September 2010 - Enago Blog: Scientific Publication Help
How to write a scientific paper, How to publish in a research journal English Editing and Publication Support for Scientific Manuscripts

Archive for September, 2010

29 September 2010  |  Posted in Review Criteria  |  Comment on this post »

From the moment you submit your paper to a journal until you receive the referee report may be a period filled with apprehension and/or expectation. The report of the peer reviewer goes a long way in deciding the publication prospects, and therefore the eventual impact of your work. The presentation below summarizes the typical considerations in putting together a referee report, based on the evaluation criteria used by the peer reviewer.

The next post will have a discussion about how to address disagreements between authors and referees in the peer-review process.

This post was written by William Stevenson, an English editor with Enago based out of the USA.

27 September 2010  |  Posted in Presentation aspects, Review Criteria  |  Comment on this post »

Peer Review can be a puzzling and many a times, frustrating process for researchers, even experienced ones. Peer review, which is expected to be an objective exercise, can never completely be free of subjectivity, due to its very nature. Further, the intricacies involved may make it difficult to comprehend various aspects of the process. The attached presentation highlights some of the criteria used for evaluating scientific manuscripts, including:

(1) Overall Research Considerations

(2) Evaluation of Presentation Aspects

(3) Assessment of Description of Research

Please view the presentation below for more details.

The next post will describe how a typical referee report about a manuscript is put together using the above mentioned evaluation criteria.

This post was written by William Stevenson, an English editor with Enago based out of the USA.

22 September 2010  |  Posted in Choice of journal, Impact of article  |  1 Comment »

The Open-Access approach is on the whole complementary to traditional publishing. It utilizes both new technological developments and their wide proliferation to ease the publication process for authors, and the availability of research material to society in general. The realization of open access need not be at odds with traditional publishers, whose business should not be affected, as long as they keep pace with changing trends. Quite a few traditional publishers have begun to imbibe aspects of the open-access culture, usually to their benefit. For example, the Nature Publishing Group has started Nature Precedings, a service designed to provide an outlet for sharing research results prior to formal publication and claiming priority on specific results.

The increasing relevance of open-access journals is related to the steeply rising cost of traditional journals, developments in technology and the desire for easier access and a wider audience. With the emergence of open access, it is now possible to not only have peer-reviewed research articles (Open-Access Journals) but also data, results or articles as they are obtained, prior to peer review (Open-Access Repositories or Archives). The time lag between research and its dissemination has thus been shortened. As a consequence, traditional publishers have also had to prune their publication costs and find ways to adhere to shorter timelines. This has contributed to an increase in their overall effectiveness. Open-access journals have imbibed a lot from the established policies and practices of traditional publishers.

Thus, both traditional and open-access publishers can develop in parallel, and there need not be conflicts related to subject areas and clientele. For example, the development of the arXiv repository, initially targeted at physicists, has not had a negative effect on the subscriptions of two major physics publishers, the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics Publishing. Both open access and traditional publishers will need to evolve with changing times and technologies to retain, develop and improve their relevance in publishing research work.

This post was written by William Stevenson, an English editor with Enago based out of the USA.

20 September 2010  |  Posted in Choice of journal, Publication, Submission  |  1 Comment »

Open-access repositories or archives are intended for researchers to contribute the results of their research. This builds up an information and knowledge bank that is easily, and in most instances, freely accessible to everybody.

Repositories or archives are either organized by subject area or certain institutions maintain archives which cut across different disciplines. For instance, there are 78 open-access repositories in Japan according to OpenDOAR, most of which are institutional ones, with only a few classified according to subject area. A typical example of an institutional archive is the Department of Energy (USA) information bridge, which provides free public access to over 200,000 full-text documents. One of the oldest repositories arranged according to discipline is arXiv, which started off as a physics archive but now extends to mathematics, computer science and other disciplines. It hosts over 600,000 e-prints.

Archives may contain raw or processed data in any format, preprints or post-prints, theses or dissertations, and in general any digital file, including software. No peer review is performed for the contents of the repository but authors have the option of contributing post-prints of peer-reviewed articles, provided they obtain the permission of the publisher. The copyright is generally retained by the author except in the case of post-prints (reprints), wherein the original publisher may already hold the copyright.

Open access archives are most useful when they comply with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol to harvest metadata. Such archives are interoperable leading to greatly increased ease of access. Every research institution or university should strive to build and maintain its OAI-compliant repository.

Listings of open-access repositories can be found at the Directory of Open Access Repositories: OpenDOAR and the Registry of Open Access Repositories: ROAR. Peter Suber maintains a list of the listings of OAI-compliant archives which can be found at

Open-access archives can be a rich source of information, and can be indispensable in situations where the material is not available elsewhere. The proliferation of open access archives would benefit both the research community and the public who usually fund the research indirectly.

This post was written by William Stevenson, an English editor with Enago based out of the USA.

15 September 2010  |  Posted in Choice of journal, Journal requirements  |  Comment on this post »

The first consideration should be to look at the pros and cons of open-access publishing unique to your situation. If you decide to publish in an open-access journal, you should be aware of the following:

You can locate the appropriate journal by consulting your peers or by browsing through the Directory of Open Access Journals, or similar listings.

Open Access does not imply that there are no publication charges for the author, though this is true in some of the cases. In some instances, the publication charges can be significantly more than traditional journals. Even when journals charge for publishing, you could request the charges to be waived citing special circumstances.

Once the journal is chosen, prepare the article in the format suitable for the journal. The fact that you are able to upload your article directly and have it visible to the world instantly (“gold” open-access journals) should motivate you to self-review the article in an even more stringent manner.

Keep in mind that peer review will be performed at some point in the future.

There are new models of open-access journals like overlay journals which accept preprints from archives, interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary journals which venture into areas at the interface of more than one subject area, and different level journals which are composed of different tiers within a topic.

Usually, you will be able to retain copyright on your article.

Everyone may not have access to your article. There may be barriers resulting from connectivity, language and filtering.

An example of popular open-access journals published in the fields of medical research and biology is BioMedCentral. Another example is J-STAGE: Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic, an online collection of over 600 journals.

It should be emphasized that open-access journals are distinct from open-access repositories or archives. This will be discussed in detail in the next post.

This post was written by William Stevenson, an English editor with Enago based out of the USA.

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