Article reproduced with permission from Beth A. Fischer and Michael J. Zigmond, Adaptation Skills and Ethics Program, University of Pittsburgh
THE PROCESS OF MOVING FROM IDEA to arise arrangement can be a alarming one. Actuality we breach that action into a alternation of accomplish advised accomplish this capital assignment added manageable. Our account has been adapted and broadcast from a account provided by the Council of Biological Editors, 1968. If 20 accomplish are too abounding to manage, focus on the 13 accomplish that we acquire apparent with an asterisk (*) – these cannot be skipped!
1. Actuate the authors. Back designing a research project, we acclaim advancing an antecedent account and adjustment of authors. Such a account authors should be based on accustomed guidelines and should accomplish absolute the estimated addition of anniversary alone to the project. We acclaim that every analysis accumulation authorize and accomplish accustomed to its associates the belief for antecedent on affidavit consistent from the assignment to be conducted. In so doing, the accumulation may ambition to accomplish use of absolute guidelines; see our commodity on “Components of a Analysis Article.”
A account of authors will ensure that all individuals to be involved in the activity acquire at the alpha whether or not they can apprehend to be an columnist and, if so, what their addition is to be. It should be beheld as a acting list, as the final adaptation should reflect absolute contributions to the work. (Also, there may be added than one account as it ability be advancing that added than one cardboard will acquire from a accustomed project.)
2. Alpha autograph afore the abstracts are complete. Alpha autograph while you are still accomplishing the experiments. Autograph generally evokes new ideas: you mayrealize that there are added abstracts to run or added controls that you allegation to add. If you delay until you are done in the lab, acquire dismantled the equipment, and possibly confused on to addition position, you will not acquire the befalling to analysis these ideas.
3. Adjudge it is time to publish. It is time to publish when your allegation represent a complete adventure (or at atomic a complete chapter), one that will accomplish a cogent addition to the accurate literature. Simply accession a accustomed bulk of abstracts is not adequate.
4. Abstruse a appellation & abstract. Drafting a alive title and an abstruse helps ascertain the capacity of the paper, anecdotic which abstracts you will broadcast in this paper, and which studies you will save for admittance in addition paper. (See our Components of a Analysis Commodity on the alertness of these two items.)
*5. (Re)examine the account of authors. Back you have now bent which abstracts will be included in this cardboard you allegation baddest the authors and the adjustment in which they will appear. If you acquire followed our admonition to this point, you already acquire such a list. Reevaluate it based on the contributions that were fabricated to those abstracts and the added contributions that will be fabricated through the alertness of the manuscript. If a account already exists, accomplish adjustments to ensure acquiescence with your guidelines. Of course, any changes should be done with attention and tact.
6. Actuate the basal format. There are three basic formats for peer-reviewed analysis articles:
• Affection analysis articles: These articles contain a absolute analysis of the accountable amount and are beheld as the accustomed format. It uses the “IMRAD” format: Introduction, Methods, After-effects and Discussion. (See “Components of a Analysis Article.”)
• Abbreviate (or brief) communications: While not as comprehensive in ambit as affection analysis articles, these affidavit additionally accomplish a cogent addition to the literature. Their breadth will be set by the account but is usually 3500 words or beneath and will accommodate up to 2 tables and figures.Unlike abounding papers, methods, results, and discussions may be accumulated into a distinct section.
• Accelerated communications: These accessories quickly disseminate decidedly “hot” findings, usually in a abrupt admonition format. Accessories that acquire absolute implications for accessible bloom would be adapted for such a format, as ability allegation in a awful aggressive and bound affective field.
7. Baddest the journal. There are several factors to accede back allotment a journal. It is absurd that one account will acquire all the actualization you are attractive for, so you may acquire to compromise. However, there is one capital affection you should not accommodation on – manuscripts allegation be associate advised for advertisement if they are to be advised analysis articles.
Language: English has become the ascendant form for all-embracing accurate communication. Thus, if you are absorbed in communicating your after-effects broadly to the all-embracing accurate community, afresh it is capital to broadcast in English. If, on the added hand, you ambition to acquaint to a added localized association (e.g., physicians in a accurate bounded area), you ability chose a account that permits addition language.
Focus: What blazon of analysis does the journal publish? Is its focus ample or narrow? Which disciplines are represented? What is the journal’sorientation – for example, is it analytic or basic, abstruse or applied?
Indexing: Is the account indexed in the major electronic databases such as Medline, Biological Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, or Current Contents?
Availability: Is the account broadly available? Is there an online adaptation of the journal? Are affidavit provided in PDF format?
Reputation: Although it can be rather subjective, there are several means to barometer the acceptability of a journal. Ask colleagues which journals they respect. Look at contempo accessories and adjudicator their importance. Check the associates of the beat lath and actuate if they are leaders in their fields. Actuate the journal’s appulse agency (an anniversary admeasurement of the admeasurement to which accessories in a accustomed account are cited. How careful is the account in accepting affidavit for publication? Note, however, these ratings can be artificially aggrandized in journals that broadcast analysis articles, which tend to be cited added than analysis articles. See www.isinet.com). Try to acquisition out the accepting amount of the journal.
Format: Do you like the actualization of arise accessories – the format, typeface, and appearance acclimated in citation references? If relevant, does the account broadcast abbreviate and/or accelerated communications?
Figures: Do abstracts arise in the account acquire the resolution that you need? Time to Print: Using the “date submitted” and a “date accepted” that are arise on the article, forth with the date of the issue, you can appraisal the breadth of the analysis action as able-bodied as the time from accepting to advertisement in print.
Charges: Some journals bill the columnist for page charges, a amount per final printed page. Best journals acquire a abstracted allegation for blush plates. This may be as abundant as $1000 per blush plate. Abounding journals will abandon folio accuse if this presents a banking accident for the author; blush bowl accuse are less-readily waived and would at atomic crave affirmation that the blush is capital to the presentation of the abstracts (e.g., to appearance a double-labeled cell).
Once you adjudge on a journal, access and apprehend that journal’s instructions to authors. This certificate describes the architecture for your commodity and provides admonition on how to abide your manuscript. You can usually access a archetype of the journal’s instructions to authors on its Web armpit or in the firstissue of a new volume.
8. Stock the sections of your paper. As you think about your paper, abundance accordant absolute in folders apparent Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. This will save time and abstain annoyance back the autograph begins. Stored items ability accommodate figures, references, and ideas.
*9. Construct the tables, figures, and legends. Yes, create abstracts and tables afore the autograph begins! The absolute cardboard should be organized about the abstracts you will present. By advancing the tables and figures (and their legends and adapted statistical analyses), you will be assertive of your after-effects afore you anguish too abundant about their interpretation. You additionally may be able to actuate if you acquire all the abstracts you need. Note: except beneath abnormal circumstance, you may not accommodate any abstracts that you acquire already published. (See “Components of a Analysis Paper.”)
*10. Outline the paper. An outline is like a road map. An outline capacity how you will get from actuality to there, and helps ensure that you booty the mostdirect and analytic route. Do not alpha autograph afterwards it! If you acquire coauthors, you may ambition to get acknowledgment from them afore you advance to the absolute autograph phase. And if you acquire “stocked” your sections (Step 8), those files should be advantageous actuality and in the autograph that follows.
*11. Abode the aboriginal draft. Abode the aboriginal abstruse of the absolute manuscript. If you are autograph with coauthors, you may ambition to accredit altered aspects of the arrangement to altered authors. This can save time, acquiesce added individuals to feel that are authoritative absolute contributions to the autograph process, and ensure the best use of expertise. However, it additionally can advance to a admixture of styles. Thus, if you booty this approach, be assertive that the final artefact is anxiously edited to accommodate a distinct voice. “Components of a Analysis Article” discusses what goes into anniversary breadth of the manuscript. For a added all-encompassing presentation of this and abounding added aspects of advancing a paper, see Day (1998). At this point, do not anguish about it actuality intelligible. That comes later.
Some bodies acclaim that you activate your writing with the Introduction and abide through in adjustment anniversary breadth of the paper. This can admonition ensure flow. However, others advance that you alpha wherever you ambition – annihilation to get rid of that bare awning or allotment of paper. Whatever your approach, heed the admonition of Charles Sides (1991): “If you try to abode and adapt at the aforementioned time, you will do neither well.” And because alteration is generally a lot easier than writing, advance through this footfall as bound as possible. If you are demography abundant added than two abounding days, you acquire apparently paused to edit!
*12. Alter the manuscript. This footfall involves three above tasks, anniversary to be agitated out in the adjustment given:
Make above alterations: Fill in gaps, actual flaws in logic, restructure the certificate to present the absolute in the best analytic order.
Polish the style: Refine the text, afresh actual grammar and spelling.
Format the document: Accomplish your manuscript attractive and accessible to read. It is important to do the tasks in the declared order. Otherwise, you mayfind yourself spending a lot of time alteration absolute that you afterwards delete.
*13. Check the references. Ensure that the citations are actual and complete. Do one aftermost abstruse chase to accomplish assertive that you are up to date. (See “Components of Analysis Article” on the amount of advertence selection.)
*14. Abode the final appellation and abstract. Many changes are fabricated during the alteration process. Accomplish assertive that your appellation and abstruse bout the final adaptation of your article.
*15. Reread the journal’s Instructions to Authors. Review the capacity of how the arrangement is to be formatted and submitted. Alter area necessary.
*16. Prepare the final illustrations. Ensure that your tables, figures, and amount legends are complete, clear, self-contained, and in the architecture appropriate by the journal. Do not acquiesce any adventitious for misunderstanding.
*17. Get acknowledgment on your arrangement and then revise your arrangement again. Getting acknowledgment is one of the best important things that you can do to advance your article. First, be abiding your co-authors have had a adventitious to apprehend and animadversion on the draft. Then, back it is ready, accord the arrangement to some colleagues. Announce back you would like to acquire their comments, and what levels of admonition you would like (e.g., comments on the science, logic, language, and/or style). Afterwards you get their comments, alter your arrangement to abode their concerns.
Do not abide your arrangement until you feel it is ready for publication. Once it is accepted, added changes in your arrangement will be difficult and may additionally be costly.
*18. Abide the arrangement to the editor. Follow the Instructions to Authors to actuate what items you allegation to submit, how to abide them, and to whom you should accelerate them. Note that some journals admittance (or alike require) a “pre-review,”i.e., a letter advertence the agreeable of the commodity so that the editors can actuate whether they will acquire the arrangement for a abounding review. At this point you may ambition to account accessible reviewers (or individuals to be avoided). If necessary, acquaintance the editor to be abiding that the arrangement was received. And if afterwards a ages you acquire not accustomed a acknowledgment apropos the acceptability of your arrangement for advertisement you may ambition to acquaintance the editor about this, too.
*19. Deal with reviewers’ comments. Most manuscripts are not accustomed on the aboriginal submission. However, you may able-bodied be access to resubmit a revised manuscript. If you accept to do so, you will allegation to acknowledge to the analyst comments. Do this with tact. Answer every affair of the reviewers, and announce area the agnate changes were fabricated in the arrangement if they were, indeed, made. You do not allegation to accomplish all of the changes that the analyst recommended, but you do allegation to accommodate a acceptable account for any changes that you did not make. Back you resubmit the manuscript, announce in your awning letter that this is a revised version. An addition is to abide the arrangement to addition journal. However, if you do so, it may still be best to booty the analyst comments into consideration. Alike if you feel that the reviewers acquire blurred commodity in your paper, others ability do the same. Of course, if you abide to addition account you apparently will allegation to adapt the format. And amuse note: You may not abide your arrangement to added than one account at a time!
*20. Check the proofs. Once the arrangement is accustomed and able for print, the administrator will accelerate the agnate columnist folio proofs of the article. This may be accompanied by a account of queries, such as missing admonition apropos a reference. The proofs may be beatific via e-mail or as adamantine copy. If there is a adventitious that you will be abroad back the proofs arrive, acquire a plan for authoritative assertive that they are accustomed and you are notified. You may alone acquire 24–48 hr to acknowledgment the proofs. Anxiously actual any typos and absolute errors. And apprehend the arrangement for accuracy – this is your aftermost chance!
However, try to absolute changes to beat queries added accessory modifications. If you anticipate annihilation added above is required, you allegation aboriginal get permission from the account editor and be able for added costs and advertisement delays.
20 . Celebrate! As Robert Day says in How to Abode and Broadcast a Accurate Cardboard (1998), “The ambition of accurate analysis is publication…. A accurate experiment, no amount how amazing the results, is not complete until the after-effects are published.” Your agreement – at atomic one appearance of it – is now complete. Enjoy the moment!
For a added complete set of references on writing, see the web armpit (www.survival.pitt.edu).
Council of Biology Editors, Committee on Graduate Training in Scientific Autograph (1968) Accurate Autograph for Graduate Students: A Manual on the Teaching of Accurate Writing. New York: Rockefeller University Press. (This was after revised, see Woodford below.)
Day, R.A.(1998) How to Abode and Broadcast a Accurate Paper, 5th Edition. Phoenix: Oryx Press. Fischer, B.A., Zigmond, M.J.(2004) Components of a Analysis Article. www.survival.pitt.edu.
Institute for Accurate Information. www.isinet.com Sides, C.(1991) How to Abode and Present Technical Information. USA: Oryx Press.
Woodford, F.P.(1999) How to Teach Scientific Communication. Reston, VA: Council of Biology Editors.
How To Write A Technical Paper – How To Write A Technical Paper
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