Coursera - Writing in the Sciences - Week 6

Continue from week 5.

6.1 Plagiarism
How do we write something original like your ideas or thoughts? You can to different materials on the said topic and understand it before you can form your opinions on it. From there you then convey your ideas in written words. In short, read a lot and differently, copy and quote the materials, and write from memory. Why? plagiarism is not really just word for word copy, we can subconsciously copy the author's sentence structure or word choices.

Self-plagiarism is also not acceptable. No need to republish something old as new. If the manuscript have been published in other journal, it's illegal to republish in other journals due to copyright rules.

There are tools that detect plagiarism like CrossCheck, Turnitin, PlagScan, or iThenticate. I've personally used Turnitin before and quite accurate to a point.

Be careful with miscitation and inaccurate citation as well. The issue with primary and secondary source, especially when we did literature review.

To be safe, just quote your writing in you are not sure.

6.2 Authorship
If you're collaborating a paper with multiple authors. Discuss this upfront.

Don't put your name in any papers as co-author if you don't want to take full public responsibility or fully responsible for the paper. You can put those who help in acknowledgement section.

What sequence of names should be placed in the paper.  First name is the primary author. Last name is the senior author or team lead like your advisor. But the sequence order may be different from one journal to another journal.

Ghost or honourary author is actual writer that draft the paper but no authorship in the paper. Guest author someone that lend his name to boost the paper, usually research done or sponsored by an organization, especially the medical literature. Example is the incident of Merck's Vioxx medicine scandal.

6.3 The Submission Process
(1) Pick the journal you want to publish.
(2) Follow the write style and convention.
(3) Get all copyrights sign off and submit your paper.
(4) Feedback from the publishing journal. Rejected but still able to resubmit. In other words, you should revise based on the reviewers feedback and resubmit again.
(5) Resubmit and comment on the reviewer's feedback.
(6) Final proof reading on the final print.

How to handle criticism will determine your success in publishing your paper. Separate your ego from the review.

According to the book Guidebook to Better Medical Writing Revised Edition by Robert L. Iles, good writing and good presentation (tables or figures) are essential for getting your paper published.

6.4 Interview with Dr. Bradley Efron
According to Wikipedia, he is an American statistician. So his opinions is based on statistics papers. Some of his key points.

(1) Statistics papers have both philosophical and technical side.
(2) Paper is written not only for publishing but also for reading as it's an essay for communication. Follow the writing style of journalist. Good heading that piqued the interests of the reader to continue reading the story.
(3) Send your paper to the right journal.
(4) Treat journal like a magazine (which is true) and it should be fun to read.
(5) Focus on the abstract or introduction (the beginning) and add in good figures and styling. Make it easy (dumbing down) and fun to read your paper.
(6) Go read papers published by good writer in your field.
(7) If you're publishing for the first, let editors know so they will be more understanding.
(8) Even himself have his papers rejected.
(9) Less papers is better. Quality over quantity.
(10) Rejection is common. Don't take it personally.

6.5 Interview with Dr. George Lundberg
According to Wikipedia, he is a pathologist, writer, and editor. He will share his opinions on publication process and getting your paper published.

(1) Journal wants papers that make it looks good. Hence, quality and ground breaking papers are well sought.
(2) Pick the journal that fits your goal. Want to improve your CV or get funding, go for high impact journal. Want to influence the industry, something else instead.
(3) Use the publication process to improve your research and writing.
(4) Don't write too long. Short and clear. Following the instructions for journal.
(5) Don't draw conclusion beyond the data.
(6) Edit your writing, be as mean as possible and ask for reviewers to review before submitting.
(7) No one like rejection. Everyone experience it.
(8) Eugene Garfield created the impact factor. He disagree with the usage of impact factor on journals on readership and citation counts. To him, impact means does it change the field.
(9) Don't resubmit the same paper to different journals, it maybe be sent to the same reviewer.
(10) If the research were funded using public fund, then the paper should be released to the public and not locked behind a publisher payment gateway.

6.6 Interview with Dr. Gary Friedman
Can't find much any information on him

(1) Don't submit repeating finding research paper.
(2) "Salami problem". Splitting your research into multiple papers.
(3) Don't over-evaluation your research or paper.
(4) Don't write a publication paper like a thesis.

6.7 Doing a peer review.
Peer review is good for your learning and understand the whole publication process.

Young peer review is a better reviewer because they are more up-to-date in the current field and more careful in reviewing.

Watch your tone in your review. Be tactful. Instead of identifying problems and criticizing the author(s), suggest a better way of doing it.

Reviewing is not lecturer. It may be condescending.

Reviewing types:
(1) Single-blind review where the reviewer knows who is the author are but not the opposite.
(2) Double-blind review. Both parties don't know each other.
(3) Open review. Both parties are aware of each other.
(4) Post-publication reviews. Done after the publication of the paper in the form of blogs or online comments.

What or how to review?
(1) Write one paragraph on the key finding and importance of the paper.
(2) What are the positive of the paper? Be specific.
(3) What are the limitation of the paper? Be specific.
(4) Don't focus on grammar or spelling issue. Focus on the research or the content itself.

6.8 Predatory journals
Bogus open access journal that was created to make money through scam. This was exposed by John Bohannon in this article, Who's Afraid of Peer Review?

Learning Objectives
(1) Identify and avoid plagiarism.
Be careful of accidentally copy the writing structure.

(2) Understand the peer review process.
Read the publication process and talk to your peer.

(3) Understand criteria for authorship.
Find the right co-author and use acknowledgement when necessary.

(4) Recognize common pitfalls for new authors.
Follow the publication rules and processes. Follow up with the feedback. You are not your research or paper. Differentiate between these two separate things.

(5) Recognize predatory journals.
Seek your advisor or peer advise on these fraud journals.

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