Bodo Stern seminar 02/07/2014
- lay claims of priority (historic and present)
- responsibility to communicate results back to the public
- reach a broader audience than people in the same field
- not about tricks
- about editors and their task
- corresponding do’s and dont’s
Editor’s as judges
- Editor makes decision. Reviewers are purely advisors
- Editor’s are “not academics”,
- how significant is this advance
- How interesting is the paper across the fields — not just a quality of science judgement
Tips to get the message
- Take adventage of the cover letter!
- not seen by reviewers: can be broader, can give a punchline that is not being criticized by scientists for accuracy
- what was known before (more colloquial)
- not bad to exclude reviewers (generally honored)
- presubmission inquery
- can send to several journals at once
- be prepared to accept their advice if you ask for it.
- very often editor response will not be informative.
- Help the editor understand the logic
- some non-expert should be able to read and understand the paper.
- don’t just give it to people in the lab
- Make the figures self-explanatory and easy to understand
- editors have ways to review quickly. Often look at figures before any of the text.
- biggest problem with papers is the logic.
Editors as Mediators
- Editors would rather be on the side of publishing something that’s incomplete if it will be cited.
- Reviewers will always point out where the story could go.
- Editor’s need to take risks, just because it’s published in cell doesn’t mean it’s wrong’.
Editorial letters: invitation to resubmit
- Look for we would be happy to consider or we would be prepared to consider. Anything else is a rejection, regardless of positive feedback.
- if you want to go further you better get in touch with the editor.
- If positive, get in touch with an editor early
- be positive in line-by-line responses. don’t be aggressive, be constructive.
- email first, can set up a time to call and adress
- if rejected: don’t respond within 24hrs. this will not go over well
- stick purely to science. Can present facts for why reviewer is incorrect.
- Take-home message: Be Assertive. Easier to be assertive if you know the editors (this is an advantage of senior faculty).
Meet and talk to editors
- Editor’s like to meet people in science. More editors are going to conferences.
- Editor’s will recruit papers that they really want
- certainly want new reviewers.
- review for journals you want to publish in.
- Journals have pet projects they want to publish more in. Meet editors find out what they are looking for.
- Bodo Cell didn’t use to publish a lot of single molecule. Less competition at first.
- new interests of journals not advertised on web
- get a sense of the editor and their logic as a scientist. See how you relate. Find an editor you respect.
On reviewing papers
- easier to find the flaws and plus than make decision.
- review the technical quality (this the editor wont overrule)
- comment on significance / context / clarity (these are also up to editor)
- don’t give a laundry list. At least sub-class them: critical, supporting, etc.
- don’t keep all the signficance etc arguments in confidential comments. Keep it all in the open review if possible.
- Ask people in your lab to help you and acknowledge in your comments to the editor who helped you.
- either keep confidential or sign it.
After publication. Online presence of scientific work
- Work with Harvard communications office (Peter Reuell email@example.com)
- good to get a press release.
- Add ‘final author version’ (i.e. your format not their layout / copy-editing). You always own this copy.
- Add paper to PubMedCentral (required by NIH, need PubMedCentral ID#s). all program officers will check that the papers are there.
Copyright and open access
- Harvard keeps copyright to everything (since 2008)
- Nature, Science, Cell require Harvard to waive this copyright
- NIH requires final-author version on PubMedCentral within a year (many journals do this automatically, but you need to check).
- number of scientists has tripled in recent years, Cell, Nature, Science have flat rates
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