Writing Club for May: Measuring the impact of your research

We welcome Laurian Williamson, Open Access and Research Data Manager at the University of Leicester.   Laurian will speak about measuring and increasing the impact of your research outputs, whether publications or research data.

How can you promote your work effectively?    How can you measure current reach and impact?    How can you increase that impact?

Laurian will talk about:

  • Citations, citation counts and citation indexes
  • Journal metrics and author metrics
  • Altmetrics
  • New metrics, for research data metrics

May’s Writing Club will be on Tuesday 16th May, from 1 pm to 2 pm, in the Odames Meeting Room, Odames Library, Victoria Building, LRI.

All UHL staff welcome.   To book a free place, please ring the Clinical Librarians on 5558 or email ClinicalLibrarian@uhl-tr.nhs.uk.

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More about predatory journals

Some recent interesting reading about this subject.

The Times Higher Education blog has just published a piece by researchers from the Centre for Journalology in Ottawa, on how to spot a “predatory” journal. It has some interesting things to say about the now defunct Beall’s List and presents a checklist of 13 warning signs to help you detect an “illegitimate publishing entity” (their preferred term).

A recent Minerva column in the BMJ refers to a study reported in Nature, in which a Dr Anna O. Szust applied to a large number of “predatory” journals asking to be an editor.    48 out of the 360 accepted her and 4 of those made her editor in chief.   Polish speakers among you (sadly I am not one) will spot that oszust means “fraud”.

The New York Times covered this story.    Minerva also refers to a study in BMC Medicine, involving the two THE blog authors, on how to tell the difference between a predatory and a legitimate biomedical journal.

 

UHL Writing for Publication workshops May – Jul 2017

The dates for the forthcoming “Writing for Publication” workshops are now available to book via eUHL. This is a two hour workshop in which you’ll be given the chance to sit and write, talk about what makes a good paper, and experience peer reviewing a paper.

The dates are:

Thursday 18th May 2017; 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Glenfield Library

Monday 12th June 2017; 10.00am – 12.00pm, Odames Library, LRI

Tuesday 11th July 2017; 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Leicester General Library

For more information, please contact your local UHL Library.

Language and style

It seems easy to find articles about how to structure an article, but less easy to find things about good use of language in general.   Here are a few things that might help with academic or scientific writing, including choice of words, writing well-structured sentences and paragraphs, and grammar.

Websites:

Scitable: English Communication for Scientists.  Has a section about writing scientific papers, but also general information on communicating as a scientist and sections on oral presentations and interacting at conferences.  Click Table of Contents to see everything.

EASE Toolkit for Authors.  “Guidelines and resources for scientific writing and publishing…” from the European Association of Science Editors.

Writing for publication: an easy to follow guide for nurses interested in publishing their work. [Internet].: Wiley; 2014 [cited 16th March 2017]. Available from: www.wiley-docs.com/HSJ-14-63694_Writing_for_Publication_lowres.pdf.

Higher Education Academy.  Effective research writing: STEM discipline. [Internet].: Higher Education Academy; 2013 [cited 16th March 2017]. Available from: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resource/writing-publication-effective-research-writing-techniques.

Articles

These may need a subscription or access through your library:

Bain BJ, Littlewood TJ, Szydlo RM. The finer points of writing and refereeing scientific articles. Br J Haematol. 2016 Feb;172(3):350-9.

Dixon N. Writing for publication–a guide for new authors. Int J Qual Health Care. 2001 Oct;13(5):417-21.

Fahy K. Writing for publication: argument and evidence. Women Birth. 2008 Sep;21(3):113-7.

Fahy K. Writing for publication: the basics. Women Birth. 2008 Jun;21(2):86-91.

Ridgway G. Writing for publication and avoiding pitfalls. Clin Teach. 2015 Apr;12(2):73-7.

A book

Hall GM. How to write a paper. 5th ed. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell/BMJ Books; 2013.

which has a chapter on style, or at books about academic writing, study skills or doing a research project.

February’s Writing Club – Peer review

February’s meeting was an informal peer review session.   Participants were encouraged to bring something they had written, which was then read for comment by another participant.

Keith Nockels from the Clinical Librarian Service facilitated this informal peer review by providing a checklist of things to look for, but participants did all the peer reviewing.   It was good to see writers providing personalised and positive feedback to other writers.

We also talked about the ethics of peer reviewing, if you are reviewing for a journal.   What to do if you suspect fraud or bad practice, and guarding against using information or insights from the paper you are reviewing, were two of the issues.

Some useful resources about peer review:

We also talked about language and style.   Watch for another posting about that.

Watch for the next informal peer review session, something we plan to do again.

 

Top tips #8: Become a peer reviewer

No matter how you might feel about the state of peer review, becoming a peer reviewer could well be a useful way of becoming familiar with the process that papers go through before eventually getting into print. The peer review process can really help to improve an article before publication and therefore make it more relevant and useful to readers.

Elsevier have tips for anyone interested in becoming a reviewer: https://www.elsevier.com/reviewers/becoming-a-reviewer-how-and-why

As you begin to publish in your field, you will become known and as a consequence, invited to complete more peer review work.

Top tips #7: Follow the instructions to authors

Each journal will have a section on its home page for “Instructions to authors”. These are there to help you as a potential author understand what the editor is looking for, and to get your work published.

There should be an indication of the types of research that the journal is aiming to publish, and also expectations of word length. There should also be details on the house style of the journal, for example, whether the active (We did…) or passive (the research done was…) voice is preferred.

Following the instructions to authors with care will lead to a greater chance of getting your work into print, and avoid your work being rejected at the first stage in the process.