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.

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.

General Discipline for Writing Scientific paper

Conducting scientific research and writing a research paper for publication requires a different skill set. Scientists often come up with poor write-ups, as they mostly ignore the requirements for drafting a good research paper. This often leads to adverse comments from peer reviewers and even rejection of manuscripts.

Here are a few pointers of common errors and how to address them.

Word limit, page limit, figure limit, and limited attention spans are some of the constraints within which a scientist has to write a research paper. It is advisable to set certain objectives as benchmarks while meeting these constraints. The basic objectives are (a) clarity on the purpose of the research paper, the key hypotheses and the message it tries to convey; (b) the target audience, journal of publication, and intended outreach;

A scientific paper encounters thousands of critics during peer review as they often fail to convey their intentions. If scientists do not clearly define and communicate terminologies, concepts, or technical matters in their scientific paper, other scientists reading the paper will use their own logical reasoning to fill in for what is missing, and this often creates a gap. Therefore, it is important to give special attention to glossaries, etc. to clarify the exact meaning of any technical term being used in the research paper manuscript.

Often, scientific papers have multiple scientists contributing as authors. In such cases, usually different sections of papers are initially written by different people. This creates sharp distinctions, as often the tone and syntax of different sections are markedly different. Such differences affect the experience of reading the scientific paper and often the real message gets lost. This is where a professional editor becomes critical for reviewing the manuscript before it is finalized for publication.

It is very critical to stick to the correct format for a scientific article. Formatting includes the structure of the paper, depending on whether it is presented as a review, commentary to an ongoing discussion, reporting of primary investigations, etc. Formatting includes proper structuring of the paper with an introduction, literature survey, discussion of methodology, proper reporting of findings, etc. Each of these sections to have its own proper syntax and format.

A research paper should be written in an authoritative style, but must not be preachy. Criticisms to other’s work under the literature survey section must be logical and not become dismissive of their work. Affirmation for one’s arguments must allow for space of contradictions and not pose to be definitive and absolute.

Modulation of life expectancy by weight statistics in young adulthood

Ideal weight not only impacts the overall personality of a person but at the same time, is also the hallmark of good health. Weight management is often goggled in view of its various implications, mostly in the form of grave lifestyle associated disorders.

Obesity implication in early lives:

The obesity statistics in India are alarming, thereby expected to be tripled by 2040, as suggested by the latest research. Narrowing the studies to the early adolescent population worldwide, the figures are a bit scarier.

Contrary, to the age-old, believes that childhood is the “time of liberty” in terms of food choices we make, and cautiousness towards ingredients in the serving plate is applicable only with old age is a misnomer. Junk food, high sugar diet with loads of trans fats, lack of workout, irregular and unhealthy eating habits are making the adolescent population predisposed towards obesity. Primary or secondary obesity prevalence at a younger age has immersed as a deadly threat, closing the survival bracket to just mid-age. Researches have shown that around 12.4% of premature death can be linked to early adulthood associated with obesity.

The timeline of weight management:

A retrospective survey using the BMI (Basal metabolic index) corresponding to the early ages of the participants has shown that the negative implication of obesity on life expectancy remains unaltered. The tough part is that the damage caused due to being obese at a young age can’t be countered by weight reduction in later years. Also, premature death probability remains unchanged in both “presently overweight but previously obese” and “currently overweight” participants. This signifies the irreversible damage incorporated on the cellular dynamics due to early-onset obesity. Subsequently, paving ways to other comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes in later lives.

Conclusion:

Weight management awareness at the right age is warranted to make a healthy population with survival fitness. Inculcation of proper lifestyle habits and realization of gross detrimental effects of obesity at the beginning of early adulthood shall help to build future generations with a superior quality of life.

How to Promote Your articles and Track them

Getting a journal publication is an achievement; but letting the world know about it is essential for career progression. In the academic world flooded with numerous publications, it is important to promote your work amongst your peers and professional colleagues.

At the same time, it is also important to keep track of the reach and impact of your article. The real merit of a publication is not just the number of reads but also number of citation and recall of the article.

Here are some important tools to promote your article and keep track of it.

  • Normally journals share pdf of published articles which one can share via mail to colleagues and targeted audiences. Do ensure to ask the journals to provide your e-mail id or professional account links in your profile. You can also share digital links of the articlewhich increases chances of clicks and thereby online readership of your article.
  • It is advisable to share printed copies of the article with seniors, peers and especially those whose articles you have used as citation in your own article,along with a short note of introduction or expressing gratitude, as the case may be. Sharing physical copies also raises chances of citation for your own article, and it is a good way of getting acquainted in the peer group.
  • Regularly update your university web page, your personal professional accounts or blogs with your publications. Share short briefs of your research with keywords. This will help your profile be highlighted in general Google searches on the field of you your research by other academicians unknown to you.
  • Use social media platforms for outreach. LinkedIn, Twitter posts or blogs are useful means of promoting one’s article. You can also post links of your article on general online platforms or blogs where you interact with other academicians for online discussions on research Use hashtags or keywords to link your article to relevant topics.
  • It is advisable to get an ORCID registration for yourself. ORCID or Open Research and Contributor ID is a unique ID for every individual which can then be used to track all publications and citation This helps avoid confusions over names, referencing, or mistaken identification. By registering and using an ORCID ID you can easily distinguish yourself and assure that your work is attributed only to yourself.
  • While there exist other platforms and databases which cover a portion of your total output (e.g. Scopus or Web of Science), or only certain types of outputs (e.g. journal articles), you can add all of your publications, works and activities to your ORCID record to create a comprehensive listing in one place, including outputs like datasets, peer review activities and more.

Besides accounts in such platforms, it is also advisable to create a simple Google alert for yourself. This is an easy tool to get records of which all digital platforms are best serving your purpose.

 

Understanding Open peer review

Peer review is a critical part of any publication in a respectable journal. However, the entire process of traditional peer review has always been criticized by the academic circle for various reasons. Some of the most common criticisms are:

  • Peer review is a subjective matter that can be both unreliable and inconsistent varying from reviewer to reviewer.
  • There are considerable delays and expenses involved in the entire process, which affect both journals and prospects of the authors.
  • There is a lack of accountability or transparency in the mechanism, leading to challenges of unscrupulous practices by a reviewer, who may choose to subvert publications that might challenge their professional interests.

In contrast to the traditional system of peer review, an alternative structure of open peer review has evolved that has been adopted by many journals today. There does not exist any definite structure to open peer review and there exist various models of open peer review. Some of the most popular forms of open peer review are:

Open Identity Peer review: Under open identity peer review the authors and reviewers are aware of each other’s identities. This is in sharp contrast to the conventional peer review system where either the author does not get to know the reviewer or both author and reviewer do not get to know each other’s identity. Open identity peer review supposedly (a) enhance accountability, further enable credit for peer reviewers, and simply make the system fairer (b) increase review quality, as a reviewer puts more effort into their reviews when their names are attached to them.

Open Reports: Under Open reports peer review, the review reports are published alongside the relevant article. This adds another layer of quality assurance, as the reviews are open to the scrutiny of the wider scientific community. Published reviews are recognition for the reviewer as well and can count in their academic records as well.

Open Participation: Open participation peer review, is a “crowdsourced peer review” that allows the wider community to contribute to the review process. Open participation is often used as a complement to a parallel process of solicited peer review and allows for wider access to reviewers who voluntarily contribute as part of enriching the academic discourse.

Open Interaction: Open interaction takes things a step further and is more like a blog format where the author, reviewer, and others can participate in an open conversation on the publication. Allowing interaction amongst authors and multiple reviewers enables a collaborative process to improve their publication.  This may be done in stages, like opening for comment before final publication.

Open peer review is still an evolving process with newer ideas being experimented. However, open peer review is not aimed to completely replace conventional peer review. This is just another form of reviewing for publication that is gaining favor amongst the academic community.