionary Title, text, methods, references, end notes (Supplementary Information, Acknowledgements, author contributions (optional)), tables and figure legends

27 Title Clear and attractive Not too general or vague
Not too long, less than 90 characters for Letters & less than 75 characters for Articles (incl. spaces) Does not normally include numbers, acronyms, abbreviations or punctuation Instead of: “Record electro-optic coefficient of 170 pm/V and V of 1V at 1.55 μm in hybrid crosslinkable polymer/sol-gel waveguide modulators”, why not: “Hybrid polymer/sol-gel waveguide modulators with exceptionally large electro-optic coefficient”?

28 Articles Original reports with substantial advance in understanding of an important problem and have immediate, far-reaching implications Do not normally exceed 5 pages Summary of up to 150 words Introduction of about 500 words 2 Headings: Results and Discussions  6 subheadings in Results Main Text of typically 3000 words (excl. summary, incl. Introduction) 5-6 displays (figures or tables) Up to 50 References

29 Summary  150 words Heading 1: Results Introduction  500 words 6 Subheadings

30 Articles Summary 150 words equivalent to Abstract in many journals
separate from main text no references, numbers, abbreviations, acronyms or measurements aimed at readers outside the discipline 2-3 sentences of basic-level introduction a brief account of the background and motivation of the work a statement of main conclusions (introduced by “Here we show…”) 2-3 sentences putting the main findings into general context

31 Letters Short reports of original research focused on an outstanding finding that will be of interest to scientists in other fields Do not normally exceed 4 pages No summary or introduction sections Introductory paragraph of about 200 words Main text of not more than 1500 words (excl. introductory paragraph) No subheadings Discussion does not repeat previous introductory paragraph, briefly conveys the general relevance of the work 3-4 displays (figures and tables) No more than 30 references

32 No summary!!! Introductory Paragraph  200 words No heading!!!

33 Letters Introductory Paragraph
ideally of about 200 words, definitely not more than 300 words aimed at readers in other disciplines with references 2-3 sentences on basic introduction to the field one-sentence statement of the main conclusions starting with 'Here we show…' or equivalent phrase 2-3 sentences putting the main findings into general context note that main text will continue to describe the findings of the paper

34 Main text Materials Methods Principles Mechanisms
Results with displays Discussion

35 Discussion Comparison to previous work
Theoretical or practical implications Conclusion regarding the significance of the work Limitations Future work

36 Write with the readers in mind!
Focus on a single main question Plan the content and organization with an outline especially the flow of reasoning Use simple, direct and concise wording Check that all parts are connected with persuasive reasoning, appropriate structure, linkage and context Express appropriate level of confidence: impossible implausible unlikely plausible possible probable likely certain

37 Paper writing tips Write in active voice; for example, “We demonstrate…” rather than “It is demonstrated…” State the present work in present tense State already published work in past tense Do not extend your conclusions beyond those that are directly supported by your results Give potential impact and future work

38 Paper writing tips Make sure that you reference relevant previous literature Be concise; format for letters is 1500 words for the main text; put lengthy method and simulation details in separate sections at the end of the paper if you need more space Clearly put your work into context, explain the importance of your findings in relationship to previous papers Refer briefly to your results to support your discussion statements

39 Methods If brief (less than 200 words in total), include them in the text at an appropriate place Cite a reference to methods published before to save space; with the new addition or variation briefly stated Can also create a new section called “Methods”;  1000 words, not counted as main text Figures in “Methods” should be submitted as Supplementary Information

40 Supplementary information
Supplementary information is encouraged Peer-reviewed Online access only, not in print Material directly relevant to the conclusion of a paper that cannot be included in the printed version for reasons of space or medium, e.g. movie clips or sound files Not subedited; authors should ensure that it is clearly presented

41 Manuscript Submission

42 Cover Letter A letter that you submit together with your manuscript but in a separate file only to the editors Authors are encouraged to write cover letter

43 Cover Letter Restate main message and significance of paper
Explain in clear and simple terms why the findings are important and what is their potential impact e.g. “first time…”, “big leap in performance…”, “will help enable applications in…”, “new level of understanding…”… Include a separate summary for non-specialist audience List the details of the submission - submission type - number of words and figures - any supplementary information and supporting manuscripts

44 Cover Letter Can suggest referees and include their areas of expertise
Can suggest exclusion list: who should NOT be approached to review the MS because of conflicts of interest Statements that experiments done comply with animal care and human subject laws Statement that manuscript is not simultaneously being considered at another journal Include your contact information ( , phone, address)

45 Cover Letter How not to write a cover letter: What’s wrong ?
- Too brief No explanation as to why paper is important No suggested list of qualified referees or exclusions No details of format, length

46 Cover Letter Explains paper is letter format A good example:
Explains and emphasizes main important points of the paper Gives a list of referees A good example:

47 More tips Visit Nature’s manuscript formatting guide: Visit Nature journals’ websites Read published papers Always run the spelling checker; no excuse Find someone you trust who is a native speaker to check your paper

48 Summary Plan your paper when you plan your research
Consider the reader/listener Organize your material well - focus sharply - outline - provide appropriate structure, linkage and context Carefully choose the journal and follow the guidelines Seek and value feedback and criticism

49 Helpful websites SciDev.Net’s “How do I?”
Inter-Biotec gives free online writing course to help biomedical scientists Human Frontier Program’s “Websites and searching for collaborations” Element of Style by William J. Strunk is free online Nature has one-page downloadable information sheet on “summary paragraph” and many more…

50 如何让您的论文问鼎 <自然>系列期刊? 谢谢!
如何让您的论文问鼎 <自然>系列期刊? 谢谢! Rachel Pei Chin Won, PhD Associate Editor Nature Photonics

51 Summary in Articles & introductory paragraph in Letters
The most-read section of any paper Key points: One or two broad general statements to orient the reader, set the stage, and provide context Concise description of results, with mention of methodology used Major conclusion How this advances the field - why this is significant for readers

52 Summary in Articles or introductory paragraph in Letters
How to confuse your readers? Mix already published conclusions with claims made in this paper Overinterpret & overspeculate Misrepresent the data or conclusions End with a throw-away line: “…effect on butterfly wings are discussed.” when it is better with: “The iridescent scales of the Morpho butterfly give a different optical response to different individual vapours, and that this optical response dramatically outperforms that of existing nano-engineered photonic sensors.”

53 Paper writing tips All variables should be defined
Avoid ambiguous use of pronouns “this”, “that”, “these”, … Avoid jargons and the excessive use of abbreviations and acronyms Don’t make claims that you are not sure, avoid hype and speculation Never say “for various reasons”

54 References Are numbered sequentially Reference numbers are superscript
Use “et al.” if more than five authors Cite only published or submitted articles Titles are required References to websites should give authors if known, title of cited page, URL in full and year of posting in parentheses

55 Figures Figures tell the story Order is absolutely critical
Strive for data-rich presentation Show as much raw data as possible. If n experiments done for each data point, then show all points, rather than the average and standard deviation

56 More on figures Label clearly
Figures must accurately reflect data as gathered Choose carefully Main text for main data Figures in Supplementary Information appear online only No ‘data not shown’. Either put data in the Supplementary Information section, or remove reference to it altogether

Download ppt "How to get your papers published in Nature journals"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google