GST 1 is a module at Maynooth University which aims to improve research skills and employability. To gain 5 ECTS for this module you need to attend 6 sessions and produce a diary entry or set of notes for each one.
Author Seminar: Scientific Journals, Peer Review and How to Write a Great Research Paper
This session was presented by Rupal Malde from Elsevier and therefore some of the content is skewed towards Elsevier’s practices.
The Publishing Cycle
The accepted article is assigned a DOI which follows it throughout the production process. During the production process the article goes through: preprint, manuscript accepted, document proof, published, and electronic stages.
From submission to acceptance takes an average of 21 weeks, however it is ok to email after 3 months to query what is happening with a paper.
Choosing the Journal
There are a number of metrics which can indicate the rank and prestige of the journal. These metrics vary by field and Humanities is not represented as strongly as STEM subjects.
- SJR is the SCImago Journal Rank which indicates the prestige of the journal
- SNIP is the Source Normalized Impact per Paper
For Elsevier journals there is a tool which can be found here which takes in your title and abstract, and an option to narrow the subject field. The results show impact ratings, acceptance rate, editorial time, publication time and open access fees.
Reasons for Rejection
- Doesn’t match the aims and scope of the journal
- It is incomplete or does not follow the journal specific structure
- Data and statistics are inaccurate
- Over-confident conclusions which can’t be justified
- It’s incomprehensible
- It’s boring
The manuscript needs to be accurate, concise, clear and objective. It is more likely to be accepted if:
- It covers an important issue
- It develops a framework
- It leads to new questions
- The methods are appropriate
- The methods are rigorous and the data support the conclusions
- Connections are made to prior work with accurate referencing
- The article tells a good story and has a short snappy title
Finding Relevant Information
It is important to keep up to date, in particular with peer reviewed information. A keyword alert can be set up with SCOPUS, the latest content includes articles in press. The content covers about 5000 publishers, 22k journals, 80k conferences, and 400 book series. The results can be exported to Mendeley.
The use of this big data means that results can be analysed allowing trends in the field to be identified. Metrics for the articles can also be examined. Articles written by you can be imported into ORCID.
Getting Noticed – Promoting your Research
There are three main stages to promoting your research:
Being aware of how searches work is useful as it allows you to prepare your publications carefully. You need to be consistent with your name.
Keywords are a major part of SEO and should be included, where possible, in the title, highlights, image captions, and abstract. A strong keyword is descriptive but not too broad or technical.
Science Direct (Elsevier) offers AudioSlides – a 5 minute snippet about the article which can be used widely. Graphical Abstracts can also be used which are shown in the table of contents and keyword searches (but not currently in the PDF).
Be prepared to network!
Elsevier has a free app called Poster in My Pocket which uses QR codes to allow Elsevier conference attendees to access a copy of posters they are interested in. Although this is an interesting development it is limited to Elsevier conferences most of which are for Science.
Look for opportunities to use internal and external media to promote your article. Share links to your article – Elsevier provides a customised short link with free access. Link to this from the University website to boost SEO. Some publishers offer a number of free downloads (e.g. 25).
Create an online CV – make it clear and include links to your work (e.g. LinkedIn and Mendeley).
Use innovations in publishing, for example open data, computer code, interactive data visualisation, or multimedia presentations to make your article more interesting or interactive.
Be aware of new journal types. Micro-article journals (e.g. MethodsX, SoftwareX, Data in Brief) allow you to focus on a subset of a larger article, or an extension – this can be cited.
Check that your links and details are up to date on a regular basis. Check your social media and email accounts for responses to your work.