What you should know about peer reviews

During our university years, we have all heard professors vouching for peer-reviewed publications. We were advised to refer to the research articles that have been reviewed by the experts in that field. In this blog post, we’re going to explore all the important things you need to know about peer-reviews.

Why are peer-reviews important?

 Peer-review is a means of validating research by the experts in that field of study. Once the article or the study is scrutinized by the peer expert, it is fit to be published in a journal and considered positively by governments, scientists, medical practitioners, academicians, etc.

These reviews are highly reliable because they are critically analyzed by the experts and include many helpful findings.

How is a peer review performed?

 Performing a peer review is a rigorous process and it requires one to be an expert in his field. While some lesser-known journals might accept debutants, most publications prefer well-known reviewers. The process involves critically analyzing a study and giving necessary feedback to the author. In some cases, modification is required for the research to be accepted and published. In some other cases, the article could be straightaway accepted or rejected. This approval or verification by an expert is crucial; without this, the authenticity of the research would be doubtful and remain preliminary or incomplete.

The reviewer is expected to follow a set protocol, depending on the standard and requirements of the journal or the publication. Even though there are no universal guidelines, it is advisable that the feedback should be valuable, positive, and honest.

There are three kinds of peer reviews:

  • Single-blind peer review: the author’s identity is revealed to the reviewers, but the reviewers’ details are concealed from the author.
  • Double-blind peer review: both the identities remain hidden.
  • Open peer review: the identities are revealed to both the parties involved

 

How to recognize peer-reviewed journals?

 In a situation where one needs to identify a peer-reviewed journal article, one needs to follow the steps below.

  • Start by limiting the search to peer-reviewed journals only (if possible)
  • If it’s not possible to narrow the search, one can also find the details of peer-review in the article itself
  • You can also check on com to ascertain whether the publication where the article is presented is peer-reviewed
  • If you are a scholar, and you have tried all of the above steps, you can also ask your mentor for help regarding this.

 

Even though peer-reviews can be really helpful in accessing some high-quality content, it also has its limitations and flaws. With the increasing number of publications around the world, it is difficult to find as many esteemed reviewers. Sometimes, if the identity of the author is revealed, the reviewer might form a bias based on gender, nationality, or age. Despite some of these flaws, the role of peer-reviews in providing accurate and reliable information cannot be denied.

Tips To Write An Article Review

According to ResearchGuide “An article review is a piece of writing where you summarize and assess another person’s article.”

A review paper is a professional paper writing which gives an in-depth analysis and a well-structured presentation of arguments. It is an acute and constructive evaluation of literature in a particular field by summarizing it. Writing a scientific review will give you access to database searches to frame the research. Its goal is to summarize everything and present a clear understanding of the topic of your choice.

There are different types of article review:

  • Journal: It is a type of article review that evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of a publication.
  • Research: In this type of review, the research method is evaluated to analyze and critique the given information.
  • Science: A scientific article review includes anything in the world of science.

Following are 6 key points to keep in mind when writing a review article:

  1. It is not a list of conclusions for a paper

Do you have something new to say or add the paper? This is an important question one should ask them before starting to write a review. The reader of your review should be able to learn and take away something of value from it.  Make it a point to include comparison, critique and assessment of the studies you are reviewing.

  1. Submit a proposal before writing a manuscript

It is advised to reach out to editors of the journal of your choice before writing a review since they will be able to guide you to understand whether or not writing this review will be of anyone’s benefit. This will increase your chances of getting your paper published.

For the proposal, give clear reasons why the particular topic/subject is important. You may need to give stronger reasons why you need to write this review.

  1. Have a good structure/framework of your article

After figuring out the purpose of writing this paper, move your focus to have a clear outline that will make you aware of the path you want to follow with this article. This not only makes your article much clearer but it will also help work on the DO’S and the DONT’S of your article review.

  1. Avoid using heavy words

Jargons could be easier for a seasoned researcher to understand but for someone who is starting off it could be really difficult. You are writing it as a subject expert but the person reading it may not be as skilled and informed as you are. Hence, this is an important thing to keep in mind that you’ve to write the review to appeal to the wider range of readers. In case you most definitely have to use technical terms, do not forget to mention them in the glossary.

  1. Always follow the journal’s guidelines

You wouldn’t want your review article to be rejected because you ignored this crucial step would you? Chances are you already know what journal guidelines are. If you don’t, it is basically set of rules that vary from journal to journal that instruct you on how to edit, format and submit your paper in a certain way that the particular journal follows before it is published. This is done to save time for the publisher and the writer.

  1. Read and re-read your first draft

As mentioned in previous blogs before, give your piece of work a fresh set of eyes i.e., ones you believe you have completed it take a break, get on to other ventures and work you have and come back after a few days. This will make it easier for you to spot any mistakes that you might have skipped over the first. You make this process faster, you may hire an editor who will do the same for you on your behalf and fine-tune it even further.

How to give the best presentation of your scientific poster

Presentation of any kind could be daunting especially when it is done to an audience. But when it comes to a researcher presenting a scientific poster to the audience of a science conference, understanding your work in-depth will help present it smoothly. Conferences can be a great way to socialize among researchers from the same field and get feedback on your work.

For those of you who are new to this area or you are an aspiring researcher in your favorite field, scientific poster is a tool of communication that combines verbal communication with visual aid.

Here is how you can establish great contacts and make major career developments with simple steps:

Dress to impress

It should give off a professional yet warm vibe while being subtle about it. You can do this!

Make your poster attractive at its best

Don’t add too much or too little components. Take your time to make this one.

Be cordial and welcoming

“A smile goes a long way! And a little bit of “hi and hello” thrown into the mix will do no harm. You may have noticed that stalls that have idle people managing it receive little to no visitation. It gives off a vibe that they are closed even when they are not. You have to be on your feet and ready to spot people and pull them to your stall.

Practice the art of “The Elevator Pitch”

Once you have piqued the interest of your potential audience, be on standby mode to explain your work with a short synopsis. Make sure to avoid using jargons while explaining and do not be too fast. Stay calm! Who knows there might be a potential funder among them?

Never be shy to share the story of your journey

Once you have their attention and their interest in your work, relax a little and let down your guard. Let them know about the motivation behind your work and journey so far. It is advised to proceed in this direction only when asked about it.

How to increase citation count for any research paper in 10 different ways

If you are an already published author, you may know how important the number of citations to your research work is. For those who are students or someone just here to know how it all works, read on!

A citation can be simply defined as “a reference to the source of information used in your research”. The amount of papers you publish is important to your career. However, the number of time your work gets cited by others is even more vital as it shows the impact your research has in that particular field. Increasing citations may help in securing funding for your research too as agencies look at combination as well as number citation made in a paper before making decisions on research grants.

Here are 10 things that you should keep in mind in order to be a well-published and frequently cited author:

  1. Cite your own previous work(s)                                                                                        

It is always a good idea to cite your previous work in your current or ongoing paper but it only if your previous work is relevant to your new one. However, it is not advised to cite every work you have ever done to increase your citations. To someone evaluating your work, it may give off a vibe that you may not want them to have.

  1. Select unique keywords                                                                                              

Based on the topic of your research paper, choose a handful of keywords (4-6) that you feel researchers in your field will be using to search for data. Try incorporating them throughout your paper, using them on abstract, headings or subheadings and making sure it is not repetitive.

  1. Keep your name consistent in all your work

This may not seem as interesting but it is also true that keep your name consistent on all your works will help you get the credits that you deserve. Apart from paper, use the same technique on your emails and email signatures, preferably a professional one. If you have a fairly common name, consider getting a research identifier such as an ORCID.

  1. Crosscheck your data before you publish

Aside from reading, re-reading and proofreading your paper, do the same for any data that will help connect a researcher back to you. Incorrect information may make an author drop your citation altogether.

  1. Share part of your information to the public

Platforms like SlideShare, Datacite, Figshare or Wikipedia can help your work reach out more people irrespective of your work available for a fee or open to all. If your paper is open access, publish your pre or post-publication work to a repository.

  1. Socialize and present your paper at conferences

Conferences are the best place for any researcher to understand the current trends in a particular. While this may not dramatically increase citations of your work, it sure will boost more visibility to your work. And besides that, building connections always prove to be helpful in any field of work.

  1. Share and let others know what you’re doing

Use your social media pages to announce what you’re working on especially the interesting tidbits of it without giving away much. Best places would promote would be LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook Quora and Google+.

  1. Publish a review

Reviews are considered to be one of the highest qualities of research; hence they are cited very often. Since you must have reviewed research work for your own paper, it will be a good idea to post a review as well.

  1. Cite your colleagues to get cited yourself

If you use your colleagues work as citations in your own work, It will not only provide more dimension to your work but it will likely increase their chances of citing your work as well.

  1. Publish your work in a well-renowned journal

Since a majority of researchers would choose a work that is published in one of the top journals in their field, publishing in one of them will boost your visibility even further as researchers would trust your work more.

Making a Firm Decision: “Traditional vs. Open Access Journals”

We all know that making good choices in terms of academics and scientific career is the key to success. Research writing and publications compliment the career of a scientist or an academician. Moreover, publications in reputed (high impact factor) and peer-reviewed journals produces global recognition to their contribution towards the scientific community.

Selecting an appropriate journal to publish your invaluable contribution is the major step in disseminating your research findings. The research ought to be published in the right journal for reaching the target audience with desired impact. However, many researchers struggle to make the right choice while selecting a journal as they get confused between Open access and Traditional Journals. The decision also becomes difficult while considering the journal’s performance (range and impact on audience), cost of publication (Submission charges and Article processing charges) and duration of publication process.

Traditional Journal vs. Open Access Journals: Based on the different factors

Traditional Journals

Traditional journals are those which generally do not levy any fee on authors or contributors for scientific publication. These journals are funded by subscriptions and advertisements and hence, the readers are charged for accessing or downloading any content in the journal.

The comparison between the traditional and open access journals suggests that the traditional journals possess higher reputation as they are not new to the experts in the field and association with reputed institutions and medical centres. However, higher reputation does not mean that it will reach broader audience. Because of high subscription charges for the readers, the content remains exclusive for specific mass and this is also the reason for not receiving desired number of citations after the introduction of Open Access journals.

The traditional journal charges per page for the printed versions which may vary based on the number of colour figures. However, for read only service the readers need to subscribe to the journal with subscription charges ranging from $100 per individual to $50,000 for institutions.

The traditional journal generally takes around 4-6 months for the quality checking and peer review process. The delay in the process is because of the number of articles received and their pending physical printings and distributions.

Open Access

“Open Access” is the idea and practice that created a movement which enabled the journals to provide complete barrier-free and cost-free access to the readers. Providing free access means that the readers can read, download, copy (with prior acknowledgement), share and print the online information available in form of articles.

Based on the different factors for making the appropriate choice, open access is changing the landscape of the research industry and has returned scholarly publishing to its original purpose of “spreading knowledge without any barrier”.

Publishing in open access journals provides greater visibility as it reaches broader audience without any fee. However, as no publication is without any fee, the author is responsible to pay the Submission charges and Article processing charges. Generally, the fees range between $50-$5000 based on the impact and reputation of the journals.

Most of the researchers opt for open access as they may not be popular in their field as, open access circulates the articles to a wider audience using different platforms to reach different researchers in the field worldwide. That is why, most of the traditional journals have now adopted the “Open Access Policy” either completely (full open access) or partially (hybrid open access).

Scientific publication represents the reputation of the researcher and hence the faster you publish the greater is the competitive edge they receive over other competitors. Most importantly, the researcher who gets published first receives the credit for the idea and the manuscript. Open access journals significantly reduce the time of publication with rapid peer review process. However, some researchers doubt the quality of the process and also consider this process as fake.

Role of ManuscriptEdit in helping you to make the correct choice

You might have now understood the pros and cons of each type of journals, but you still might not be completely sure about your choice.

The selection of the journal (whether open access or traditional) should be based on one’s requirement and hence, ManuscriptEdit provides a “Journal Selection Report” service which is prepared by considering the quality, scope and novelty of the manuscript. However, the author can also share their recommendations on the basis of different criteria such as the impact factor, reputation, indexing and cost which needs to be covered. We understand the effort that has been put to produce a quality research paper and hence, we guide the authors to make the right selection for getting the article published in desired journal.

Is it necessary to publish papers to obtain your PhD?

Publishing paper would be cherry on pie to build an academic career. Publication is a prerequisite for obtaining your PhD. A well-known phrase “Publish or perish” justifies this statement. Although it sounds dulcet, you need to take utmost care at every single step. If you are wondering, how to achieve your goal, here are a couple of points to ease your muddle.

Research

The first step to achieve your goal should focus on deep research about various papers, journals, publishers. This will help you to pick up the appropriate decision. The lack of research may end up selecting an inappropriate journal which may throw you in the backward direction of your goal. Hence, it is advisable to do thorough research before jumping into a conclusion.

Quality over Quantity

It is said, “Quality takes time but reduces the quantity”. You should spend time developing significant research agendas rather than spending more time scrambling to publish whatever you can get. For example, 1 research paper with novel findings and own interpretation can scoot over 10 review papers. So, don’t rush up on writing more papers as there is no guarantee that writing 10 papers would award you with your degree.

Face your fear

As a beginner, it is obvious to be anxious about the result. However, keep in mind that, “Failure always leads to greater achievements”. Keep yourself calm and composed and don’t force yourself to implant negative thinks.  These negative thinking will divert you to take the decision of writing it with a co-author. I am not against this statement but this decision might affect you in a later state.

 Be ready

No one in this world is perfect so don’t let your ego come in between achieving your goal. You should be confident enough about your research paper. It is better if you could make it proofread by someone to pick up the flaws prior to submission. Several companies are there which provide such services thereby helping you completing the research error-free.

Manage your emotions  

It is quite necessary to manage the time from the beginning with great patience as you had to research all the details minutely within the stipulated time. You can also seek the help of your guide to review it and suggest you with certain actions.

Conclusion

Obtaining PhD through publication is not only an option available for doctoral candidates. In order to achieve your goal, you must work hard and present strong research with novel findings. The candidate who easily accepts the flaws and decodes it further in their work will go a long way.

Increasing Visibility of Research Paper Using Simple SEO Tricks

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the process of ensuring that your manuscript is found by search engines such as Google or PubMed. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time on your research and would want to share your findings with those interested. For this, you need to ensure that readers can find your paper without having to perform difficult searches that could waste their time. Ultimately, you want your findings to have an impact in your field of study and to provide visibility to your research.

Thus, “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results.” It is the process of maximizing the number of visits made to a particular website by making sure that the website appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine you will increase the chances of visibility if you get a managed wordpress hosting plan.

The same process is followed by a researcher looking for information related to a particular subject or topic. It is the same when search for papers are done on various abstracting sites like PubMed, MEDLINE, and Google Scholar. Papers having the searched words in the title and also in the paper are placed sufficiently high in the result list of the search engine; thus increasing the visibility of the research paper. Now the question that comes to mind is: what do I do to put my paper at the top of the search list of the search engine?

Some useful SEO tips

Keywords play a very important role in effective optimization of the search engine results, this is why you should use seo keyword research services. Here are few tips to increase the visibility of your paper:

  • Maintain proper keyword density in the paper.
  • Ensure that the title and subtitles contain the keyword.
  • Use descriptive keywords in titles, abstracts, subheadings, captions, tables, and figures.
  • Make your title concise and informative.
  • Using keywords to convey key concepts.
  • Choose keywords that are frequently searched.
  • Insert links based on the keywords to other relevant websites and social media sites.
  • Select a keyword list and use the keywords and their synonyms as often as possible, but remember not to overdo it as this may have a negative impact on the visibility of the paper.

Keywords improve article’s impact factor

Recognition in your discipline not only ensures that your research will have more impact, but it also increases the reliability and validity of the research paper. Articles that can be easily searched have higher citations than other papers. Higher citations also help increase the credibility and visibility of the researchers, therefore increasing their ranking. Google Scholar uses citation information in determining the positioning of papers in the results. This means that the more citations credited to you and your article, the higher up in the ranks you will go and the more “finds” your article will get.

How to choose the best SEO keywords for your paper?

Keywords play a vital role in SEO and therefore should be chosen carefully. There are some tools that can suggest the best possible keywords for your paper or subject. Some of the tools are:

Google Keyword Planner: Finds keywords and search trends relevant to your field of study.

Google Trends: Tracks a particular search term relative to the total search of a related item.

Keyword Tool: Uses common Google searches to provide keyword suggestions.

In today’s generation, most researchers look for papers on the Internet using keywords; therefore choosing the right keywords for better optimization of the search engine is a must. Visibility of your research paper can be increased using simple SEO tricks or perhaps with an aid of an SEO agency. You need to keep track of the latest trends in keyword usage and choose your keywords accordingly.

Following these simple SEO guidelines can increase the citations of your work and in turn increase your credibility and visibility in your research field.

Research Writer’s Block: What is it and how to overcome?

It is very common in the research fraternity to hear discussions going on about the inability to put down their ideas and thoughts on paper. After the completion of their research work when researchers plan to put down their findings in pen and paper they realize that their hands are paralyzed and thoughts do not come to their mind. Most researchers do not know that such a condition is common and is known as writer’s block.

Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is more of a mental block that the writers experience. There are also some psychological researches that suggest that there is no such thing. But the fact that almost all researchers experience this cannot be denied. One of the main causes of writer’s block is anxiety and this problem can be aggravated if the researcher is not familiar with English, as this is the language that is generally used the world over.

Overcoming Writer’s Block

There are some common strategies followed by experienced researchers to overcome this mental block and complete their research writing within time.

Social Writing: It is a very good idea to join a support or writing group to stay motivated till the end. Social writing reduces the root cause of writer’s block – anxiety, which in turn stimulates writing. Writing while sitting in a group, discussing about the progress, sharing writing goals and achievements helps to understand writing better and increase the flow of creativity. Social writing generates realistic goal-setting and dedicated writing time. With social writing, the need for help or instruction may not be required.

Block Some Time of the Day Exclusively for Writing: Reserve some time of the day for writing, so that you write everyday and avoid the writer’s block setting in again. Morning is considered the best part of the day for writing, the mind is fresh and at its creative best. So, try to write in the morning before checking your email or surf the net to avoid any kind of distraction. The key idea is to write daily, even if it is for 15 minutes then gradually increase the time of writing.

Draft: First write down anything that comes to your mind, without worrying about the grammar and correctness of the sentence. First, jot down your ideas and the content that you want to include in your research paper and then refine it to convert it into your final copy.

So, we can say that the writer’s block is only the creation of the mind, which can be avoided by keeping calm, focused and consistent. All other things will fall into place if the brain is tricked to believe that the writing will be over within time and it will be up to the mark, without any data being missed.

Formatting tables, graphs, and other visuals in your research paper

The format in which you present your research data is very important because it helps you communicate your data to your reader and editors in the best possible way. We always recommend to use a good Data Management in order to keep all your date organized. 

Although there are many formats in which tables, graphs, and other figures can be presented, you need to choose the best format for your category of data, provided it is within the prescribed guidelines of the journal you are targeting for publication. Before reviewing a paper, many journal editors and reviewers first glance at the layout of the manuscript in terms of its text, tables, figures, and illustrations. Therefore, to make your presentation effective while presenting a large amount of information, a suitable distribution between text, tables, and figures comes handy.

How to use

Sometimes using too much text can get tiresome and confusing, making the reader lose interest or miss data. So encapsulating the information into visual representations can help summarize your analysis. Centralizing the important findings will help readers get the outline without reading the whole manuscript. However, excessive use of visuals can hinder the flow of text and make the whole presentation abrupt. To achieve the highest impact, a proportionate combination of text and visuals always pays off.

Understanding the message

The intension of using a chart, graph, or table is for one of four primary reasons. One illustration might be intended to show a relationship, while another wants to show the composition of a dataset. A third visual could be plotting distribution of data, while a fourth could be comparing various data points. Therefore, you need to understand the objective of the visual before choosing the format; one format may justify one goal but might not fit another.

A relationship is the correlation and connection between the variables of the data presented, like the value of a particular share today versus the value over the year.

A composition is the set of all variables present in the manuscript to make a conclusion, like the total sale of your product, sale online, sale in retail, and direct sales.

A distribution is a representation of all the correlated and non-related data to determine the connection and pattern if any, and the interaction between the variables.

A comparison is the process of finding out the similarities and differences between sets of variables.

Best format for you

Graphics are best for putting your point forward while tables work fine for providing a structure to numerical information. Different formats that work best for various situations are:

  • A bar chart or bar graph shows correlation between distinct categories. One axis shows the particular categories being compared, and the other axis depicts a calculated value. Some bar graphs show bars bunched together in groups of more than one, showing the values of multiple measured variables.
  • Pie charts are generally applied to represent the rate and proportionality of information, and the rate of percentage depicted by every category is marked next to the corresponding portion of the full pie.
  • Line graphs can be used for more than one variable to show the change over time simultaneously.
  • Scatter plots and line graphs are alike, as both use horizontal axes and vertical axes to plot data information points. Scatter plots are used to show the degree to which one variable is affected by another variable, or the connection between them.