Why is your research important?
Chris Gladis A string of impressive publications can propel a young scientist to the next academic stage, whereas an insufficient publication record can derail a career. Publications are the main way scientists publicize their work, and ultimately, it is by their papers that they will be judged.
So what makes a good paper? The most fundamental ingredient is excellent research. Work with the best scientists you can, in the best lab you can find. You will absorb the most about doing excellent science if you are surrounded by it during your training.
Then make sure that the questions you investigate are important and of interest to others in the field. As an editor at ScienceI see that the most successful papers are those that present innovative research. But the best papers also present their story in a clear and logical way. The thinking behind the paper is clear, so the writing is clear.
Writing research papers with all these qualities can require a bit of strategic thinking, practice, and know-how. Look for consistent output of good publications, because this will tell you that the lab is run well and that the lab head manages research projects successfully.
Different members of the lab should also be listed as first authors, because this will show that projects and credit are distributed. Make sure that the papers are in journals in which you would want to publish.
Are the papers clearly written? Did they convince you of the importance of doing the experiments? Can you easily tell what the important conclusions are? The best way for you to learn to write first-class papers is by getting as much practice as possible. Before deciding what lab to join, as you examine the facilities and find out what it is like to be part of the team, also make sure to ask about the writing process.
Do postdocs or graduate students get to write the first draft? Do they get valuable input from the head of the lab and other colleagues? Or does the head of the lab just write the paper and show it to the student or postdoc, which will not be so useful to them? Think in figures Once you are working in your new lab and producing data at full speed, you have to judge when you have enough data to write a paper.
Write too soon, and you may be wasting your time. Wait too long, and you risk getting scooped. Stop and write when the data are sufficient to tell a story that is complete and makes sense. The key is to constantly keep the paper in mind while you are performing the experiments.
Think about the figures that can already go into the paper and the information they will contain. The reader must come to the same conclusions you have solely on the basis of your results.
So ask yourself whether, after grasping the results presented in your figures, the reader will be led to the correct overall conclusion. What convincing experiment might be missing? Are there alternative explanations? If so, what data will you need to collect to eliminate that other possibility? Before performing a new experiment, always ask yourself how it will contribute to the logic of the publication.
As you are immersed in the details of your work, it may be difficult to remain objective and see the holes. Test your reasoning on colleagues by asking them whether you told a logical and convincing story after giving a talk from your assembled figures, for example.
Choose an appropriate journal Aiming your paper at the most appropriate journal can save much effort and reveal your results to the world sooner.
The so-called top journals value novelty and unexpected findings, but other journals may be more interested in careful, extensive analyses of critical e. Survey the various journals and see where your work would fit best. Get advice from colleagues and others in the field who have experience as authors, reviewers, and journal editors.
It may be tempting to send your paper to a top journal even if your results are not of the highest novelty or broadest interest.Read "Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, part IV: methods, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology" on DeepDyve, the largest online rental service for scholarly research with thousands of academic publications available at your fingertips.
How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (Project-Centered Course) from École Polytechnique. you should be eager to adapt our writing and publishing advice to an existing personal project.
If you just finished your graduate dissertation, just began your PhD, or are at a different stage of your academic journey or career and just want to. The 2-day course The 9th edition of our 2-day course on effective writing and publishing scientific papers (the Heuvellandcursus) on 8 + 9 November is already fully booked.
If you would like to be informed about the next edition of the Heuvellandcursus, please send an e-mail to heuvellandcursus [at] maastrichtuniversity [dot] nl.
Tips for Publishing in Scientific Journals. The thinking behind the paper is clear, so the writing is clear. Writing research papers with all these qualities can require a bit of strategic.
7 steps to publishing in a scientific journal Make a good first impression with your title and abstract. Day, R, & Gastel, B: How to write and publish a scientific paper. Cambridge University Press () Elsevier Connect Contributor. In this section of the MOOC, you will learn what is necessary before writing a paper: the context in which the scientist is publishing.
You will learn how to know your own community, through different exemples, and then we will present you how scientific journal and publication works.