Month: November 2010

How to Plan a Research Thesis

A very important element of research, particularly for students, is the thesis which constitutes a report of the work performed. A thesis allows the organization of thoughts and results, and also serves to fulfill institutional requirements. Judgments about how good is the work are based on the quality of the thesis, among other things. It is therefore essential to plan the thesis writing well in advance.

Tips for revising content and structure

Revision of a research paper may be required after the first draft is written or following comments from coauthors or peer reviewers. The changes may be related to either or both the content or structure of the manuscript. This post offers some tips about the process to be followed when revising a paper in order that there are no gaps in the content and a logical and easily comprehensible structure is maintained.

Antimatter Atoms Apprehended and Trapped!

Antimatter is the “mirror image” of matter. Every particle that is a constituent of matter has an associated antiparticle. Researchers at CERN (the Center for European Nuclear Research) recently accomplished the difficult feat of creating low energy anti-hydrogen atoms and subsequently trapping them, as part of the ALPHA experiment. Thirty-eight anti-hydrogen atoms could be trapped for an average period of two-tenths of a second.

New approaches to peer review

The conventional approach to peer review involves evaluation of an article by one or more among a panel of recognized experts in the field who are nominated by the editorial board of the journal. Alternative strategies are being explored to improve on the existing processes. Some of the new approaches to peer review, which are geared towards improving traditional methods, are described.

Recognizing and avoiding conflicts of interest

Scientific endeavors are, by definition, expected to be characterized by objectivity. It is therefore essential to steer clear of obvious or potential conflict of interest issues. To achieve this goal, it is important to recognize the sources of such conflict and then actively work toward avoiding them. Research and writing that is free from bias or prejudice is more acceptable to both journals and the scientific community.

How to reach your target audience

Before you begin to write a research article, it is essential to have a clear idea about the intended readers, their degree of expertise, and their objective in reading the manuscript. A suitable journal should be selected after factoring in these constraints or requirements. The organization, presentation style and depth of the article should be tailored to the target audience.

A Brief Guide to Style Guides

Authors are required to follow prescribed writing styles, formats and guidelines mandated by a research journal when submitting articles for publication. This is to ensure that an article is consistent with the language and presentation quality characteristic to that journal. The first step in preparing an article for publication is to check the requirements specified by the chosen journal.

Rejection without Peer Review: Issues and Solutions

A fact that is not very widely known or universally accepted by authors is that manuscripts may be rejected without the due and expected peer review process. While manuscripts have to go through the peer review process in order to be published, they can be rejected without peer review. For high-impact, general science journals, the majority of submitted papers may be rejected in this manner.

How to select the right journal for publication

Publication usually represents the culmination of most research efforts. The process of selecting the appropriate journal has become increasingly complex due to a number of reasons. Authors have to optimize between many criteria or constraints before reaching a decision about where to publish. Tips about the factors which need to be considered and the approach to be adopted are provided.

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