Monday, August 22, 2011

How to Write a World Class Paper

As promised, I have uploaded the second part of my presentation on the theme of publishing scientific paper. The first was posted in my earlier article (here). The title of the second presentation is "How to Write a World Class Paper". Yes, writing a paper that reports novel idea that would advance the frontier of knowledge. A well written article cannot make up for poor research whereas a badly written article can diminish good research! The rule of thumb is actually quite simple: clarity and brevity. Watch the presentation to learn more...

Choose one of the links below:

How to Write a World Class Paper (on Vimeo)
How to Write a World Class Paper (on YouTube)

Note of acknowledgement: The content of this presentation was modified and ‘repackaged’ from the original presentation by Wendy Hurp (Elsevier). I would like to acknowledge and thank Wendy for giving the permission to share the material with the world.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Publish or Perish?

Publish or perish OR publish and flourish? Getting your paper published especially in the premier/reputable journals is not an easy task. Most of the so-called high ranking international journals have more than 50% rejection rate. There's always something new to learn everyday about scientific writing. Resources to help authors to write and communicate their research in a presentable or publishable from are always available. For example, American Chemical Society (ACS) Publications has launched the Publishing Your Research 101 video series to assist authors and reviewers in understanding and improving their experience with the processes of writing, submitting, editing, and reviewing manuscripts.

The first episode in the series is an interview with Professor George M. Whitesides from Harvard University who has published nearly 600 papers with ACS Publications, and over 1100 articles overall, and has served on the advisory boards of numerous peer-reviewed journals. When asked how many drafts each paper undergo before submission, he said typically 15 drafts!

I enjoyed watching all the videos (ehem...on my beloved iPad). The videos are very informative and especially useful for budding researcher. Even experienced researchers would benefit and can learn one or two things. Supervisors should encourage their students to watch all the videos. Check out also another website on English Communication for Scientists.

Here's the link to all episodes:
Publishing Your Research 101 video series
English Communication for Scientists.

The Road to Successful Publishing

I was invited recently by the School of Physics (Universiti Sains Malaysia) to give a talk on strategies to publish scientific paper in peer-reviewed journals (the focus was on indexed international journals). It was well attended by graduate students and a number of academic staff. The talk was given in two parts—in the first part I emphasized on the reasons why scientists or researchers must publish their work in indexed journals to disseminate their findings to a wider audience. I hope I have managed to convince the audience (particularly graduate students) the importance of writing and publishing good, quality paper. The second part of the talk focused on strategies, tips, and 'tricks of the trade' of getting the paper (manuscript) accepted by the Chief Editor.

If I may summarize very briefly, writing a scientific paper is always very challenging—it's not an easy task, even for experienced scientist. However, I have made it very clear (hopefully) that writing a paper is part and parcel of a research process. Therefore, we can only write a good, publishable paper if we begin with good research. What constitute 'good research'? This is a topic that need further elaboration itself, but in a nutshell — novelty, well-designed with proper sampling and control (control sample or controlled environment), well-executed and validated. There's much more but perhaps I will give another talk just on this topic.

I would like to thank the audience again (if you are reading this article) for listening intently to my presentation and for actively taking part in the discussion.

You will find below the link to the first part of the talk. The second part will be uploaded soon. I have uploaded the presentation to YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, and Screenr. See which you is faster to access.

The Road to Successful Publishing (YouTube)
The Road to Successful Publishing (Vimeo)
The Road to Successful Publishing (Slideshare)
The Road to Successful Publishing (Screenr)