Writing scientific papers: 2 Types of paper

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so I don’t have any time to talk about good quality research I’m going to assume that everybody is doing it but anybody seen this this picture before Thank You Duchenne we have an expression we have we have lots of expressions in English just like you have interview we have an expression you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear now I keep asking what’s a cell pretty much yes there there we go there’s the there’s there’s the one year cow which means that you can’t make something wonderful from poor quality starting materials and that’s another way to say you can’t make a good quality paper if you didn’t do good quality experiments right either Medallia right your research has to be good enough quality or the manuscript is not going to be accepted and by good enough quality I mean you have to have identified all of the factors that are going to have an impact on the research that you are doing to make sure that you have taken account of them to such an extent that your research is actually telling you the truth to answer the question that you have asked but to be published in a good quality international journal it needs more than that you need to identify in international relevance for your research because to publish your work in an international journal the journal is going to want your paper to appeal to readers around the world not just readers from Serbia or the Western Balkans so you’ve got to make sure that there’s some aspect of your research that you can put into an international context to make it attractive to the editor of an international journal now international journals will give you more impact I’m going to give you a few words about aspects of impact you all know that journals have impact factors and you can get the impact factor of all the journals through cops’ll and the higher you aim with impact factors the more difficult it is in general to get your manuscript accepted and therefore you need to be realistic in choosing the journal for publishing your first manuscript and then you can gradually work your way up once you develop the skills to put together good quality manuscripts for the future now something that’s become much more readily available in the last 10 years or so are open access journals open access journals by definition again to have higher impact at least once they have established themselves as good quality journals they’re going to have higher impacts than many other journals because by definition they are open anybody can access the papers which are published in those journals so if you want to aim for a journal which has a relatively high impact factor then some of the good quality open access journals might be suitable for you but be very careful because there are hundreds and when are not hundreds there are thousands of open impact journals many of them a large proportion of them are not good quality they are happy to take your money they’re happy to print whatever you give them without any effective refereeing process so you need to be very careful about open access journals so let’s focus on how you should write a manuscript of your own for a good quality journal and I’m going to start off with some general comments on what type of a manuscript you going to write because there are there are four types of paper that you could put together and I’ve summarized the four here and then I’ll give a few more words about each of those in a few minutes time the the traditional scientific paper would be based on a hypothesis that you’re testing by doing a piece of research and you will therefore set up a hypothesis and then test it that is probably the most frequent type of paper that you will see in the literature then you have what is fairly fairly common in Serbia with Serbian scientists is just a purely descriptive paper describing the way things are we’ve been to this reservoir in voir dinner and we’ve sampled all the crustaceans and molluscs or whatever we can find in it so that’s a descriptive piece of research and the third one is a techniques or methods paper which is describing a new way of measuring something and finally a review paper which will describe and discuss what other people have been doing by putting together a lot of manuscripts lots of publications and then identifying the key points from each of them so I’ll go through each of those in turn with a bit more detail for hypothesis based piece of research publication you need to have one or more hypothesis to be tested you need to have clearly defined aims justifying why that research is needed you need to design the research in the sufficiently good way to be able to test the hypothesis and then you need to have results that match the aims and the interpretation will then give you the answer to whether the hypothesis is true or false and I’ve put at the bottom there short communications short communications are worthwhile to consider for two reasons one is that by their definition they are easier to write because they are they are short you don’t have to write a lot and the second reason is because they are short the publication time for them is usually a lot quicker than it is for a full paper and if you read the the definition of a short communication by the ministry you will find that the ministry will accept short communications as part of the evaluation process Ratna Vanya so short communications for those journals that will accept them that is worthwhile for you to have a think about now moving on to a purely descriptive paper if you’re going to be writing one of those you need to have a clearly defined reason explaining why what you have done needed to be done and also what I’ve emphasized in that slide is it needs to have international impact so you may have been looking at a reservoir in boy Edina but for that piece of research to be accepted by an international journal they need to know why it’s important for you to be looking at the reservoir in Voivod ela what is the international relevance for your findings so you’ve got to make sure that you can put your research within an international context in terms of comparing that reservoir with other sites in other parts of Europe for example or testing it in comparison with water quality or its association with human habitats or farm pollution you’ve got to be able to put your findings in some sort of context that will make it internationally relevant so you would then compare your findings in terms of implications for policy regulations and so on the third type of publication a methods paper I’ve published two or three of those because over the years I have had to develop methods specifically to improve the effectiveness of the analytical methods that I was using for my research so if you’re thinking of a techniques paper you’ve got to justify why it’s needed so you’ve got to start by comparing the existing methods identify the weaknesses of the existing methods and then giving the description of your new method with sufficient detail so this is more detailed than you would normally give in an ordinary scientific paper you give more detail of the methods for others to be able to use it as a protocol and then in the discussion you would compare your new method with the existing methods to say how it’s how it’s better in some way it’s either quicker it’s more efficient it’s cheaper the reagents are less expensive and so on so that’s the third type of paper and the fourth one a review paper this is something how many of you are there any still PhD students one or two a few of you PhD students this is something that I would recommend that you have a look at a review paper needs a clearly defined subject area that is not being reviewed recently you compare the work of others usually with your own findings so if I’m writing a review paper I will be looking at all the other publications in my subject area and compare them with my own work I would include the latest research findings by contacting a few of my colleagues and asking them have you got anything impressed that I can refer to and it’s also at the bottom it says it’s an opportunity for you to publish research results that might otherwise not be possible to publish now it doesn’t mean to say that the quality of those results is poor but the quantity of the results may not be sufficient for a port for a full paper and I have done that myself I have written a review article where I’m able to include a graph or a table from some of my own research that is still in progress so it’s not yet sufficiently complete to make a full paper but I can include some preliminary data from it as part of a review paper which I’m comparing with other people’s research results and I I asked how many of you HD students because in the UK PhD students have to include a general introductory chapter which is reviewing the subject area for their thesis so if you are doing a general review of the subject area for your research that you’re doing for your PhD if you are already putting together a chapter for your thesis which is a review of the subject then it’s worthwhile to discuss with your supervisor whether you could tidy it up her get one or two of the key references that will be attractive to readers of a journal and submit that as a review article so that is a possibility that you might want to have to think about now what another aspect of a review article is it by definition of a review article it’s going to be attractive to a large number of scientists so that means that they will be journals that have a high impact factor so you’ve got here examples of journals I know you’re not going to be publishing in Nature Reviews cancer okay but you may be interested in review of economic studies or food science advances in agronomy those journals in cobson will all be m-21 so that’s another reason why thinking about a review paper is going to be

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