How to Use Pronouns Effectively While Writing Research Papers?

Usage of Pronouns in an Article

  • Smooth: For the smooth flow of writing, pronouns are a necessary tool. Any article, book, or academic paper needs pronouns. If pronouns are replaced by nouns everywhere in a piece of writing, its readability would decrease, making it clumsy for the reader. However, the correct usage of pronouns is also required for the proper understanding of a subject.
  • Simple to Read: In academic writing, it is important to use the accurate pronoun with the correct noun in the correct place of the sentence. If the pronouns make an article complicated instead of simple to read, they have not been used effectively.
  • Singular/Plural, Person: When the pronoun that substitutes a noun agrees with the number and person of that noun, the writing becomes more meaningful. Here, the number implies whether the noun is singular or plural, and person implies whether the noun is in the first, second, or third person.
  • Gender-Specific: Gender-specific pronouns bring clarity to the writing. If it is a feminine noun, the pronoun should be ‘she’, and for a masculine noun, it should be ‘he’. If the gender is not specified, both ‘he’ and ‘she’ should be used. In the case of plural nouns, ‘they’ should be used.
  • Exceptions: Terms like ‘everyone’ and ‘everybody’ seem to be plural, but they carry singular pronouns. Singular pronouns are used for terms like ‘anybody’, ‘anyone’, ‘nobody’, ‘each’, and ‘someone’. These pronouns are also needed in academic writing.

 

Which Pronoun Should be Used Where?

  • Personal Pronoun: If the author is writing from the first-person singular or plural point of view, then pronouns like ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘mine’, ‘my’, ‘we’, ‘our’, ‘ours’, and ‘us’ can be used. Academic writing considers these as personal pronouns. They make the author’s point of view and the results of the research immodest and opinionated. These pronouns should be avoided in academic writing as they understate the research findings. Authors must remember that their research and results should the focus, not themselves.
  • First Person Plural Pronoun: Though sometimes ‘I’ can be used in the abstract, introduction, discussion, and conclusion sections, it should be avoided. It is advisable to use ‘we’ instead.
  • Second Person Pronoun: The use of pronouns such as ‘you’, ‘your’, and ‘yours’ is also not appropriate in academic writing. They can be used to give instructions. It is better to use impersonal pronouns instead.
  • Gender-Neutral Pronoun: Publications and study guides demand the writing to be gender-neutral which is why, either ‘s/he’ or ‘they’ is used.
  • Demonstrative Pronoun: While using demonstrative pronouns such as this, that, these, or those, it should be clear who is being referred to.

 

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Is it necessary to self-promote your articles on Academic Social Media?

We know what you all are thinking. Same as you, we came across the term ‘Academic social media’ for the first time.

 So, what is Academic social media?

Academic social media or as it is also known as Academic Social-Networking Sites (ASNS), explains itself in meaning. These are the social networking sites used by an academic community like researchers and scholars worldwide to share academic content such as abstracts and articles or link their published articles. Academic social media are the same as Facebook for scholars, where they interact with each other to build connections and acquire and share information. Some examples of ASNS are Academia.edu, ResearchGate, LinkedIn, and Google Scholar.

Now that we know what Academic social media is, the next question that follows is:

 Should you upload your articles on these academic social media?

The main motive behind uploading your articles on academic social media is to increase the reach of your article. And for that, the first requirement is for the researcher to own the copyright to their article. If the researcher published his articles in a non-open access journal, he gives the journal copyrights and loses the authority to upload his articles somewhere else. So, the researcher should publish his articles in an open-access journal.

Academic social media are commercial sites run by for-profit companies. So, when you decide to upload your papers here, you are still giving the control to a private organization. So to answer the question, ‘No,’ you should not upload your articles to these sites, but that does not mean you shouldn’t self-promote them.

 How am I going to self-promote it?

Self-promoting your article is the most important thing to do as it ensures the reach of your article. But to do so, there has to be a proper way to go through it, and there is. Rather than uploading your whole article to the academic social sites, you can first upload them to an open-access journal or open-access repositories. Open access repositories are non-profit and run by an institution or government. After uploading them to an open-access site, you can add the link of your article to your academic social media profile. This way, you will always have the copyright to your article and still get all the reach and promotion.

Conclusion

This editorial aims to show you the right way to self-promote your article on Academic Social Media without losing the copyright to the journal, along with the definition of academic social media and the risks of uploading your article to these sites.

How Can You Promote Your Article after It Is Published?

Why Should You Promote Your Article?

Promotion is a necessary step after publication as it amplifies the value and impact of your paper. How much your paper is read and cited adds value to your paper by benefiting other researchers in their research. The wider the audience, the more your authority as an author increases. Especially when you are looking for funding, the potentiality of the effect of your paper matters.  It shows how your paper is contributing to the progress in your concerned field of research. Promotion brings esteem and visibility to your author profile.

Different Ways of Promoting Your Article:

Strategize Your Promotion

Before sharing your article for promotion, you must find out your target audience and how you can reach them. You must know who will show interest in your paper. Finding researchers who work in the same field as yours and their channels for promotion can be a smart way of promoting your paper in the right place.

Make Your Paper Accessible

If your paper has open access, it will have a broad readership. Papers that are available for free have more readers and citations than the ones that ask for payment. The scope of your paper becomes high with high visibility.

Ask Your Colleagues to Read It

The easiest way to promote your paper is to share it with your colleagues and people from your field to read. This will add to the number of readers and citations of your paper. You may also get some valuable suggestions from them for the future.

Summerize Your Paper

Write a concise summary of your paper and share it in relevant places like forums or online discussions. It should carry the key points of your paper and be capable of generating interest in the audience. You can also provide the link to the full version of the paper in summary. Send the summary to blogs that address your subject area.

Use Digital Repositories to Share

When you upload your paper to digital repositories, citing your paper becomes easier for researchers as you get a unique identifier. Creating an ORCID ID is another way of getting a unique author ID.

Share on Social Media Platforms

Besides sharing your paper independently on different social media platforms, you can also share it in groups, at conferences, or in societies associated with your field.

Create a Video Abstract

Make a video abstract with a brief introduction or summary of your paper and share it. A video may seem interesting, attracting more people to read your paper in its entirety.

Refer to Your Article

Whenever and wherever possible, refer to your article, especially when presenting a paper or at conferences.

 

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Creating a Video Abstract for your Research

Want to create an impactful abstract that persuades the readers to read your article?  Here’s an interesting solution – Video Abstracts

Introduction

What is a video abstract?

A video abstract is an innovative way to explain your work to the public and researchers outside of your field that adds value proposition. This 3-5 minute video lets you conclude all the accomplishments in your research work in a journal article.

Importance of Video Abstract

Video Abstract uses a method to create a video summary by using a series of fixed pictures or moving images that let the readers get a brief idea about the targeted topic within a short period of time rather than scrolling through a theoretical and lengthy abstract.

Techniques for Observation Video Abstraction

  1. Color-based Techniques: It is used because of its indifference and stability against changes in direction and size.

 

  1. Event-Based Video Abstraction: It combines motion analysis with video skimming to create an event-based method that examines the optical flow to find exciting events and compare them to previous data. Events of interest are usually kept in video abstracts.

 

  1. Motion-Based Technique: It addresses pixel-to-pixel frame differences and optical flow.

 

  1. PowerPoint Presentation: This is the most common and popular technique that delivers insightful images and clean slides which is used for video abstract.

 

  1. Animations: With the help of accessible animation software tools, dynamic or stationary picture graphics can be created which is a cost-effective method.

 

  1. Combination types: This technique can create meaningful abstracts by gathering high activity material and being threshold-independent, but it is a domain-specific approach.

 

Video abstraction suggested for observation

  1. Pre-selection
  2. Attribute abstraction
  3. Colour and appearance
  4. Technical Specifications

 

Guidelines for Video Submission

  1. Incorporation of video picture files as supplementary electronic materials should be done by the author.
  2. After the approval of the manuscript, the author is asked to upload the video pictures to MOMO (Make Our Movies Open) (via website).
  3. This is done by an associate editor who is in charge of video submissions and e-mail management.
  4. At this point, the steps to upload the video are provided.
  5. Once the video is published in the Online First Article, no modifications can be henceforth. Therefore, the writers are advised to upload a new file to MOMO and get a different ID code in case they want to opt for any modifications.
  6. In case of query, kindly contact the head editor.

 

Conclusion

A number of video apps count on video abstraction, such as categorization, reading, and recapture. The various techniques used for a better video abstraction is a key point to keep in mind. Also, the technicalities and specifications mentioned must be employed for an innovative and interesting video abstract for a journal article.

Post Acceptance Changes of Manuscripts

Proofs are supplied to the corresponding author once your manuscript has been approved for publication. Once approved by the corresponding author, your paper is assembled into an issue of the journal and published in its final form. After providing your proof revisions, you are not expected to provide additional input as the piece’s author.

There are three stages between submission and publication in a peer-reviewed journal:

  • The time elapsed between submission and the first decision.
  • The amount of time required for the authors to revise
  • The time it takes from acceptance to publishing. 

    Peer review occurs when an article is submitted to a target journal. However, multiple processes are frequently only known to the related author. When you make a manuscript submission to a journal, it travels quite a distance, and the manuscript status is tracked with the help of the manuscript number. If a paper is accepted after peer review, it goes through proof development and a review procedure before being published. This process is a time-consuming process that necessitates a thorough examination of your manuscript’s publication-ready version. If you make a mistake here, it may be tough to fix!

     Changes to Authorship

    Requests for adding an author before publication are less difficult to arrange than requests after publication. Requests to add authors before publication typically comes from inside the existing author team. When requests are made after publication, they rarely come from inside the existing team but rather from a disgruntled team member who believes they deserved authorship but were not properly credited.

     Changes to Manuscript

    Copyediting the manuscript carefully ensures that it is accurate, clear, legible, written in good English, and adheres to the journal’s house style. Typesetting in the journal’s format for print or pdf, with the appropriate fonts and symbols, and with the figures in their final sizes, is what typesetting entails.

    After consulting with co-authors, the corresponding author returns the PDF to Proof checking Services. Authors can assist by asking just necessary modifications (such as typos). Authors may believe their figures are too small and request that they be expanded. After the corresponding author and Proofreading Services have agreed on all revisions, a subeditor rereads the entire proof and cycles with the typesetter until it is finally correct.

    Errors Spotted by Readers

    Aside from what has been said above, inaccuracies in published articles may be discovered by readers other than the author. In such circumstances, the editor must seek clarification from the appropriate author. Furthermore, if necessary, agree on the phrasing of a corrigendum or erratum that meets the author’s and reader’s approval.

    The most serious cases involving requests for revisions to published articles occur when a reader reports that an article is:

    • Replicated or plagiarised
    • Data that has been faked or manipulated
    • There are catastrophic errors that the writers cannot repair or explain in an erratum or corrigendum. 

      Conclusion

      Requests to make changes to manuscripts after approval are quite rare. Editors do not keep a systematic record of such incidents. As a result, it isn’t easy to estimate how frequently this occurs or what the most common causes are.

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.

Raw milk may do more harm than good

There is a popular belief that consuming raw milk or raw milk products is a healthier option, in contrast to consuming pasteurized milk or milk products. There exists a lot of misconceptions about pasteurization, with some suggesting it leads to loss of essential nutrients while others accuse pasteurization as an artificial or ‘unnatural’ processing of milk that risks spoiling the product.

However, scientific studies have found all such allegations to be unfounded. But what is more disconcerting is that scientific evidences suggest consuming raw milk or raw milk products poses definite health threats for us and that pasteurization of milk is critical before it is consumed.

Some critical scientific evidences from across the world suggest:

It is true that the heating process during pasteurization affects some nutrients in raw milk; viz thiamine, vitamin B6 and folic acid within the B-complex, and vitamin C. However, our present diet ensures these nutrients are received from other sources and hence missing them in milk products does not affect us much.

In contrast, raw milk or raw milk products have a higher content probability for harmful germs like Brucella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Between 1993 till 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA reported 127 outbreaks of diseases due to raw milk, which includes 1,909 illnesses and 144 hospitalizations.

Scientists at UC Davis have discovered that unrefrigerated milk, often done intentionally to allow it to ferment to produce clabber actually leads to these bacteria developing anti-microbial resistance genes which then makes them immune to antibiotic medicines.

The gastrointestinal tract in humans in modern times are often not able to digest certain components which we could earlier; or resist certain types of bacterial infections. A major factor in this development has been the advances made in medicines and how the human digestive system has evolved with these advances. Thus, the gastrointestinal tracts of infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems such as people with cancer, an organ transplant, are unable to face the challenges of the different types of bacteria present in raw milk. While most healthy people can recover from an illness caused by harmful bacteria in raw milk products, there always exists the risk that some may develop symptoms that are chronic, severe, or even life-threatening.

A big form of risk stems from raw milk products like cheese, with a new-found customer preference for hand-made cheese or what is known as artisan cheese. Often these are part of ‘back to nature’ products, where the milk and cheese are produced in ‘organic farms’ with pasteurization. While handmade cheese from pasteurized milk is not a concern, such products from unpasteurized milk risk contamination (animal feces, dirt), cow diseases (mastitis, bovine tuberculosis), cross-contamination from dairy workers, etc that raises the risk of harmful elements in the raw milk thus produced.

It is therefore always advisable to consume only pasteurized milk and milk products.

Funding your Research: A Far-reaching Aspect

In a research scholar’s career, the main hurdle to his/her accomplishment is the lack of grants for his/her research. At times, the scholars spend sleepless nights worrying about finding funding resources for their research studies.

Testing or developing theories calls for an in-depth research, with that comes huge funding needs. Hence, here are some of the suggestions that will surely mitigate the funding burden on the research scholars and help them to focus more on their research findings.

Suitable funding resources

National Institutes of Health (NIH): It is the largest public funding organisation for biomedical research in the world, which invests billions of dollars every year with an aim to enhance life, and reduce illness and disability through frequent innovative researches. NIH has funded varied studies that proved as breakthroughs in treatment and prevention, and helping people sustain longer, lead healthy life, and building a foundation for discoveries.

Grants.Gov: It is considered as one of the largest funding sources for research works in the USA.

National Science Foundation (NSF): It is a funding resource for scientists and researchers desiring federal grants for their research studies. NSF has gained fame in providing financial support to academic institutions for basic research and experiments. It has surpassed the margin marked by NIH.

Newton’s List: It is one of the globally available resources providing grants for basic experiments and research works in agricultural sciences, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, or technology.

Terra Viva Grants Directory: It is a better option of funding resource with both information and opportunities for researchers seeking project grants for fields like agriculture, energy, environment, and natural resources.

Office of Extramural Research (OER) at NIH: It is one of the biggest sources of research grants in category of scientific research across the word. They do not restrict their assistance to funding only, instead they also guide the researcher with their leadership skills, oversight view, and tools required in administering and managing the NIH grants policies and operations.

The Spencer Foundation: It is the best place to approach for funding scientists and researchers who are initiating their studies on a low scale based only on the novelty of the research work.

Universities or Institutes: If you are affiliated with the University, You can directly visit your university office or the department head. Many recognized universities have offices that deal with sponsored programs. They can coordinate your request for grants and helps you unearth the various opportunities available with them.

Fiscal sponsorship: You can also enquire about the funding sources from your colleagues or peers. They can help you find out certain non-profit organization who shares your research interest. In this case, you might get hold of more grant opportunities.

Ranking of referees for effective peer review process

The peer review process is important for all scientific publications. After a manuscript is accepted, it is sent to the journal-assigned peer reviewer, who evaluates its quality and factual accuracy. For an effective reviewing process, a behavioral economics journal initiated a process of ranking the peer-reviewers.

The peer review process includes analysis of the paper to check its suitability for the target journal based on the journal requirements and scope of publication of the research article. The main goal is to identify the uniqueness of the conducted study. The reviewer also checks the relevance of the citations in the text as well as those in the bibliography. The process also comprises verification of the accuracy of statistical analyses done in the study and proper presentation of the data in the paper.

The peer review process helps generate good and qualitative publications by working on the improvisation of factual contents. It also provides a logical justification for the research paper. Besides, it enables authors to use the critical feedback received from the reviewer to refine their manuscripts in a more productive or constructive manner by incorporating the revisions in the research paper.

Exemplar peer-reviewers ranking

Although the peer-review process is a crucial step, it sometimes becomes long and cumbersome, which impedes the publication cycle. To encourage an efficient reviewing process and to appreciate the reviewers’ work, the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics is in the news for its new strategy to release its referee list in descending order on its webpage.

The order will be judged based on the reviewing speed computed from the time of accepting the invitation to the time of submission. However, the journal has no plans to disclose the facts and figures of the ranking on its website. By ranking the reviewers, the journal aims to create an urge amongst peer reviewers to complete their reviewing process in time with high accuracy in order to be recognized by the journal on an online forum.

It is likely that the idea of speeding up the peer review process by a ranking system will soon catch on. If that happens, it could crunch the peer-review process followed by journals and increase the rate of submission and acceptance of papers.

Is the world of academia facing the gender disparity issue?

Gender-biased selection is a prominent concern in academics. This gender disparity is not only restricted to scientists and researchers, but also in evidence during the selection of peer reviewers.

Peer review is a vital process before acceptance of a paper in order to evaluate the research methods and validate the findings. It is conducted by subject experts and researchers of the concerned faculty. Despite having the same expertise and knowledge, male authors are preferred as peer reviewers over their female counterparts. Although nearly two-thirds of published authors in Australia are women, peer reviewers of two-thirds of the books are men. This disproportionate ratio has been valid for the last 30 years.

A recent analysis has revealed that most of the authors or scientists suggest male reviewers instead of female ones. Based on these recommendations, the journals also narrow down their list of peer reviewers by adding few male reviewers from their panel.  Eventually, the list comprises more male reviewers than their female counterparts that leads to gender disparity.

Being assigned as a peer reviewer is also considered as a networking tool for scientific collaborations; these reviewers seek out authors whose work they admire. Moreover, they also mention the journals that selected them to review papers in their resumes while applying for positions in faculties, research grants, and awards.

Brooks Hanson, an earth scientist and publication director at the American Geophysical Union in Washington, commented that peer reviewing is not only about the manuscript or author that are being examined, but the reviewers also get varied benefits from it. Besides, the reviewers get a chance to view the manuscripts instead of only reviewing the substantial and factual data. Consequently, the process turns out to be a learning session for the reviewer also.

Empirical data also supports the existence of gender-biased selections. In its annual report, the Australian international body of Vida showed the disparities between the writings of women and men in Britain and the US. In another survey in UK, women were found to be the buyers of two-thirds of the total books sold in Britain, and 50% of women consider themselves avid readers compared to 26% of men who felt similarly inclined. However, male authors are recorded to be winning more awards for their research, which are included in course syllabi at both high school and tertiary levels. In short, male authors are considered (erroneously) to be academically more talented than female authors.

The world of academics cannot afford such gender disparity in writing and research. Therefore, decision-makers are urged to encourage the academics fraternity by providing writers, reviewers, and readers an equal opportunity, irrespective of their gender, for a more wholesome future of the scientific and academic community.