Revising your article post reviewer comments

Receiving peer-review comments from a journal often gives rise to mixed feelings. Presuming the editor offers to reconsider your submission post revision, it essentially means the first step of getting your academic paper published in the journal of your choice is successfully completed. However, at the same time, any long-drawn revision process means more effort and resources on the same manuscript which is often a mental challenge as well.

Here is some step by step tips on how to approach the process of revising manuscripts post-peer-review comments:

Take it easy: Once you receive peer-review comments, the first reaction is to go through it at one go in excitement. However, responding to the comments must be done in a much calmer manner. It is best to revisit the comments after a few days, once you have worn out the initial feelings.

Organize: read the comments multiple times. Often, reviewers suggest certain major and minor comments. Authors often lose sight of the minor comments while they are pre-occupied to deal with the major comments. However, as a professional, you are expected to address each and every comment.

It is suggested that you tabulate the comments in detail. Demarcate each comment in certain categories: editorial changes, formatting related changes, comments on methodology, comments on data-work, etc. Once you have tabulated the comments, estimate how much time and effort it will require you to address all those comments. This then gives you a more definitive idea of how much effort you need for revision to address all peer-review comments.

Take a call: actually, it involves multiple calls, but you should take them one by one. First and foremost, you need to decide if you will make all the revisions requested or not. Often, reviewers may make suggestions to which you need not necessarily agree to.

Some comments are tricky, especially those related to the research itself – to the methodology used, for instance, or the results obtained and the conclusions drawn from them. These may require considerable revision requiring extra time and funding to accomplish, or they may necessitate thinking about and reporting your research in different ways.  You need to decide whether you want to walk the mile or stick to what you already have produced.

All these decisions lead to the final call; if you still want to pursue publishing the academic paper in the journal. You may choose to accept some constructive comments which may help you improve your manuscript, but prefer to submit the improved draft to some other journal.

Respond to the editor: Irrespective of what calls you take, as a professional courtesy, write back to the editor who has shared the feedback with you. Share the list of comments, address each comment as to whether you disagree to it (and why) or you agree (and what you are going to do to address it). If you are keen to pursue publishing in the same journal, let the editor know by when you can re-share the manuscript based on your time estimation.

AUTHORSHIP GUIDELINES AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS

All reputed peer-reviewed scientific journals have very well-established systematic structures in place which any author submitting a scientific research paper for publication is expected to abide by. These instructions are shared by the journals in the form of authorship guidelines.

A journal’s instructions for preparing the scientific research paper for submission may seem straightforward in the beginning, yet these instructions can be tricky to follow with precision and consistency. While each journal has its own set of rules and regulations, there are some common features that are mirrored across each.

Authorship: One of the most critical components of manuscript submission is establishing the authorship of the scientific research paper. A solo endeavor by a researcher is a simple case with sole authorship. However, in most practical cases today, scientific research projects and papers often require contributions from many individuals and this makes the assignment of authorship difficult. For instance, you may be working as a researcher in a lab, but working under the supervision or instructions of a lead researcher/project in charge. In such a case, there are risks of conflict of ownership of authorship over any scientific research paper emerging of this project.

Every journal requires one principal point of contact as the author of the manuscript. The journal communicates with this central author for all communications and the onus of the veracity of the content lies with this author. Every journal has author guidelines on how to set the principle authorship and you must follow it stringently.

Copyright: related to the issue of authorship is the issue of copyright over the article. A scientific journal will only accept to publish a manuscript if it is guaranteed copyright over the article it publishes. This, in turn, means you must guarantee that (a) the article is not submitted for publication to any other journal, or the similar findings by the same set of researchers in not replicated in any other publication; (b) the co-authors have agreed not only to have you as a principal author but also entitled you to permit copyrights to the journal; (c) your institution/academy has no issues with copyright over publications of research activities conducted there.

It is advisable to follow the author guidelines very carefully in the process of making the submission to avoid copyright problems later on.

The rigor of study: For reputed journals to accept your publication, you have to establish the rigor of your study. Empirical research designs need to state the extent to which the studies are representative of a particular population, with supplementary materials including data quality control, alternative models, explicit formulas used in statistical analyses, and modeling.

Today there exist several professional services who specialize in scientific journal publication as they are well versed with the particular requirements of each such journal. They can help a young author navigate the complicated route to a successful publication and it is advisable to resort to such services for a hassle-free experience.

All About Medical Case Report

Medical practitioners come across a large number of patients with variations in disease expression and subsequent prognosis. Sometimes a unique non reported disease phenotype or may notice the significant outcome of any innovative combinative treatment. These surgical table details are crucial and need to be recorded to provide direction to both doctors and researchers. However, with the hustling profession of being a medical practitioner, it seems an overwhelming task to report “insights of new and unique observations” in form of full-length paper. Does this mean publishing is all about lengthy research article or review writing? The answer is No, the alternative is a MEDICAL CASE REPORT.

What do we mean by Medical Case reports (MCR)?

It is written communication of previously unknown or a rare disease presentation. Also, MCR can be reporting of de novo treatment strategy of utmost medical significance. Since, its frontline of evidence, therefore, can pave the way towards the development of medical sciences bringing better diagnosis and prognostic strategies.

Components of MCR and their relevance

Similar to any scientific text, MCR too has a specific format to provide clarity and keeping the readers engaged until the end.

  • Title
  • Abstract: Short and crisp conveying the gist of the article in a structured manner.
  • Background: Origin of study with highlights’ of what’s known to date.
  • Case Presentation: Physical examination of the apposite prognosis of the subject in chronological order.
  • Discussion: Illustration of the uniqueness of case and future significance.
  • Conclusion: Take home message of MCR.
  • References
  • List of Abbreviation
  • Consent
  • Author information
  • Acknowledgment
  • Cover Letter 

Conclusion: MCR can be the first step to revolutionize the field of medical sciences with heart-throbbing findings of life significance.

                                      

HELPFUL TIPS FOR WRITING PHILOSOPHICAL PAPERS

Philosophical writings are very difficult and vary greatly from writing exercises in other disciplines. Writing a good philosophical paper is both a challenge and a treat, and is perhaps the greatest test of one’s logical reasoning skills and articulation skills. Here are some key points to remember while writing a philosophical paper.

The approach to philosophical writing is quite different from writing in most other subjects. That is because it is neither a research paper based on empirical analysis nor an exercise in literary self-expression which can be an articulation of subjective expressions. It is also not a simple literature review of what various scholars have had to say on a particular topic. Most importantly, it is not to present your personal feelings or impressions.

However, at the same time, philosophical writing is about defending a thesis or hypothesis. Thus, it needs the same rigor in establishing an argument, developing a hypothesis, and then logically defending one’s hypothesis. Arguments lie at the core of philosophical writing, and they are rarely simple arguments. Instead, they often are large, complicated, and sophisticated treatments of fundamental problems or abstract questions in which logical reasoning must be the guiding principle to arrive at logically sound conclusions.

The main trick to writing a good philosophical paper is maintaining focus, being consistent, and clarity in thought and articulation. Philosophy papers usually involve both ‘exposition’ and ‘evaluation’.  In course of exposition, you explain the view or argument under consideration and the views of other thinkers who have worked on this subject.  The evaluation part of the paper is your chance to do some ‘philosophy’ of your own, where you engage with the central question with ‘rational persuasion’.

The key to a well-articulated paper is a logical organization. Logical organization refers not only to one’s arguments but also for planning out the paper. An effective structure requires carefully developed paragraphs and sections, where every paragraph or section must be self-explanatory, continuing a strand of discussion from the previous one and logically leading to the next. The style must be precise, consistent, and focussed. It is suggested to break down sentences that are excessively long and convoluted or paragraph too packed with details and rapid turns of thought, as it creates challenges for readers to digest complex information.

It is critical to have the consistency of terminologies, especially technical ones. Using synonyms is a slippery slope as each has different connotations. Use specialize terminologies used by philosophers whose arguments you are considering, define each one extremely carefully, use it with consistency in your own arguments, providing explanations of even subtle differences in the ways in which different philosophers use it, and more importantly how you interpret it.

Lastly, do not fall prey to the temptation of name dropping or lengthy quotes. Even if you find a heavyweight philosopher who is a kindred soul, your paper should rely on your arguments and not what your fellow thinker has said! Formulate your arguments and articulate them well to establish your credentials as an expert in philosophical writing.

How to find a scholarly article?

Finding relevant reference materials for one’s study, research, publications or other forms of academic activities is an everyday challenge for all academicians. Today the worldwide web allows us to access the world which is no more limited to one’s institute’s library. Here are some easy tips on how to search for relevant content.

Keywords: any web-based searched hinges on keywords and tags. It is very important to use the proper keywords for one’s search. Generic overall terms for search often fail to do justice. One must be aware of the latest terminologies, acronyms as keywords.

One needs to understand search algorithms to better use keywords. Many search algorithms are additive; you can use keyword1 AND keyword2 (often used as keyword1 + keyword2) to suggest you are looking for articles that have both of the keywords. For instance, using an author’s name AND a topic of interest suggests you are looking for articles by the specific author on the specific topic and will yield more narrowed or focused options. Using a series of keywords separated by commas often means you are looking for articles that have either of those terms or a combination of these terms.

Database: intrinsically linked to using keywords is understanding the database in which you are searching. Different institutions, libraries, or journals have a dedicated database section where they show the relevant tags or sections according to which their contents are stored. Understanding the referencing mechanism of any database is important to effectively search those databases. For instance, some databases may use the author’s name as the top line tag while others may use the field of study as a top line. Searching via keywords in these cases work best when you use the topline as the first keyword and then use the other terms to dive deep into these top-line categories.

Some of the most common digital repositories or websites for scholarly articles in the field of science are:

PubMed: PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. The United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health maintains the database as part of the Entrez system of information retrieval.

ScienceDirect: ScienceDirect is a website that provides subscription-based access to a large database of scientific and medical research. It hosts over 12 million pieces of content from 3,500 academic journals and 34,000 e-books.

Web Of Science: Web Of Science is a website that provides subscription-based access to multiple databases that provide comprehensive citation data for many different academic disciplines. It was originally produced by the Institute for Scientific Information and is currently maintained by Clarivate Analytics.

While some of these resources are free to access, many are subscription-based. However, these websites offer the best peer-reviewed articles from the top most journals and hence the subscription is worth the money. However, in many cases the institutions take subscriptions, and hence an individual does not need to. Do check with the library of your institution on how to access these databases.

Open access journals are vanishing from the web, Internet Archive stands ready to fill in the gaps

The advent of Open access journals was expected to revolutionize the academic journal publication sector. Various factors were driving the rise of open access journals, especially in the field of scientific studies. Some of the most common factors, such as time required to get published in conventional peer-reviewed journals or the high rate of rejections, were long-standing challenges for academicians, which Open access journals promised to resolve. Harnessing the benefits of digital communication technologies for faster discovery and dissemination of one’s content was another compelling attraction that these Journals offered. It must be noted that unlike subscription-based journals, Open access journals literally provided free access to anybody, thereby making the platforms more egalitarian.

However, despite these positives, there has been a considerable reduction in open access journals that has warranted special attention from the academic circle. Some of the top findings of disappearing Open access Journals are:

One of the key factors for the longevity of any such services is the funding that goes behind it. Subscription-based journals have a revenue model for sustenance. The digital formats for such journals utilize services like JSTOR or other such aggregators for global subscription bases that help these services survive. Open access journals rely heavily on grants or other forms of external funding to survive. Those backed by well-established Trusts or funding agencies have a higher chance of surviving in the long run, while those who fail to develop a steady stream of funding eventually have to shut down.

A major shortcoming in the case of Open access journals is the lack of archiving. According to Internet Archive, a not for profit organization dedicated to providing free content to users, 18 percent of all open access articles since 1945 (that amount to over three million articles), are not independently archived by any third-party preservation organization, other than the publishers themselves. Archiving is an integral part of academic articles and is critical for its discoverability in the long run.

This problem is further accentuated by the fact that many of these platforms have stringent anti-crawling measures and many small publishers do not use simple/common mechanisms like OAI-PMH and the ‘citation_pdf_url’ HTML meta tag to identify full-text content. This makes it difficult for third part discovery platforms to integrate these contents in their archives.

Another major concern is the challenges with Gold open access journal contents, in which the authors have to bear the costs of publication. In contrast, authors often prefer Green Open access or Hybrid Open access models where the publication cost is often partially mitigated for the authors. This affects the quality of content on different Open access platforms and thereby their attractiveness and longevity.

However, this is not to say that Open access journals are altogether dying off. There are still numerous journals experimenting with newer models. Often, the advent of a new and more popular one triggers the demise of an extant platform over time loses credence.

Professional PROOFREADERS for Glittery Manuscript

Samira, a Ph.D. student in the final years faced hard times due to manuscript rejection. It ruined her mental piece owning to delay in her yearlong efforts getting published. Subsequently, postponed her professional accomplishments. In spite of being innovative and resourceful, the deficit in scientific language content was the prime reason for manuscript rejection. This is a common plight prevailing among researchers and scientists.

How to revise the rejected article?

There are many ways to deal with refused pieces of work. Taking the guidance of colleagues or mentors can help up to some extent or you can also improvise the manuscript based on your understanding and expertise. However, both ways have their own shortfalls owing to needed clarity and command on technical aspects of writing.

In the said constraints, pertaining to lack of time or deficit in knowledge of dos and don’ts of professional writing, PROOFREADERS can render assistance. The overall chance of acceptance increases with this service.

  • The author can take assistance to restructure a part or entire article based upon his requirement and time bracket.
  • Sometimes, the author may not be a native English speaker or may lack command on the grammatically correct and scientific appropriate terminology and may procure assistance for the same.
  • The ability to understand the journal guidelines, starting from the requisite format of the article, until uploading consent or copyright undertakings can be a tedious job. Thereby, demanding a scan of minute details in a sequential and set method can be easily executed by a professional proofreader.

Conclusion: It won’t be wrong to say that, an efficient professional proofreader is a “foster author to give final touchup to the hard achieved scientific creation”.

The challenge of Fake authors in journals

The world of academic publications is highly competitive. Scientists are often desperate to publish their research papers owing to their career and future prospects at the stake of the number count of journal publications. Unfortunately, this gives rise to several fraudulent practices and fake authors.

Top reasons for fake author attribution.

Reputation: New or emerging or scientists from small institutions struggle to get their research papers published. This is primarily due to a bias amongst journal editors who prefer scientists having a history of successful publications or come from reputed institutes. In such a scenario, the new authors often add a fake co-author to increase their publication chances. This can be done in various ways. Some add fictional names and attribute them to the reputed institutes. Some attribute it to the actual reputed scientists without their knowledge. In most cases, fake e-mail id or contact details are shared to avoid journal communication.

Affiliation: The paper’s affiliations are more than just an institutional name or a country where the research was conducted. Affiliations are brand names and reputed institutes take great care to ensure quality control of their institute’s research activities. Research institutions take all the responsibilities for the research conducted at their facilities and have boards and committees to ensure that their research follows the rules. So, the affiliation of a paper also defines which institution oversees the research integrity of that paper. This then serves as an incentive for journals to prioritize such articles as they feel assured about its integrity and quality.

Specialization: More often than not, it is not the greed of reputation or affiliation that the fraudsters seek. Fake authors are often created to justify the research papers falsely. For instance, consider a research paper that involves cross-disciplinary studies or involves a methodology that requires a specialist’s intervention. It may also happen that these lay outside the core area of the expertise of the actual author. Naming a fake author with false credentials helps to justify the research paper’s claims, which otherwise would be challenged by a peer reviewer or the journal editor if only one author were named.

How to avoid the trap: While it may seem tempting to go for fake authorship, it does more damage than good. Journals today are more aware of this problem and are devising means to check for such frauds. Getting caught not only means redaction of published articles but also being blacklisted across journals. Therefore, it is better to focus on the basics of writing a good paper than trying for such shortcuts. Special focus on English editing, proofreading from professional agencies help to shape a better paper.

How to get healthcare research papers published in journals

Publishing articles in journals is an integral part of one’s profession. However, many young professionals struggle with medical writing and publishing because of sheer inexperience. Here are some quick tips on how to crack it.

Choose your topic well: To publish research, you need to work on the most trending topics and select an important and novel research question. Schedule the timeline for the project and the resources required, budget, etc. before you embark on it. Your publication is an extension of your research project so the background research project has to be faultless.

Present at Conferences: Before publishing research articles, present your papers at conferences. This will add valuable inputs to your research project, and you will be updated on the recent discussions on this field. Initial paper submission in conferences also helps fine-tune the medical manuscript.

Journal selection: Choosing the right journal is a crucial factor. Everyone wants to publish in the most reputed journals, but young professionals need to build up to that level. Identify journals that are best suited for your study or your course of action. Identify journals based on your paper category, such as reviews, research reports, commentaries, etc.

Practice writing: Manuscript writing is an altogether different skill set. Research articles have certain syntax and formats for publishing, and medical writing has its own set of requirements. Offering readers an engaging and well-structured story will increase the chances of its acceptance. Follow a clear and logical narrative, highlight the novelty and significance of your study, and clarify the unmet clinical need or gap in the present discourse that your research project contributes.

Read journal articles to understand how successful authors approach medical writing. Practice drafting manuscripts and present them at conferences for feedback on how to improve them. Every journal has specific instructions on writing style for publishing. Read them well and follow those instructions.

Be prepared for rejections: Journal rejection is a hard reality for everyone. Studies suggest 62% of all published papers have been rejected at least once. You may need to submit your paper to multiple journals and take your paper through many revisions before it’s finally published. It is advisable to have back-up plans when you select the journals for publication. However, never share the same manuscript simultaneously to different journals. Every time you share it with a new journal, edit it as per the new journal’s requirements.

Conclusion: Getting a paper published in a journal is a tiring and challenging process. However, the effort is worth,  when you finally have a publication and get good reviews from your peers. It is a skill you will develop over time, and will help you in your professional life.

Tips for writing a pharmaceutical research grant

Applying for research grants is a critical part of any young researcher. Each field has its own specifications, and the pharmaceutical research proposal requires a certain focus. The research proposal must establish a strong fundamental understanding of developing pharmaceutical study design/protocol and communicating it successfully to the Grant agencies.

Tips for drafting a proposal for a pharmaceutical research grant:

Preparation: Putting together a proposal itself can take a considerable time. You should focus on writing a research proposal; background preparation, establish a strong team around you, make a contingency plan for applying to several grants. If the grant is received, the entire project would be long and require a considerable time commitment from every team member.

The Research Topic: Critical thinking is the key to win a grant, and it must be reflected in each stage of the research proposal, starting with the topic of choice. Identify which field of study the grant focuses on and whether you have the competency to work on such a field. Your topic must pose a worthwhile question that needs to be answered and must offer tangible benefits within a reasonable and defined period. Concepts should not be too ambitious and lack of proof and low impact may be a deal-breaker.

Innovation: Research grants are competition, and the key differentiator is innovative research. The research proposal must have creative research ideas in the form of novel concepts, approaches, and methodology to be adopted, and the possible results promised. The hypotheses proposed must be testable and measurable by the proposed methods, and predictions must reflect the critical thinking that goes behind the research.

The research plan: any research grant is a fixed monetary commitment for a specified period. Therefore, any research proposal must have a definitive research plan, including timelines, deliverables, and a budgetary outlay justifying the grant money. Reviewers may recommend budget cuts if they think the expenses are too high or unjustified. You should demonstrate that you will manage the award well and emphasize how you will control the finances within the timeline and committed deliverables. The budget must accurately reflect the plan for data collection, data analysis, and data write up and give breakup for each head like personnel, infrastructure, overhead costs, material expenses, etc.

Review: writing for a pharmaceutical research grant successfully requires expertise and experience. Each proposal has to follow certain formats as mandated by each granting agency. Such formats often have strict word limits and predetermined reporting structures. You must be very careful to follow the instructions meticulously. It is best to consult your peers/ seniors/ or fellow colleagues to review the proposal. A review not only helps check if the proposal meets the format but also helps ensure the actual message is strongly communicated even in that limited structure.