Tagged / ref

The editor is a *!@#*!

Editors of academic journals are regularly cursed by academics worldwide.  At universities across the globe we can regularly hear expression such as “Who does the editor think he is rejecting my paper?” or “Why does it have to take six months (or more) to find out my paper is rejected?” or “Why does the editor not understand how good/novel/innovative/… our paper is?  These kinds of expression of dismay may or may not be accompanied by an expletive.  Being both busy editors and well published authors we thought timely to put pen to paper and explain the work (role and limitations) of the typical editor of an international academic journal.

First, being an editor is not all bad, and is actually a privilege. It is an opportunity to nurture new authors, be at the forefront of your discipline and it is part of being a ‘serious’ scholar. However, we have been at the receiving end of the wrath of authors dissatisfied with something we did or didn’t do as an editor AND we have been disappointed as authors with what we perceived to be, poor editorial decisions!

We wrote a short outline of the proposed paper and send it to the editor of Women and Birth.  The idea was readily accepted and resulted in a paper published this week in the scientific journal.

The paper includes little snippets of insight and advice to authors.  For example, a reminder that the average editor of an academic journalist an unpaid volunteer, usually a full-time lecturer and/or researcher with a busy day job, who does most of her editorial work on Sunday morning when the kids are still in bed or Tuesday night after the second-year marking has been completed. We hope that knowledge of the editors’ role will help authors (a) understand the submission process better; and (b) be a little bit more patience with the editors.  And, last but not least, we hope our article helps the development of editors of the future.

 

Jenny Hall, Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Reference:

Hall, J., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) The Journal editor: friend or foe? Women & Birth (accepted). http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871519215000104

Most cited article in MIDWIFERY

The scientific paper ‘Risk, Theory, Social & Medical Models: a critical analysis of the concept of risk in maternity care’ written by Dr. Helen MacKenzie Bryers (NHS Highland) and BU Professor of Reproductive Health Research is now listed on the website of the international journal Midwifery  as its top most cited paper since 2010 (1).   Midwifery, published by Elsevier, is one of the leading global journals in the field of midwifery and maternity care.

The paper provides a critical analysis of the risk concept, its development in modern society in general and UK maternity services in particular. Through the associated theory, the authors explore the origins of the current preoccupation with risk.  Using Pickstone’s historical phases of modern health care, the paper explores the way maternity services changed from a social to a medical model over the twentieth century and suggests that the risk agenda was part of this process.

‘Risk, Theory, Social & Medical Models’ has been cited 40 times in SCOPUS, measured today Jan. 25th 2015.   In Google Scholar the citation rate is even higher  and stands at 69.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health

Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

Reference

  1. MacKenzie Bryers, H., van Teijlingen, E. (2010) Risk, Theory, Social & Medical Models: a critical analysis of the concept of risk in maternity care, Midwifery 26(5): 488-496.

New Year’s Research Resolution #1 – Love your drafts, don’t delete them!

Happy New Year to you all and welcome back!

Each day this week we’ll be posting a New Year’s Research Resolution to help you get back into the swing of things, starting with today’s – Love your drafts, don’t delete them, add them to BRIAN!

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceDon’t delete your drafts!  You will hear this A LOT over the next couple of years as the open access movement gathers even more momentum and the role of green open access and institutional repositories is moved to the fore of the next REF (likely to be REF 2020).  HEFCE policy states that all journal papers and conference proceedings must be made freely available in an institutional repository (like BURO) at the time of acceptance if they are to be eligible for submission to the next REF (likely to be 2020).

This policy is summarised as:

  • All journal papers and conference proceedings submitted to the next REF will have to be freely available in BURO from the point of acceptance.
  • A journal paper / conference proceeding that was not made freely available in BURO from the point of acceptance will not be eligible to be submitted, even if it is made available retrospectively.
  • The version made available in BURO should be the final accepted version but does not have to be the publisher’s PDF.
  • This is applicable for outputs accepted for publication from April 2016 onwards.

It is excellent to see the Funding Councils promoting the open access agenda and embedding it within the REF.  Making outputs freely available increases their visibility and is likely to increase their impact, not only within the academic community but in the public sphere too.  It ensures research is easily accessible to our students, politicians and policy-makers, charities and businesses and industry, as well as to potential collaborators in other countries which can help with building networks and the internationalisation of research.

Talking to academic colleagues around the University it is apparent that the normal practice is to delete previous drafts, including the final accepted version, as soon as a paper is accepted for publication.  This needs to change!  Many publisher’s will already allow you to add the final accepted version of your paper to BURO (just not the version with the publisher’s header, logo, etc) and this is set to increase in light of the HEFCE consultation.  Rather than deleting the final version, add it to BRIAN so it will be freely available to everyone in the institutional repository, BURO.

We need to get into the habit now of doing this now.  BRIAN is linked to the Sherpa-Romeo database of journals so you can easily check the archiving policy of the journal.  All you need to do is:

1. Log into your BRIAN account and find the paper.

2. One of the tabs is named ‘full text’.

3. If you click into this tab you will see a link near the Sherpa-Romeo logo to check your ‘publisher’s policy’.

4. Click on this and you will see the archiving policy for this particular journal, clearly stating which version of the paper can be uploaded. Ideally you are looking for your journal to be a green journal which allows the accepted version or (even better but quite rare, unless you have paid extra to make it freely available*) the publisher’s version/PDF. See the screen shot.

5. Click ‘back’ and then click on the ‘full text’ tab again and you will see a link (in a blue box) to ‘upload new file for this publication’.

6. Upload the file and follow the onscreen instructions.

7. Your full text will then automatically feed through to BURO and be available open access in the next few days.

 

*In point 4 I mentioned about paying extra to the publisher at the point of acceptance to make it freely available upon publication.  This is often referred to as the gold route to open access publishing and at BU we have a central dedicated budget for paying these fees.  You can find out about the GOLD route to open access publishing here: Gold route

So the overriding message for New Year’s Resolution #1 is:

LOVE YOUR DRAFTS – DON’T DELETE THEM – ADD THEM TO BRIAN!

The REF results are in! BU’s research recognised as world leading

REF logoAfter many years of preparation, numerous mock exercises and thirteen long months of waiting, the REF results are finally published today! And the news for BU is excellent!

62% of BU’s research has been recognised as internationally excellent, with 18% rated as world-leading. This is a significant uplift on our RAE 2008 scores and has been achieved whilst also submitting considerably more staff to REF 2014 (161.8 FTE, an increase of 45.5%). This highlights the growing research volume and quality at BU and is testament to the significant investment that has been put into research over the past decade. The assessment recognised BU as a leading university in both the UK and south west region.

Key achievements for BU overall include:

  • BU was in the top half of all institutions that submitted to the REF (69th out of 154) based on the proportion of research rated of international standard
  • BU was 11th out of the 69 post-1992 universities based on the proportion of world-leading research
  • BU was fourth in the south west based on the proportion of world-leading research, behind Bristol, Bath and Exeter
  • 30% of BU’s research impact was rated world-leading
  • 58% of BU’s research outputs were rated internationally excellent or world-leading
  • 63% of BU’s research environment was rated internationally excellent or world-leading
  • The THE has ranked BU 69th overall, an increase from 75th in 2008, and 69th for impact – http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/ref-2014-results-table-of-excellence/2017590.article

Key achievements for our research areas include:

  • Tourism (UOA 26) was rated as joint-first in the UK (out of 51 institutions) based on its internationally-recognised research
  • Art and design (UOA 34) is in the top quartile in the UK for its world-leading research, and is ranked first in the south west (out of 7 institutions)
  • Communication, Cultural and Media Studies (UOA 36) is in the top third of institutions in the UK (17th out of 67) for its world-leading research, and 7th in the UK for its world-leading impact
  • Psychology’s (UOA 4) outputs scored particularly well with 73% rated as internationally excellent or world-leading, placing BU 27th out of 82 institutions in the UK
  • Research impact was rated highly in General Engineering (UOA 15) which scored 73% internationally excellent, placing it fourth out of 29 post-1992 institutions.
  • BU submitted considerably more staff to Allied Health Professional, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy (UOA 3) than in the last assessment exercise (9.2fte in 2008 and 21.4fte in 2014) and achieved a significant uplift in the proportion of its research that was rated internationally excellent and world-leading (40% to 54%).
  • Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology (UOA 17) is in the top quartile in the UK (joint-17th out of 74 institutions) based on the proportion of research rated of international standing, making it also 1st out of 20 post-1992 universities
  • Business and Management Studies (UOA 19) scored particularly well in terms of impact, resulting in it ranking 9th in the UK (out of 101 institutions) for its world-leading impact

HEFCE, on behalf of the four funding councils, publish the results of the REF today. You can browse the results here: www.ref.ac.uk.

Congratulations to all – this is a milestone achievement 🙂

HEFCE are looking for views on a potential international REF in future…

HEFCE has published a survey inviting views on an internationalised system of research assessment.

This survey forms part of a project exploring the benefits and challenges of expanding the UK’s research assessment system, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), on an international basis. At the broadest level, this means an extension of the assessment to incorporate submissions from universities overseas.

This follows an invitation earlier this year from the then Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, for HEFCE to provide an opinion on the feasibility of an international REF. The project belongs in a wider context of international interest in the exercise, on which HEFCE frequently provides information and advice to higher education policymakers and university senior management from overseas.

The THE ran a story about this in April 2014: HEFCE looks at overseas links for research excellence 

Responses are invited from any organisation or individual with an interest in higher education research or its assessment. The survey will be open until Wednesday 12 November 2014.

The survey only has four questions –

1. What do you think the key benefits would be of expanding the REF internationally?

2. What do you think the key challenges would be in expanding the REF internationally?

3. In view of the potential benefits and challenges overall, how supportive would you be of further work to explore the issues in more depth?

4. Have you got any further comments relating to internationalisation of REF?

To complete the survey visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/refinternationalisation

REF 2020 update

In approximately 7 weeks we will know the outcome of the REF 2014 exercise. It is hard to believe that it is almost a year since we submitted to the exercise and that the results are round the corner. Whilst the expert panels have been assessing the submissions this past year, HEFCE have been working hard to design and shape the post-2014 REF, currently being referred to as REF 2020. They are currently midway through a review of the role of metrics in research assessment to ascertain the extent to which metrics could be used in the assessment and management of research. They have commissioned RAND Europe to undertake an assessment of the impact element of REF 2014, part of which will include recommendations to the assessment of impact in future REF exercises. They are currently consulting on whether an international REF exercise, rather than a national one, is the way forward. And, arguably the most important announcement to date, they have confirmed their open access policy for the next REF which stipulates that in order to be eligible for submission to the next REF from April 2016 all journal papers and conference proceedings have to be made freely available in an institutional and/or subject repository at the time of acceptance. Outputs not made freely available in a repository at the time of acceptance after April 2016 will be exempt from inclusion.

The Research Blog’s REF pages have recently been updated and you can read more of what we know about REF 2020 here: http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/ref/

As soon as we know more we will post it on the Blog. Until then we wait with anticipation for the REF 2014 results!

LOVE your drafts, DON’T delete them, ADD them to BRIAN! – International Open Access Week

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceDon’t delete your drafts!  You will hear this A LOT over the next couple of years as the open access movement gathers even more momentum and the role of green open access and institutional repositories is moved to the fore of the next REF (likely to be REF 2020).  HEFCE have confirmed that all journal papers and conference proceedings submitted to the next REF will have to be made freely available in an institutional or subject repository (such as BURO) upon acceptance (subject to publisher’s embargo periods).

Therefore:

  • A journal paper / conference proceeding that was not made freely available in a repository, such as BURO, from the point of acceptance will not be eligible to be submitted, even if it is made available retrospectively.
  • The version made available in BURO should be the final accepted version but does not have to be the publisher’s PDF
  • This is applicable to outputs published from April 2016 onwards.

It is excellent to see the Funding Councils promoting the open access agenda and embedding it within the REF.  Making outputs freely available increases their visibility and is likely to increase their impact, not only within the academic community but in the public sphere too.  It ensures research is easily accessible to our students, politicians and policy-makers, charities and businesses and industry, as well as to potential collaborators in other countries which can help with building networks and the internationalisation of research.

Talking to academic colleagues around the University it is apparent that the normal practice is to delete previous drafts, including the final accepted version, as soon as a paper is approved for publication.   This needs to change!  Many publisher’s will already allow you to add the final accepted version of your paper to BURO (just not the version with the publisher’s header, logo, etc) and this is set to increase in light of the HEFCE consultation.  Rather than deleting the final version, add it to BRIAN so it will be freely available to everyone in the institutional repository, BURO.

We need to get into the habit now of doing this now.  BRIAN is linked to the Sherpa-Romeo database of journals so you can easily check the archiving policy of the journal.  All you need to do is:

1. Log into your BRIAN account and find the paper.

2. One of the tabs is named ‘full text’.

3. If you click into this tab you will see a link near the Sherpa-Romeo logo to check your ‘publisher’s policy’.

4. Click on this and you will see the archiving policy for this particular journal, clearly stating which version of the paper can be uploaded. Ideally you are looking for your journal to be a green journal which allows the accepted version or (even better but quite rare, unless you have paid extra to make it freely available) the publisher’s version/PDF. See the screen shot.

5. Click ‘back’ and then click on the ‘full text’ tab again and you will see a link (in a blue box) to ‘upload new file for this publication’.

6. Upload the file and follow the onscreen instructions.

7. Your full text will then automatically feed through to BURO and be available open access in the next few days.

 

In point 4 I mentioned about paying extra to the publisher at the point of acceptance to make it freely available upon publication.  This is often referred to as the gold route to open access publishing and at BU we have a central dedicated budget for paying these fees.  You can find out about the GOLD route to open access publishing here: Gold route

So the overriding message is:

LOVE YOUR DRAFTS – DON’T DELETE THEM – ADD THEM TO BRIAN!

HEFCE are looking for views on a potential international REF in future…

HEFCE has published a survey inviting views on an internationalised system of research assessment.

This survey forms part of a project exploring the benefits and challenges of expanding the UK’s research assessment system, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), on an international basis. At the broadest level, this means an extension of the assessment to incorporate submissions from universities overseas.

This follows an invitation earlier this year from the then Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, for HEFCE to provide an opinion on the feasibility of an international REF. The project belongs in a wider context of international interest in the exercise, on which HEFCE frequently provides information and advice to higher education policymakers and university senior management from overseas.

The THE ran a story about this in April 2014: HEFCE looks at overseas links for research excellence 

Responses are invited from any organisation or individual with an interest in higher education research or its assessment. The survey will be open until Wednesday 12 November 2014.

The survey only has four questions –

1. What do you think the key benefits would be of expanding the REF internationally?

2. What do you think the key challenges would be in expanding the REF internationally?

3. In view of the potential benefits and challenges overall, how supportive would you be of further work to explore the issues in more depth?

4. Have you got any further comments relating to internationalisation of REF?

To complete the survey visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/refinternationalisation

Should metrics be used more widely in the next REF?

Back in 2008, after the dust was settling from the REF 2008 submission, HEFCE initiated a series of exercises to investigate whether bibliometric indicators of research quality (such as citation counts) could be used as part of the assessment for REF 2014. BU was one of 22 institutions that took part in the bibliometrics pilot, the result of which was that HEFCE concluded that citation information was not sufficiently robust enough to be used formulaically or as a primary indicator of quality but that there might be scope for it to inform and enhance processes of expert review in some disciplines. The REF 2014 guidelines stated that citation data would be provided for outputs submitted to all sub-panels in Main Panel A and some sub-panels in Main Panel B.

In April 2014, the Minister for Universities and Science asked HEFCE to undertake a fresh review of the role of metrics in determining quality, impact and other key characteristics of research undertaken in the HE sector. The review is being chaired by Professor James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy at the Science Policy Institute, University of Sussex.

HEFCE have launched a sector-wide call for evidence about research metrics and BU will be making an institutional response. BU colleagues are therefore invited to send feedback to me so that it can be considered as part of BU’s response. Colleagues are also invited to send individual responses to HEFCE.

Thinking back to 2008-09, I remember research metrics being an emotive subject and many researchers, both at BU and  across the sector, were extremely skeptical of their use in research assessment. Although bibliometrics have moved on a long way since then I think that there will still be concern as to whether metrics are robust enough to be used formulaically, particularly in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

HEFCE have asked that responses focus on the following issues:

1. Identifying useful metrics for research assessment.

2. How should metrics be used in research assessment?

3. ‘Gaming’ and strategic use of metrics.

4. International perspective.

Further information about the call for evidence is available here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/whatwedo/rsrch/howfundr/metrics/

It is anticipated that the outcome of the review will inform the framework for the next REF assessment so it is vitally important that HEFCE receive a high quality and quantity of feedback from all disciplines.

If you would like to contribute to the BU institutional response, please add your comments to this response form and email it to me (jnortham@bournemouth.ac.uk) by Friday 30th May.

HSC paper cited over hundred times in Scopus

The academic publisher Elsevier alerted us today that our paper has been cited for the 101st time in Scopus.  The paper ‘Factors affecting the utilization of antenatal care in developing countries: Systematic review of the literature’ was published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.  The paper was part of the first author’s Ph.D. research into maternity care in Nepal.

This paper is one of the four outputs submitted to the UK REF for both Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen as part of the Bournemouth University submission and for Dr. Padam Simkhada as part of the University of Sheffield submission.

 

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH, School of Health & Social Care

Congratulations to Dr. Joyce Miller (PhD by Publication)

Congratulations to HSC postgraduate student Joyce Miller who has just completed her PhD by Publication.  Joyce Miller is a chiropractic practitioner and lecturer with over 25 years private practice experience. She is Associate Professor at Anglo-European Chiropractic College in Bournemouth.  Her thesis Effects of Musculoskeletal Dysfunction in Excessive Crying Syndromes of Infancy presents research spanning more than a decade.  Joyce studied the relevance of chiropractic manual therapy to excessive crying in infancy through a unique series of eight clinical academic papers.

 

The eight separate studies used a range of different research methods:

  1. a demographic survey of paediatric patients attending a chiropractic clinic;
  2. a record study to determine the prevalence of side effects or adverse events;
  3. a cohort study to substantiate sub-groups of excessively crying infants;
  4. a prospective observational study to develop a predictive model using likelihood ratios to forecast the presence of infant colic in a clinical population;
  5. validation of a one-page instrument to assess clinical outcomes against the gold standard crying diary;
  6. a randomised comparison trial of two types of chiropractic manual therapy for infant colic;
  7. a randomised controlled single blind trial to determine efficacy of blinding as well as chiropractic manual therapy in management of infant colic;
  8. a case-control study to investigate  long-term effects of chiropractic manual therapy into toddlerhood.

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

HSC

Congratulations to Anne Quinney

Anne Quinney, Senior Lecturer Social Work (HSC) who has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the highly esteemed British Journal of Social Work.

Anne recently stepped down as Editor and Co-Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Practice; social work in action.  Whilst she also recently completing her five-year term of office as Editorial Board member of the peer reviewed journal Social Work Education.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

LOVE your drafts, DON’T delete them, ADD them to BRIAN!

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceDon’t delete your drafts!  You will hear this A LOT over the next couple of years as the open access movement gathers even more momentum and the role of green open access and institutional repositories is moved to the fore of the next REF (likely to be REF 2020).  HEFCE’s consultation on open access and the post-2014 REF closed last week and, although the results are not due out until early next year, it is highly expected that most of the proposals will go ahead.  This is likely to result in significant changes to how research papers are published and the full-text is made freely available.

Key changes likely to happen are:

  • All journal papers and conference proceedings submitted to the next REF will have to be freely available in BURO from the point of acceptance/publication (subject to publisher’s embargo periods).
  • A journal paper / conference proceeding that was not made freely available in BURO from the point of acceptance/publication will not be eligible to be submitted, even if it is made available retrospectively.
  • The version made available in BURO should be the final accepted version but does not have to be the publisher’s PDF.
  • This is likely to be applicable for outputs published from 2016 onwards.

It is excellent to see the Funding Councils promoting the open access agenda and embedding it within the REF.  Making outputs freely available increases their visibility and is likely to increase their impact, not only within the academic community but in the public sphere too.  It ensures research is easily accessible to our students, politicians and policy-makers, charities and businesses and industry, as well as to potential collaborators in other countries which can help with building networks and the internationalisation of research.

Talking to academic colleagues around the University it is apparent that the normal practice is to delete previous drafts, including the final accepted version, as soon as a paper is approved for publication.   This needs to change!  Many publisher’s will already allow you to add the final accepted version of your paper to BURO (just not the version with the publisher’s header, logo, etc) and this is set to increase in light of the HEFCE consultation.  Rather than deleting the final version, add it to BRIAN so it will be freely available to everyone in the institutional repository, BURO.

We need to get into the habit now of doing this now.  BRIAN is linked to the Sherpa-Romeo database of journals so you can easily check the archiving policy of the journal.  All you need to do is:

1. Log into your BRIAN account and find the paper.

2. One of the tabs is named ‘full text’.

3. If you click into this tab you will see a link near the Sherpa-Romeo logo to check your ‘publisher’s policy’.

4. Click on this and you will see the archiving policy for this particular journal, clearly stating which version of the paper can be uploaded. Ideally you are looking for your journal to be a green journal which allows the accepted version or (even better but quite rare, unless you have paid extra to make it freely available) the publisher’s version/PDF. See the screen shot.

5. Click ‘back’ and then click on the ‘full text’ tab again and you will see a link (in a blue box) to ‘upload new file for this publication’.

6. Upload the file and follow the onscreen instructions.

7. Your full text will then automatically feed through to BURO and be available open access in the next few days.

 

In point 4 I mentioned about paying extra to the publisher at the point of acceptance to make it freely available upon publication.  This is often referred to as the gold route to open access publishing and at BU we have a central dedicated budget for paying these fees.  You can find out about the GOLD route to open access publishing here: Gold route

So the overriding message is:

LOVE YOUR DRAFTS – DON’T DELETE THEM – ADD THEM TO BRIAN!

Open access and monographs – a new HEFCE project – UPDATE

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceLast month I added a post about HEFCE’s plans to launch a new project to investigate the issues regarding open access publishing of monographs and other long-form scholarly works (Open access and monographs – a new HEFCE project). HEFCE have now confirmed that this project has started and is being undertaken in partnership with the AHRC and the ESRC.  It aims to identify and draw together a body of evidence concerning monographs and open access publishing and is expected to run until mid-2014.

You can read the full report here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/newsarchive/2014/news85292.html

You can access all of the project documentation here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/whatwedo/rsrch/rinfrastruct/oa/monographs/

Further updates from the group will be posted over the coming months.

Strategic approaches to getting your work published

I read an extremely good article this week on Strategic Approaches to Getting Published, written by Phil Ward (University of Kent) as well as a presentation by Frances Bell (University of Leicester) (Developing a Publication Strategy).  Now that we’re in the assessment period for the next REF exercise (likely to be REF 2020) we need to focus on personal publication strategies.  This post shares some of the key messages and advice on personal publication strategies:

Have a publication strategy and review it every year or two – Try to keep in mind the direction in which you want your research to develop, and what publications will help to build your profile.  Try not to be diverted from this!  Your strategy should include different media and channels.  It should include information on your goals (what will you publish in the next week, year, five years, etc), uncertainties and development needs, and resources available to you (e.g. a mentor, peer review of your paper prior to submission, access to funds for open access charges, etc).  You should regularly check progress against your goals.

Balanced publications portfolio – Try and develop a balanced publication portfolio. You don’t always need to be targeting top journals, and sometimes you need to balance several factors:

  • Audience: who do you want to appeal to? Should you be thinking beyond your narrow disciplinary boundaries, or focussing more intensively on it?
  • Impact: do you want the findings of your research to be felt outside of academia?
  • Career Progression: will the publication help in the development of a strong CV?
  • REF: will the publication be a strong, positive contribution to your discipline?
  • Timing: do you need to get something out quickly, or work longer on a discipline-changing piece of research?
  • Co-authorship: would co-authorship help or hinder your publication record?
  • Open Access: will be increasingly important for the REF, but is it worth considering to help with your citations and the impact of your research?

Choosing the right journals – the ‘right journal’ is often viewed as being one with a high impact factor however this is an archaic and somewhat controversial system, and is based on the average number of citations over a two-five year period.  The system is open to abuse, and varies widely between disciplines.  However, it is still seen as a rough and ready indicator of esteem.

The following video is by Karin Dumstrei, Senior Editor at EMBO Journal.  It is worth 3 minutes of your time to watch and listen to the tips she gives!

Her advice for writing a journal article is to always:

  • Choose a project that excites you;
  • Tell a good story;
  • Select the right journal;
  • Avoid the three ‘don’ts’, namely: dont’ overstate your case, ignore others, or hold back data;
  • Be responsible with your data – i.e. say what you see rather than what you want to see.

High impact journals tend to have broader audiences, so you need to:

  • avoid jargon;
  • concentrate on the message;
  • write shorter articles (e.g. Science articles are generally 3-4 pages);
  • avoid too much detail. Additional data can be provided in ‘supplementary material’.
A good covering letter is essential.  It should summarise why your article is right for the journal you’re targeting.  Take time to get this right. Keep it succinct, but explain the novelty and importance of your research, and why you are approaching that journal in particular.
There are seven key tips for writing and publishing a journal article:
  • Title: make it engaging but keep it short, and avoid technical terms.  Also avoid terms which might give the impression of limited reach and significance of your research, e.g. ‘a local case study’ or ‘a small investigation’;
  • Story: structure your article round a good, cohesive, logical ‘story’;
  • Step Change: emphasise what makes your research important. Talk about ‘step changes’ rather than ‘incremental progresssions’;
  • Conclusion and Evaluation: a strong, persuasive and critical conclusion is essential for giving your paper clout;
  • Cover Letter: ‘sell’ your article and particularly why it is right for the journal you are targeting;
  • Feedback: get as much critical evaluation as possible;
  • Rejection: never take no for an answer.  Rejection is an inevitable part of the process. Don’t be discouraged, but take on board comments and criticism and keep trying be resubmitting.

Consider the role of social media in your publication strategy – social media has been shown to dramatically increase the academic and societal impact of research (see my previous posts on the benefits of using Twitter).  Social networking platforms such as Twitter are excellent for promoting and sharing your research, as are blogs either by writing your own blog, contributing posts to other blogs, or commenting on posts written by others.  Your publications strategy should include social media outlets.  For advice on using social media as part of your publication strategy please contact Sally Gates in the R&KEO.

Good luck!

New Year’s Research Resolution #1 – Love your drafts, don’t delete them!

Happy New Year to you all and welcome back to work!

Each day this week we’ll be posting a New Year’s Research Resolution to help you get back into the swing of things, starting with today’s – Love your drafts, don’t delete them, add them to BRIAN!

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceDon’t delete your drafts!  You will hear this A LOT over the next couple of years as the open access movement gathers even more momentum and the role of green open access and institutional repositories is moved to the fore of the next REF (likely to be REF 2020).  HEFCE’s consultation on open access and the post-2014 REF closed last week and, although the results are not due out until early this year, it is highly expected that most of the proposals will go ahead.  This is likely to result in significant changes to how research papers are published and the full-text is made freely available.

Key changes likely to happen are:

  • All journal papers and conference proceedings submitted to the next REF will have to be freely available in BURO from the point of acceptance/publication (subject to publisher’s embargo periods).
  • A journal paper / conference proceeding that was not made freely available in BURO from the point of acceptance/publication will not be eligible to be submitted, even if it is made available retrospectively.
  • The version made available in BURO should be the final accepted version but does not have to be the publisher’s PDF.
  • This is likely to be applicable for outputs published from 2016 onwards.

It is excellent to see the Funding Councils promoting the open access agenda and embedding it within the REF.  Making outputs freely available increases their visibility and is likely to increase their impact, not only within the academic community but in the public sphere too.  It ensures research is easily accessible to our students, politicians and policy-makers, charities and businesses and industry, as well as to potential collaborators in other countries which can help with building networks and the internationalisation of research.

Talking to academic colleagues around the University it is apparent that the normal practice is to delete previous drafts, including the final accepted version, as soon as a paper is approved for publication.   This needs to change!  Many publisher’s will already allow you to add the final accepted version of your paper to BURO (just not the version with the publisher’s header, logo, etc) and this is set to increase in light of the HEFCE consultation.  Rather than deleting the final version, add it to BRIAN so it will be freely available to everyone in the institutional repository, BURO.

We need to get into the habit now of doing this now.  BRIAN is linked to the Sherpa-Romeo database of journals so you can easily check the archiving policy of the journal.  All you need to do is:

1. Log into your BRIAN account and find the paper.

2. One of the tabs is named ‘full text’.

3. If you click into this tab you will see a link near the Sherpa-Romeo logo to check your ‘publisher’s policy’.

4. Click on this and you will see the archiving policy for this particular journal, clearly stating which version of the paper can be uploaded. Ideally you are looking for your journal to be a green journal which allows the accepted version or (even better but quite rare, unless you have paid extra to make it freely available) the publisher’s version/PDF. See the screen shot.

5. Click ‘back’ and then click on the ‘full text’ tab again and you will see a link (in a blue box) to ‘upload new file for this publication’.

6. Upload the file and follow the onscreen instructions.

7. Your full text will then automatically feed through to BURO and be available open access in the next few days.

 

In point 4 I mentioned about paying extra to the publisher at the point of acceptance to make it freely available upon publication.  This is often referred to as the gold route to open access publishing and at BU we have a central dedicated budget for paying these fees.  You can find out about the GOLD route to open access publishing here: Gold route

So the overriding message for New Year’s Resolution #1 is:

LOVE YOUR DRAFTS – DON’T DELETE THEM – ADD THEM TO BRIAN!